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how did all these

I recently took my computer to the repair place because it was showing and printing weird symbols (squares, dots, stop sign shapes, etc.) instead of English. These appeared on bookmarks, start page, desktop, etc. I still don't know what caused it. The repair guy said my hard drive was 'corrupted' somehow. When I took the cpu it had @110,000 "files" which full system scan (Norton) counted. When I got unit back from repair, it had @210,000 "files." The other day, Norton and a spyware finder scanned over 300,000 "files." Where could all these have come from and how can I find out what/where they all are? I have Windows XP Home, Spybot S&D, Norton Anti-Virus, Ad-Aware, and a couple other things.
Thanks for any assistance.
ffej10

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FFej, Try Looking For Them...

Do you have another Windows folder that may have been installed? Do you have a whole new batch of files in System Restore? Did the repair-person install Service Pack 2 which adds more files to the computer?

Try performing the clean up procedures in the links below:

How To Clean Unwanted Files From The Hard Drive

And if you have XP Service Pack 2 installed, try the steps below:

Cleanup After SP2 Installation
http://forum.aumha.org/viewtopic.php?t=7265&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;ln;xpsp2installed

After following all the procedures above, run Error Checking/Chkdsk and Defrag to optimize the hard drive:

How To Run 'Error Checking/Chkdsk' On Win2000/XP

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Diagnostic.

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