Desktop Start button and icons disappeared

  Civilknit 12:48 27 Dec 2008

Arrgh - please can somebody help. I can start up my PC but when I try to log on it takes quite a while then launches the desktop with nothing on it but wallpaper - no icons, no start button - nothing. I can only access anything through windows task manager.

Yesterday I did a spring clean on the PC (running on Windows WP) in order to solve an internet access problem. I installed a great uninstaller programme and uninstalled every bit of old Symantic / Norton stuff I could find on the PC. This solved my internet access problem (too many firewalls / antivirus I think).

This left the PC vunlnerable so I installed AVG Antivirus and re-started the PC - everything fine. Then I thought I'd better put on a new firewall, so I downloaded Zonealarm. Before re-starting the PC I uninstalled NTL broadband medic, which had been hanging around uselessly on my PC for years, I also unticked the windows firewall, then re-started. When I re-started there was the desktop stuff - gone!

Today I have tried restoring the pc back to just before I loaded on AVG - no good. So then I installed Drivermax as I suspect that I have managed to delete an important driver. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I might have deleted so I can't re-import it from Drivermax. I also uninstalled AVG so now the PC has no protection.

I tell you, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - sigh.

  kindly 13:10 27 Dec 2008

I have had a look around the net and if you can connect to the net yourself have a look at this here;en-us;310353
Hope it helps you. By the way have you tried to launch into safe mode then do a restore.

  kindly 13:12 27 Dec 2008

You can try this also........
Quick and easy(hopefully!!!)

using "ctrl + alt + del" as you have been doing select "new task"
Type "msconfig"
Select "normal startup" and apply.You will have to restart your pc.

This should work as I assume something has disabled the Explorer process from loading.

  Civilknit 13:37 27 Dec 2008

Kindly - you are an absolute star. I tried the msconfig tip and selected normal in the restore thingy then restored again. The system shut down and restarted and, after a short while the strat button and icons came back.

Thank you thank you.

Now I'm going to try and re-load the AVG antivirus and keep my fingers crossed.

  kindly 13:41 27 Dec 2008

Fantastic Civilknit, you can now surf away. Good luck. Dont forget to do a scan of virus,s and things after you sorted.

  Civilknit 14:57 27 Dec 2008

Spoke too soon. I reinstalled AVG and it detected a virus - "Klone"? in a file (didn't get the name but it did this last time as well) I pressed the "Heal" button and re-started. Once again - no start button or icons. I uninstalled AVG, typed "msconfig" in new task and did the restore thing again but this time no luck.

I could cry - I've spent ages on this and I'm getting nowhere.

  rdave13 15:20 27 Dec 2008

You could try a repair here; click here

I'd join a malware removal specialist forum to clean up your PC.
Something like;click here
click here

  Civilknit 15:25 27 Dec 2008

rdave13, I've seen that first link before but I not sure which fix to pick from the list. Any ideass?

  rdave13 15:28 27 Dec 2008

Try 'restore to XP defaults'. Save to desktop and run from there.

  Civilknit 19:08 28 Dec 2008

Cautious update - I re-installed AVG and ran a full scan. It showed that I had the virus I mentioned before - Klone - and I'd also picked up a nasty Trojan Horse - Agent_r.G, which was affecting restore. AGV got the Klone virus but couldn't do anything with the Trojan Horse.

So I installed and ran Malwarebytes and it seems to have done the trick. On restarting after installing Malwarebytes all my desktop icons and the start button are back.

A further scan with AVG seems to show that the infections have gone.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed thsat everything's ok now. For safety's sake, I've also installed Zonealarm firewall, though it's driving me mad with pop-ups. Better safe than sorry though.

  kindly 20:18 28 Dec 2008

Nice to see you are up to date with anti virus stuf. A lot of people dont bother. Keep up the good work and you will be giving advice yourself Civilknit

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