Have you tried to select from the brush types drop down list on the upper toolbar which gets activated when you click on the Brush tool. Here is a screenshot:
Hope this helps.
I see. If the cross hair is the issue then your painting cursor option must have been set to Precise. To change it click Edit > Preferences > Cursors (or Display and Cursors) then under the Painting Cursors select either Brush Size or Standard. That should do it.
Sounds like you have some corruption in PS preferences files in your profile.
I would suggest that you first try opening PS from another windows user account (if you do not have another user account, create a new one). If it works ok then you should consider moving your files and settings to the new account and start using this account instead of the old one.
If on the other hand you still encounter problems in the other account, then you should reinstall PS. Make sure you first save any personal files that may have been saved in PS program folders or default folders to an external folder.
Thanks for the accept.