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XP 64 fresh install - Startup problems

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Hi everyone,

I just reinstalled my XP64 yesterday, everything ran smooth but todays after installing few updates, small apps and .net framework I'm facing a strange issue:

When it starts the computer pauses for a long time, before and especially after the logon screen at "applying computer settings".
More embarassing, the shell is missing, meaning I have no taskbar, desktop icons, etc..

I checked right after startup the processes list and I can see explorer.exe running. Only when I kill the process and re-start it, the shell appears.

After looking here and on internet, found similar issues but always linked to malware. I'm not saying I'm not infected but it seems difficult because OS is freshly installed.

If you need any information do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your help.

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