To respond to my own post: I did figure out how to update my video card drives. Nothing changed. I figured because the troubling part of all of this is those VLC icons in the system tray that won't go away (except on reboot) that suggest I me it's a VLC program problem.
I'm running Windows XP Pro with an ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 video card. My VLC media player worked fine for ever and ever. I don't know if there is a causation here, but I bought a new Epson XP-400 printer and installed the software. The next day I clicked a video file that VLC default plays and the video was herky-jerky and the sound cut in and out. It's the latest version of VLC, 2.0.4. I reinstalled that same version with no luck. I installed two previous versions, also with no luck. I then did a system restore, going back two days. No luck. The system restore did not uninstall the new printer's software. I did another system restore, this time four days. Still no luck. I manually uninstalled the new printer software. Still no luck. In fact, things got worse. Clicking a video in a file now causes the VLC to produce a freeze frame of some frame in the video. I'm not sure it's the first frame or some random frame within the video. Nothing else, only a freeze frame. Same thing if I try to play a video through the VLC program. Either way, the VLC player leaves a VLC icon in the system tray for each video I try. Right clicking and clicking CLOSE will not lose the icons. Left clicking causes the freeze frame for the particular video to reappear on the screen. I did another system restore to 20 days earlier. Nothing. I did another system restore to bring me back to today's date. No luck. I reinstalled the new print's software. I should point out now that my videos play fine with Windows Media Player. Also with Media Player Light. Streaming videos, even high resolution videos, from the internet also play fine. The I downloaded a codec package called Media Player Codec Pack. Still no VLC, but then the WMP went bad, i.e. video were distorted with zig-zaggy patterns. I did another system restore to lose the new Codec pack and that seemed to work. At least now my WMP plays videos fine again. I have not tried to download drivers for my ATI Radeon XP 4300/4500 video card because I don't know how. Any help to get my VLC media player back? Thanks!