You said, "I also ran MSConfig, disabled all in the start up screen, didn't reboot, then ran MSConfig again but nothing had started automatically".
If you didn't reboot after disabling all start-up items, how do you know that there was nothing there when you initially switched on the computer?
Have you tried a return to the "Last known good configuration" in Safe Mode?
That way if it works, you can access the internet and download a firewall, anti-spyware programs, (eg Microsoft Anti-spyware, Spybot Search and Destroy, and SpywareBlaster), and an anti-adware program.
I'm pretty sure I have a virus - but all other suggestions gratefully received also.
I'm running WinXP Pro on a self built machine. I use Norton Anti Virus 2004 and had updated it last on 2/21/05. Yesterday, I started the machine (it seems to be working in all other respects other than what follows) and I'm getting a denial of service of my dial up Internet connection. The machine restarts whenever the modem starts negotiating with the ISP's server. So: I used another machine, went to the Symantec site, downloaded the updated protection manually & insalled it on the sick machine. No virus was detected however. I have enabled all the possibilities in the anti virus but still no viruses are found. I also ran MSConfig, disabled all in the start up screen, didn't reboot, then ran MSConfig again but nothing had started automatically.
That just about exhausts my techno abilities so I hope someone out there has the answer & is willing to share.........Thanks.