Wanted to give an update and point to a tool that may be helpful if anyone experiences something similar.
Like always with me, long read - short version further below.
This kept not only happening, but it got to the point where I thought I had a virus. Almost every program imaginable kept opening up without allowing me to close them. I kept going into Task Manager by Ctrl+Alt+Deleting my way into main? screen then using Up/Down keys after, and in Task Manager just kept randomly deleting/stopping (Del) programs with sometimes up to thirty-two (32) instances running at the same time. Everything was unresponsive, in that I just could not keep up with the windows that kept popping up. Right-clicking on the icons in the Taskbar to "close all" would not close anything. After a while even actions in Task Manager slowed down and would not respond - I guess because of the load. After several hard shut downs and restarts, and the same thing happening, I stopped. I was convinced it was a virus, but could not believe I had been victim to one. I swear I wanted to cry and cry because it was happening on the laptop I consider to be my main - my baby. Lol. I mentally went through my phone contacts, thought of every IT person I know, wondered which I could call, who lived closest who was not self-quarantining - I even considered calling my hubby's company's IT guy even though he lives on the other side of town. OMG, I thought, what if I gave my hubby's laptop a virus!? Or his XBox!? (Can an XBox get a virus)? I wondered how much of all of our data we'd lose, and how much of it either of us had actually bothered to back up. Even the thought of crying went away. This was worse than tears could fix.
Soooo, after taking several deep breaths, I was ready to try and tackle this and logged into my other laptop in order to Google some options, only to see that .... THE SAME THING started happening on that one!!!
Okay, hard shut-off.
What I had not mentioned, is that earlier in the week I had received a brand new 4-way KVM Switch, since another I had, had not worked out, and I had connected everything right out of the box - wonderfully. At this point, my head turned the way a dog's does when it's confused. Could a virus jump from laptop to laptop through a KVM Switch even though the laptops are technically not networked on a specific home network? Hmmmm ... I immediately disconnected them from the KVM and turned them on again one by one. NOTHING. All good all NORMAL.
I laughed. Not only was I relieved, but I thought: can I seriously be the only person who has SUCH BAD luck with KVM Switches? No. I refused to believe that. The only other thing, by process of elimination it could be .... was that my Mouse Without Borders was somehow interfering with the mouse and keyboard receivers on the switch and now that they weren't connected to the switch, and as such to the receivers , there was no more interference. But why had it taken two days to present with this weirdness? Why was it SO bad? How could something that simple cause ALL this? Plus, I was pretty certain I had experienced the random start-up opening up before I connected this KVM. No matter. It was worth further investigation. I removed the receivers from the back of the KVM and re-connected the laptops. All good.
: IN MY CASE ONLY (not sure if it will help any other person going through the same), I wound up deleting Mouse without Borders from the laptops and opting to use just the receivers. As much as I LOVE and highly recommend MWB (BEST THING Microsoft has ever developed IMO), what clinched it, was that MWB has a copy and paste function to go from system to system, but it is not without its hiccups. The KVM Switch has an extra USB port where you can connect something as simple as a flash drive which is seen and used as an extra drive on every attached system. It's awesome.
Lastly, before the entire window-opening-up thing exacerbated into what I thought was a virus, I was still trying to figure out why random windows kept opening up, and I downloaded Sysinternal's "AUTORUNS" from Microsoft. www.docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns
. It pulls up everything that runs upon log-on - and there are A LOT of things even if you think you have them set to not start.
(Sorry for the long post. Almost a month of just my hubby and my BiL in the house and there is only so much Facetime I can do with my friends). Stay safe everyone!