I've been experiencing an annoying problem with Windows XP. It happens when I launch one program from another program - for example, double-clicking on a saved Web page from within Windows Explorer to bring up my browser. Usually this works fine, but occasionally the first program freezes up - sometimes very briefly, sometimes for as long as five or ten seconds - before becoming responsive again and launching the second program. This has been happening for at least several months. More recently, a new symptom has appeared: if I pull up the Windows Start menu but click elsewhere on the screen, the Start menu sometimes (with a frequency of around 1 in 4 or 1 in 5, it seems) freezes in place for a few seconds before becoming responsive again.
Has anyone experienced a similar problem? Is this a hardware issue, or could it be a software problem that I could fix?