All Programs menu totally empty!

Posted on 2004-03-28
Last Modified: 2008-10-22
"All Programs" shows nothing at all - with any logged-in user. The Start Menu folder of my user profile / all user profile in Documents and Settings still has all the program links in it and all the programs can be run from Explorer.

Does anyone have any idea why this might be happening? I've done virus check and spyware check and nothing showed up at all. There's gotta be something I can do without reinstalling XP (again).
Question by:leongibbon
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LVL 67

Accepted Solution

sirbounty earned 75 total points
ID: 10698268
Right click the Start button - open all users - does that work?
What about same method -explore all users?

Try Start->Run->SFC /Purgecache
Start->Run->SFC /Scannow

Author Comment

ID: 10698622
Thanks for the quick respone sirbounty.

The Open all users and Explore all users both pop-up an explorer window with all my old links appearing as normal. I've run through both the SFC processes but no change.

It just seems to be failing to show the All Programs list when I hover over the All Programs link - the rest of the Start menu works fine. If I switch to Classic Start Menu and go to Programs, it expands just to say (empty).
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:Gareth Gudger
Gareth Gudger earned 25 total points
ID: 10698661
Did you change any permissions on that folder?
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Author Comment

ID: 10699081
No, haven't purposefully changed any permissions.
LVL 67

Assisted Solution

sirbounty earned 75 total points
ID: 10699366
Try creating a new user from control panel - can the new user see All Programs?
If so, your profile may be corrupt...

Author Comment

ID: 10702910
Tried creating a new user and had same problem - same problem with Administrator in safe mode. Its definitely a wierd one! Fortunately, it was quite a new install so I've cut my losses and reinstalled which solved it. In searching around, I've found another question on this site from someone having exactly the same symptoms - no solution there either:

Thanks very much for all the help - good old clean reinstall saves the day again! Cheers :)
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

sramesh2k earned 25 total points
ID: 10702953
Open Regedit and goto:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Set Common Startmenu to: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu


Expert Comment

ID: 10919941
I just turned on my computer this morning and discovered I have the same problem as the first poster had.

I have tried the "solutions" offered above, but with no success.

I even tried using system restore to go back 1 day, 2 day, then 3 days, with no luck.

I used Norton System Work's one touch repair. It found 231 errors in the short cut arena, I clicked on repair. This only cleared off the short cuts on the desktop, but did not fix the start menu items.

I am in the process of reinstalling Windows XP (Home), per Gateway's instructions.

Perhaps this is a virus? I am, what I consider, very careful in virus prevention, so I will be surprised if this is the problem, but hey, I won't rule it out.

I could not find any reference to this on Symantec's web page.
LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 10919968
jamessina - you'll need to open a new question here.
It's not only against EE's policies to post additional questions inside a question - you also won't get much help as this question is now closed (a) most experts won't come to this post and (b) it's towards the bottom of the "accepted" list and won't draw much attention otherwise...

Expert Comment

ID: 10920426
Ok, thank you. I did repost as a question under a new subject.

First day on this BB.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Rahul Misra
ID: 11000052
run msconfig (clear everything except for the anti-virus and any essential program)
disk cleanup(check everything)
it shuld work.
just did on one of mine

Expert Comment

ID: 11712530
I would like to try the idea of using msconfig as mentioned above, but the instructions are too abbreviated for me to understand.
WHERE do I clear everything (what tab)?
How do I know what is "essential")?

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