Hi Bio Hazard!!!
Thank you so much for hanging in there and especially the extra directions and research you really didn't have to do. I did a complete reinstall - ground zero up - and successfully backed up documents, emails, and photos - but more importantly - got them to transfer BACK into the appropriate programs! With the dbx emails - that got complicated but it felt so good when I actually got it to work. Only thing I lost was a large address book - but only because I forgot to back it up. The links you provided - and taking the time to really read them - was the only reason it all worked! I could not have done this without you!
The most time-consuming thing - and a couple of days would be a good estimate to give someone when their program is several years old - is installing all of the updates for Windows - security, software, and hardware. That took a very long time. I did not go back - right now - to IE 7, and thus did not install SP3 - there are problems with those two things right now and I was all about lessening the problems I was having to immediately deal with. I will work on those issues later.
I did install your suggested programs - Win Patrol, etc - changed some file settings - and again am using ESET AV - it's worked the best for me and seems to have the fewest conflicts.
So - what started out as a computer that was not moving at all - is now lightening fast with everything in streamlined form. Had I not been patiently walked through all the first steps with you - to determine just what might be happening - I would not have reached this state - which was the goal - but not necessarily because of malware.
Anyway - a million thank you's - You were incredible and I so appreciate and respect the gift you are sharing with others! Will make a small donation to the site as well -