haven't tried to REPAIR internet Explorer?
It is easily done by using the Add/Remove Applications applet in the Control Panel.
Alternatively you can also make use of IEFIX http://windowsxp.mvps.org/IEFIX.htm
I have XP running avg not-free. IE hangs very frequently when I start it. After a couple of fruitless tries, I use Netscape, which starts right up. I like IE better (when it works). I removed the Google toolbar, which seemed to help for a while, but no longer. I have the Yahoo toolbar which AVG puts on there. So?