If it is all apps, try opening a few instances of IE, cascading them (right click on the icon on the task bar, select cascade). This will resize them all laying one on top of another. Try to maximize one and if it works, close all the others first and then close the maximized one. Restart IE and it should come up maximized.
You can also create a shortcut on your desktop for any program, right click to get to the properties and change the way you want the program to open using on the shortcut tab.