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XP, the Internet, viruses and trojans


I am not exactly a computer novice but I am by no means an expert. In the past I have learned about operating my computer by trial and error. I have never really researched how to fix problems or configure the computer and programs for the best results. BUT NOW I?M AT WAR!!!!!!!!!

I have recently been having problems with spy ware and ad ware. As well as trojans and viruses. I use AOL and installed their ?PrivacyWall? software. I?m not sure but I think it has been crashing my computer. The software is made by MacAfee and works very well. But soon after installing (this is now the third time it has happened) the computer goes into safe mode when I restart it. I don?t mean right after the install. I mean a day or two later when I turn on my computer.

I have sent the computer to HP and had it put back to factory specification 2 times and can?t believe it has happened again. Could there be a flaw in the hard drive that is causing this?

Also I have a HP Pavilion laptop. It has been freezing when on the internet. Ctrl ? Alt ? Delete does not work. I have to manually shut down the computer. It happens over and over again. I am afraid it will affect XP. I installed Privacy Guard software to clear all unneeded internet history. I thought that the storage of history and cookies I could not get to might be the problem. It has made the computer run faster on the internet. But the freezing has not stopped. It has 398MHz and 256 MB of ram. In reading some of the posts I am under the impression that I should install more ram. Is this true? Will configuring the process that XP runs using the suggested settings of some suggested tech web pages I have seen in this forum free up enough memory to stop the problem? I read that XP runs something like 38 things that you do not need to run all the time.

I am using the windows fire wall on this laptop w/ a free trial of Norton which is up in 2 months. No "Privacy Wall" this time. Am I safe for now? Should I consider uninstalling Norton and getting something else? Should I get another fire wall? Will any of these new programs crash a computer?

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Loading up on utilites isn't always best

What you catch is more related to where you go and what vehicle you use to get there. A sound AV program and simple spyware/adware detection and removal tools do well when used with a browser that doesn't let in every draft and germ. There are plenty of articles and testimonials here in these forums that support this so I won't bore you with links. Firefox as a browser does a good job. I use Norton AV but none of it's other products. I have a router with a NAT firewall. I use the XP firewall but an testing the Sygate product. So far it has caught nothing. I do weekly scans with Spybot, Adaware Personal, and Norton AV. It picks up a few suspicious cookies now and then when I need to use Internet Explorer but not much more. I never click on those flashing banner come ons and stay out of places that decent people don't go. All is good here. Hope that helps.

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XP, the Internet, viruses and trojans

You have many issues in one post. First check out Bob Proffitt's Spyware Suite, here:
If your not running these, you should be.

Next, all sorts of tweaks for XP here:
Check this: 3. Maximize Performance (Windows XP, 2000, ME)

Last, I would be surprised if WinXP ran at all on a computer with a 400 MHz processor. In my experience, you should have at, minimum, twice that. Also, 256 mb ram is the minimum level that I use with XP.
Best of Luck

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