My own new installation of XP Pro is acting squirrelly, and I'm stumped. After I end all the non-microsoft services/processes (like avg free, spybot, acronis, etc), the only ones left are ms windows procs, and a few diagnostic ones (like process explorer by sysinternals), ...
... IN SPITE OF THIS, the same problem remains: Clicking on My Computer or My Documents, or typing Start/Run/services.msc doesn't open a window -- instead, cpu usage immediately goes to 100%. It stays there until I END the process explorer.exe. Then the cpu usage goes quiet (and my task bar/ start button goes away, of course). Then I start up explorer.exe again (using task manager / run or process explorer / run). And the cpu stays quiet -- until I try to run My computer, or My Docs, etc. Then it's 100% cpu usage again.
On the other hand, if I quiet the cpu by ending explorer exe, then restart it, and keep the cpu quiet by avoiding My Computer or My Documents, then I can load programs like spybot or total commander from the start / all programs menu.
This next is probably unrelated -- but I notice that these three items keep loading over and over, despite my ending them. But they don't appear to be direclty related to the explorer.exe overload, but I'm not sure:
devldr32.exe - creative sound something
dwwin.exe - dr watson something
drwtsn32.exe - dr watson something
I'm stumped. I ran an antivirius program -- no help. Thanks for any ideas!