General discussion

Replacing ME with XP

I have an old Dell (~700 mHz, 256K, Windows ME).

Last September, I switched to Firefox and quit using IE altogether. I had been quite happy with that arrangement. That is, until recently. Now, when browsing, IE opens up by itself and nuisance ads for various things. It also seems that the internet connection will apparently try to dial itself up for no apparent reason. That is disturbing.

Thinking I could stop this from happening by simply uninstalling IE, I tried to get rid of it. No such luck--uninstall is not an option listed for IE. So...I went out and found a program which claimed to do what I wanted. The only problem was that it didn't. IE has opened again since running that program, and on boot I get a message saying some DLL library cannot be found. The only noticeable change is that I managed to make a slow computer even slower.

My questions are these:

1. Can Windows XP (either version) be installed over the top of ME without losing existing files?

2. Rather than buy and install XP, should I throw off the Microsoft yoke and maybe install Linux or some other non-Bill Gates operating system? I've been very happy with Firefox...maybe a different OS would be just as pleasing. I am so sick of Microsoft and its problems. Last night I had to do a 250 slide PP presentation, using a virtually new laptop with XP and the lousy thing couldn't make it through without a crash. Running automatically, no less, so although I make more than my fair share of blunders causing crashes, when I'm nowhere near the thing, I don't see how I could be blamed for that one.

Thanks. Any adivce will be greatly appreciated.

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what programs do you use

to scan for viruses and spyware?

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programs used

I've been using Spybot and Adaware. What seems peculiar about either of them is that if you run them twice, the second scan will usually find something. How did it miss it on the first try? I also have an ancient version of Norton antivirus that has not been updated. It never finds anything.

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do an online virus scan

Trend Micro has an online virus scan you can do free of charge. Plus update and run all of your spyware scans. Dialers can be a sign of a trojan installed on your system. Many of symptoms you write about can be caused by a variety of malware.

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