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Explorer uses 100% of CPU

Whenever I launch any of the Explorer-type programs, the CPU usage shoots straight to 100% and stays there, effectively wiping out anything else I'm trying to do until I kill it using Task Manager / End Task (they won't close by the usual method, i.e. clicking the top right-hand corner cross). It always comes up with the "This application is not responding" message. Any ideas what's going on?
I would start by updating your system to the latest Service Pack levels and system updates. There have been a number of issues with Windows Explorer that have come up over the years, across multiple versions of Windows, but most have been resolved,

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