JHolmes900
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Problem with Microsoft Update http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058

This is a continuation for question "After updates have been hidden, they are offered repeatedly". I realized after I posted a reply today that it may not get looked at unless I started a new question. (the previous thread is http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/2ab50715-e880-43a4-b0dd-6ec12081745d?prof=required)

My PC is a rebuild. Several months ago, after my grandchildren had been using it, I tried to turn it on and it would not boot. It did not even have the HP system restore information on it. Something wiped out the hard drive. I started rebuilding it from scratch. First I installed XP  Professional, then BitDefender. Next I added the programs that were required,  and the drivers from the HP web site. Everything was functioning OK until I installed SP 3, .NET framework 3.5 and IE8. That is why I thought they were the culprits.

I used to run Windows Live OneCare on my PCs, but it did not protect very well and I spent a lot of time on the phone with Microsoft Support. So, I switched to BitDefender and occasionally use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

I also used Norton and McAfee on other PCs in the past. Are you  suggesting that I install one of these on the laptop?

I tried to run Windows Update (from http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?muopt=1&ln=en-us) last night and the scan ran for over 70 minutes and did not end. After your comment about something being wrong with my computer, I tried to uninstall and re-install the Windows Updater. I followed the instructions on http://benaiah41.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/fix-broken-windows-updater-after-ie7-install/ and executed WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe /wuforce. I used wuforce because without it, I just kept getting a message telling me that it was already on my system.

That installed but when I logged on to the Windows Update site again, it said I needed to update the program. An update was installed and the scan went on and on and on just like before.

Next I found the following fix by Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058. I ran the default at first, rebooted and the scan finished in about 15 minutes. According to their directions, I then installed the Aggressive version, rebooted and ran the scan again. This time it ran for over 60 minutes without finishing. So I stopped it, re-booted, re-installed the Default version, re-booted and re-ran the Update scan. This time it took 35 minutes. 

Each time the scan finishes after the Default update is installed, I get the results below. I unselect everything except the last one, select "Do not tell me about this update again", and install the single update. I ran the scan again without installing the Aggressive version and it returned with the warning that I have hidden updates, but with nothing else marked as critical. I don't know if it is OK to leave the Default update and just continue with checking out the PC or not.

" These updates must be installed separately
Updates listed here can have system-wide effects or address more than one problem. It's a good idea to install them now and then check again, starting from the Home page, for remaining updates.


Microsoft Windows XP


 Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Family Update for .NET versions 2.0 through 3.5 (KB951847) x86
Download size: 69.2 MB , less than 1 minute
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 is a full cumulative update that contains many new features building incrementally upon .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and includes cumulative servicing updates to the .NET Framework 2.0 and .NET Framework 3.0 subcomponents. The .NET Framework 3.5 Family Update provides important application compatibility updates. This combined Service Pack and update is applicable to .NET versions 2.0 through 3.5.  Details...
Don't show this update again

 
 Select and install other updates
You can select other updates only after you install, or choose not to install, any updates selected above. If no updates appear below, see the options to the left.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Microsoft Windows XP


 
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 Update for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP x86 (KB982524)
Download size: 16.9 MB , less than 1 minute
This update addresses a set of known issues of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.  Details...
Don't show this update again
 
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 Security Update for Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP x86 (KB979909)
Download size: 830 KB , less than 1 minute
A security issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to tamper with digitally signed content without being detected, when this content is being consumed by an application that makes use of the Microsoft .NET Framework on a Windows-based system. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.  Details...
Don't show this update again
 
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Update for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP x86 (KB982168)
Download size: 20.1 MB , less than 1 minute
Install this update to help strengthen authentication credentials in specific scenarios. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.  Details...
Don't show this update again
 
Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP
Download size: 16.1 MB , less than 1 minute
Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of the familiar Web browser that you are most comfortable using. Internet Explorer 8 helps you get everything that you want from the Web faster, easier, and more privately and securely than ever. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.  Details...
Don't show this update again
 
Update for Windows XP (KB967715)
Typical download size: 960 KB , 1 minute
Install this update to resolve an issue in which AutoRun features were not correctly disabled. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.  Details...
Don't show this update again" 
Jenny
PA Bear MS MVP
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PA Bear MS MVP replied on
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cf. http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/2ab50715-e880-43a4-b0dd-6ec12081745d/

You really didn't need to begin a new thread but you did so let's move on.

The "you must install this first" update (KB951847) is an Optional, non-security update. In your other thread, I showed you how to "hide" it. All but one of other updates are Optional, non-security updates, too, so you maybe able to"hide" them when you're "hiding" KB951847.

