Go to Start...then choose Run...type in "sfc.exe /scannow" (without the quotes) and press Enter.
You will need your XP Installation CD.
Once it's done, go to Windows Update to ensure that you have the latest hotfixes and updates installed. (sfc.exe replaces system files when it runs and can undo your updates depending if the cd has SP1 and 2))
If that doesn't accomplish fixing the task manager there is another repair option using the cd.
Let us know what happens.
Edited by Enthusiast, 17 February 2006 - 06:47 PM.