first of all dont laugh,im on dial-up. When i connect to the net,my welcome screen comes up along with an error message that reads 'data1.dat not found' Anyone know what this is? iv'e got windows xp

Sounds like some application is launching when you connect to the Internet and it wants to read a file called data1.dat. Is that the entire error message? I have seen Data1.dat referenced as part of a keylogger spyware app., but it could just as easily be a legitmate file. I suggest you do a thorough spyware and virus scan to start. Try searching the entire registry for data1.dat and see if it is referenced and by what application. Also check the event viewer for any reference to the error in the application or system logs for a possible clue.

thanks for the info. i havent had time to check yet,but now i have a direction to go. also, at the top of the message it says wupdater there is also a red x warning symbol thanks again

wupdater and data1.dat are malware, iirc hijacker and adware.

You need to run some malware removal program to get rid of this. Probably best to Google for it, as these kinds of parasites usually put a lot of crap on your system.

Good luck :)

Edit: you could try one of Dani's sponsored links above ;)

thanks mike im sort of new to all this but im learning alot, and quickly i have norton anti-virus which i feel is top of the line. what is malware removal program and how do i 'google' for it? thanks

Just go to the Daniweb Security forum, read all the sticky posts at the top of the forum for info on what to do next and then post in that forum for help with removal issues. You're already at the right place. :)

ok thanks i said,im new to all this but im learning. im not afraid to push buttons or open things up,of course thats how i got into this mess haha. 5 months ago i couldnt even turn on a computer. its given me a few more grey hairs, but it keeps me occupied