Took me two days to get my PC back on track. Recently it has been a victim to a malicious software attack, I guess a spyware. The problems was, whenever I was getting online, after a few minutes an error message pops up saying "The Generic host process for win 32 has encountered a problem and needs to close", with the "send error report" and "don't send" buttons. I guess those two buttons and The Blue Screen of Death have become partners-in-annoyance since the arrival of XP. And then internet stops working, and so does my sound card. After trying various anti-spywares and my so-far-trusted AVG anti virus, it was still not working. I checked out the security updates for windows and they seemed to have an update specifically for this issue. Tried it, but didn't work as well, because that update is probably a preventive measure, not a curing one. In the end I had nothing to do but to format my hard disk, two of my hard disks in fact. I've searched the internet about this problem and found that many people have been facing the exact problem. Tech gurus insisted on keeping your windows up to date with the latest windows security updates from Microsoft. I thought these updates never work, so I had them turned off so far. That's one lesson to be learnt. Also now I'm running 3 separate anti-spywares; AVG, Spybot search and destroy and Ad-aware. I've also decided to try Avast! anti virus this time. And of course, the automatic updates of my Windows is now turned on. Glad to be back online.