There seems to be a black hole living in my computer, eating any files that come near it. I've run antivirus scans and more, but still can't figure out what the hell's going on. →
This is a WinXP machine, with a firewall and anti-virus installed.
Last weekend, my computer didn't want to come out of "sleep" mode, and I had to reboot. The reboot took a ridiculously long time, but it finally came back up. When it did, my music folder was missing about 14,000 MP3s and WMAs... less than 200 were left.*
I've updated and run AVG (which I plan to ditch for another anti-virus program soon)
, Ad-Aware, and Spybot several times each, and Spybot found one "suspicious file" (not a cookie) and removed it.
Now here's the thing: if I put anything into my music folder, it just vanishes. I've tested this by creating an MP3 or a TXT file on my desktop, and dragging it into the folder... poof! It's gone.
Other weirdness: I've tried to start up a game (The Sims 2), and the game loads, then stops before getting to the point where you can play. It doesn't freeze, it just never finishes loading. This has just started since the weird reboot on Sunday.
Also, and I don't know how long this has been going on, but I can't use the "Add & Remove Programs" thing in the Control Panel. The window opens, but the list of programs will never populate. I can't say for sure this wasn't happening before last weekend, since it's been months and months since I tried to uninstall anything.
Does any of this make sense to anyone? Any ideas on likely causes, or what I should try next? Any help would be appreciated... I'm afraid to do much on my computer until I figure out what's happened and how to keep it from happening again.
*This is bad, but not jump-off-a-bridge bad because I have most of them in my MP3 player, and can copy them back from there.