Windows XP, after waking from a "stand by" or hibernate, sometimes has a broken Start Menu. The list of programs appears blacked out. Mousing over it produces no hand cursor, context help, or links to programs. This screen shot is from a Dell laptop running Windows XP Media Center Edition. The only solution I have found is to kill explorer.exe and relaunch it. After restarting explorer with the Windows still running, the program icons in the task bar appear in reverse order (last-launched on left, first-launched on the right).
In setting up a new Windows XP 64-bit machine, I dowload a heap of Firefox addons, some old favorites and many new ones. The disadvantage to gorging on Firefox Extensions all at once? If something breaks, it's tough to identify the culprit.
In my case, the offender turned out to be the addon "Load Time Analyzer".
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