I reinstalled XP professional on a clean system - full reformat. Following this, I installed motherboard drivers, then internet a/c to download updates.
I forgot to disable the messenger service, and on connecting to the internet, I was bombarded by "system" messages (corrupt registry - go here to fix it etc). Ignored those, and decided to go straight to windows update.
Installed a few critical patches, and system message exploit was fixed. Next downloaded virus scanner, got updates and found I already had a couple of viruses! (Somehow installed via exploits - I hadn't downloaded anything except for the windows patches). Cleaned the viruses (for info - the viruses were one that was something to do with "xjJava", and the other kept creating "msdirectx.sys" in the user douments folder).
I'm not sure when it started - might have been immediately following the full install, but not sure. Anyway - when the PC has been on for a while, XP simply freezes, but in a strange way. It appears that the taskbar freezes first, and other processes are quite happy to continue on. For example, if I'm downloading something, then the download window continues to show the download progress, but the taskbar icon for the download will not update.
During these freezes, basic user I/O still works - I can cut and paste text, move the mouse, click buttons etc. However, the button presses don't necessarily work (for example, I can write an e-mail in hotmail, but not "send" it. I can type new urls in IE, but IE won't then navigate to them.
The only thing I can do when these freezes hit is to soft-reboot (hold the power button in for 5 seconds).
I have had times when XP has remained operational for an hour; other times when its frozen within seconds of booting.
Any suggestions? (my current plan is a reformat again, installing virus scan and firewall before I connet to the internet).
Athlon XP 2000+
MSI KT4V motherboard
512 MB kingston RAM
dynalink ADSL modem
Netgear network card (network not set-up)
Win XP SP1 with a few critical updates - have managed to DL SP2, but haven't installed it as yet - locks up).