This might be a good time to use some anti-spyware/adware/virus and registry cleaner software. I recommend that you use two of each with the exception of the anti-virus. Do a search on "spyware" "anti-virus" etc.etc. on these forums to get a good list of what is out there. Go to some of these site and download their free scanners and run them to get an idea of what sort of malware is on your system.
You might also try doing a "system restore" to a point prior to your first noticing this problem.
Let us know and good luck!
and life goes on...
In Internet Explorer> Tools> Internet Options> Security> Restricted Sites> Sites, I get a list of restricted sites and told that I can add or remove sites, but when I remove these sites, they are removed only for a second and then they are back. How can I remove them permanently? I never put any sites in here, they're just there. I want to do this because I am unable to link to many (innocent) links in I.E. but get a 1" mini-window with a big red X slashed across it and a beep, forbidding access, and I think these "restricted sites" might be the problem. (When I use Firefox, I never get these big red X's, but I like I.E. better and want to use it).