Strange things are happening...

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Okay, so 2 weird things have happened to me in the past week. I should note that my OS is Win XP.

The first was that a few nights ago, my personalized list of favorite places all of a sudden didn't show up in the favorites drop down menu in IE. That was odd but wasn't hard to fix, I just had to go to Tools>Internet Options>Advanced and re-check the box for "Enable Personalized Favorites Menu" (I certainly had never unclicked that box and I have no clue why it happened).

So I didn't think much of it, but then tonight I go to check email in outlook express. I go to click on a link to a website and all of a sudden, instead of opening up IE like it always does, it tries opening up a dial-up browser window for Earthlink 5.0. Now, since I've had this computer, I've never logged into the net via Earthlink 5.0 dial-up. I have an always on cable modem connection and have always browsed the web through IE. I have not been able to resolve this problem. I tried re-establishing IE as my default browser through Control Panel, but that didn't help. I also tried resetting my default browser to the "always on broadband connection" using the internet connection setup wizard in Outlook, but it won't let me click on the "apply" button.

Any ideas on how to resolve issue #2?

Any ideas why these things happened? could it be possible I have a virus or trojan horse lurking? (I ran a full scan using the latest Norton Antivirus definitions, and it found no infections, but I'm sure that's not 100% reliable).

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks,
This is probably obvious & superfulous, but have you tried system restore? Go back to a date, if possible, b4 you noticed your trouble. As for the cause, I can only relate that I have had experiences, one today, in fact, where my home page has been changed by some other web site without my knowledge or consent. It also installed and executed an executable program without my knowledge or consent. Had to do a system restore myself to get rid of it today. Would not let me uninstall. Had small, seemingly unattatched programs working in the background which would not let me uninstall or delete it.I first noticed it was there because of an extra toolbar on my browser. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Cybrgeek -

Your suggestion was not obvious or superfluous, at least not to me. I did a system restore to one week ago and my problems are resolved now. Thanks!
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