Hi there, I'm just about at my wits end concerning my computer problems over the last week. I'll try to be as thorough as possible in explaining. Basically, my internet connection keeps resetting. I can't hold a strong enough connection for a long enough time to download anything, including many every-day graphics on normal web pages. I'm afraid to try to pay any bills online now due to fear I'll end up sending two payments or warp some info in the process.
How it might have started
I don't play a lot of online games but there was one game by Zynga that I got hooked on a few months ago. It slowed my computer down so bad to where sometimes it froze and I had no choice but to reboot. One day, about three weeks ago now, it froze so bad it wouldn't even let me reboot. So I had to do a hard-boot which I hated doing because I always try to reboot properly. In the process of trying to reboot, or in having to do the hard-boot, my personal settings had been reset. My display colors were back to the default, my icons weren't how I had arranged them, etc. Though concerning, I didn't worry too much about it. I simply reset things to how I liked them and things were back to normal.
Then last week I acquired a trojan. In trying to get rid of it, I noticed my anti-virus was corrupt, and wouldn't run. I'm not sure if my having to hard-boot a week or so earlier corrupted it, or if the trojan corrupted it. So I had to reinstall my anti-virus program. Thankfully I was able to do that with no problem and got rid of the trojan, but it left some mess on my registry. I figured out how to fix that, and again, everything seemed normal. Until a few days later when I'd be surfing the web and suddenly I couldn't click on any links. Whether the link was in the page, or I clicked on a bookmark, or I typed a URL in the navigation bar and hit "Enter", it appeared to be taking me to the page for a split second (the status bar suggested so), but then would stop and I'd still be on the page I started out on. I couldn't do anything at all! Very frustrating. I soon realized that if I tried again in a minute it might be working again.
What is happening
When the problem didn't go away, I tried a different browser, and learned that it's doing this with both Mozilla and IE (I usually use Mozilla, and rarely use IE). I normally use WiFi supplied by my apartment complex, but I also have dial up access with Juno. So I tried Juno (which has partnered up with IE) and the same thing happens on dial up. So it's not the access point or the router. It's something in my computer, whether it be a program that's interfering with my connection to the web, or a firewall, or another registry problem left by the trojan. I have some Logitech software that has an update needing to be installed, and whenever I try to get it to install it comes back saying "Internet connection reset, will try again later". So that's what first got me thinking it was my connection to the internet that was resetting. Another odd thing is that, when I can't click on links, I try to open it in a new tab or window, the new tab/window comes up completely blank. It doesn't say anything like "Can not display this page", so I can't tell why. And another thing is, graphics and pictures don't show up half of the time. or "buttons" don't work (since the button is a graphic). So even when the links are working at the moment, I sometimes can't click on buttons because either the picture or the link it's connected to didn't load.
The web in general seems to be working fast though, which is confusing. Pages load fast (albeit graphics might be missing), and sending text like an email, blog, or forum post works really fast as long as the links are working at the moment. So I don't appear to have a slow internet connection, it's just... sporadic. Also, I'm not sure if this is related or not, but my computer has been overheating the last few days. Overheating didn't seem to be part of the original problem, so I don't really think it is. It's just last night I finally had to just turn it off and let it sit for a while, and I've had to do that only once before.
What I've tried so far
I've been running my antivirus every day since I got the trojan and it's been coming up clean. I've also been running my antispyware program every day, and it only comes up with tracking cookies. I do have Zango (an adware) installed thanks to my being trapped a few years ago because one of its programs looked fun. It's never caused me any problems, though, other than refusing to let my antispyware program get rid of it. I also did a disk-sweep and a defrag. And I've run my registry fix program a number of times, too. Over all my computer seems to be working great, it's only when I'm on the web that it acts like this. I looked at my firewalls and it doesn't appear to be any different from how I've had it for years (Medium-High), although the trojan or my hard-booting my comp may have reset something in there that I haven't found yet. I also looked at my internet settings and all the "Enable" and "Disable" options, but I don't know what half of the things listed are, so I'm afraid to mess with it. I have the latest versions of Mozilla and Juno. And Adobe Flash if that makes any difference. Since I had to reinstall my antivirus program, I also have the latest version of that. I have the latest version of antispyware as well.
Info about my computer
Computer- IBM Thinkpad T41 (laptop). I got it three years ago as a refurbished professional tool. It'd been working absolutely GREAT for the first two years, and then last spring my hard drive crashed. I have to use an external keyboard and mouse now, but as long as I do, it's still been working great up until a few weeks ago.
OP- Windows XP Pro. The comp came with it, so I don't have the CD for it.
Wireless hardware- Cisco LAN. Came with the computer. No external device needed. Again, it's been working great up until now.
Modem- Agere system AC 97. Never had problems with that, either.
I fee like I'm being very long winded, I really hate typing such a long post. But I'm trying to be as thorough as possible. I do know a good deal about computer stuff, but I wouldn't consider myself a "techie", so I'm no where near good enough to be considered a professional or anything. So for some high-tech stuff I'd need detailed instructions on how to do it. But any input on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
This is long over due, but as a recap, my computer's hard drive crashed about five days after I first posted. I couldn't even boot it up anymore. And it did so before any of the answers were posted so they turned out null and void. Thanks for the input, though.
I went without a computer for a month, and then got a NEW (not refurbished) HP, and it's been a dream, I love that computer.