Desktop icons and taskbar gone!

  dan12345 11:55 23 Jun 2008

Hi guys,

After logging on at the welcome screen, I can see my desktop picture but nothing else. The taskbar and all desktop icons have gone.

It is a dell desktop computer running windows xp with SP2. Been running perfectly until now and I have not knowingly done anything to cause the problem.

I can press control+alt+delete to access the task manager and can run my programmes from there. The desktop icons and taskbar come back if I run windows explorer, but are gone again after I reboot.

After searching google I see that there are many cases of this....but no solution yet found other than a format and re-install.

I have tried many of the suggested cures, but they don't work for me. Tried safe mode, system restore (can only go back to the day the problem began)virus /adware / spyware scans, etc.

has anyone here experienced the same problem, and managed to cure it without resorting to a format and re-install?

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

  cocteau48 12:54 23 Jun 2008

Apologies if you have already tried it but have you tried just logging off and on (not a reboot) to restore your personal settings?
It is one of the recommended cures for disappearing task bar icons.

  BurrWalnut 14:07 23 Jun 2008

1. Go click here and scroll down to line 195 on the right hand column and download the file. Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt.

2. Click Start > Run, type regedit and press Enter. In the left pane navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. In the right pane, make sure there is a REG_SZ named Shell and it has a value of "explorer.exe" (no quotation marks). If it’s not there create it by clicking Edit > New > String Value then right-click it and key in explorer.exe then restart the computer.
If Start is missing, open regedit via Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift +Esc then on the Applications Tab click ‘New Task’ at the bottom, type regedit.exe and press Enter.

To be prudent create a system restore point (%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe in Task manager) before making any changes to the registry.

3. It’s malware.

  dan12345 21:08 23 Jun 2008

Thank you BurrWalnut. After following your instructions to the letter my computer is now running normally again. I am very grateful to you. Also thanks to the others who took the time to suggest a solution.

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