1. Stop the Automatic Updates service:

Start > Run > (type in) services.msc > [OK]
Double-click Automatic Updates > Click on Stop
(Stopping the service will take a moment)

2. Delete the contents of the Download folder:

Start > Run > (type in) %windir%\SoftwareDistribution > [OK]
Open the Download folder and delete its contents
Close the window.

3. Open Internet Explorer (only) to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com | Select CUSTOM and allow the scan to complete | Uncheck/deselect KB951847, KB982524, KB982168, KB967715 and Internet Explorer 8 (if listed) & hide all of them ("Don't show me this update again").

=> If KB979909 (and/or KB2286198) becomes available after you've hidden the other updates, you do want to install it/them!

4. Start the Automatic Updates service:

Start > Run > (type in) services.msc > [OK]
Double-click Automatic Updates > Click on Start
(Starting the service will take a moment)

NEW PART...

5a. Download the installer for KB971029 & save it to your desktop: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=96ca61f6-8b16-4157-9635-8cfc0bbf4c35

5b. Close all open applications (i.e., anything with an icon on the taskbar).

5c. Double-click on the file you saved in #5a above (i.e., WindowsXP-KB971029-x86-ENU.exe) to install the update manually. Follow all prompts & reboot (if not prompted to do so).

NB: Having installed KB971029 manually, you no longer need to install KB967715. [Trust me.]

6. Once again, open Internet Explorer to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com | Select CUSTOM & allow the scan to complete. Install any critical security updates offered (e.g., KB979909; KB2286198); follow all prompts.

NB: If any of the following Optional, non-security updates are offered, you can "hide" them now:

  KB982671; KB982167; KB982168; KB982524; KB982168; KB967715; Internet Explorer 8


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
PA Bear MS MVP
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[6] A3. ...there was no trace of OneCare when I reinstalled Windows XP.If there had been, from past experience, I would not have been able to install it.

[Comment: I'm having a lot of trouble understanding the history of the computer-in-question, primarily because you keep referring to other computers you own.]

I said nothing about OneCare being reinstalled when you reinstalled Windows, I referenced a Norton or McAfee free-trial being reinstalled. If you'll recall, in one of your previous replies you told me, "Norton may have been [preinstalled on the computer when I bought it], I do not remember."

If you'd just done the clean install of Windows, I'd have you uninstall the invalid Norton free-trial and then download/run the Norton Removal Tool. However, since you did the clean install awhile ago and installed OneCare and then the BitDefender application, that's not going to help now so I'll present you with two options:

OPTION 1: See if you can determine what else might be loading & running at Startup and causing the drag on performance. Diagnostic, self-help references would include:

Help! My computer is slow!
http://miekiemoes.blogspot.com/2008/02/help-my-computer-is-slow.html

Troubleshooting checklist for a slow computer
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic44694.html

What to do if your Computer is running slowly
http://www.malwareremoval.com/tutorials/runningslowly.php 

How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316434

[Perform a clean startup to determine whether background programs are interfering with your game or program
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331796]

If you need additional assistance with your troubleshooting, please begin a new thread in this forum:http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/xpperformance/threads [1]

OPTION 2: See...

     Cleaning a Compromised System
     http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc700813.aspx

Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of WinXP: See http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html#steps and/or Method 1 in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978307

After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) and before connecting a flash drive, SDCard, or any other external drive to the computer:

     4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
     http://www.microsoft.com/security/pypc.aspx

Other helpful references include:

HOW TO get a computer running WinXP Gold (no Service Packs) fully patched (after a clean install)
http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsupdate/msg/3f5afa8ed33e121c

HOW TO get a computer running WinXP SP1(a) or SP2 fully patched (after a clean install)
http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/a066ae41add7dd2b

Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029 manually before connecting any external drive to the computer:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971029

NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial AND download/run the appropriate removal tool BEFORE installing any updates, Windows Service Packs or IE upgrades AND BEFORE installing your new anti-virus application (which will require WinXP SP3 to be installed).

     Norton Removal Tool
     ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe

     McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool
     http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe

If you need additional assistance with the clean install, please begin a new thread in this forum: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/xprepair/threads [1]

======================
[1] If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop. That being said, it'd be perfectly OK to let your grandchildren or anyone else use this laptop in its current conditionas long as it's NEVER connected to the internet.


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
PA Bear MS MVP
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PA Bear MS MVP replied on
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cf. http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/2ab50715-e880-43a4-b0dd-6ec12081745d/

You really didn't need to begin a new thread but you did so let's move on.

The "you must install this first" update (KB951847) is an Optional, non-security update. In your other thread, I showed you how to "hide" it. All but one of other updates are Optional, non-security updates, too, so you maybe able to"hide" them when you're "hiding" KB951847.

