You can use tweakUI for XP to turn them off. If you don't have it you can d/l it here. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx Then this is what you do.
Here's how to disable the balloon tips. Click on start button move pointer to all programs then to power toys for windows xp. Then click on TweakUI for windows xp when the TweakUI window opens look for taskbar its in about the middle of the list. When you find it click on it to highlight it.
Look in the right window and you will see, at the top, "enable balloon tips" checked. Uncheck it then click apply then ok and that will get rid of them.
on starting computer taskbar shows text ballons which used to disapear after a few seconds, but now i have to manually turn off,any help to put right or turn off permantly would be greatly appresiated