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slow, stalling computer that won't update

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Forgot to answer your second question. Don't know if the problem is gone for good. Guess time will tell. Have you tried to update?
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It may have updated a few days ago. I believe at one point when it restarted, I noticed it stating that it was installing updates. I remember wondering if they would take or whether I would receive an error message. I didn't receive an error message. In any event, it appears to be running normally. Do you think then that it was a hardware (specifically the hard drive) issue rather than malware?

By the way, I did uninstall the Microsoft Office Click-to-Run 2010.

Thanks again!!
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I did not see any infection. A little adware but nothing that should have caused it to crash. Expect the hard drive had a problem which is (temporarily) fixed. Hard drives are moving parts so we expect them to fail eventually. Would be best to replace it before it fails.

I think we can clean up:

You can uninstall or delete any tools we had you download and their logs.

OTL has a cleanup tab but DO NOT USE IT!. There are reports that it leaves the PC unbootable. Instead just delete OTL.exe and the folder c:\_OTL.

To hide hidden files again:

Vista or Win7

# Open the Control Panel menu and click Folder Options.
# After the new window appears select the View tab.
# Remove the check in the checkbox labeled Display the contents of system folders.
# Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Do not Show hidden files and folders.
# Check the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
# Press the Apply button and then the OK button and exit My Computer.

Also make sure you have the latest versions of any adobe.com products you use like Shockwave, Flash or Acrobat.

Whether you use adobe reader, acrobat or fox-it to read pdf files you need to disable Javascript in the program. There is an exploit out there now that can use it to get on your PC. For Adobe Reader: Start, All Programs, Adobe Reader, Edit, Preferences, Click on Javascript in the left column and uncheck Enable Acrobat Javascript. OK Close program. It's the same for Foxit reader except you uncheck Enable Javascript Actions.

To help keep your programs up-to-date you should download and run the UpdateChecker:
(You don't need to download Betas and if there is a program you don't use you can just uninstall it rather than update it. Exception is MSN messenger which appears to be part of Windows.)
If you get a blocked program notice after installing updatechecker then change it to not run at start then manually run it once a week.
Seems to work best if Firefox is the default browser. Windows always hides its icon so you need to unhide it. Click on the up arrow to the left of the clock. Then click on Customize. Maximize the window so you can see all of the options. Scroll Down and find the File Hippo UpdateChecker and change its Behaviors to Show Icon and Notifications. OK. When you reboot you should see the icon. It will take it a minute to finish checking then it will put up a bubble if you need to update something. Click on the bubble and it should open in your browser. (Seems to work best if it uses Firefox. If you do not use Firefox as your default browser then right click on the icon and click on Settings. Then on Results. Change the Open Results in Default Browser to Custom Browser and then select the line that has Firefox.exe in it. While there, also check Hide Beta Versions. OK. ) You will see a list of programs that have updates with green down arrows next to them. You do not need to download any Beta Versions. There is an option Settings to Hide Beta Versions. I do not advise updating Windows Messenger unless you really use it so I right click on the Icon and Customize Results then find Microsoft Messenger and change Show All Releases to Hide All Releases. OK.

You can also try Secunia PSI http://secunia.com/v...l/download_psi/ Same kind of info. You don't need both.
If you use Firefox then get the AdBlock Plus Add-on. WOT (Web of Trust) is another you might want to try.
The equivalent to AdBlock Plus for IE is called Simple Adblock and you should install it too: http://simple-adblock.com/
The free version only blocks 200 ads a day so another reason to use Firefox or Chrome.

If Firefox is slow loading make sure it only has the current Java add-on. Then download and run Speedy Fox.
http://www.crystalidea.com/speedyfox . You can run it any time that Firefox seems slow.

Be warned: If you use Limewire, utorrent or any of the other P2P programs you will almost certain be coming back to the Malware Removal forum. If you must use P2P then submit any files you get to http://virustotal.com before you open them.

If you have a router, log on to it today and change the default password! If using a Wireless router you really should be using encryption on the link. Use the strongest (newest) encryption method that your router and PC wireless adapter support especially if you own a business. See http://www.king5.com...-120637284.html and http://www.seattlepi...ted-1344185.php for why encryption is important. If you don't know how, visit the router maker's website. They all have detailed step by step instructions or a wizard you can download.

Special note on Java. Old Java versions should be removed after first clearing the Java Cache by following the instructions in:
Then remove the old versions by going to Control Panel, Programs and Features and Uninstall all Java programs which are not Java Version 7 update 25 or better. These may call themselves: Java Runtime, Runtime Environment, Runtime, JRE, Java Virtual Machine, Virtual Machine, Java VM, JVM, VM, J2RE, J2SE. Get the latest version from Java.com. They will usually attempt to foist some garbage like the Ask toolbar, Yahoo toolbar or McAfee Security Scan on you as part of the download. Just uncheck the garbage before the download (or install) starts. If you use a 64-bit browser and want the 64-bit version of Java you need to use it to visit java.com.
Due to multiple security problems with Java we are now recommending that it not be installed unless you absolutely know you need it. IF that is the case then go to Control Panel, Java, Security and slide it up to the highest level. OK.

Make sure Windows Updates is turned and that it works. Go to Control panel, Windows Updates and see if it works.

If you are feeling especially paranoid you can install the free firewall called Online Armor:

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