heh. Your post and my update above were posted at the same time, by the look of it, lol!
Re antivirus stuff. Yeah, that was my thought at first, but I cannot find any settings that would affect the BIOS or its ability to boot (or in this case, fail to boot) off the USB slots. Bleeping odd, that For what it's worth, I';ve got AVG, SB S&D, Ad-Aware, and ZoneAlarm Free, running under Windoze; Ad-Aware and S&D are as and when required to scan for certain things that I've been hit with before over the years (another reason to get away from Windoze), although the S&T "Tea Timer" is always running to protect the machine.
Come to think of it, I've had massive problems getting windoze disks to be bootable, so there may be more to it that merely AV/FW settings. probably needs some ca$h thrown at an engineer to fix it, and frankly, I can't be asked. I'll haul out the drives and wipe them with magnets than spend any more money under windoze
Re MD5 stuff. I'll have a look in the next week on that - no time today, unfortunately.
Heh. Close to two months for a CD from the folks at Ubuntu, eh? Well, it's a thought Nice that it's free, mind
Anyhow, many thanks for the help, have a great balance to your week
Aha - just spotted your second reply
I'm in two minds about Chrome; I seem to recall comments about it not being too secure (privacy issues) from a while back. Dunno if that was solid or not, but it stuck in my head. At least with FF I can run NoScript, Leechblock, and Betterprivacy add-ons, to improve security here (as the advert says, "Every little helps"! )
Anyhow, many thanks again, and have a great week