I have a problem when starting Internet Explorer.
When I start IE, two (2x) copies of iexplore.exe boot up. One small sized (5-10K ish), one large (100K ish). Only one window is open and if the process is ended, both items close and are removed from the Task Manager. If a second tab is opened, now there will be three (3x) copies of iexplore.exe running. I have had issues with some viruses lately and suspect this may be the culprit. McAfee does not find a problem, nor do other programs which specialize in this area.
1) How can I tell if this is malicious?
2) How can I remove the problem?
According to Microsoft this can be caused by certain software and is not necessarily an infection.
I've had it happen on the odd occasion here too and not just with IE.
If you are concerned it might be bad run Stinger and Malwarebytes Free, both linked in the last link in my signature below.
If it continues scroll down that page and follow the Hijackthis routine for help through professional malware forums.
Meanwhile make sure that all of your operating system and associated software is always kept totally up to date including any parts you may not use.