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XP no icons, no taskbar, no start button, DOES have wallpaper

This is an XP SP2 laptop I rebuilt for a client on 2/24/05...

Computer NOT used on a domain...stand alone...Client says problem started yesterday and he cannot relate it to anything he did, eg: downloading something, etc...

Appears to boot up normally, comes to login screen, accepts username and pw...

Wallpaper appears, but NO icons, NO start button, NO task bar...CNT/ALT/DEL does NOT bring up task manager, it doesn't do anything...so I cannot perform any functions with the GUI...

Tried to boot into "Last Known Good"...nothing...
Decided to try System Restore...booted into Safe Mode with Command Prompt...went to %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe...a system restore screen opens up but has NO information...it is a blank white page with the blue header bar on top...no words, no images, nothing...so I cannot do a system restore...

While booted up in Safe Mode w Command Prompt, I noticed that the Screen Saver comes on and I get the screen saver image moving around...didn't expect that...

Am considering doing an "in place install of XP"...I will Ghost the HD before I do anything, make sure I can get data back...

Some questions:
1.  If I back up registry to another location outside of the system root, after re-install, can I restore this registry and get back the settings for the installed programs, Office, Quicken etc etc???...or will I have to reinstall the programs???

2.  When I go to %systemroot%\Repair to get the registry files...there are a 9 files listed, do I need to copy all of them to another location???

3.  Will I have to reinstall all the critical patches, service packs etc for XP???

4.  I recall something in a similiar case where the resolution was re-installing some VXD files...don't know if that was exactly
this issue or not...does this strike anyone similiarly???

I suspect this is a fairly easy fix...I just don't know what it is...some corrupted files somewhere...

Open to any and all ideas/suggestions

Thanx
Steve

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stevem5000
Asked:
stevem5000
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5 Solutions
 
stevem5000Author Commented:
Additional note...

Booting straight into Safe Mode gives exactly the same results, no icons, no task bar, no start button...
Whaever it is seems to affect Safe Mode and normal boot up exactly the same...

Steve
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gpriceeeCommented:
First, I would unplug all USB devices and then see if it boots.
Hi.  Check out Knowledge Base article: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315341
Use method 2.  You will have to reapply all service packs and hotfixes because the registry does not include the updated files.
As for your other registry questions, you might want to read a bit more about it:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/regentry/RegistryBackup.asp

You also might want to check out RegBack: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download2746.html
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jldunlapCommented:
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davychiuCommented:
It sounds too painful to fix. Don't waste your time. Just boot with the xp cd and do a repair install.

When the cd boots up, press ENTER first, NOT R, the repair is a couple steps after ENTER. You will be able to find it easily. All settings and programs will remain intact.

I have a hunch it is the work of a virus or spyware.

If you have critical data, ghost it first as you said. And no, you can't just simply restore the registry and getting all your settings and program back. If you do a FRESH install, you will have to install everything again.
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Here is what I have done so far...

Ghosted the HD...
Ran AV scan with Norton and TrendMicro OnLine..no viruses...
Adaware...about 18 of no significance...
Microsoft Spyware...none...
Copied the 6 files from the Repair folder to another HD...this should be the registry stuff...

It's running a scandisk now...then I am going to defrag, which logically I shouldn't need to do...

Then I'm going to do a repair install, which I have never done before therefore my questions...just want to be certain of what I am doing because I do not want to rebuild this thing again...

But all of this doesn't tell me what happened as I have pretty much ruled out viruses and crapware...

I'll post back results later today...

Thanx for your time...
STeve

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Netman66Commented:
When you are booted normally, can you hit CTRL+SHIFT+ESC and bring up the Task Manager?

If so, is Explorer running as a process?  If it isn't, go to the Applications tab and click on "New Task" then type in Explorer.  See if you get your desktop back.

Advise.


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nffvrxqgrcfqvvcCommented:
'You said you ghost the HD? did the HD have service pack 2 installed?

If you ghost the HD with SP2 i believe there will be some major issues when logging is as the administrator, if you try to log in as another account besides administrator see if it works, also I remember way back when this happened to me I installed IE6 SP1 and it fixed the problem...so I recommend trying to log on as a user other than administrator and installing IE6 SP1
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Yes, it  had SP2...I installed it when I rebuilt it 2 months ago...
I rebuilt the computer because of about:blank and I couldn't fix it correctly...sometimes rebuilding is a better way to go...

I have logged in as the user no problem...

I have just completed the "repair" and everything seems correct...but the Norton NAV got smashed and it won't re-install...and it doesn;t appear in Add/Remove...so it's either a manual uninstall or since this is last years NAV, I'm going to try installing NAV 2005 and see if it goes ok...

More later
Steve
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Well...this has completly turned into a can of worms...

I did the repair, and got all my icons back, everything looked like it was running correclty...
However, whatever happened killed NAV...NAV did NOT appear on the add/remove, and did not load into the task bar, but the icon sits on the desktop...

I removed it with rnav, tried a re-install, didn't work...so tried NAV 2005, brand new...live update won't work...

Also, Windows UPdate will load but won't scan looking for the updates needed...

Did a sfc /scannow, asked for my CD so I presume it found some files that needed to be fixed...

