I have a very strange problem with Internet Explorer, when I click a link, type an address and press enter, or use the Google toolbar, it freezes for about 20 seconds, and then for some reason a new window opens, completely blank, with nothing in the title bar, which freezes straight away as well. This window continually steals focus from whatever else I try to do. I checked task manager, and when this happens, there are 4 instances of iexplore.exe running, all using about 10-15MB of RAM. After a total of about 2-3 minutes, a third IE window appears, which actually loads the page I wanted to go to in the first place and everything is "un-frozen". So, there are now 3 windows all together, one at my startpage, one completely blank with no title, and one with my desired website. Also, if I click the "Home" button in IE, 30+ IE windows appear, all blank, with no titles.
It seems that IE is unable to change the page in the original window, and so it opens new windows, or something like that. I have a reasonably good experience of computer problems and spyware removal, but I cannot fix this one.
I have done full scans in safe mode with the latest free versions of Ad-Aware, Spybot, Spyware Doctor, Pest Patrol and Microsoft Anti-Spyware as well as my McAfee virus scan, but these scans have not solved the problem. I have also tried uninstalling and reinstalling IE through "Add/Remove Windows Components" to no avail. I tried running "sfc /scannow" which got right to the end, and then asked for "Windows XP Professional CD2" to replace files in the DLL Cache which I found quite bizarre. Windows Media Centre Edition is only supposed to be available with a new PC bought through a retailer, and so I have a recovery partition, NOT a disk. I tried my Windows XP Professional CD (which I have installed on another computer), but this was rejected as the wrong CD. There is no option to browse to a location. What the [bleep] is Windows XP Professional CD2??? I thought there was only 1 CD. So I have no idea which disk the SFC is looking for.
I am using FireFox at the moment, as my IE has been rendered almost entirely useless, but I actually prefer IE, so please don't start telling me to make the switch etc. I would like to solve this problem properly. Just say the word and I will post my HijackThis log.
Thank you for any assistance!