Well, I did solve the problem. I am not sure which step solved it, but here's what I did:
-- I uninstalled Ad-Aware AE.
-- I found a dead service called aawservice.exe and actually removed it from the services list.
-- I reinstalled the program, this time choosing "custom install" (in small print) on the accept license page.
-- Then I declined to add the driver for the Ad-Watch function since I don't use Ad-Watch anyway.
The program now started and ran normally, but without the Ad-Watch feature. Not satisfied with having a feature missing I again uninstalled the program and reinstalled it, this time installing the Ad-Watch driver. The program again started and ran including the Ad-Watch feature.
I have no positive explanation for why this solved the problem, unless the dead services entry was causing it, but that doesn't sound logical since the service was disabled. It might save some work if you just delete the dead service and do a full installation, but I didn't try that so I don't know if it will work.
I used the free "Extended Task Manager" utility from Extensoft to easily delete the service.
I hope this convoluted procedure works for all of you having the same problem and I do hope this program is worth the effort. I might also add that I installed and uninstalled the program a number of times prior to the above procedure, but without the success that ronsmith had.
Edited by Morningdove, 21 January 2009 - 05:40 AM.