Since then, attempting to do anything on my computer has been a living hell of fighting with McAfee to get anything done. It's forever "updating," forever throwing "Important alerts!" in my face while I'm trying to do something else, forever making my hard drive go CHURN CHURN CHURN without actually doing anything.
Then, last week, there was some kind of Windows update which, combined with the ADHD behavior of McAfee, has got my computer slowed to a crawl. Double-click an icon, and you might as well go get some coffee because the program might be up by the time you get back. Type a URL into your browser window, hum the 1812 Overture, and then see your desired webpage. Oh, the performance of N-n-n-neeeeverwi-wi-wi-wiwint-int-inter N-n-n-ights is so choppy that it's like being on two computers ago. If the old program is like this, I can only imagine what the new one will be like whenever I finally upgrade the video card.
So I'm trying to figure out what to do. I've gone into McAfee and turned off half of the most intrusive things, but a) it was only half, and b) now it throws pop-ups screaming at me "YOUR COMPUTER ISN'T PROTECTED! MCAFEE IS ONLY HALF-TURNED-ON! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!" I spent a large chunk of yesterday trying to do as much system maintenance as I could to improve performance, including searching for malware, but it was all a drop in the bucket.
I wouldn't put it past Micro$oft to put out an update that had the express purpose of eating up memory just before Christmas so that everybody would think, "Dang, this computer's slow -- better go buy a new one!" Even if that wasn't it, tho, I'm not about to replace this thing. It was much faster than this when it was new, I've just got to figure out what the heck is in there causing all the trouble.
PS: Oh yeah, Outlook doesn't completely shut down any more, for no readily apparent reason, which I'm sure isn't helping. *muttergrumble*