Now, IE won;t completely open up on the home page...but if I type in a another website, that will open up just fine...

Doing another trandmicro online scan...but after a NAV scan, adware and Msoft spyware scan while the HD is slaved to another machine, nothing turns up...no viruses, no crapware...nada...

I think the only thing left to do is rebuild it from start...

Any more ideas???

Steve
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davychiuCommented:
Try clearing the IE temp files?

And what is exactly the problem with NAV? Won't reinstall? or just live update?
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Nav 2003, was installed...

After doing the Windows Repair, NAV was corrupted such that the icon would not appear in the taskbar...NAV did not appear in Add/Remove...but it did appear in Programs and the shortcut on the desktop...try to open it and I would get a variety of errors, which I didn;t write down...

Since I couldn;t remove it with Add/Remove, I used the rnav utility and removed it...then deleted the folders from Windows Explorer...

Then I tried to re-install NAV 2003 but I would lget 2 errors...again, sorry for not writing them down...but this time NAV DID appear in Add/REmove, so I removed it and re-installed it again...thinking maybe this time it would get all the files installed and I might have a good install...nope...same errors...

I know from past experience, if you don;t get everything from NAV out, it usually will not allow a re-install of the same program...and I didn't want to go thru the registry and pull everything out I could find...

So...I picked up a copy of NAV 2005 thinking that overinstalling 2005 on top of 2003 would "correct" the problems and get me on 2005 at the same time...

I get different error messages with NAV 2005...

Here is what is now happening with 2005...it will load up on the task bar with a red "X" in the icon...it does appear in Add/Remove...It will NOT update, I cannot "open" the program, liveupdate will not run...

An apparent corrupted install...

Big thing is, 2 months ago I rebuilt this and there is a LOT of stuff on it and I really don't want to rebuild it again, but I gotta have it going by end of day Monday...so unless someone reads this and my last post to get the entire picture...I think I will
be rebuilding again...

Thanx
Steve
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davychiuCommented:
I know what you mean. NAV starts but there is no real time protection. NAV is sensitive to bad installs for some reason; it's a pain. I was going to suggest you to delete all entries for NAV but since you don't want to, your best luck is to redo the system from scratch.

If there are a lot of programs and files it is a good idea to do so anyway to clear up any junk and obsolete programs. Hope all goes well.
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nffvrxqgrcfqvvcCommented:
I have an idea, try installing mcafee 90 day free trial from the web...it will detect if any other antivirus is installed and remove it entirley if add remove programs can't...this happen to me before thats what i did...mcafee removes NAV from your system and if you dont like mcafee you can uninstall it then reinstall NAV see if that works..I used the 90 day trial and when I tested mcafee with keyloggers it automatically deleted the file as soon as it was written to the HD..but i defeated both NAV and mcafee and NOD32 by simply encrypting the keyloggers and virus's and all 3 were unable to detect malicious code...but this is an option you can try...mcafee is pretty good it detected mroe than NAV but i had NAV 2004 so it was an old version ..
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nffvrxqgrcfqvvcCommented:
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nffvrxqgrcfqvvcCommented:
There is a 90 ay trial but the only way i know how to get is if you go to CONTROL PANEL/SECURITY CENTER and if ANTIVIRUS protection is OFF then it has a link to free virus software..included is the mcafee 90 day trial
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Here's the latest...

I just finished another Windows repair...I can get out on Inet no problem...but Windows Update will not "check for the latest version....."...you know when you have a new install, it looks and then downloads an "installer" then you can check for your updates...it won;t look for that installer...

Ooooops...just glanced over and I got an error on Windows Update..."We're sorry...encountered an error and can't display the requested page...."

Here's another...just went to Control Panel/Security Center...it won't load...security center service did not start...so I went into Services and Security Center is set to automatic, but not started...I tried to start it and... "Error 1083...Executable program that this service is configured to run does not implement the service"...

This OS gut mucked up and I really don't have a clue what did it...

I have run the Windows Repair twice, and sfc /scannow once...

4 AV scans, 2 from NAV and 2 from Trendmicro online show NOTHING...Adaware had 18 little buggers of no significance and Msoft Spware was clean...did a scan disk, no errors...

This has got to be OS related, I really don't thinks it's mechanical...was starting to think a HD issue for a while, but I think not...

I have been banging on this bugger on and off most of the day...I gotta rebuild...take me about 5 hours but right now it's the best option...

Thanx guys
Steve
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stevem5000Author Commented:
None of the posts actually lead me to a resolution of my problem...however there were a bunch of good ideas so I'm going to split the points out...hope eveyone is ok with this...

Final resolution....wipe the HD and rebuild...

Many thanx for all the help and ideas...

Steve
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nffvrxqgrcfqvvcCommented:
could be the HD serial numbers are conflicting with the OS
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Whoa....!!!

Explain this please....
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stevem5000Author Commented:
Just found out there is MORE crap going on with this...

Office XP dissapeared from the laptop...I installed it 2 months ago...xls files created 2 days ago are there, but Excel is not...and Office XP is NOT in add/remove...

Tried to open Quickbooks, get the serials before I wipe the HD...it flashes open for about 1/2 second than vanishes...

very strange...
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