Thanks for also submitting this public post.
A USB hub itself doesn’t have any 3rd party software (it’s controlled directly by Microsoft’s USB stack) – unfortunately or fortunately, there is nothing that could cause problems opening programs after some time using the system. Devices connected to the hub may have their own software, though.
We can’t tell, but it’s sounds like either a resource leak issue (e.g. after running for several days, some programs on the system may be leaving behind open windows) or a virus (but that is easy to fear, and difficult to tell for sure).
Here is some more information from others hitting the window limit issue on XP: http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/…
Here is Microsoft info on troubleshooting task manager issues:
We would expect that if you have all the same devices connected, you should get the same behavior in this area with or without any USB hub. For a problem that only happens every few days (or even weeks), that may be difficult to determine without running for a while.
If you don’t find that’s the case, the area we’d look in next is probably power management – because it involves all the devices and drivers on bus, it’s probably the one area where XP’s USB stack (or the drivers of attached devices) might have subtle enough behaviors that the presence of a USB hub could make a difference. But we haven’t directly heard of anything like this before, and couldn’t find any evidence googling around for it.
Thanks for updating if you get any more datapoints. We want to help any way we can!
Thanks and best wishes,