I've searched the web at large and this forum for the answers, but haven't found anything to help. I am at wit's end!!!
I have an older gaming rig I built still running Xp. It has performed perfectly until now. It has:
Xp SP2 (3 never would install correctly)
Core 2 Duo Conroe E6600
Asus P5 Deluxe Mobo
Nvidia 8800 GTS Graphics Card
Your basic SATA 5,000 RPM 380 Gig HDD
Some other random things like networking cards, DVD players, etc that have never given me problems.
After a reboot of my machine I can open and run Firefox without incident. Until I close it. After I close it, it stays in the task manager and even trying to kill it from there does not work. If I try to open Firefox again, it says an instance of Firefox is already running, and that it should be closed before trying to open another one. The only thing that I have found that removes this instance of Firefox is a reboot. So, I usually just go off to IE to do my browsing, but...
Internet Explorer will open everytime without incident and will load my home page. However, it too only operates normally after a cold reboot. If I have opened Firefox, closed it, and then go into IE later, the homepage will load properly, but no links will work. Nothing happens when I enter a query the Google search bar. Nothing will happen if I manually enter a URL in the address bar. Just nothing happens. Again, it will work fine after a cold reboot, but will not work fine after I've opened Firefox, closed it, and then have a Firefox.exe sitting in task manager.
Thirdly (if that is a word), After I've had the problems with the browsers, I cannot shut down using the start menu. If I select "shut down" or "restart" from the menu, nothing at all happens. I just click the buttons and nothing at all. This only happens if I've tried to get into either browser. If I don't try to use a browser after a reboot, and do other things like use Office or play a game locally or whatever, everything works fine. All other programs are working just fine.
Seems to me an XP issue. Missing DLLs or something? I am a hardware guy, not a software guy, so I really don't know what I am doing in this realm. I've run every virus and malware scan known to man--all results are negative.
Oh yeah- I can't find my Xp disk. Perfect.
Any suggestions? What does this set of behaviors lead you to believe could be the culprit?
Well, to me your system has the symptoms of infection. You need to take a different aproach to get rid of a possible infection... If you haven't scanned with an antirootkit that is what you need to do next, and instead of scanning with an installed antivirus, you should scan your system with an Online antivirus... this because installed antivirus apps can also be hijacked and if your system has symptoms of infection but your security applications say otherwise, it's possible those applications are infected.
Also run HijackThis and Autoruns (to find hidden processes and possible bugs), and disable startup programs in Start \ Run \ msconfig \ startup tab... and also delete all temporal files in C:\Documents and Settings\Your_account\Local Settings\Temp + Temporal Internet Files. and in C:\Windows\Temp
The main reason SP3 doesn't install correctly (at least in personal experience) is because the SP3 Installer doesn't have access to vital registry keys, and that in turn is due to infection,.. and even after an infection has been cleaned the registry permission may remain as they were set by the malware.
After you have cleaned your system or if you are convinced it's clean of virus or other malware, you may need to reset the default security permissions with Subinacl.msi.. click on the following link to download it. It's simple and effective but you may have to disable system functions that may be off limits to Subinacl:
1. disable System Restore which you probably don't need anyway since you may have already restored your system without results.
2. Disable the paging file in Control Panel \ System \ Advanced \ Performance \ Config \ Advanced \
3. Disable Hibernation in Control Panel \ Power Options \ Hibernation
Finally, if nothing has worked, you can recover your XP product licence with Keyfinder or XP-Key-Reader and use that key with a Windows XP CD you can create following the instructions found here:
Loading Windows XP Pro without CD http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245322-45-loading-win...
Or Google for: "How To Fresh Install Windows X P Pro Without A Recovery C D"