I,m also a bit out iof date with XP. But I wonder if you mean View - Choose details? You can then select the top bar dividers (where it says Name - Date etc..) by right clicking and holding, and drag the sizes.
Understood. I sympathise, if you felt a use for the function. I have got used to looking in the properties on the seldom occasions when I need to know the size. There is no fix for it at the moment, but perhaps you could get used to using one of the various file manager alternatives around the web. I treid a few but found them all wanting.