I’m posting this up so fewer people have to run into this problem. My uncle gave my family a game called ‘Championship Mahjong’ game (for windows xp) by a company called Cosmi. While installing it for mom, the disc looked like a budget windows game that you would buy at some popular retail stores for $ 10 or less.
Couple days later, the family computer was sluggish – very sluggish. Looking at logs, I saw no specific application was hogging all of the system resources. The computer moved like molasses.
I got on my school laptop and did a quick google search to find a few reports of Cosmi Software installing spyware on the computer (look at amazon.com users’ reviews of Cosmi Software)
In 45 minutes or so (it felt long), I just uninstalled the game in the add/remove programs in the control panel on the computer. After that, computer was back to the condition it was.
So, yet another reason to always check out whatever you buy by a simple search in your favorite search engine. And surprisingly, Spybot’s Tea Timer Application (which runs in the background) to prevent any things (and spyware, etc) like this from popping up didn’t detect it.