|thanks for your reply.|
I run avg free regularly.
I have identified the symptoms
When XP starts all the programs that usually show up near the clock as having been started are missing plus IE 8 is not the typical desktop colours.
Interestingly the other Office software is normal desktop colours.
When I LOG OFF and LOG ON again without restarting XP all the programs have been started and IE 8 is the correct desktop colours.
From what file does XP extract the settings and startup software?
Does the LOG OF LOG ON process use the same file or a different file?
I hope this information helps.
Thanks for your help.