2nd UPDATE (The One That Really Works! :P) :
Finally found the answer – I have been infected by a trojan / malware.
The full error that you get is:
Faulting application explorer.exe, version 6.0.2900.5512, faulting module unknown, version 0.0.0.0, fault address 0x71ab6a55.
Source: Application Error
Here is the detailed experience of it upon starting-up my Windows XP SP3:
Upon loading the desktop, Explorer.exe crashes on startup, Dr. Watson (Error Reporting?) also crashes, explorer.exe restarts and when Windows Explorer refreshes, you will find a window opening briefly (1 sec) which states that it is adding personalised settings from C:\RECYCLER\S-1-5-21-1… which you would not have time to get the rest.
It seems harmful enough, except that a startup ought to be with no irritating crashes (harmless though it may seem to be).
Surprisingly, the threat could not be detected by Adaware, AVG and Spybot. Quite disappointed by that actually. It was instead detected by Prevx 3.0, which is only a shareware. What I did was to get the name of the trojan and do a search of it, and a freeware tool came up: SDFIX.
The instructions to use it is from here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic131299.html
Download and follow the instructions carefully… and it should be done in half an hour.
Voila. On startup (after the safe mode running of SDFIX), the trojan was successfully removed.
This is a real relief!
Sorry… it does not work T.T ……. the problem came back! Sigh. I’ll find a way to solve this.
It was annoying for the past 2 weeks to get the following message on my laptop, everytime I switch it on.
What happens after I click ‘close’ on the error? The Windows desktop refreshes and all my icons flicker for a moment and ‘desktop customization’ opens up briefly and voila, it’s back to normal. It is irritating because the error message window always pop up at the start!
I thought it was a spyware, malware of virus messing around with my laptop. Scanned it using reliable softwares like Adaware and Spybot (which I highly recommend you do so once a week, or when you suspect that something is amiss); the results were negative.
I searched for the answer and stumbled upon this here, this morning.
Log on as an administrator.
From Start> Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
At the command prompt, type the following, and then press ENTER:
netsh Winsock reset
Voila… it was back to normal 🙂
Small annoyances are bad when it comes to digital stuff.