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Windows XP sort of freezing

I am looking at the XP Pro SP3 machine (HP-branded) at the moment and noticed that, when booting, you could load happily onto the desktop. But when you move the mouse cursor to the anywhere on the taskbar, the cursor changes from an arrow to an hourglass. I hit the windows key on the keyboard but found that nothing happened. No menu appears when I right-click my mouse, no matter where on the screen I do it. CTRL+ALT+DEL do NOT call up the Task Manager.

It doesn't happen all the time, but most of the time.

I ran a repair reinstall of Windows, having to roll it back to SP2 as a result and then bring it up-to-date via Windows updates. The issue still occurs. It does not happen in Safe mode, nor safe mode with networking (that I can recall). I have tried turning things off systematically in MSCONFIG, but this doesn't seem to have produced the results I was hoping (windows explorer crashing, essentially, from what I can gather).

I've run a memtest in case it was some whacky RAM issue and have also run chkdsk /r with no change. The customer is running uniblue software (bloatware) and is adamant that I leave it on... is it possible that this is causing the problem?

Have run NOD32 & MBAM thorough scans which both show clean.

Thoughts? What would be causing explorer to crash, if that's what it is?

What could be cause?
1 Solution
I would attempt to resolve this by booting the computer into windows xp safe mode.

You can enter this mode by rebooting the computer and tapping the F8 key right before the starting windows xp screen.

1. log into the computer using the admin account
2. go to start --> run
3. Type SFC /Scannow

This will scan your system files for any corruption that may have occurred. **YOU WILL NEED THE WINDOWS XP OS CD**

Once this has completed post the results.
This is a classic sign of Windows Explorer on its way out.

I would strongly suggest doing a reinstall.

I know it's a drag, but repair installs etc... will merely result in a patched up "frankenstein" copy of windows running on the computer.

If you DO want to do a system restore (to a time when the PC worked A.O.K.), do this:

1) Start the computer in safe mode WITH COMMAND PROMPT
2) In the command prompt type: %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
3) Choose a restore point date when you KNOW the PC was ok
4) Restore and enjoy

Once again, I still suggest doing a clean install.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Depends on how long you're talking about.  It Always happens for a few seconds at least.  Windows XP puts up the desktop icons Before it finishes booting up to make you think it was booting faster than Windows 2000.
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i would do a fresh install - don't forget to backup everything you need first !
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
It can also be a symptom of a failing hard drive.  I have also seen simular behaviour when people have multiple AV products installed, your not one of those people are you?

Servant-LeggieAuthor Commented:
DaveBaldwin, yeah, I know what you mean. I thought this was the case, but minutes go by with no change - that spells doom!

nobus, Already on the fresh install and all is going very well. Magic Jellybean has helped with as many keys as it can. Incidentally, is there a program which can be used to find ALL the keys for software installed on your PC? It's possible that I just have an old version of Jellybean and thatthe newer versions are better, but on the rare occassion that I have to use it, I find that it misses AV keys and other installed program keys. Only a problem with the sort of customer who, to your question, "Can I have the program discs with their respective keys (or a similarly dumbed-down version of that)." reply, "Oh, no, why would I have kept that?"

Why indeed...

Neilsr, I've run chkdsk /r and all appears good. No, this is a customer's PC and he's not the sort of guy to do that. This is a dinosaur of a PC, so it wouldn't be able to cope anyway.
Servant-LeggieAuthor Commented:
guys, fresh install less painful than expected and complete. System stable and no more niggling Win Explorer issues.
Servant-LeggieAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help on this one.

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