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Computer is not freezing. However, when I download through a browser, windows begins a quick spiral of not showing the file extensions, then no file names, and finally nothing besides icons. Usually, I restart after this (as I can't see what I'm doing). However, downloading with a nn or downloading a file

Check disk did not find problems with the disk or indexes. Added 2GB ram months earlier, and 8 hours of memtest86 found no problems.

Avast did not find any malware. Recently, Avast not working: system event logs reveal some of its dlls could not load "aswfsblk driver invalid", "aswRdr [...] could not load."

System restore starts intermittently when activated, but works: restoring to date before symptoms reorganized desktop to prior layout. However, since then Chrome no longer starts the application or a process visible in task manager.

IE8 does not invoke the behavior. But, it runs neither javascript nor flash (facebook is blank except the header, youtube only shows a black placeholder for the video, no preview when asking this question).

Speedfan tells me both cores are 51C, this is after several hours of use.

HP doesn't seem to offer a boot menu item for safemode. So, I restarted with 'diagnostic mode' from winmsd. However, I couldn't access the internet or start chrome, so I couldn't reproduce the behavior.

A live cd version of fedora 17 did not exhibit these symptoms (was testing in case most opine that this environment is bricked).

Does this list of symptoms sound like a BIOS update would resolve the situation? Some tangential answer implied using hyperpi could test system stability but didn't say what to look out for. Should I report what that reveals?

Aug 25 (Delay: no access to affected computer) spybot only reports cookies. sfc exits without reporting. Reboot afterward does not fix behavior. Couldn't run eset scan: eula start button is javascript enabled and doesn't activate when I check the "read this" box.

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I didn't see whether you ran sfc /scannow. I'd also kill the font cache. You may also have a malware infection that Avast can't see. – user3463 Aug 13 '12 at 19:22

You should probably run Malware Bytes or SpyBot S&D to make sure there isn't anything else (malware/spyware/adware) messing with your system. A free online scan at eSet just to make sure its clean might be a good idea.

Once you know the system is clean, open an elevated command prompt and run SFC /SCANNOW to run the System File Check. When it is done, reboot and see if things are back to normal.

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