Rename the .avi files' extension to something diffirant (.v, .m, .x, .blah) and associate them to be opened with player your heart desires (and you rename them ALL all over the place), set XP to not pop the tool tip text file properties when you point over the file with the mouse. That's pretty much should make it 50% more "stable" (if there is such a thing with windows).
I use w2k specifically because of that super-pooper explore.exe in XP is trying to "hang on to it" and not die (100% CPU shows how hard it is "trying";o)
w2k simply restarts within 10 seconds and everything is back to "normal"
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