What I have done was to reinstall explorer by installing the next service pack. In your case, I would download internet explorer 8 installer and install it over the original. Then scan your computer again if you still have this problem.
My IE8 appears to have a virus that my Norton AntiVirus has no permanent fix for. I have been getting high CPU usage Numerous SVC host32.exe entries on my task manager and the following message from my Norton. "AV intrusion attempt ny Familyroom was blocked. HTTPFake AVScan Webpage 2\Device\Harddisk\Internet Explorer\IExplorer.exe"
This may appear numerous times. When ever I try to use any search engine it appears to hijack the settings and send me numerous places.
I have a Dell Dimension DIM4600 Intel(R) Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz
2 GB ram XP Home 2002 SP3
Any Ideas how to correct this?