|"....if someone with administrator rights has assigned limited rights to your user, there are some things you can't do, including at least some of what you have mentioned."|
- you can't install at least some types of programs
- you can't run msconfig, and some other Windows programs
"Gives a error not a win32 application. Says that for most downloads I try to open."
"Upon 'retrying' the download will complete, but cannot access it. Or if I can, I get the error "not a valid win32 application."
"not a valid win32 application" sounds like something in Windows is corrupted - that's NOT an error that is commonly caused by malware.
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.
Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
If the hard drive itself is okay.
Start - Run - type.... cmd (Press Enter)
Type.... CHKDSK /R (Press Enter)
Answer Y to the question.
The next time Windows loads it will want to run CHKDSK before the desktop screen appears - let it - don't press any keys after that text appears..
CHKDSK /R checks the whole partition that Windows was installed on with more checks than CHKDSK /F does and it checks the free space in the partition as well.
If you don't type a drive letter with a colon character after it, it defaults to checking the partition Windows itself was installed on, which is usually, but not always, C: , for XP.
When it has finished, if you happen to be watching the screen (it doesn't normally pause there, waiting for you to press a key), there is a summary - if problems were found, they will be mentioned.
Then try to do what you were doing before when you got the errors, to see if you still have problems.
If you do, there are other things that we can suggest you try, but you'll probably need either a Windows CD, or an XP re-installation CD that came with your computer.