I got the message on my Toshiba laptop that I only had 24 days left on my Norton Antivirus subscription, and I didn’t really want to buy a new year, so I decided to switch to AVG free edition. No problem there–AVG seems fine and free, but like a dummy I felt I just had to remove Norton, too. Big mistake! Trouble with the uninstallation (it just froze two-thirds of the way through) led me to run their uninstalling tool, and go on a little deleting temp files spree.

Well! That had some unintended results!

I finally got all of Norton out (maybe), but then noticed that I couldn’t open links in IE in a new window. It didn’t matter if I right-clicked, held down shift, or if the new window opening was coded into the page using either the target tag or javascript. No matter what, new windows just would not open at all.

Lots of websearching, and lots of attempted solutions (running regsvr32 on many different dll’s, repairing IE, running system file checker)–nothing worked.

I ended up just running an XP Pro upgrade installation (the system had been XP Home), and then I had a whole load of new problems…no wireless connection, no bluetooth, no USB (!!!). But it looks like now, through removing each of the misbehaving components in device manager and letting windows reinstall them, I might have finally got everything done.

I’ll probably put AVG on the other machines, too, eventually, but I think I won’t bother with uninstalling Norton until I’m ready to do a fresh Windows install anyhow.