I use Firefox and sometimes IE7 for browsing. They both appear to have become corrupted. There are various symptoms and they occur randomly:
1) Instead of the requested page, a single GIF will appear in the top left hand corner.
2) A page of gibberish will appear, plain black text on a white background. There appear to be significant sections of this gibberish which refer to the browser but I can't recall specifics.
3) Sometimes when I click on a link, i get a 'You have chosen to open' dialogue which refers to an 'application/octet-stream'. Firefox expects me to choose to open it or save it. This actually happens when I click on the 'Home' label of the EE site (amongst others). Other variations on this theme occur referring to Dreamweaver as well.
4) Occasionally gibberish will appear in the body of a website
5) Sometimes I get a 'URL not found' message even on sites such as Google. These messages vary slightly in appearance
6) My connection seems slow at times and some sites seem to hang. My partners laptop does not display the same hang-ups despite being on the same connection (wireless).
I have installed a number of appliactions other than the usual. I'm not sure how significant this is but I have installed Dreamweaver. I have installed WAMP and Joomla as well. I have cleaned my system as best I know using ad-aware and the like, as well as CCleaner.
I have fully uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox and IE.
I only reformatted my disk a few months ago and am loathe to do this again as I would like to get to the root of the problem.
Thanks in advance...