Hi, David! Here's a preliminary report---very interesting. When the computer started up, again no problems; scans by avast! and Spybot turned up nothing. Apparently disabling the System Restore and then doing the AV scans/fixes did something--the 2 threats my system was wrestling with were at least temporarily inert. I did find out how to access the logs for both and can share them if necessary. However, it may not. As you suggested, I downloaded and ran superantispyware, and it detected both threats--and only those two. They were identified slightly differently than they were by avast! ("MyWay Search Assistant Computers" and "Adware tracking cookie" by SAS vs. "Win32:Agent-ZIW" and "Win32:Adware-gen" by avast!) but I believe they are the same. I quarantined the items (14 registry items and 3 files), and when the system rebooted again no bells or whistles went off. At this point, I feel confident that the threats are gone, or at least disabled. Obviously I will keep a close watch on things. As far as the firewall, yes it's the standard Windows XP one, as far as I can tell, but I'm a little concerned about improperly installing a third-party firewall, or having one cause as many problems as it prevents; I've read that that can happen. If it makes any difference, my computer actually connects via a wireless router to another home PC (connected via modem) with its own Norton (paid version--I'm a cheapie; we only use armor on the other one, which has all personal and financial data) security system, and I don't known whether installing another firewall will in any way intefere with the Internet connection. If there's little or no risk of this, please suggest a firewall compatible with my system and its various (all free) security blankets. One thing that concerns me is that avast! detected both of the malware that got into my system, and allowed me to move both into the chest, but did not effectively remove it. Thanks for your patience!