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slow bootup and slow in general

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I did several things last week and installed several different programs and am not sure if I goofed up anything. Basically:

1. my system is extremely slow on startup and a lot of the programs start slow too
2. Every now and then my monitor "flashes".

In the past 2 weeks, there were some changes:

1. My idiotic brother-in-law borrowed the laptop, when I got it back, I found cookies and stuff from [bleep] sites, no pictures or anything saved, so I'm guessing he just surfed. He also did me a "favor" of installing an editing program that required a crack or keygen, so it was warez or whatever you call it.

-----I uninstalled the program and cleaned out all the internet porn stuff.

2. I had bad sectors on my hardrive (Dban told me this after a reformat) so I used the Windows program to scan it and recuperate the bad sectors. At finish, it didn't report anything, so I don't know if they were fixed or not.

3. I don't remember what program it was, but there was a "memory leak" message that appeared.

4. Twice I had an autorun and "recycler" on my miniflashdrive. Everytime I connect it, I use NOD32 to scan it, and both times I deleted said viruses.
----- Is doing that sufficient or more removal?

5. I tried using Komodo firewall and it seemed to be confusing to me - I'm not a techie, but am trying.

6. I had to turn off NOD32 several times in "services" to do some editing. I always turned it on after. One day it just didn't open up, the icon was there, but zip. I reinstalled and all OK.

5. I use and scan with NOD32 for my HD, my external HD and my miniflash, all are also defragged using O&O. I also use AdAware, Spybot S&D, CCleaner, Easycleaner (sometimes freezes), SUPERAntiSpyware.

Right now I'm doing all the scans as well (before doing a HijackThis). Any suggestions?

Also, if/when NOD32 finds something (like recycler) and I delete it, is the problem fixed there? Or does the virus still get in? Would it be better to use a rewritabtle CD to bring to a place to printn stuff up, or use the flashdrive?

Thanks for any help in advance!
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Please go to the Malware forum and follow the instructions at the top....Especially the Instructions to do before posting in the malware fourm.

That will give you several steps that will help you clean up 70 percent of all problems by yourself. If at the end of the process you are still having difficulty--and you may not be-- then post a hijackthis log in THAT forum.

If you are still having problems after getting a clean bill of health from the malware expert, please return to this thread.

Also if you want to learn how to fight malware with us. Check out This Thread.
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