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Something has corrupted the installation. Yoo could try the easy way first although I doubt it will fix it.. by running the Virtual Technician: http://mvt.mcafee.com/
But I think the best thing to do would be to go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs and uninstall everything McAfee (if possible - I noted your failed attempt - go to next step).
Then run the MCPR cleanup tool, reboot and reinstall from your online account.
Meanwhile make sure that Windows XP is totally up to date and that you have the latest version of IE applicable to XP installed, IE8.
McAfee uses IE even if you have chosen to use another browser.
Thanks, Ex_Brit. Will do. All updated, Windows, IE, all that stuff. Will try again. I already ran Virtual Technician, which corrected something and ow says all is OK. But when it ran automatically after the reinstall it noted 20 files missing in SiteAdvisor. When I ran it again it said all OK. I know a little bit about these things, enough to be updated with the main stuff and secure, because I used to work with AS/400-ISeries machines but... this is a different world! Very different! Thanks again.
You are so right when you say "this is a different world!".