OK everyone. Here's what I got.
I have a 2-3 year old eMachine (I know, I know) w/Windows XP, Media Center Entertainment T6532. 200 Gb Hard drive
It is used for web surfing basically, but I do have M/S Office Accounting 2007 (trial) installed. No large add-ons.
Computer was "on" essentially 24/7 since its purchase. Almost never shut down unless on the advice of Webroot or a storm.
I've had the following problem for the past few weeks. Whenever I come back to the PC after it has sat idle for awhile, it won't come back up. Usually a shake of the mouse brought it back to life, but now I get nothing. I have to shut it off, and on again by using the power button. But that doesn't always work. Sometimes I just get a "running disc" or "fan like" sound. This process could be repeated three to four times before the PC comes to life.
Here is a list of particulars in case they are helpful in diagnosing the prob.
I run Webroot Antivirus w/Spyware. (aside from cookies no threats detected.)
Firefox installed about a month ago. Replacing IE7
Was (no longer) receiving the virtual memory warning. (I deleted my sons cumbersome Limewire file)
Window Media player (11) now plays back my videos erratically or distorted.
Have been getting the zHotkey.exe window EVERY time I start up.
Computer has recently been set to "hibernate" - never. The hibernate function is enabled.
OK. What do I do? If possible, please dumb down the response. I ain't no rocket scientist.