I seem to have been spending a lot of time here just lately, reading posts. I have been really extremely stressed out recently and - perhaps strangely - reading about some entirely different problems helps a bit!
I have actually found myself doing what you suggest and reading the first post and trying to predict what the person with the problem will be told. I cannot really imagine myself in a position where I would ever feel confident enough to answer myself. Although, I have helped out once or twice with really simple problems and also, on a couple of occasions, joined in where I could see that the person is struggling a bit carrying out simple instructions. I especially enjoy doing the latter, as I can remember how for a very long time I was so scared - when trying to get help in a forum such as this - in case I would not be able to carry out the instructions given. I seem to have an amazing talent for making the other person disappear though (I know this is a problem for everybody here; I just seem to be particularly good at it!)
Ah! We return to the topic of me running Windows XP! Nobody seems to understand that I do not feel able to buy a new computer without my husband's blessing!.... I may be able to shut the XP Police up soon though, as my computer could (it seems) have finally reached the end of its life. Not sure yet though.....
Thanks for the list of tools used. I have heard of them all, but have not used them all. Scannow is a bad subject for me, as I attempted to use it back in 2014 but was unable to. From memory, I believe the reason was at first thought to be because the computer shop which had previously put in a new hard drive for us had used their own CD to do so. I wrote to the shop and they said that once an update such as SP2 has been added, then scannow will not work. Or something like that, anyway!
As stated previously, I have searched for computer clubs in my area but have been unable to find one I could get to by public transport. By coincidence though, we have just recently joined our local U3A (in order to join a Greek Conversation class) and I did see that they are planning to run a one-off session on Microsoft Packages. Am not exactly sure what that topic embraces, but it does not exactly inspire me! Maybe there will be others in the future though.
Btw, can I take it that you yourself are from the UK, Paws? There seem to be one or two of us here!
Thanks again for taking the time to write such a full and helpful reply.