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Startup problem - explorer.exe

Can anybody help? When I start up my pc it frequently hangs before the Taskbar/Quick Launch and notification area icons appear. The only thing I can do then is to turn off the pc through Task Manager; when I do this I get an 'End Program' box for explorer.exe. I sometimes have to got through this 5 or 6 times before I can get started.
I'm using Windows XP Pro, SP2 and I think I've got all the updates; also running ZoneAlarm, AVG Free.
Any assistance appreciated as it's driving me nuts!

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