1. Stop the Automatic Updates service:

Start > Run > (type in) services.msc > [OK]
Double-click Automatic Updates > Click on Stop
(Stopping the service will take a moment)

2. Delete the contents of the Download folder:

Start > Run > (type in) %windir%\SoftwareDistribution > [OK]
Open the Download folder and delete its contents
Close the window.

3. Open Internet Explorer (only) to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com | Select CUSTOM and allow the scan to complete | Uncheck/deselect KB951847, KB982524, KB982168, KB967715 and Internet Explorer 8 (if listed) & hide all of them ("Don't show me this update again").

=> If KB979909 (and/or KB2286198) becomes available after you've hidden the other updates, you do want to install it/them!

4. Start the Automatic Updates service:

Start > Run > (type in) services.msc > [OK]
Double-click Automatic Updates > Click on Start
(Starting the service will take a moment)

NEW PART...

5a. Download the installer for KB971029 & save it to your desktop: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=96ca61f6-8b16-4157-9635-8cfc0bbf4c35

5b. Close all open applications (i.e., anything with an icon on the taskbar).

5c. Double-click on the file you saved in #5a above (i.e., WindowsXP-KB971029-x86-ENU.exe) to install the update manually. Follow all prompts & reboot (if not prompted to do so).

NB: Having installed KB971029 manually, you no longer need to install KB967715. [Trust me.]

6. Once again, open Internet Explorer to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com | Select CUSTOM & allow the scan to complete. Install any critical security updates offered (e.g., KB979909; KB2286198); follow all prompts.

NB: If any of the following Optional, non-security updates are offered, you can "hide" them now:

  KB982671; KB982167; KB982168; KB982524; KB982168; KB967715; Internet Explorer 8


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
JHolmes900
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JHolmes900 replied on

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I followed all of your instructions. When I ran the Custom Install the first time, all that came back was KB967715. I hid it and then installed KB971029 manually. When I ran the Custom Install again, nothing came back marked as a critical update. None of the optional, non-security updates that you mentioned were offered.

After that, I turned Automatic Updates on so that it would download and let me pick the ones to install. I re-booted and now I am down from a 5 minute response time to a 3 minute response time when I hit enter. But, after the Automatic Update scan finishes, in about 15-35 minutes, I am able to use the PC. 

I downloaded the MSRT that you recommended to someone else in another thread and ran the full scan. It came back clean. I don't know why MU uses all of the RAM to do the search, or if there is anything I can do about it. Do you have any other suggestions, other than logging on 30 minutes before I want to use the PC?

Jenny
PA Bear MS MVP
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[1] I followed all of your instructions...When I ran the Custom Install again, nothing came back marked as a critical update...

[2] ...now I am down from a 5 minute response time to a 3 minute response time when I hit enter. But, after the Automatic Update scan finishes, in about 15-35 minutes, I am able to use the PC...I don't know why [Microsoft Update] uses all of the RAM to do the search, or if there is anything I can do about it. Do you have any other suggestions, other than logging on 30 minutes before I want to use the PC?


How to configure and use Automatic Updates in WinXP ("Let me fix it myself" section)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306525

A1. I think you may be confusing Automatic Updates (see above) with updating manually via Microsoft Update website. If the CUSTOM scan did not offer any criticial security updates and Automatic Updates is working properly, you really don't need to update manually anymore.

A2. I suspect you're telling me that the computer starts quicker now but Automatic Updates (which starts & runs in the background every time you start your computer) appears to be "hogging" system resources for the first 20-30 minutes or so & making everything else slow to a crawl.

First of all, it's simply a fact of life that Automatic Updates takes longer to run (check for updates) when Microsoft Update is your default update source, especially on lower-end WinXP computers.

Now please read:

<QP>
What are the differences between Windows Updates, Automatic Updates, and Microsoft Updates?

While Windows Update provides you with updates specifically for Windows, Microsoft Update expands the service to download and install updates for other Microsoft software, such as Microsoft Office and Windows Live Essentials [as well as Silverlight & Microsoft Security Essentials]. Automatic updating is a feature that allows you to set your PC to automatically download and install updates using either service, making it easy and convenient for you to keep your Windows PC current.
</QP>
Source: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/windowsupdate/FAQ.mspx

If and only if no MS Office and/or Windows Live Essentials applications (e.g., Windows Live Messenger; Windows Live Mail) are installed, you can "flip" the default update source back to Windows Update. After doing so, it will take much less time for Automatic Updates to run at boot. (Details available upon request.)

