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Windows XP Desktop Locking Up when Web Browsing

Whenever I try to open a web browser my computer locks up to the point I have to press and hold the power button since nothing else works. What can I do to fix this? It works fine until I open up a web browser. It just started doing this, I have not recently done anything different, I imagine it's a virus but I tried System Restore and many anti virus software. Please help if you can I desperately need my computer working for work!
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    It might be your anti-virus software scanning HTM and HTML files in real time.
    It might be a browser add-on slowing everything down.

    Are you running Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (v9 at least I hope), Opera, or another web browser?

    It might be a virus that is somehow clinging to the browser; but I have my doubts.
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