I just realized that I cannot open any of my newly downloaded .exe files, (most of which are attempted antivirus, etc.), because it looks like they aren't being saved as applications, but rather as binary files. It does not give me any other choice in the drop down menu when saving the file. I tried downloading combofix and the same thing happened...binary file. I don't know much about this subject, but that seems to be the issue. Furthermore, I cannot open combofix because it "is not a valid win32 application," along with every other application intended to run in windows that is newly downloaded, old apps still work fine. Along with this unfortunate issue, some other symptoms are the infamous search engine re-route, and various internet explorer popups, (i use firefox), even though I have specifically listed these popup sites in the restricted sites area of IE, they still manage to peek in at me more often than they have been welcomed. Thank you very much for reading my post. If I could only get a starting point to any of this, I would be greatly appreciative to anyone who is willing to share their knowledge.