Laptop Locking Up


In Runtime
A friend of mine has a Dell Latitude. About 3 weeks ago he gave to me as the computer would start the boot (going through the Windows XP Boot window), but would not load the desktop. It did however just show the mouse cursor, but nothing else (black screen behind it). I went ahead and reformatted the computer to get a fresh copy of Windows XP onto the computer. About a week ago he informed me that the computer is starting to come back with some of the symptoms it had before. It is booting to the desktop, but his anti-virus is no longer starting up and he can't open up Microsoft Outlook. I don't think it was a virus as it was explained that the only websites he attends are news sites (, I'm needing some help troubleshooting this computer so we can help determine what the problem may be. If you have suggestions, I appreciate your time.

Also when trying to open the Task Manager, the computer completely locks up and takes up to 5 minutes to show the task manager. This is without opening any other programs. Running through the process list, Im not seeing anything that looks unfamiliar as far as the system programs running.