I don't think this is a malware problem; Kaspersky came up relatively clean (I have WeatherBug voluntarily installed) and a HijackThis analyzer on the other forum seemed to agree. At that time I wasn't able to run any long scans because the intakes were clogged and the piece of junk was overheating every half an hour :P Nevertheless, HijackThis reported back then about the same things Kaspersky just did, so no problem.
In summary, what we have here is a laptop that's had many many things installed onto it and is probably getting bogged down pretty good. There aren't any stray processes running around that I know of (rootkits, anyone?), but I'm willing to bet the registry is looking pretty ugly. Unfortunately, optimizers cost money and they make people nervous anyway. I'm not sure if I want an algorithm, even a professional one, messing around with the innards of my system.
Speaking of which, specs:
Win XP SP 2
Model: Satellite P25-S526
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz w/ Hyperthreading
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: Total: 74.5 GB Free: 12.3 GB
Network: Wireless LAN
Antivirus: Symantec Corporate
That reminds me, all these overheats may have corrupted some of the hard drive as well... haven't run into anything explicitly corrupted yet. Defrag worked, at any rate.
Anyone have any suggestions?