Howdy folks, a very good evening to ya'll! I am a 19 year old college student with a laptop - and little knowledge of anything that is important concerning said laptop. I've had Adaware and Spybot SD ever since I got the laptop (August 2006), and I use them on a semi-regular basis. I also have McAfee anti-virus software installed on the computer, plus I get Windows system updates when they come out.
So, the problems started in January of this year (2007). I got a pop-up notification from Windows about a 'system saftey alert' - something along those lines. I figured, since it was from Windows, that it was part of the 'automatic updates' I get periodically and that I needed to follow the instructions. I got part way through the downloading process when something just didn't seem right, and I exited out of the application/program (don't really know the difference) and never finished it. I believe, now after doing my research, that it was the win32 bug...but I'm not sure.
The symptoms that my lappy has been having are all very general, and may not even be related to that incident. They include:
Laptop will not shut down properly anymore - all I can do is hit the 'on/off' button and hope for the best.
The little buttons on the top of window-boxes (like 'File', 'Edit', etc.) from anything other than the internet get get semi-highlighted in white, and the text goes from looking like the windows XP font to the old Windows 95/98 style font. The boxes also lose the 'rounded' shape and go to a very boxy shape.
When I hit 'Ctrl+Alt+Delete' and the Windows Task Manager pops up, the 'minimize', 'restore down', and 'close' buttons aren't present.
When shutting down, periodically I will get an 'end program' alert for a program I've never even heard of - lots of letters and numbers and symbols usually. Also, I know that I have a lot of programs (both known and unknown) that run on startup. It's really annoying.
Sometimes, in the taskbar (where the start button is and all the little icons are) or behind the start button, it appears that there is a window open - but if I go to click on it and close it, it disappears. This started happening around the same time the little buttons started getting highlighted and the minimize/restore down/close buttons on the task manager stopped showing up.
That is a brief overview of what is going on. I am no expert - I generally use my laptop to surf the web, write papers, and play some games. Nothing too fancy. I know nothing about programming or applications - and I'm really trying to do my best to keep my laptop happy. If anyone can help me - or point me in the direction of help that isn't really crazy complicated - I would be very appreciative. I am a true computer beginner here - all the anti-bad stuff programs in the world won't really do anything good unless I find a way to interpret the results or find someone who can help me...
Frustrated in Iowa,