Hi phillpower2, you must have read my mind!
I took your advice and installed Windows 7 by creating a partition as instructed in post #8. The install went well, and I have been re-installing a number of my programs over the last couple of days. Windows 7 works very well (with a couple of minor issues that I will describe shortly.) I also updated Firefox to the latest version, and it is working almost at light speed compared to what I had with Windows XP and the last version of Firefox available that works with XP. So glad to have made the change! Now, the 2 minor issues:
1. I have two speakers plugged into the back of the desktop and the speaker icon on the bottom of the screen next to the date/time has a small red dot with a white x in it. When I hover the mouse over it, the message is "No speakers or headphones are plugged in." I haven't done any troubleshooting on this as of yet, since I was doing all the program installations, and completing various personal Windows settings.
2. I have 2 DVD drives. I confirmed that they work because when I put discs into them to install programs, they work. The issue is that the drive letters do not appear when I am in Windows Explorer, and I look under Computer. My other drives are there: C, F and Z (the last two being data drives.)
Any thoughts on how to get my speakers working again and to have the DVD drive letters show up in Windows Explorer?
Thank you for your help and advice!