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Vista is being silly

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Alright. I'm faced with a truly vexing quandry:
I have a vista machine, that I both love AND need to maintain anything resembling decent communication with my friends back home

This machine has been acting foolish recently.
I use the machine for video games, and adobe suite systems.
Whenever I go into an adobe program(such as illustrator, or photoshop), the computer is fine. When I go into 3d Max? the computer is fine. I watch movies? fine.
I play World of Warcraft? Fine

I try to play ANY other game(dragon age, Lord of the Rings Online, Champions Online(I just tested what I have availabe), and the computer freezes up, the sound starts playing a loop of whatever was playing over the last half-second that the computer was running, and I stop getting a signal to the monitor. I then have to restart the computer, or it's stuck in an infinite-y loop.
So...in summation: what is it that WoW doesn't have, my drawing programs don't have, and the games that I try to play DO have?
Inquiring minds are going through withdrawl here.

it's not the END of the world, and if I'm going to be honest, it is doing wonders for my gpa, but at the same time, I really, really want to do the whole "video game" thing again.
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Have you run antivirus and antimalware programs?


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