Well said Chuck.
Happy New Year to you.
The other day 12/ 31/04, I posted a problem I was having with Outlook Express suddenly starting to open far too slowly. The problem was, the Contact Pane was open, that's the one that shows the addresses of your contacts at the bottom left of the OE page. I don't know why I didn't notice that it was open, it was so obvious, but I didn't. When I checked the settings in View-Layout at the top of the OE page, The Contacts Pane box was not checked, so technically it shouldn't have been open, but it was. Anyway, I closed the Contact Pane and immediately the problem with OE ceased. That's all there was to it, no files missing, nothing. I couldn't be happier, I thought I was going to have to format the system today, New Years.
I'm posting this message for two reasons, one, to thank Michael Geist and pjb who, headed me in the right direction and alerted me about the possibility of the Contact Pane in OE being open, and two, I strongly suggest you read all the possible solutions to your problem that you can find, before you conclude you have to go into the Registry to change stuff and then really screw things up. Sometimes, the problem is right in front of your nose and really simple to fix. I feel very fortunate to have this XP forum to help me out.
Thanks a lot everybody and Happy New Years celebrations!