Sounds like you've figured out the dirty little secret of Internet Explorer: Malware.
Using IE is like painting a giant flashing neon bullseye on your back, and then walking around a shooting range in the dark when it comes to attracting malware.
So, if you choose to continue using IE, you need to understand that this sort of problem WILL continue to happen, and that not all malware is a brazen as the types that will redirect search requests, pop up porno ads, etc. Some will sit quietly, waiting for you to log into any kind of a secure site where you might be entering in bank or credit card info. Once you do that, they will start recording EVERYTHING you type and send it along to some criminal or group of criminals where it might be used for various nefarious purposes.
Malware is an unavoidable fact of life with regular use of Internet Explorer until such time that Microsoft takes it upon themselves to completely rewrite the entire ActiveX system, which would likely result in virtually all ActiveX controls needing to be overhauled. This would include things like Flash.
So, I strongly recommend that people choose another browser. ANY other browser, so long as it's not something like Maxathon that's just a different shell on IE. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera... Using any of those over IE would pretty effectively kneecap the whole malware problem.
Now, if you insist on continuing to use IE, you will need to download and maintain a small fleet of malware removers. Even if your anti-virus program claims to also have malware detection/removal services, it is simply inadequate. Others may suggest other programs, but at a minimum I would suggest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, AdAware, Spybot, and Windows Defender (which is already in Vista).
You will need to download all of these, and probably others, keep them up to date, and then scan your system with each of them, in succession, about once a week. More if you start to detect odd behavior in IE.
Or, you could just not use IE (after cleaning up the malware you already have) and not have to worry about this so much. Choice is yours, but from where I stand, there's no real choice at all unless you're a brain dead idiot.
Problem: I'm having trouble with IE slow issues. My computer runs like molasses with IE. It takes seconds (like 20 or more) to bring up even the simplest of pages. My machine seems to run fine with other browsers such as Google Chrome or Safari.
What I want to do: Run IE without slowness issues.
What I've tried: So far I've only gotten as far as trying to figure out how to uninstall IE so that I can reinstall it. No luck! I looked both in Control Panel>programs and features, as well as in the "uninstall updates" option to figure out how to uninstall the program. IE is nowhere to be found. I also can't figure out what version of IE i'm running. The UI looks like IE7 but I can't find version info anywhere.
My OS: I'm running Vista SP1, 32-bit.
Can someone help?