I've spent some time today restoring the computer and uninstalling and reinstalling various things. I then finally decided to restore the PC back to mid January and gradually reinstalled the few things that I had installed since then to see if I could establish the problem. My gut feeling is that the anti virus is at the bottom of the problem.
Just caught up on journal entries for books and my backlog of books will be in the post next week.
The readers of alt.pcnews & soc.genealogy.computers were brilliant - if your reading this Thank you!