This helps from the standpoint that I didn't know what process was actually down as I saw many still running. However I did see your solution in other posts as well as a few other solutions all of which I tried to no avail. Since there was an apparent infection on my machine (of unknown origin) and I didnt know the overall impact, I simply restored my system from a backup from a few weeks back. Now everything works. However....
My email downloads on Thunderbird are still extremely slow. At least 10x slower than a month ago. This problem first started on my wife's computer in early December and then mine a few days later. I suspected it was related to some McAfee update but could not be sure until I uninstalled the program while troubleshooting the problem that led to this post.
I suspect this issue belongs in another forum here, but I am not sure which one. Can you please let me know in which one you think it belongs. In the meantime, this issue can be closed.
PS please add AlconB and AlconD to your virus definitions.