My computer, with Win98SE, was on the Internet one day and it worked fine then. But the next day, although Windows booted up okay, I found it impossible to enter shortcuts to "My Computer," "Internet Explorer" and others. I am unable to right click on the display to access "Display," and the entire Control Panel area fails to open up. Applications in the Start Menu bar also fail to work, and the only way to execute applications is the good old "Run" dialog. However, if I run something like MSWord, and click Open, I can perfectly access the folders and items...just not the Control Panel, Printers, and Dial-Up Networking. Help would be appreciated since I also cannot connect to the Internet this way. Any ideas on whether viruses could be involved?

(7-17-04-Any new viruses emerge that could make this happen?)

Virus and "Spyware" infections can cause those sorts of symptoms.

- If you currently have an anti-virus program, download the latest virus definitions, unplug your Internet connection, and run a full system scan. Of course, you'll need to be able to open your browser to do so- for Internet Explorer, type iexplore in the "Run..." dialog.

- If you don't have an A-V program, get one now; you're just asking for trouble if you don't.

- Read through the threads in our Security forum to find out how to get and install the recommended spyware detection/removal/prevention tools such as Ad Aware, SpyBot, HijackThis, SpywareBlaster, SpywareGaurd, etc. If you do find spyware problems and have any questions about them, please start a thread on the topic in the Security forum.