It is possible that this is caused by Explorer issues.
Explorer is 'all things' in Windows. It is Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, My Computer, My Documents, (etc), and the Desktop. A while ago Microsoft integrated all of these into the operating system, so what affects one could affect all. So there are things you can try to solve this.
1] Explorer can 'hang' when it comes across a corrupted file, usually a video or image file if it has to render the file to display an icon. If you have any images or video files on your desktop, see if you can move/copy/delete them. Safe Mode would be useful here if you cannot do that in normal mode.
2] Malware damage. Check your system with your updated anti-virus scanner, then also scan with a couple of anti-malware scanners, like Malwarebytes' Anti-malware and SUPERAntiSpyware.
3] Internet Explorer. IE Add-ons can cause such effects, especially if they are poorly coded, corrupted, or malware. Try an elimination test in IE > Tools > Manage Add-ons.
4] Context Menu. The right click menu is called the Context Menu and sometimes some of the menu items may be invalid. More about that, (for XP bt the principle is the same), here; http://windowsxp.mvps.org/context_folders.htm
There is a Vista version of ShellExView available here; http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html See if that helps diagnose problems.
I'd appreciate if some of you could help me with a small problem that I have with my Dell Studio XPS. The problem occurs when I start the laptop, it boots and everything's fine until I use the right click for the first time: regardless if i want to refresh the background or open a new tab in Chrome/Firefox, the moment I click on the desired command (Refresh, Copy, Paste, New Tab, etc.) that piece of the menu freezes on the desktop and stays there till i turn off the computer.
I really can't figure out what's causing it or how to get rid of it. any help is welcome. thanks in advance