Last night I tried to put Civilization back on my system because I felt like playing; it installed OK, but crashed my system when I tried to play, even though I had turned most other things off. When I rebooted, Windows hung the moment it got into my background screen, and would not give me a status bar, a start menu, a task manager or any icons; I went into safe mode and removed Civ, and then tried system restore, going back a day, and then a week, to no avail. I did a soft reinstal of Windows XP Pro and eventually, after its taking forever to come up, I managed to activate it. Now the same thing happens only after about twelve minutes, the hard disc flashes a lot and I gradually get icons, start menu and so on - only most of the time it won't connect to the internet, which is why I am in a cafe right now, and everything is amazingly sluggish. I have, needless to say, checked for malware and viruses and run Advanced Windows Care - various problems showed up and were fixed, but there was no change to the situation.
If anyone has any useful thoughts, I would be grateful; telling me that I should use a Mac, or Linux, may be right, but does not count as useful. Please can we have that conversation another time?