I wonder why the OS isn't being reinstalled? XP can become so damaged that repairs become impossible or rather take more time than a reload.
1. I have run all the diagnostic tests and all passed. All 4 lights are on green.
2. I tried several solutions suggested here--Avast found nothing on full system scan. AdAware found 1 item which I removed--didn't help. I ran Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware and removed what it found. Also ran 2 Windows malicious spyware removals--nothing. Other suggested programs required Internet connection which is impossible in Safe Mode.
3 Nothing will run now in normal mode. Windows starts up and the screen goes black.
4. McAfee comes free with FIOS and now shows it needs a fix which will not work due to no Internet connection. It never does seem to find anything, but haven't had any problems until now. I have not updated to SP3 or IE 8--Verizon says both will cause problems with network and unfortunately, one computer on the network got IE 8 automatically.
5. So--what to do next??? Would installing SP3 from a flash drive help? Although the computer is 6 years old, I'd rather not have to deal with a new one in a hurry. Some peripherals will not work with Windows 7 and I hear 8 will be much better.
Summary: Dell Dimension. XP SP2 Pentium 4, 3.00 Hz 2.99 GHz, 1 GB RAM. Internal HD--80 GB and 250 GB.