When I click Start - Shut down - choose Shut down - click Ok, I get a "program is not responding" message. If I click End Task, the system freezes. If I click Wait, after a few seconds the message is back. If I click Cancel, it closes the message and I am back at square one.
This happens both with programs running and when I close all programs prior to trying to shut down.
I have run Norton AV, Spybot, and AdAwareSE with no luck.
I have found troubleshooting advice online, but when I try to implement the suggestions of turning off different things by using msconfig, the system configuration utility freezes after I uncheck a box and hit ok. The only way out of this is to hit control-alt-delete, where I find a "not responding" message for the SCU and hit end program. Consequently, this has been a dead end.
In addition to this issue, I think I am noticing a general slow down in programs like IE and MS word.
Right now, this is just a major nuisance in that my I can still access everything and turn the computer off by holding the power button. But I am concerned that this is just the beginning of a major problem.
I am out of ideas and would definitely appreciate any help I could get