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KDE directory navigation freeze problem

Hi all,
This is a strange one. I've googled around and haven't found it
mentioned before. I'm running KDE 3.3.2 on Debian Etch 2.6.8-2-386 but
the problem predates the Sarge -> Etch transition so it's not an Etch
issue. I use KDE exclusively and it purrs along for long periods of time
(3 days to a week, sometime even 2 weeks) with no problems. Then
suddenly no KDE program can access the file system. For example, if I
open Kaboodle, it opens normal but when I click on the open (file) icon
then it freezes and I have to kill the process by killing the window
(clicking on the x in the upper-righthand corner) or kill -9. Konqueror
won't open at all (obviously since accessing the file system is all it
does). Strangely no non-KDE apps are affected. With mplayer, xmms,
OmegaT (an xml editor) etc. I can open the programs and navigate the
file system normally. I tried looking a the .xsession-errors files but
it's a question of too much info and me not know what I should be
looking for. I cannot pinpoint the cause of the problem or what exactly
the problem is. If I shut down the X server (ctl-alt-bksp) and restart
it, KDE freezes (after the login) when it gets to the spanner icon (the
2nd one in the window). I have to Ctl-alt-f1 to another terminal and
reboot. In fact rebooting is the only way I've found to get things back
to normal.
It's not a very serious problem - it only happens once in a while but I
would like to fix it if possible. Has anyone had any experience with
this or can you point me to some diagnostics that I can do to make
what's going on clearer and at least have some hope of curing the problem.
Thanks in advance,
Please don't cc: your posting to my personal address.
Thank you.

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