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Two processes taking up 99% of CPU

My problem is with IEXPLORE.EXE and "System" in the task manager/processes window. Both processes take up something like 99% of my CPU whenever I'm trying to use Internet Explorer, thus even though I have a very good cable Internet connection, because of this problem, it's as if I have a very poor 56k connection waiting for those 2 services to release my CPU and perform the task needed. I've run virus scans with my updated Nortons AV program and also tried their online check as well as Trend Micro's online scan. I've searched the internet for days and I'm one step away from reinstalling but don't want to go through all the hassles of finding and saving stuff I don't want lost forever. I was just checking out the column CPU Time, System has 0.05.07 and IEXPLORE.EXE has 0.03.43, nothing else has more than 0.00.38.
Assuming you are running Windows XP, this is a known issue that has been patched by Microsoft. Make sure you have installed the latest service pack, and run Windows Update to get the most recent updates.

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