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Good afternoon Claire!
Your problem described is a little puzzling. Have you tried running a scan with an anti-malware program, such as, Malwarebytes (the FREE version) to further ensure your system doesn't have an infection?
You might also wish to consider posting your inquiry on the Microsoft Answers website as well, since it appears the main problem you're experiencing is related to Windows Vista. The link to the site is shown below. Perhaps some of our site moderators and other community members can offer more detailed information/help than I.
Pete - thanks for your help. Malware bytes didnt pick up anything. However, from checking microsoft answers it seemed a lot of people on vista were having problems with the upgrade to internet explorer 9. The problems on my laptop started around the time of the upgrade so i have deleted ie 9 and reinstalled ie8 using instructions on microsoft site. I also went into control panel, personalisation, appearance settings and changed the resolution and changed the display to windows classic. This seems to have put things back as they were but ive no ideas how they changed in the first place!
Everything looks ok now, fingers crossed!
Thanks very much for your help.
Glad to hear that your issues have been resolved...and hopefully don't recur! Sometimes, I myself have encountered a problem and have no idea how it occurred, but usually via the help forums here at McAfee and other sites as well...I've generally managed to resolve them. Please feel free to return here if you encounter issues in the future!