I should note:
For a long time I have had a wierd dialog box that appears immediately after the splash screen. This dialog box appeared after a Symantec technician deleted some sutff in my registry because my desktop icon names were not transparent.
My guess is that on start-up Windows is looking for something in the registry but can't find it. The garbage characters appeared before the programs\...\...\ so this suggests to me that there is a corruption before that in the boot sequence.
Any suggestions as to what is causing the problem -- and how to correct it? Thanks.