Desktop items not responding

One WIndows 2000 PC on our network has a recurring problem. All icons on the desktop, start menu and system tray area stop responding to double-clicks. You can right-click on them, but most actions have no effect (ie right-clicking and selecting "open" does nothing, but selecting "rename" works).
Logging off and on fixes the problem.
Web desktop is turned off.

Any suggestions?
Who is Participating?
Kyle SchroederConnect With a Mentor Endpoint EngineerCommented:
There is no reason to start installing every patch and update you can think of...double clicking should work regardless of what service pack or IE version you're running.

Does the mouse left-click on other things?  Has the mouse been swapped out?  It sounds like a virus to me, one such as Prettypark which ran the virus along with every .exe file.  Have you done a thorough virusscan with up to date virus definitions?  Maybe someone sent the user a file through MS Messenger which had a virus.  Remove MS Messenger, it has no place in a business environment (at least not with Internet access...its useful in an Intranet only mode...)

Will double-click works on folders in Windows Explorere ?
What service pack do you currently have on this machine?
Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

SP2?  can you use start  |  run   and type  
sfc /scannow
mjoyceAuthor Commented:
The PC is running SP1.
Once the problem happens (and apparently it only happens once a day), you can't do anything much: I couldn't launch Windows Explorer to try double-clicking.
Apparently MSN Messager was installed just a few weeks ago, and the problem never happened before that.

Update this computer to SP2 for Windows 2000. Also install any other patches that are at Microsofts site. Upgrade the version of IE to 5.5 or 6. If this does not work, uninstall MSN Messenger to see if this cures the problem.
Asta CuCommented:
Have you been helped here, or is more needed?  If you've been helped, just choose the comment from the Expert who helped you to convert it to the accepted answer to then grade and close this.

This is a helpful link in terms of virus/trojan/worm activities, cleaners (pay and free) and some step-by-step information.  Also includes some Critical update links from Microsoft to minimize security risks and more.

A client of mine has experienced the same, or very similar problem on a Win ME box, however for him logging off and logging back on had no effect.

I found that if I go to start > run > command, and then from the command prompt just type exit to return to windows, somehow it would 'unlock' itself until the computer is re-booted.

As a computer professional, this makes no sense to me, but it does tell me that maybe the problem you are experiencing is not a 'Windows 2000' problem.

I'm still working on determining a permanent fix, but if I find one, I will let you know.
Hi mjoyce

- This question is still open and needs to be closed. If any of the comments above helped you, please accept that comment as an answer. If not please send an update about your issue so that the question can be finalised. Thank you

- Experts, please feel free to add any comments in here, if you keep silent points of question can be removed



Cleanup Volunteer
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
This is almost certainly a virus issue (though I would hope it had been resolved one way or another by now, over a year and a half later!)

Another option would be to start/run -> sfc /scannow
Free online antivirus scan:

mjoyceAuthor Commented:
This problem was only solved by re-imaging the machine, but this was the most helpful of all the suggestions.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.