Thanks for posting!
What exactly is the memory usage of FileMaker when it's experiencing this issue? CPU Usage?
How much memory do you have? What's the speed of the CPU?
Do you get this issue when working in a completely different database?
To answer your questions: The computer is a Dell E6400 with 2GB of RAM and 2.53 GHz CPU. The problem is not database specific.
After recreating the problem I discovered some interesting things: I was able to recreate the problem by having Windows Explorer and FileMaker Pro open at the same time. For some reason when both are open it is causing problems and preventing anything from opening (Adobe attachment from an email for example). The following error is in the event log: Application popup: AcroMissingCompWClass: AcroRd32.exe - Application Error.
I was able to get the computer to work correctly by closing either FileMaker or Windows Explorer. I hope this information helps explain more.
Do you reliably get this message in the event log whenever you experience this issue? If so, you may want to try uninstalling Adobe Reader completely as a test.
It also might be a good idea to create a new local administrator account and see if the issue is reproducible there.
It wasn't just Adobe Reader that was generating this error. I got a similar error when I tried opening the Task Manager. This was only after FileMaker had an issue that made the rest of the computer unresponsive. After I was finally able to close FileMaker Adobe and all other programs opened fine.
I will try the local administrator account tomorrow and let you know the results.
This has happened on two machines here where I work. The key symptom is either the inability to open a window or the window opens, but objects in the window are missing. The cure is fairly easy: uninstall and reinstall FileMaker 10 and the problem show go away for a while. My theory here is that the more windows/dialogs opened and closed over time seems to trigger some kind of problem that builds and worsens slowly over time. System where you use FileMaker to open and close a lot of windows/dialogs (such as a development platform) seem to develop this issue much sooner than a machine where only a few windows are opened, closed each day. That's just a suspicion based on very limited data, but it fits what we've encountered here.
I've posted an Issue Report for this: FileMaker 10 appears to corrupt Windows XP window management
If you want to add your observations to mine.