after reading your post I am the one who needs to apologize. I should have realized your intentions were to help. My overly suspicious nature has backfired before, this needs reformatting big time. I'm not overly trusting of the internet, and sometimes makes me uneasy. I purchase a lot of items through it, i.e. artist materials, being an artist I buy mostly online, as well as photocopier supplies. I have online banking as well, all of this tends to make me a little nervous, although I do have security utilities installed and should help protect.
Thanks for your suggestions too, I appreciate them. I think a big part of why this computer gets the way it does is my downloading habits, I really am a download addict, and whats worse is most of what is installed I will uninstall it and sometimes the program won't fully uninstall. In some of those cases I have to install the program again just to uninstall it. I get the download.com newsletter with new downloads, and thats cause for a block party, more downloads. I am continually trying out photo editing software, imaging software, and related. I'm still looking for the perfect, hopefully free popup blocker. I have tried so many of them, the best one seemed to be the panicware blocker but this eventually gets weak, the updates don't install, so I've stopped using it.
I also upload a lot of pictures and copies of my paintings in 'my pictures' so I think this can get large using a lot of resources. I like to keep copies of reference pictures with paintings. I know I can use, and I do, flash drives, cd's to hold them but having them handier is kind of helpful.
I'm rambling on, basically this computer gets a workout and over time just loses the performance it's suppose to have, and in good part because I'm not overly computer literate. And when I've reformatted it's like getting a new computer....till the next time. But I know how much time is invloved and I keep putting it off. Cnet seems like a real great place to learn though, the classes it has I've already saved ( my download behavior at work) and other areas that look pretty helpful. And last but not least, the helpful moderators with their fast response and expertise, some people just can't recognize a good thing when they see it. (if there were emoticons here I would stick in a 'blushing, eyes upward'....I think I have some saved somewhere....).