The above notwithstanding, there are many other things which may be causing the slow-down when you first start your computer. So let me get the ball rolling by reposting some of the diagnostic questions fromyour other thread which remain unanswered:

1. What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your subscription current?  What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?  What third-party firewall (if any)?

2. Has a(nother) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on the computer?

3. Did a Norton or McAfee free-trial come preinstalled on the computer when you bought it? (Doesn't matter if you never used or Activated it.)


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
JHolmes900
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My answers are in italics below your questions.

[1} How to configure and use Automatic Updates in WinXP ("Let me fix it myself" section)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306525

I read this and did not learn anything new. I may not be using the most correct terms in my responses, and for that I apologize.

[2] A1. I think you may be confusing Automatic Updates (see above) with updating manually via Microsoft Update website. If the CUSTOM scan did not offer any criticial security updates and Automatic Updates is working properly, you really don't need to update manually anymore.

I only did the manual update for KB971029 as you instructed me to do.I know I do not have to update manually unless the update is not offered automatically.

[3] A2. I suspect you're telling me that the computer starts quicker now but Automatic Updates (which starts & runs in the background every time you start your computer) appears to be "hogging" system resources for the first 20-30 minutes or so & making everything else slow to a crawl.

Yes, that is what I am saying.


[4]What are the differences between Windows Updates, Automatic Updates, and Microsoft Updates?

I do have MS Office on the PC and I am using Automatic Updates for Microsoft Updates.

[5] 1. What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your subscription current?  What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?  What third-party firewall (if any)?

The Anti-virus application is BitDefender 2010 and the subscription is current. I also use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.The only firewall is Windows firewall.

[6] 2. Has a(nother) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on the computer?

Live OneCare was installed but did not protect the PC. Norton or McAfee has never been installed.

[7] 3. Did a Norton or McAfee free-trial come preinstalled on the computer when you bought it? (Doesn't matter if you never used or Activated it.)

My PC is a rebuild. Something wiped out the hard drive. Norton may have been delivered with the PC, I do not remember.

Jenny
PA Bear MS MVP
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[1] [Windows] Live OneCare was installed but did not protect the PC.

[2] My PC is a rebuild. Something wiped out the hard drive.

[3] Norton may have been delivered with the PC, I do not remember.


A1. Explain. Did you computer become infected while OneCare was installed or...?

When (approx. date) did your OneCare subscription expire?

When (approx. date) did you first purchase & install the BitDefender application?

Did you uninstall OneCare and then download/run the OneCare cleanup utility BEFORE you installed the BitDefender application?

A2. What "wiped out the hard drive" and how did you resolve the problem (i.e., replaced the hard drive)?

A3. If a Norton (or Mcafee) free-trial came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it, the free-trial would have been reinstalled, but invalid, when you reinstalled Windows. If you did not uninstall the free-trial AND THEN download/run the appropriate removal tool BEFORE you installed OneCare, chances are that OneCare never installed properly and therefore was never working properly. If such is the case, the BitDefender application's probably not working properly either.


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
JHolmes900
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[1] A1. Explain. Did you computer become infected while OneCare was installed or...?

Yes OneCare was installed at the time.

[2[ When (approx. date) did your OneCare subscription expire?

About 1 year ago. It was active at the time the PC was infected. I had many other problems with my other PCs (three desktops) when using OneCare. It seems like it was always a "day late and a dollar short" on taking care of current problems. I was always on the phone with MS Support trying to fix one of the PCs. So when the subscription expired I did not renew.

[3] When (approx. date) did you first purchase & install the BitDefender application?

I purchased the 2009 version before the OneCare expired. This year I renewed with the 2010 version of BitDefender.

[4] Did you uninstall OneCare and then download/run the OneCare cleanup utility BEFORE you installed the BitDefender application?

Yes, on my three desktops. There was nothing to uninstall on the laptop after it was wiped out.But if my memory serves me correctly, I was still using OneCare when I started "fixing" the laptop. I re-installed OneCare after installing Windows XP. Then, before installing BitDefender, I uninstalled OneCare and ran the cleanup utility. I knew about the cleanup utility because I had spoken to MS Support so many times while using it and they had me uninstall, clean-up and then re-install.

[5] A2. What "wiped out the hard drive" and how did you resolve the problem (i.e., replaced the hard drive)?

I don't know if it was infected or if my grandchildren had it near a magnet or what. Just one day when I went to turn it on, the Windows screen would come up and then the PC would immediately turn off. I could not even hit PF8, PF2 or PF11.

I resolved the problem by putting in the Windows XP Install Disk and after it was installed, installing OneCare. Then I had to re-install MS Office, Adobe Reader, etc. When OneCare expired, I uninstalled it, ran the clean-up and installed BitDefender. I did not use the laptop for months. It was only used when we had the kids over and they played solitaire on it.

