What program(s) are causing the problem(s)? If it's just Internet Explorer, since you mentioned browsers, then not using Internet Explorer is ALWAYS a smart move in my books. You have to lobotomize the thing to make it safe to use on the Internet, making me wonder what the point is in using it period.
The alternative browsers out there are of reasonable size, even for a dialup speed download. Firefox, Opera, and Safari should all weigh in at less than 10MB. I'd give the nod to Firefox as being the most dialup friendly. Firefox can do incremental updates. So, if some new version is released to address security concerns with the existing version, a small patch of only a few hundred K (usually, the size varies) can be downloaded and applied as opposed to having to download the entire browser again with the others.
The real problem is that it sounds like you've contracted some malware, which is the main problem with IE. So, simply downloading and using another browser may not be much help until you've gotten rid of that malware. That means you'll need to download some anti-malware tools as well, and that's only going to increase your total download time. So, if there's anywhere nearby you can get broadband access for a short period of time, I'd do the downloads there. Put them on a CD or USB flash drive, then install them when you get home.
Get copies of AdAware, Spybot, AVG Anti-Spyware, and Windows Defender. Install them all, update them all to make sure they have the latest definition files, switch off system restore, reboot into safe mode, and run each one of them in sequence. Then reboot, go back into safe mode, run each one again, and if they all come up clean, you can reboot normally. Then you can install whatever browser you chose to replace Internet Explorer, and start using it. You can also switch system restore back on.
Man, what gives....I keep getting these popups that say microsoft has detected an error...send a report, etc. I do everytime and then I have to start all over. What is going on? This is getting very annoying and frustrating. How can this be avoided? Do I need to download another browser that would be better that microsoft? But then, which one and how long does it take to download with my dialup? I have windows xp and have never had this much trouble. Any suggestions or ideas?