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Windows Firewall during start-up?

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Hey guys and gals,

For about a month now I've been noticing that when I start up my laptop - a little warning bubble from the taskbar pops up to tell me that my Windows Firewall is turned off, and suggests I turn it back on. I click the bubble to bring up the Firewall options window - and low and behold it's already on (or was never off to begin with). It's not a huge concern on my end, since now I just 'x' out the bubble and dismiss my laptop as compulsively lying to me...however I have also noticed a large lag that coincides with this issue. I tried minimizing all the programs required to start up when my computer does to a select few and desired things (like AIM, my printer, Wallpaper changer, etc) but my computer still hangs during start up. AIM will load and then begin to connect when the computer becomes almost completely unresponsive, after a short while (feels like a long while when sitting in front of the computer) it catches up with itself and that's when the bubble pops up.

I wasn't sure if this was an indicator of a more serious issue - or perhaps just a simple case of my computer growing old and thinking ahead of itself.

Thanks for the help!
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The Skeptic

The Skeptic

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Please take the following steps. Programs that are mentioned can be downloaded from my list of [programs below.

1: Click Start > run. Type msconfig. Choose selective startup. Go to the "startup" tab and uncheck everything
which is not essential. Leave only antimalware and specific programs that are related to the operation of the laptop. (if you change your mind latter you can reactivate the unchecked programs). Confirm and reboot. Upon rebooting you will see a message that should be checked.

2: Download and run ccleaner. Run the "cleaner" and "issues" options a number of times until nothing is left to be cleaned. Use the backup option (in "issues") when prompted to do so.

3: Run a thorough scan with updated antimalware programs. Use the link in my signature to go to the malware forum. Take all the preliminary staps. Do not post HJT log at this stage.

4: Run disk defragmantation. Click start > all programs > accessories > system tools > disk defragmenter.

5: Download and run PageDefrag. This program defrags system and page files which are not defragged by other means. Set it to work upon next boot and reboot.

6: Press ctr+alt+del to enter task manager. Under Performance tab look for "physical memory". Please report Total and Available.

7: Enter "My Computer", right-click drive C: > properties. Please report Capacity and Free Space of your hard disk.
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