On two machines (a laptop and a desktop) I’ve run Windows XP (home and pro) with Norton Internet Security (NIS) since 2004 and did not have problems like I do today. In fact, both machines were wonderfully stable for how I used them and I do use my computers a lot for work (documents and CAD programs).
In October of 2008 I reformatted both machines due to a virus on the laptop. I reformatted the desktop just to be sure I got rid of everything (the computers share the same home network).
Immediately after reformatting both machines and going through the long process of installing updates my laptop locked so bad that I had to cut power to regain control of my laptop. The desktop has exhibited similar problems. Both machines continue to behave in this way and now I am very careful with each machine and reboot often to help keep stability whereas before I never thought about stability.
Another huge problem I have had with both machines is running Internet Explorer 7 (IE). When I run IE it will not take very long before my CPU is running at 100% just to doing something simple such as checking email. This slows the entire machine down on both machines. Very often IE locks, and I have to use the Task Manager to close out the application (and even using the Task Manager IE will not close for several minutes). This happens on a daily basis and it takes something as simple as visiting my Yahoo email to provoke this.
The desktop seems more prone to locking up (to the point of needing to cut power) when I use the external drive.
I could go on and on with long and detailed descriptions of these symptoms that I’ve been experiencing for the last four months.
I’m not sure what to do, but I would like to find some way to “measure” things on both of these machines to help me find the problem(s).
Personally, I have a gut feeling that either SP3 is the problem (on both machines I couldn’t install SP3 due to some error, but after reformatting I was able to install SP3) or the problem is with NIS2008. Prior to reformatting both machines I was running NIS2005 and NIS2006. I upgraded to NIS2008 when reinstalling everything.