This sounds as if your problem may have nothing to do with malware.
However, for some reason I cannot always log on to the internet (not even directly through IE)...the computer (I have a DSL line) cannot seem to find the internet. I reboot, often several times, and can finally get on. But if I log out of AOL it is the same routine to get back in. I have a fairly new (less than 4 months) SpeedStream modem. Frequently the last few days (although it has been about an hour and a half now) the internet connection is lost.