Maybe it's an update.
That may explain the Win7HP installation but my XP Pro system receives no hot fixes after an SP update - so it will remain at SP3 until I change OS.
Also, the OS is the only software I run from Microsoft and no other software I have receives automatic updates except
Outpost Security Suite for the reason that sometimes updates just don't work.
Also if you have an ip blocker like Malewarebytes has,
enable it, sounds like something following you on the net.
I originally thought that after having been infected with Conficker but OutPost kept blocking it everytime it tried to create it's files in System32 and/or removable media. And MalwareBytes reports nothing over all my HDDs, internal/external, or Flash drives.
I run Outpost Security Suite and also have the SPI firewall in my modem/router enabled, (as well as NAT). I would have thought you'd need a paid licence for MalwareBytes to enable it's resident features, (I've just used it for on demand scanning) ?
Otherwise, that wouldn't explain how it seemingly only happens when either only
Thunderbird or Firefox, (haven't categorically ruled out either yet), is running.
If I run the whole day just using IE8, (blah!), then the problem never occurs - not once, (this was a couple of weeks ago when it was really bad - a run of 30 minutes without it happening was a very
good run indeed).
However, this problem seems to be slowly disappearing, this morning was the first time it has happened in about a week - so maybe there is something in what you say and my PC is slowly disappearing below the radar of any possible net tracker/bug.
I'll add that I have been running in Win7HP fully for the last 10 days or so in an effort to see if it made any difference and at the moment the result is pretty positive - I think it's happened only 2 or 3 times, (latest this morning), so I think
I'm getting somewhere with it.
I've narrowed it down to either Thunderbird 3 or Firefox 3.5+.Interesting. FWIW I've recently had some freezes. Don't use Thunderbird, do use FF 3.5
One other thing I've noted regarding Firefox, (this I'm also trying to pin down, I think it's add-on related), is sometimes it won't exit cleanly. ie. Close Firefox, process load in Task Manager immediately jumps to 25% and remains there for a seemingly long time, (minutes+), or until I nuke it. This has also been going on for about the same amount of time and occurs on Firefox 3.5+.
I'm starting to think the computer is haunted