Hello everyone, I'm new to Daniweb and like what I have seen so far.
I searched the forums for awhile, and saw another thread of someone with what seems like
a similar problem, but there weren't any solutions in it.
I usually have mozilla open while i'm playing WoW(world of warcraft). I always have WoW in windowed mode, so i can read email, IM, etc during downtime. My computer wouldn't bog down or anything, since windowed mode puts more strain on your system. The other day, i had WoW open, and i opened firefox, and my system just bogged. After it cleared up, every 5 secs or so, the computer would freeze, although the mouse would still move. couldn't click anything, even the little loading circle in firefox would freeze for about 5 secs, then it would work. freeze, work, freeze work, etc. opening or closing any programs takes quite awhile, as well. to shut down, i just hold in my reset button to do it.
Now, after I reboot, it runs fine, so long as i DON'T open firefox or IE. any other program works fine, WoW, microsoft word, i can even secure shell into my college disk drive, without causing the freezing. As soon as i open firefox or IE though, within minutes it's acting up.
I did try re-installing firefox, but that didn't help.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. A friend recommended a format, but I just did that about a month ago. Also, I have updated my video card drivers, and I haven't installed anything around the time it first started acting up. I use cable internet, with a lan card (not onboard).
Thank you,

Sounds like spyware.

But it could also be tax-time loads on the cable modem system's head end.

I went ahead and picked up a new HD (upgraded to a 160gb) and installed windows and my programs on there, and so far been working fine. I agree with MidiMagic that it was most likely spyware, but everything's running fine now. Thanks everyone.