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Windows Explorer stops responding

I recently started using Earthlink, and it seems that this problem started happening then, but I' not sure. Windows Explorer stops responding, like it's locked up, and it does it's "Error Report" thing. This problem just keeps getting worse and is frustrating. When the error reporting is through, Microsoft always says the anwer to my problem, is to download Windows Service Pack 2. I haven't done this because the last time I tried my system crashed and I lost everything and had to reformat the hard drive. Is this the answer? It's hard for me to believe that explorer stops responding just because SP2 isn't installed. What else could be causing this?

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