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Abnormal Shutdown

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I have a HP computer running windows 98. Lately, the computer has been freezing and will not shut down from the start menu nor from the power botton. I have to unplug the whole system from the power source. I also receive pop up notices in the middle of my work telling me that I have performed an illegal operation and must be shut down. It then asks if I would like microsoft notifed. What am I doing wrong? Could I have a virus? I know absolutely nothing about computers. I did read over some of the inquiries before posting this message. Most responses are beyond my comprehension. I'm trusting someone will respond using very basic language preferably the kindergarten variety. Please help.
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Welcome cathmel :D

I'm trusting someone will respond using very basic language preferably the kindergarten variety.

<_< We try not to use too much geek speak! If you don't understand something we've suggested, please ask.

Let's start by checking your computer for some uninvited guests, spyware and viruses. :D

To check for spyware click here. Install Spybot Search and Destroy on your computer, run it, and fix all items in red. There's also a short tutorial on how to use Spybot S&D here.

Next, let's check for a virus, click here and run the free House Call online virus scan. Or, an even better option, download free anti-virus software here? (free for 1 year).

If you have questions, or continue getting error messages, please reply to this topic. Please post the exact error message if you're able, or what programs you were using when it happened.

P.S. You should also be able to shut down your computer by holding in the power button for longer than 4 seconds. This may save you from having to reach around and unplug it. :D
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