frequent crashes on new machine

Microsoft Windows XP

A few times a day, my computer crashes, rebooting
spontaneously. I'm running XP Home on a 3-week old Sony
VAio desktop. Right before this behavior began, I
downloaded McAfee's Personal Firewall. The XP firewall
is NOT enabled. Usually, but not always, there is an
error screen waiting when the desktop reappears on
reboot: ``Survey: Run-time error. 2147023841
(8007041f): Automation error. The service database is
locked.''

What does this mean and what can I do about it? I did
try searching on KB, but didn't find anything.
Did it crash before downloading McAfee?