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I've been running into an issue with a client's computer. Here's the problem: every so often, Windows doesn't allow him to open any additional apps. The apps that he's currently using work fine. I've ran spyware/virus scans to no avail. I also tried this "fix", but again, no luck: http://weblogs.asp.net/kdente/archive/2004/06/04/148145.aspx

What I mean by "he's not able to open any additional apps" is that, when he tries to open another application, nothing happens, no error message, nothing. This is really hard to troubleshoot as there is nothing that stands out in the event log. It seems as though some limit has been reached. Memory usage seemed to be normal though. Tried troubleshooting it by having procdump monitor explorer.exe and some of his day-to-day apps he's running...nothing

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Could it be Windows XP Starter? It can only run 3 programs at a time. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Nov 29 '11 at 15:42
    
Has this just started happening? Have you tried system restore to a point it was working? All Windows updates installed? –  CharlieRB Nov 29 '11 at 15:55
    
I believe it's windows xp pro, but I'd have to check to be sure. According to the user, yes, this has just started happening a few weeks ago. I ensured all updates were installed. –  Tim Nov 30 '11 at 7:09

2 Answers 2

As more informations are missing, do you use the XP-starter-edition? It can open only three applications. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP_editions#Starter_Edition

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That's the weirdest restriction I've ever heard of! :/ –  ldigas Nov 29 '11 at 16:07
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@idigas: Coincidentally, XP Starter was a weird edition. –  surfasb Nov 29 '11 at 18:05

I'd suggest a RAM check and a scan of the hard drive for any errors, or are there any errors listed within the Windows Event logs?

My next step would be a windows repair install after running complete Malware and Anti-Virus scans... Possibly even a 'Live CD' to see if it is hardware related before a long repair-install.

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I've ran malware/virus scans, but this doesn't seem to be the case. But I haven't run though RAM or HDD tests. I might give that a try. Thanks! –  Tim Dec 1 '11 at 20:31
    
No problem, goodluck! :) –  HaydnWVN Dec 2 '11 at 9:10

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