Hi. I've been lurking on this forum for the past few years to solve most of my problems, but this is just one issue I seem to have a really hard time fixing
I am running Windows XP SP3
Since about a month ago, I've began noticing issues with computer start up. Starting then, half the time my computer starts up my desktop image would randomly disappear. I thought this behavior was strange, but I associated it with the installation of Steam. The real issue didn't begin until about a week ago, when I began noticing that my Microsoft Office installation failed to run. The error message I received at the time claimed I had an issue related to a faulty dll, and advised me to reinstall Microsoft Office ("The application or DLL C:\Program FIles\Microsoft Office\Office14\WWLIB.DLL is not a valid Windows Image. Please check this against your installation diskette"). After restarting my computer however, my Microsoft Office applications were working just fine - until a day later.
On this day, my computer was working fine for several hours, but half way through the afternoon the same issue began to arise, this time with a vengeance. I had just uninstalled Winamp on my computer and felt the urge to run CC Cleaner only to get the same dll-related error I received a day earlier. Thinking this was strange, I then tried to run MS Word, only to get the same error. At this point I started panicking; I began attempting to open up various documents on my desktop, only to receive a similar error or an error message stating "The application failed to initialize properly". I then noticed that the name of one of my icons, which I had written in a foreign language (Chinese Simplified specifically), disappeared and became a bunch of squares. Fortunately, I thought, Mozilla Firefox was open, I figured I could just do a quick search on this problem. Upon searching, the results raised my fears. No text was appearing in my browser, or in fact anywhere. When I checked my desktop, none of my icons had names. After opening up my browser, the text had reappeared, but when I clicked a link, nothing would happen. I checked my desktop once more, only to see that all my icons had disappeared except for My Computer, which had no name below it. I tried to start the task manager, only to get the error message stating "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc000012d)". I tried to navigate to a folder on My Computer only to get an error message (which I admittedly forgot to record) stating that the path was corrupt or could not be found. When I tried running an application from the Start menu, I was told that not enough memory was available to complete the operation. Other issues I noticed: my language bar was gone, and the icons from my quick launch became generic "Unknown file type" icons (White, with a square in the middle and four colored squares within that square).
In attempt to fix this issue, I restarted my computer and ran Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. It found and removed two infections. After removing these two infections, my computer worked fine for a couple days, but after that the same issue with all the familiar symptoms came back. When I ran MBAM again, no infections were found, but the issue was present nevertheless.
Please help me if you can, and I'm sorry if I broke the rules. (this is my first post)
> Something interesting I noticed: When I closed some applications, the problem disappeared. But this is still strange as before the summer, my computer could run even more applications at the same time without encountering any issues.
> I'm not 100% certain this is a Malware issue (I guess that's why I'm posting in this topic), my computer is around 5 to 6 years old so it may be a hardware problem. I'm skeptical about hardware issues though as my computer does not seem to present itself as having difficulty with it's parts (I didn't actually open up the container, I'm just making judgements based off of the sounds it makes).
> As of now, my computer is actually working fine (I'm typing this message up on the same PC), but just an hours ago it was acting funky, until I closed up some 3 (out of five) applications I was running simultaneously.
Sorry for the long post/wall of text.