|I can't get on the internet. I'm told Internet explored is currently running with Add-ons disabled.|
One thing is to uninstall the browser and then reinstall. I know browser favorability is a big arguing point, but you might want to change to firefox or another. I don't favor a particular browser myself and use each IE, Firefox and even Lynx. I am a fan of Lynx especially when looking for drivers for computers I fix up. I can't stand flash crap adverts and other animations when I have downloading business to do.
Those dialog boxes you describe are weird. Sounds like something virus like, but not necessarily. I could tell better from a hijackthis report. Hijackthis is from trend micro. Good program.