Blinking Desktop Icons On Win 7 Pro X64

Last week the icons on my desktop started blinking when i logon to my account, after cold booting. The icons blink to a white color then go back to normal every two seconds. If i logoff and back on the problem clears, but always returns after a cold boot. I don't have a clue as to why this has started. The most recent program i installed was office communicator 2007 r2 which i have to use for work, and i believe there were some system updates from microsoft.

The cpu runs at about 25% busy when the blinking is happening. If i press the start key, the menu appears briefly and then disappears so it's very difficult to quickly choose an option. I think there's something upsetting the explore.exe process. I use avira antivir premium v9 and a licensed version of malwarebytes, and neither report any virus or malware infections. Any ideas?

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