i've had that happen before!!! No tabs or anyway to navigate to the kill tab! What good is Windows without the kill button for ending frozen-fuck programs!!! i've had this same error happen without even browsing the internet so don't know if it's a virus. case in point, i lived for about a year out in the country just a while ago, and even without the internet, i still had this fuckup and many others with windows xp. microsoft software just gets fucked from using it... it's just the way it is... format the fuckin fuck, as i always say... wipe everything out and start fresh! virus scan your hard drive from another computer and salvage what you can... then wipe the fucker out!!! don't fuck with antivirus, antispyware, etc. That doesn't always solve the problem anyway, and is often slower than the 45 minutes or so it takes to reinstall windows. As soon as you have something acting fucked that you know is fucked for good, you should already have the windows xp cd (or dvd copy [loads faster]) preparing your next version of windows on that other computer you bought at value village, while you try to salvage whatever files that aren't fucked on the other computer on some external hard drive or some shit. The only thing I would fuck with for programs is one that makes an exact copy of your hard drive, if you are like me, and spent fuckin hours installing programs you don't want to install again. no program is perfect for that but i slightly recommend powerquest drive image and that often fuckety norton ghost or Acronis True Image. isohunt.com is a good place to purchase them programs from my experience.
that windows xp built-in-fuck-of-a-backup program told me there was a "catastrophic event" when i tried to back up my entire hard drive today, but i didn't see any tidal waves or tornadoes heading my way, so the fuck was lying... anything to stop you from migrating from the copy you already have installed, the fuckees!!! Don't forget to make dvd backups cuz they last for like 10 years (long as you keep your greaseburger fingers off them) unlike hard drives... especially mine cuz i beat the fuck out of them like 24-hour a day S&M when they try to fuck with me. which reminds me as to why i'm TRYING to back up my laptop hard drive right now for some routine warranty work
I've ranted off topic a bit... but i think this is important knowledge for anyone. i've done a lot of consumer-based backup for customers and moreso for myself haha so trust this man.
And that system restore shit is click-and-pray shit. but when you get lucky and it actually solves the problem, it can save time... unless like you said, you had to install a bunch of shit all over again. But have that other computer on standby... get that xp dvd in that other fucker and installing right away! That way if 45 minutes goes by... and you haven't solved fuck... which often happens, then who cares cuz your other computer is ready to go and you have free reign to take the baseball bat to the other fuck.
Hope I could be of some service.