Unlikely to be what I think, my but first thought with Explorer issues is always some corrupt file that Explorer is trying to render to display, eg an image or video file.
I say it's unlikely in your case because Explorer allows your Desktop to display and it is the Desktop where such files may be held, or their shortcuts.
But then my next consideration is IE problems. IE, Explorer, My Computer, My Documents, (etc), are all inter-related, and what affects one may affect all. If IE has any bad or corrupted Add-ons installed, it is possible that this could spill over into Explorer. I would open IE, goto Tools > Internet Options, then the Advanced tab, and hit the Reset button to remove all add-ons and return IE to default. However if you decide to try that, be aware that this may delete all favorites, cookies, history, and any logins and passwords that IE has saved.
If that fails, then I would look at a corrupt profile. Do you have another Admin capable account you could try? If not, create one, (make sure it is an Admin account), and see if the problems disappear or are still present. If the Desktop and Taskbar displays properly and there are no other problems when you log into Windows in this account, then it may be that your own account profile is corrupted.
The good news in that case is that Microsoft has a fix for that;
How to copy data from a corrupted profile to a new profile in Windows XP.
Windows XP SP3
Dell XPS 600 3.0 ghz Plentiun D
250 gb Hard drive
For the past several weeks whenever I open Windows it shows desktop but no taskbar or start menu.
I can navigate system or internet because I use a dock. However the start menu in the dock will not function.
Hard shut down and restart brings taskbar and start back to system.
Event viewer shows the following message: Faulting application explorer.exe Version 6.0.2900.5512..Faulting module shdocvw.dll Version 6.0.2900.6003 Fault address 0x00018004
Have scanned system with Avira antivirus,Malwarebytes Super antispyware, Panda antirootkit,and Spyware Terminator all results are returned negative.
Search result found shdocvw.dll in windows\system32 but also in numerous kb updates the latest being on 8/10/10
Google does not offer much help nor does Microsoft.