Now, on to my problem. For the past 3 years, our Compaq Presario 5424H has been randomly shutting down and giving me various blue screen error messages. It seems to have started when we first connected to a high speed internet service. It's getting worse, now to the point it shuts down at least 10 times every day. I'm trying to follow your steps to generate a Hijack This log, but I can't complete a virus scan on my Avast software or online with Panda or Trend Housecall. The computer locks up then shuts down before it's even a quarter of the way through the scan. After it shuts down, if I try to restart it within 15 minutes, it shuts down every time. I have to let the computer sit, then start again. I can run AdAware in smart scan mode, but not after making the changes you recommend and attempting to run a custom scan. When it shuts down, I send in the Windows Error Report, and the online crash analysis page comes up and says the shutdown was caused by an unknown device driver. I've attempted to delete and reinstall certain drivers, but there are so many, and I don't know what most of them do!
I e-mailed Microsoft support about 2-3 months ago, and they told me I need to reset my factory settings. Unfortunately, my CD writing software is corrupt, so I can't back up anything. When I try to reinstall the Roxio software, it says it's incompatible (it wasn't in 2001, I don't know why it would be now!). A friend told me to try your site before I restore factory settings and lose everything.
Our system is so unstable, it's basically useless for all of my home business functions, our photos, music, or any worthwhile tasks. We can't keep flash player installed or it kicks us off the internet. IE shuts down on us a dozen or so times a day even without flash player. I'm really at a loss here.
I'll follow any steps you recommend to generate log files, lists or anything else that will help in troubleshooting. Thank you so much for reading this and for helping so many people!