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Programs hang - unable to close with task manager

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I was using firefox and went to reload the page and it just continued to load without any progress. I opened up task manager to close firefox under processes and the windows disappeared but the process itself did not. AIM also stopped responding. I tried to close it as well and the windows disappeared but the process remained.

I disconnected my router and modem and restarted the computer. Restarting the computer took much longer than it normally did. It took a great deal of time before it responded at all.

I recently updated windows with several of the updates as well as the service pack 1 update. I also updated my zonealarm firewall as well as my AIM. I believe that one of these caused the problem as the problem did not appear until after these changes.

I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks for looking this over. I am looking forward to your response.
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