I have spent hours reading your boards and responses over the last day or two, and registered to ask for assistance. I'm currently using IE6, but when I clicked the title to read instructions on how to send HJT file, the window closed immediately. I've just dl'd Adaware SE, and I'm trying to update SpyBot S&D. It took 11 minutes just to download SE... yuck. Dialup was ugly enough without the critters I've acquired. I also run Spy Sweeper, and it has found several uglies. Whatever evil thing I've run into, it disabled my Norton and I'm not even sure when it did that. I had it set to run while I was sleeping, and never suspected any issues. I tried to do a live update for Norton, because I received an error when trying to do a manual one telling me that critical files were corrupted or missing. The nightmare started unfolding... When I started searching on Google 2 days ago, I ran across a site that had a startup database online, and I then started realizing that many things that appeared to be system files were placed there by trojans or bots and had no business being in startup. As of this morning, HJT will not run. Each time I click the executable, a window flashes briefly, and that's it. For starters, which temp files should be cleaned out, and is it truly safe to delete everything in the %temp% file? I'm sure it would help, but it contains almost 50 meg of junk, so it was slightly scarey. I decided to wait until I had some kind of assistance. (In the past, I haven't had good experiences taking PC's to retail shops for "diagnostic and repair" services.) Years ago, I was comfortable with my own abilities/attempts at problem solving, but XP is one ugly beast compared to Win95. I've forgotten more than I care to admit, but from the looks of XP, anything I knew would not come close to applying to XP. Spyware, hijackers, and adware, combined with the pure evilness and sophistication of the trojans, worms, parasites, etc. have me hesitant to touch anything. This is one of the best support forums I've seen, and the advisors seem very friendly and thankfully very patient. Apologies for the length of post and rambling.... Please advise a nice simple place to start. I will do my best to follow up and repost with results. Thank you in advance.