I had two antivirus softwares installed but I didn't really know if either was working properly. Obviously not! Anyway, a friend helped me out today and I'm happy to say that the computer seems to be working all right, finally, after HOURS and HOURS of scans, defrags, cleanups, etc.
I would like to suggest to everyone what I learned.
- only have one kind of antivirus protection. Two can stop each of them from working properly. My friend helped me remove all the antivirus software I was using and load on Avast! Antivirus. It's free and continuously updates to fight the latest bugs, worms, viruses, and whatever. Set your computer to automatically update and scan at startup.
- regularly perform computer maintenance in the form of disk cleanup and disk defrag.
Here is an article on 5 ways to improve performance. The first 3 items are good, the last 2 may not be necessary.
Spy, spy, pretty girl, I see you see me through your window - song: Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed, artist: David Bowie, album: Space Oddity