Symptoms of malware?

A few days ago, my machine started getting real slow. I have a 12 month old Dell running XP SP3. The more I was on IE8, the slower it got. I have an AOL account that I access by going on IE. My husband accesses AOL by using the AOL software on our computer. I began to notice, that my husband had no problem. If he went on line when the computer was just turned on, he was fine. If I went on IE, that’s when the heartache began.

I checked Task Master ™. If I looked at TM when the machine was just turned on, IE was not shown as running and the machine was as fast as usual. We could go on AOL using the software resident on our machine and there was/is no problem. As soon as I go on IE, multiple IE lines open that you can see in TM. They start sucking up the power and the machine slows to a crawl. Those lines stay open even if I close IE. I have to go on TM and actually delete the open programs.

In searches, I have seen these symptoms related to really old viruses called Win32 MiniExplore ZIP [Wm]. I run Avast, Prvex, CCleaner, Malawarebytes, and Comodo. Nothing is coming up on the radar. I’ve sent Prvex a log file. I have HJT but I don’t know what to look for. I have checked on Avast’s list of viruses for iexplore and it came up with something with three variations: Win32MiniExploreZIP [Wm], Win32MiniExploreZIP -B[Wm], Win32MiniExploreZIP-C [Wm]. All three are described as being resident in memory (RES) and EXE infectors. Only the first two are described as being in the wild (ITW).

Avast is not curing the problem. Any suggestions???

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Try clearing IE’s cache when IE is not running. Go to Control Panel → Internet Options → General → Browsing history → Delete let iit clean your Temporary Internet Files.

Under General → Browsing history → Settings make sure that the size of disk space to use is not higher then 200 MB.

It was already set to 50. Take a look at this screen shot. Is IE8 supposed to appear under Comodo as it does?

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Someone has suggested to me that this may be a very old virus slipping under the radar. What do you think of that?

Yes because you launch 1 IE and every time you open one tab it launches one more IE.

Samething happens on my PC.

Yes, but do the lines disappear in Task Manager when you close IE? All the lines stay open and begin to suck up all memory. I have to manually close all in Task Manager.

Yes they close. im using Proative Security, Switch to it and set it D+ to Safe Mode.

Also delete any IE rules in D+.

Have you got Safesurf installed?

If yes please update to latest version here or use updater.

One day last week, the problem resolved itself as mysteriously as it arrived. It may well be that one of the programs we use finally stopped the problem in its tracks. I don’t know. Aside from Comodo, we use Prevx, Malawarebytes, and C Cleaner. Someone much smarter than I will have to figure it out. But thanks to all for your responses.