IE6 - Process Runs, No Explorer Window. Possible Corruption?

Running XP Home edition, service pack 2.  This question attempts to address a possible corruption with Internet Explorer 6.

Upon boot i receive an error related to the print spooler service (a failed attempt to connect to a printer on a VPN network)  not sure if this is related to the problem or not.

Behavior at the moment is pretty basic, the shortcut is clicked, the iexplore process starts, but no IE window ever appears.  I have attempted a reinstall of SP2 (for an IE reinstall, according to Microsoft), an upgrade to IE7 (which failed) and a thorough investigation for viruses, spyware, malware, and hijackers (all negative).  I am able to recieve Automatic Updates through Windows, but installation appears to hang when i try to apply updates.  It is imperative this machine is returned to its owner with an intact windows subsystem (i.e. updates can be applied, functionality is still present).  Firefox is acting as a workaround, but the use of the IE Tabs addon results in an immediate crash of the program.  Occasionally an error message will appear, related to disk read problems. Microsofts solution recommends the user checkdisk, which as yielded nothing.

I am able to provide more information by request, but that seems to be the bulk of the issue.  Any ideas?
Who is Participating?
MereteConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi greenshire lets start with a system file checker the most common tool to repair IE6.

do you have his xpsp2 cd?
run a system file checker go to start run type in sfc /scannow press enter
run a deep clean to clear out the old temp stuff
checked IE6 all deafult and correct settings. restore defaults
obtain an ip address auto
privacy and security are at defaults.
Have you run hijackthis? I have heard many times no viruses or spyware then they run hijackthis and find some.
download HijackThis 1.99.1,from the direct link top right corner 
save it to a folder on your desktop and then install to that.
run the scan and save a log but dont fix
copy the entire log and paste it there as well>> 
below the panel  hit analyze, now just scroll down to
have a look at the results of the analyzed log.
Have you checked the hosts files?
Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista: %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\ is the default location,
description of:
Repair Internet Explorer 6
A number of XP users have reported situations with Internet Explorer 6 becoming corrupted and reporting a number of different errors. While there is certainly no guarantee, the two procedures listed below have restored functionality to IE6 for many users experiencing problems.

Note: Both methods listed require that the Microsoft Windows XP CD-ROM be available.

Method 1: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x Repair for Windows XP

From the Start menu, select Run.
In the Open field, type sfc /scannow (Note: There is a space between sfc and /scannow)
Select the OK button.
Follow the prompts throughout the System File Checker process.
Reboot the computer when System File Checker completes.
Method 2: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x Repair for Windows XP

From the Start menu, select Search, select All Files and Folders.
Select More Advanced Options and place a checkmark beside Search Hidden Files and Folders option.
Ensure that Search System Folders and Search Subfolders are also checked.
In the All or Part of the File Name box, type ie.inf
In the Look In drop-down menu, select C: or the letter of the hard drive that contains the Windows folder.
Click the Search button.
In the search results pane, find the ie.inf file located in Windows\Inf folder.
Right click the ie.inf file and click Install on the context menu.
Reboot the computer when the file copy process is complete.
performed a system restore.
look in control panel/ administrative tools/ event viewer /applications /errors.

Come back after you after you have done these.
Good Luck Merete

Marc ZCommented:
I might also add that you might want to confirm that you have deleted that Print job in the spooler.
One other thing to try is to stop and restart the print spooler.
If you can't open your Printers and find the Print job, to stop and delete it there, try this.

Control Panel
Administrative Tools

Right click on print spooler and click stop.
Let Windows stop the spooler.
Right click again and hit start.

This will usually clear the job in most cases.
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