Although declared clean by a-Squared, my erratic desktop build was not completely corrected, and I thought ..well if that's all that I have to put up with, so be it.
Oh, and just before they "signed me off", they suggested updating Spybot S&D 1.4.... this turned out to be a new installation, S&D 1.5 something, and included "Teatimer".
although I'd not uninstalled the previous version, it seemed OK.
Then, I decided to replace windows firewall with the Sunbelt one, then things started to deteriorate, and I had to contact Sunbelt Helpdesk.
Some 40 emails later, they felt there was something odd going on in my PC. and asked me to do a system report their instructions were as follows : -
First please go to Start then Run and type in winmsd (or msinfo32 if you are using vista). Click Ok. Now go to the File Menu and choose Save. Save this export to your desktop and call it system information
Slavishly following this instruction, the report seemed to be building, but in the final stages, it hung, and I had to "End Task", the resulting report was of course corrupted.
Sunbelt said, Hmm.. strange, try in safe mode.
They then said there is something going on in your machine, you need to sort that first then try the firewall again.
Back to a-Squared.
Much much more dissection and interrogation, remove Sunbelt firewall, install Outpost, on bootup after installing this one, BSOD.
Not being familiar with the infamous BSOD, I didn't record the code that accompanied it.
Uninstall Outpost uninstall Spybot uninstall e-Trust(expired) and AdAware 2007 install Online Armor and AVG Free.
then as soon a I try to update AVG, I was getting the BSOD.
after much more interogation, I started experiencing boot ups that were very odd: -
Push the button.... Energy Star screen appears, followed by the first two or three lines of text, then stops....for more than 3 minutes!
Then continues with the rest of it's text,...DOS screen appears, disappears, Windows Loading screen appears then black screen for a further 2/3 minutes before the desktop builds.
Also from this time onward, I have been getting frequent and random freezes in IE7, downloaded Firefox, and experienced the same.
Much more interrogation.....beginning to think it's a hardware problem, probably RAM.
downloaded "memtest86", burned an ISO disk, put it in the DVD ROM and re-booted.......... Totally ignored it.
The ROM drive didn't even start whizzing 'till the windows loading screen appeared!
checked BIOS, and found that something had changed 3rd boot from Card Reader (the correct setting) to CD ROM.
changed it back, saved settings and re-booted, again the ISO Disk was ignored.
More interrogation found " C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\mc21.tmp " apparently associated with "Spyware Doctor" which I've never had installed!
The consensus was ..prepare to do a factory re-set.
I was unsure if the machine would recognise the disk at boot up bearing in mind the lack of success with the memtest disk, but it did.
then followed the long and winding road back from November2003, to March 2008!
Installed SP2, and a whole herd of updates that took me 20 hrs at one sitting to persuade all the errant updates to eventually install.
followed by my previously backed up folders, and at this point, I found that I was unable to talk to my Router.
Fortunately, ten long days later, I found an article in this month's PC Advisor, that showed how to force windows to release the old IP address, and renew it.
Worked like magic!
That's the only bit of good luck I've had in the last 6 weeks!
At least I was back in touch with the world.
That's where the good news ends.
Able to get online again, albeit with IE6, I almost immediately found that I had not escaped from the dratted freezing.
I had only the windows firewall at that time, but had re-installed AVG Free from a CD.
last advice from a-Squared was to disable all startup items, re-enabling them one by one to find out if there was a conflict.
I'm not sure how to do this, so haven't yet tried it.
I've downloaded the latest Java, shockwave, and activ X, just in case they were responsible for the freezes, but no change.
Since then, Ive managed to create the "System Report" requested by Sunbelt, via a different route, and they have kindly looked at it and say there still seems to be "something else" on the machine, sounds ominous!
There's more I could say, but I can't think what at present.
If you want to see the above in detail, here's the link: http://forum.emsisoft.com/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=3099
see what you think!
sorry for the diatribe! but you did ask!six-h