I started working on getting it performing its best when my oldest Granddaughters desktop stopped working and I decided to give her the laptop. The PC had not been connected online during all of that time. When I logged online, their were many, many updates to download and yet I did not have a problem until it automatically installed SP 3, IE8  and .NET 3.5 like I said before.

The sound was not working and I logged on to HP downloads and got all of the appropriate drivers. Then I uninstalled SP 3, IE8 and .NET 3.5 and could  not get the updates hidden.... that is what started our communication.

[6] A3. If a Norton (or Mcafee) free-trial came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it, the free-trial would have been reinstalled, but invalid, when you reinstalled Windows. If you did not uninstall the free-trial AND THEN download/run the appropriate removal tool BEFORE you installed OneCare, chances are that OneCare never installed properly and therefore was never working properly. If such is the case, the BitDefender application's probably not working properly either.

Before the computer was infected I removed whatever was on there and followed the instructions online about removing it. It was OneCare that was on it when it was infected, but there was no trace of OneCare when I reinstalled Windows XP.If there had been, from past experience, I would not have been able to install it.

Jenny
PA Bear MS MVP
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[6] A3. ...there was no trace of OneCare when I reinstalled Windows XP.If there had been, from past experience, I would not have been able to install it.

[Comment: I'm having a lot of trouble understanding the history of the computer-in-question, primarily because you keep referring to other computers you own.]

I said nothing about OneCare being reinstalled when you reinstalled Windows, I referenced a Norton or McAfee free-trial being reinstalled. If you'll recall, in one of your previous replies you told me, "Norton may have been [preinstalled on the computer when I bought it], I do not remember."

If you'd just done the clean install of Windows, I'd have you uninstall the invalid Norton free-trial and then download/run the Norton Removal Tool. However, since you did the clean install awhile ago and installed OneCare and then the BitDefender application, that's not going to help now so I'll present you with two options:

OPTION 1: See if you can determine what else might be loading & running at Startup and causing the drag on performance. Diagnostic, self-help references would include:

Help! My computer is slow!
http://miekiemoes.blogspot.com/2008/02/help-my-computer-is-slow.html

Troubleshooting checklist for a slow computer
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic44694.html

What to do if your Computer is running slowly
http://www.malwareremoval.com/tutorials/runningslowly.php 

How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316434

[Perform a clean startup to determine whether background programs are interfering with your game or program
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331796]

If you need additional assistance with your troubleshooting, please begin a new thread in this forum:http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/xpperformance/threads [1]

OPTION 2: See...

     Cleaning a Compromised System
     http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc700813.aspx

Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of WinXP: See http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html#steps and/or Method 1 in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978307

After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) and before connecting a flash drive, SDCard, or any other external drive to the computer:

     4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
     http://www.microsoft.com/security/pypc.aspx

Other helpful references include:

HOW TO get a computer running WinXP Gold (no Service Packs) fully patched (after a clean install)
http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsupdate/msg/3f5afa8ed33e121c

HOW TO get a computer running WinXP SP1(a) or SP2 fully patched (after a clean install)
http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/a066ae41add7dd2b

Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029 manually before connecting any external drive to the computer:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971029

NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial AND download/run the appropriate removal tool BEFORE installing any updates, Windows Service Packs or IE upgrades AND BEFORE installing your new anti-virus application (which will require WinXP SP3 to be installed).

     Norton Removal Tool
     ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe

     McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool
     http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe

If you need additional assistance with the clean install, please begin a new thread in this forum: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/xprepair/threads [1]

======================
[1] If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop. That being said, it'd be perfectly OK to let your grandchildren or anyone else use this laptop in its current conditionas long as it's NEVER connected to the internet.


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
JHolmes900
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Thank you for taking the time to help me. If I have any further problems I will start a new thread as you suggest.
Jenny
PA Bear MS MVP
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PA Bear MS MVP replied on
MVP MCC: Content Creator MCC: Content Curator

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You're welcome & thanks for your feedback...especially since I spent close to two hours researching & composing my previous reply! Good luck!
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
JHolmes900
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JHolmes900 replied on

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Bless you for the research you did. I followed the first thing you listed (http://miekiemoes.blogspot.com/2008/02/help-my-computer-is-slow.html). Most of it I had already done, but I used StartUpLite by Malwarebytes and then set the Cache size in Internet Explorer to 100 MB, re-booted and the difference in speed is tremendous. 

I intend on running through everything you sent, but I wanted you to know your research was very well received and that I am using it.

Jenny