XP Home, no task bar, no desktop icons, no start button

XP home on bootup, I get wallpaper, no taskbar, no icons, no start button, and CTL-ESC does NOT bring up start  menu...

Slaved HD to another machine...
Did full Norton scan, found 25 virus infections...
Did TrendMicro online scan, found 95 more infections...
Did Bitdefender online scan, found about 40 more infections...
All cleaned and/or deleted...

Booted into safe mode w/networking...GUI loads up, I get all icons, task bar etc...
IE opens up to About:Blank...
Installed in safe mode Adaware, Spybot and CWShredder, ran them all, CWShredder found a couple items, Spybot about 40 items including CoolWWWSearch...Adaware found more CoolWWWSearch and few other items...

IE now works correctly in safe mode...I can roam the Inet...

Reboot into normal mode and I still do NOT have desktop icons, taskbar, start button etc...

However, when in safe mode I have everything and can do anything...

Client has a LOT of pictures and video editing software that she cannot find CD's for...so I am hesitant to do restore install...

I cleaned out all temp files, cookies, offline content etc etc

Next will do SFC /scannow but not sure if that will do it...

Suggestions and ideas please...

Steve MutchlerIT TechAsked:
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Dear Steven5000,

1.) Did you disabled system restore before cleaning...?
If not, can disabled now and run the apps in safe mode.
2.) Create a new user profile and see if it's ok in normal mode.
3.) Next, backup current user profile, delete then create a new profile for user.


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WhitePhantomIT ProfessionalCommented:
Sounds likes something in the startup is shutting down the Explorer process just as it starts to load.

The experts may be able to help you a great deal if you run HiJackThis! and post your log here.  We can instruct you on which entries to remove.


You will need to unzip the file to use it.  Run a scan and then click Save Log.  Post the results here.  Good luck!

It's better to post the log into here:


This will analyze the log for you.

If there are some doubts, don't hesitate to come back and ask for help.
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go ctrl+alt+delete  then new task type explorer then go new task again run msconfig check your system  startup for any unchecked items eg (explorer)

Good luck
shahrial has got a point. If you did not disable system restore, all your efforts where in vain. Disable if first,then do virus and spyware scan.
Check registry keys:
for startup programs or possible viruses. There seems to be a program or process that prevents windows from loading explorer.
>XP Home, no task bar, no desktop icons, no start button

To overcome this problem do the following;
1. After the computer boots up (You see the the hard drive's led stops blinking for a while), press the 'Ctrl + Alt + Delete' buttons to initiate 'Task Manager'.
2. From the menu choose 'File' and then choose 'New Task'.
3. Within the text box type 'explorer' and press 'Enter'  to initiate the desktop.
4. Than, right-click 'My Computer' and choose 'Manage' from the menu.
5. Go to the 'Even Viewer' section and choose the 'System Logs' and post us here any allert related with the 'explorer.exe'.
6. Go to the 'Application log' and do the same thing.

Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:

I will follow up on these suggestions tonite and post my results...

You can try downloading these files in Safemode and running them in Normal mode by opening the folder where u saved these files from Task Manager>New Task

Restore Taskbar and Start Menu

Restore Desktop Icons and Taskbar

source >> http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

If this fails, then try this, when u will boot in Normal mode, bring task manager by hitting Ctrl+Alt+del and click New Task
write msconfig and hit enter, now from the Startup section, click on Disable All and then in Services section, click on Hide Microsoft Services, and then disable all those third party services, now close msconfig, and from task manager>Shutdown menu, choose Restart, and check if same problem is happening still ??
Try this one out
Head at www.symantec.com
click at security response
scroll down till you see the picture Check my computer for security risks  - click there
It should open a window with two options
click the virus scan
Answer yes at the windows that will pop up
Leave symantec scan your pc remotely. You should then know where the viruses causing your problem
are. Print this list
Restart in safe mode
Delete any of these files.....
Reboot in normal mode
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
OK...6pm in St Louis and just got started...


Turned off system restore...
Went in Safe Mode, created a new account, back out and in as normal and now it works with the new account...I have a correct desktop and task bar...

User has TONS of movies and pictures saved all over the HD...right now I am straightening things up...a little more orderly...

I suspect that the original profile,  "Owner"...is corrupted...

Also, I just noticed it has SP2 and that may be corrupted also...

However, I suspect there is other junk on here and will  be running Hijackthis later tonite...

Paul...went thru msconfig...nothing really out of line here...

Kcarrim...HKLM....run is pretty clean...took out a couple items but don't think they were significant...

CyberDude...haven't seen you for a while...welcome...Cnt/Alt/Del into Task Manager works, however, a new Run will NOT get me into explorer...nothing happens...

Right now I'm going on the premis that it is a corrupted profile, will work on that then do more virus scans and the usual spyware scans...

Let you know later

Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Well...this is getting worse...

I created a  new account and it was...that is WAS...working just fine...the old accounts however are still messed up...no task bar, no icons etc...just the same as my first post...

I'm considering Ghosting the HD, wiping it and installing all over...however client has 80 gig HD that is pretty full and I don't have enough HD space to hold the Ghost image...so I used PM8 and created a second partition and moved all data stuff into the new partition...had to resize it 2 times as I gradually moved stuff into it...

Went to check on some criticals, found a couple of things that should have been loaded up previous to SP2, so I  am now suspecting that SP2 is screwed up...

Logged in again and this time IE has the about:blank page again...that was not there a little while ago...

I think I am going to get as much moved to the new partition as I can, Ghost the primary HD, wipe it and re-install...
That will probably take less time that trying to work everything out...

I did find a javaoj32.exe that is popping back...found some info on it here...

Getting late...
Post back tomorrow and try to lay out some points for all the help...

