For anyone who reads this, I finally reinstalled Avast, then deleted it and it took care of my problems. Thanks to all who cared enough to look this far.
I have Windows XP Home Ed. and use the latest version of MS Office, including using Outlook.
Today, I downloaded Avast, but after doing so, remembered why I hated it before. I also had downloaded Firefox, but couldn't get the favorites to import from IE.
Then things started freezing up.
So, I had a bright idea: Do a system restore to yesterday, thus getting rid of the two programs.
OMG, what a mess! When the cptr started up, first told me the Avast couldn't be installed. I thought, right, since it is no longer officially there. So, I did a search and sent the file to the recycle bin.
Then I ran my registry repair scan, which picked up five errors and I clicked the little "fix" button.
Then I tried to open Outlook and get the following message: extension failed to initialize. Can't open file: extend.dat File may not exist, you may not have permission to open it, or it may be open in another program. Right-click the folder that contains the file, and then click properties to check your permission for the folder.
Had to do another search for the extend.dat file. Found THREE "extend" files, but none with the ".dat" tacked onto the end. However, right-clicking did show it was a data file. There was no "permission" thing when right-clicking - and I'm the only user of this computer.
However, when I moved it to "Outlook" (copy #3), it still didn't fix my error message.
The result in Outlook, as far as I can tell, is that I cannot initialize send/receive by hitting that on the toolbar or through using F9. I have been able to create new messages and the send/receive works then. I can also receive messages through the normally scheduled send/receive times.
Argh! What should I do?