XP "freezes" after boot

This is really a curiosity as much as anything. It might not be a WinXP-specific issue, it's just that WinXP is the only OS I've tried so far.

Put simply, after booting up I can activate one program (doesn't matter which) and it will look OK until I try to click on it to do anything, then it will become apparent that XP has "frozen".

But it hasn't really frozen. Title bar of the program that was activated/clicked will turn from blue to gray (i.e., "inactive window" color). Mouse still moves cursor, though nothing can be clicked. Keyboard still works and can CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up Task Manager. This will also appear to be "frozen" when clicked once, but upon the second click it will be fine. After that, everything is A-OK and I won't experience any issues for the rest of the session (even after leaving the PC on for days).

However, this is a very reliable pattern (i.e.: boot > start any prog > click anything and prog goes inactive > CTRL-ALT-DEL > Task Manager > click TM once and it goes inactive > click it second time and everything is fine). Doesn't matter what program I try running at the outset. Doesn't matter how long I wait after Windows has booted. It's not really a huge problem, more of a nuisance, but it's certainly strange.

This started happening after I upgraded a few components (C: was on a new drive which was fully formatted with a fresh OS install). At first I thought it might have been the OS install and I formatted and reinstalled, but got same problem. Then I went ahead and reformatted and tried WinXP 64-bit (figured what the heck, was curious to see how it was anyway), but problem persisted, so now I think it might be a hardware issue.

Specs:

ASRock A780GXE mobo
AMD X2 5000+ CPU
4GB GSkill 1066 RAM
750GB WD "Green" HDD

Anybody else experience anything similar? Any ideas?
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More about freezes boot
  1. HEat or power. Too much heat or the power supply is dropping voltage to the MB. Also check the capacitors are not leaking on the motherboard, do a search for a picture of what this looks like.
  2. Thanks for the idea. I run HWMonitor shortly after startup (tend to do this with new builds just to see how things are going) and temps/volts seem stable. I'm not running it immediately after boot, of course. Maybe I'll add it to startup and see if I can get earlier readings, but have not noticed any strange activity in either area after several days of being on 24/7 (min/max stats well within norms).

    Also, this happens no matter when I try to run the first prog after booting windows, whether I try to do it immediately or wait 15 minutes. And it only happens to the first prog I try to run, not to any others no matter how many I run afterward. Is that consistent with this heat/power idea?

    Regardless, I'll try getting HWMonitor running as soon as possible after boot to see if I can catch a spike.
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