Checking recent events, there were several instances of 'smartguards have allowed onetime change to your computer' within 1 minute. The details of these events talk about unauthorized changes to ActiveX, refer to the msiexec.exe process, and list registry keys that seem to refer to mcafee, as they contain the term 'CAFEEFAC' in them.
Could these events have anything to do with why 1 site (so far) , go.abc.com, doesn't recognize I'm usigng Internet Explorer, a community college site doesn't recognize I have java installed, and multiple sites not recognizing I have flashplayer installed?
What is your operating system, service pack and are you up to date with Microsoft update? There are two ways of checking this. Go to Start/Run and type in winver then click the Enter key. Or, right-click My Computer in the Start Menu or on your desktop (or Computer in Vista) and select Properties. Post what it says. Also your header mentions IE6, is that the I.E. browser version you are using?
What McAfee products do you have? If your taskbar icon is like this: - right-click it and go to each application "About" and post the details. If it is like this: - double-click to open SecurityCenter and then click "View Details" or "About" at the lower right of the new window. Post the details from each module.
OK there are a few things that need updating and I'll present thim in the order as above, but you can see to them in whatever order you choose.
1. You need to update XP to SP3 as pretty soon all security updates will depend on it. Before I start go to your Windows Updates and check your settings. Ensure that they are set for all updates both high priority and low priority using Microsoft Updates. If they aren't then click this link and install it. http://update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-US That's the English US edition, change countries/language as necessary.
If you install only high priority updates then you are missing a great many less important but nevertheless vital updates.
Peter - Thanks for the tips. SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes both found some registry issues, though neither corrected the IE issues I was having. Then I installed IE 7, and all the issues were taken care of.
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions.