Basics: Home Dell desktop, 3 yrs old, Windows XP SP2, IE7, FF 3.05, Safari 3.2.1, McAfee (up-to-date)
This PC is my home PC which I typically use for basics such as browsing, paying bills, etc. Several weeks ago my teenage kids started playing games on it. And then came the dreaded Spore game. From that point wierd things started happening. I ran McAfee full scan several times. Everything cleared up except two very annoying problems:
1) Regardless of how many time I tried to set browser (all browsers) to block popups the option would get unset. Thus going to ESPN, CNN, etc. was a PIA but not horrible.
2) Trying to click on any link returned from a Google search resulted in being redirected to some other web site.
In doing research on this topic I was introduced to Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware through pcsafety.us web site. I downloaded it, let it update, ran the full scan (it found 98 issues) and then let it delete/quarantine them.
The new situation is this:
1) Firefox works fine with one exception (see below)
2) I can not run IE. I tried clicking on the desk icon and going directly to the Program Files/.../exe. When I select it Windows tells me that it can not find the application even though I'm looking at it and selecting it to run specifically.
3) So I figured I would re-download IE. Going to the MS web site and trying to download IE resulted in a "Filed to Connect ... Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at download.microsoft.com." message. The full url that was being attempted was (http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/8/8/38889dc1-848c-4bf2-8335-86c573ad86d9/IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe
So I figured I would try and download Safari. That worked fine. So then I tried to go from Safari to download IE. Same error.
In order to try and isolate the issue I tried to download an IE repair tool but got the same result (failed to connect).
To further isolate I tried various browsing, watch some YouTube, updated my Quicken data, etc. All of that was fine. So I believe that my connections, etc. are all working fine.
Any thoughts on why I can't download certain files and why the OS can't see IE?