OK, my apologies for not getting back on last night. had dinner with the in-laws, had to do some work for one of the partners and decided to watch a movie with the wife so I didn't even get on my computer til this morning.
He actually had a number of spyware on his system, and still has at least one, but the big one was the New virus scanner that is going around. It killed all his other virus scanning software and would blow away all the icons on his desktop. He also had something I had never seen before, there were 6 "programs" installed in his Add Remove Programs list that were ad programs, which is where all his pop ups were coming from. Malware Bytes did not get rid of these, but I was able to uninstall all but 2 of them. At that point we had been fighting it for 2 hrs and Dave needed to move on.
I'm pretty sure him not being able to boot into safe mode is just a windows errors and can be fixed with a repair install.
Again my initial reaction to Pock's comment was more about the generalization that any spyware/virus can be fixed in 10 minutes. Cooler heads prevail they say.
For the record I use Norton Endpoint Protection for all our Corporate laptops and Malware Bytes when I find a problem it won't fix.