I have been recieving help with this following a malware infection. The infection appears to have been removed but I'm still having issues with the machine and we seem to have run out of ideas so I'm wondering if this may not be related to the malware at all but something else which just happened at the same time. My topic in the malware section can be seen here
The problem is that after booting the machine, a Dell Optiplex 170 running a P4 board, 2.8 GHz, XP Pro SP3, 1.25 Gb RAM, just after widows starts and the desktop appears Windows Explorer seems to freeze. The taskbar is visible at the bottom of the screen but with blue boxes where the clock, start menu and quick launch buttons should be, or there will just be a blue line where the taskbar should be. Also some icons on the desktop are not drawn correctly, I am unable to open any files or folders and I have to use ctl/alt/del to start task manager so I can restart the machine. If I then boot into safe mode I can use System Restore, then restart and all is well again. Sometimes a restore operation will result in the message saying it was not possible to recareate the selected restore point and no changes have been made but the machine will still work properly again. Sometimes it will be possible to restart the machine several times before the explorer issue returns but often it happens again on the next restart and I have to use System restore again to get it working. It's really strange how using system restore seems to work whether or not settings are restored. I have no trouble booting into safe mode.
Anyone have any ideas about this one?