I was helping my father with a pretty mundane matter on his PC (windows XP), and when finished I decided to check his virus status. He appeared not to have any anti virus checker, so I installed a 30 day trial from a recent magazine disc, ran update, and bagan to check his files and folders. While this was running, I clicked on internet explorer, only to be told I could not access this prog, and had I written the correct prog details, etc. This happenned with Outlook Express, paintshop, Word, and all the progs, more or less, in start up programmes (recycle bin's ok). I could still go online through the 'connections' tab in start up, but no e mail or internet platform to use with it. I ditched the virus scan, and checked the directory under 'explore', but the same happenned here. No access. The programmes are still there, but I just could not get into them. Has something happened to the registry? Did I inadvertantly download a virus through the anti virus update (which, incidently, is also innaccessable now, as well!)? Somebody please shed some light on this. I went to help out my old dad, and ended up causing him even more grief, big style! He's 78 and tearing his hair out with the stress of it all!!