Outlook Express sometimes will get quirky and not work for what appears to be no reason at all. Have you tried to use Outlook or Thunderbird as a test to see if they can perform without a problem?
Seemingly clean and un-infected system.
Recently when I open OE 6.0 the application will hang up and not complete my email download from the server. This doesn't seem to happen if only a few emails need to be downloaded but if there are 10 or 20 the program will invariably hang up somewhere along the way before completing the download. It indicates that it is recieving but OE will time out and say the server is not responding. When I close and reopen it will do the same thing, reloading all the prior ones that it had loaded before, while sometimes making some further progress. I have contacted my ISP but they can't help, I thought it was AVG but when I uninstalled the problem continued. All my settings in OE seem to match what I use with Outlook 2002 which I use on this machine for my business.....Outlook is not affected by the problem although it's not pulling off the same server....but I conclude that my network setting are OK. I am at a loss as to where to begin to fix the problem. I really would prefer not to do a system restore or reload windows unless I have too. My bet is that soemthing is amiss in the registry but I don't know what to look for. Has anyone seen this problem before?