I've had this problem for a couple of weeks now and no amount of defragging and cleaning has helped.
Whenever explorer tries to open a new window the outline of the window appears and then everything freezes for a couple of minutes. It only seems to happen when its opening a new window and I cant work out why. I'm running Windows 2000 and IE6.
I had the same problem, but found that it was caused by the cumulative security update for Internet Explorer KB890923. Uninstalling this update solved the problem. It would be nice to have the problem solved without uninstalling a security update, but at least this worked.
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