Everybody running Windows XP has "explorer.exe" running -- it's the Desktop.
As far as iexplore.exe is concerned, assuming that you are sure that both tasks are spelled the same and that both are running under the same user account, then if you have upgraded Internet Explorer to version 8, the reason for the two instances of iexplore.exe
is that the new browser uses a separate "iexplore.exe" process for each tab currently open. If you start your browser, you will automatically have two processes, one for the main browser window and another for the first tab.
Microsoft has implemented this technique into Internet Explorer 8 to accomodate a more effective process priority to each tab. An example would be if you were listening to streaming radio in one tab and surfing in another. The tab which has your focus can and
will take priority over the background tab and cause the radio to cutout or even stop. In the new Internet Explorer, each tab has its own process which allows equal priority over CPU time and will not let another tab steal the processing time from any other
If you don't have IE 8, then you probably have a malware problem. Download, install, update, and run each of these two free scanners. Don't run both at the same time. Each will take quite some time to complete, so start it up and then go do a non-computer