Sounds like malware damage if you ask me. Even fully updated, IE is still a menace that shouldn't be allowed on the Internet. Almost 100 days out of the year last year, there were actively exploited security vulnerabilities in IE6 that were unpatched... Many of those overlapped one another, so the nearly 100 days figure is really a bit low. Many of these exploits allow for what's commonly called a "drive by" malware install, meaning you're not prompted in any way to install the malware.
You can try running some of the various anti-spyware programs to try and clear it out, but I suspect at this point the damage may be irreversible, and you may be looking at formatting in the future. If you don't have any recent backups, now would be an excellent time to make one. Even if you can avoid formatting this time, it's always a good idea to have backups.
Whether you get everything cleared out without formatting, or just decide to format to make things easier, you need to stop using Internet Explorer. IE6 in particular is dangerous to be used for any period of time. You should make the effort required to move yourself over to using Mozilla Firefox or Opera. They're both free, and both are far more secure than IE, so pick whichever you like best or keep them both. The important thing is not to use Internet Explorer or anything based on Internet Explorer.
Hi I was hoping someone could help me figure out why I'm having the annoying problem of applications and website all of a sudden disappearing (closing down). It doesn't happen all the time but enough to drive me nuts! I thought it could be more antivirus software (Norton) or maybe a IE update. It seems like every update messes up my ability to go to normal websites - like website with .pdf's. Now I have to add the website to my "trusted sites" before I can see the .pdf.
I'm using XP on a homemade computer (I'm not sure what you need to know).
Please help me.