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Virus checker self-defence gone haywire?

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I have an interesting problem that has been going on for about 2 months. I have improved the situation somewhat but would appreciate any help in getting rid of what remains. About two months ago I restored the machine using a ghost of XP - I did this because the machine had been crashing and, I thought, the quickest solution was a clean install. I then re-installed the usual sort of software I use including virus checker, firewall and such. To my surprise the problem continued! The machine would crash without giving me any clues at all, except for a black screen and an odd, repetitive noise from the audio device. So I turned VM on and subsequently started to get blue screens. I now have 5 or 6 minidumps and I checked them with a BSOD viewer: All of them are IRQ problems and the first driver to be named as cause was atapi.sys. I replaced it but the crashes continued. But then a driver belonging to the Avast 6 virus checker was also named and it was the Self-Defence module. By this time the computer was also freezing up, becoming practically useless. I tried turning off the self-defence but couldn't. So I uninstalled Avast 6. Suddenly the machine was responsive again and the crashes stopped! Joy! But now this happens: When I put XP under stress the audio makes the same peculiar noise it used to just before crashing only, so far, it hasn't actually crashed so I can't get a minidump! Also Device Manager was also calling attention to a serial port (I don't have and never have had one) and after that a new device with a gibberish name. I could just restore again but I'd like to solve the problem in case I end up back at square 1!
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Hi - This is just part of one Antivirus Checker program.
Trend Micro is the owner of this free virus checker. Please direct all questions about the operation of this virus scanner to Trend Micro's Tech-Support.
Can you please list the current Antivirus program you have installed, and from where did you downlod Virus Checker or was it part of the Antivirus.
There seems to be several versions of A / V checker, and I have only listed one above.

Thank You -
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