Thanx all
Good to be here
In cases like this, instead of typing 'explorer' try to 'browse' to the file 'iexplore.exe' and try to open it. Once it is open go to the address bar and type 'desktop'... Threre you have it... your computer... NOW you can do a whole bunch of actions...
I havnt been able to read all the updates - I have to go 'manage'...
Have a nice day.

If you have a infected/corrupted system, reinstalling OS or service packs will just make things worse.

Clean up all viruses first!! Download latest pattern file here:
and Trend Sysclean Tool here:

OK. You disabled system restore.
Extract the pattern file into the same directory as the sysclean.com file. Run sysclean.com to do full system scan. Sysclean will repair registry entries caused by viruses. When the system is clean, reboot. Scan for spyware using Giant Antispyware. Download it here:

With a clean system, you can now start troubleshooting.

In the end i think it would be better getting all the customer's data of the hard drive and do a clean install, which includes a new partition.
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:

I agree on the reinstall...

I've got to get this clean and I think wipeing the HD is probably the best way to do it...

I did find a thing called Home Search Assistant in Add/Remove Programs...Googling for it came up with this...

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/tutorial85.html    ...this looks like a nasty little critter...:)

Going to follow this tonight, see where it goes...

Am continueing to move data off the HD...I have about 50Gb of pictures and movies to find a place to store and I don't have enough room on my computers...I may have to buy another HD just to be able to get everything off...

Will post back...
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
This was a gawdauful job...

I rebuilt this box from scratch...

Ghosting almost 60gb of data presents it's own set of problems...

Many thanx to all who responded with ideas...

I'm splitting points up as fairly as I can...

I know that this solution is finished but it sounds exactly like what was happening to my Mom's XP Home pc. Her problem, yes tons of spyware and viruses, but she had a second video card installed. The display properties had been changed and her monitor was set up as the 2nd display (extend windows to this screen). Unchecked the dual monitor option and everything was ok.
Just an added note. I had a similar event occur last month on my W2K Pro Networked system. I can concur with some of the advisors as My Profile became corrupt and when I went to check the drive with Diskeeper Pro I discovered that my HD was corrupt and  I have Roaming Profiles on my network and the profile on the FP Server also became corrupt and could not restore my profile and had to replace the drive and rebuild the drive on my PC and my profile was not recoverable.

The saving grace was that I always use two hard drives and my slave drive had about 95% of my work. Having multiple drives has saved my rear at work and home numerous times over the years. I also wanted to share with Network Admin's that during this process I discovered that where a network is blended with W2K and XP Pro and a person roams between them on the same network that the profile can become corrupt so I was told by my Engineer and some postings here. I have about a 10% XP Pro Inventory with the balance W2K at 90% and so now I need to be cautious with my roaming users between the two OS's. Just trying to be helpful for those that may. This was the first instance on my Network where I'd had a Network roaming profile go corrupt out of 320 systems. Just an FYI as it's a nightmare when suddenly your profile goes corrupt back to the server and it cannot even return your settings and system repairs simply wouldn't work and of course discovering the drive corruption and failure made it unrecoverable. Thanks to my second drive I'm still in business with inconvenience but without it the circumstance would have been a nightmare as the saved profile to the Tape Backup was corrupt and nothing to restore. Thanks and Happy Holiday!
wanted to add a few comments for those ghost lovers out there.
There is a way you can speed up ghost signifigantly.  This is less of a big deal when using ghost to build computers, since you might have a source of 2-4 gigs??  But when using ghost to backup data during troubleshooting, you are looking at OS+APPS+User Data, sometimes huge.
After ghosting for years from a dos boot disk or cd boot image, our process has recently evolved.
Choose one of these options:
install source and destination disks into a working XP machine on IDE secondary.
or boot the existing machine with "Michael K H Au-Yeung'S Winpe 2004 v6" cd that is out there popular among techies, putting source and destination on IDE primary (or whereever so they are opposite the CD drive.)

the WINPE disk contains ghost 8.0 in a special 'run from inside WINPE (windows Preinstallation Environment)' If you do not have Au-Yeung WINPE search the net for "ghost32.exe" which is for WINPE

This version of ghost looks just like regular ghost but your speed of reading and writing disks is enhanced because you are under Windows operating system.  Apparently in DOS you are limited to PIO mode 1, most drives are UDMA 4,5, or 6  Windows XP without special drivers support UDMA 4.

I recently ghosted 135 gigs drive to drive in 52 minutes.  
Hey, restart your computer, and hold down the F1 key. You can then start in safe mode. you can then transfer your files off, and then shut down. Insert your XP CD in the rom drive, and restart. You will then install XP and you can paste your documents back.
If you want to keep the files, find a free storage site like www.freedrive.com, and then upload the files until you can reformat your Harddisk. Then you can download the files once you are done with the format. Hope this helped. : )
Yeah, upload 60gig!

Digital Anarchy, thats hardly a great idea whatever type of connection you are on...
I was having this same problem with an XP-Pro SP2 machine. It all started at boot up this morning. Neither the user nor any other account on the computer including the administrators account had any desktop functions. Just wallpaper and mouse curser. Ctl-alr-del did not even invoke task manager. After a few hours I traced the problem to PC-Cillin  Internet Security 2004. After disabling and uninstalling it the system worked fine. I was able to reinstall PC-Cillin and after all the updates it is working great. I have 4 other clones of this workstation running the same software, with the same settings, but have had just this one occurrence. It is obvious from all the research I did on line that there can be many cause’s for this behavior. I hope this is of help to some one out there.
Thank you for your support guys.  

I preferred to take the easiest and fastest way.  I have repair my partition using the windows setup disk and thank god, everything is working perfectly.  

Thx again.  Points will be assigned for your kind support.  

My regards
Oh oh, Sorry, I missed window
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