The subject problem may occur because Out Of Box Experience design limitation do not allow you to start other software until the OOBE Setup program is complete.

To workaround this behavior:

1. Press the Windows logo key+U to open Utilitily Manager. Narrator will after a short delay.

2. Press OK.

3. Minimize the Narrator dialog.

4. Press OK to close Utility Manager.

NOTE: See How To configure and use text-to-speech in Windows XP.

NOTE: See How can I disable the Windows Key+U shortcut from invoking the Utility Manager?