To be sure, can you check this?
Start -> Run -> inetcpl.cpl (hit enter)
This will open the window 'internet options' without your "hanging" browser.
Check your homepage and your settings on the tabs.
And if that wont give you positive results, try to restore your Internet Explorer settings to default.
That can be done with (again) : Start -> Run -> inetcpl.cpl (hit enter) -> tab: Advanced -> Restore settings to default.
Post the rusults.
Happy is ONE who says I am an OttoMAN.