The most common reason I have come across is driver
incompatibility. Since this is a x64 forum I am going to assume your running a 64bit platform. Make sure you have the 64bit drivers
installed for your applications. I have had a few client side computers running x64 show this error repeatedly after HP software was installed using the 32bit installer package.
If you can single out the program that is producing this issue, uninstall it and grab a fresh 64bit version of the installer to reinstall with.
Also, you may be able to run the problem application using compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3. Do not quote me on that as I have not tried this since I have always found it easier to just grab fresh 64bit drivers instead.