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Problem with Display Properties Desktop tab

When I bring up the Display Properties box and select the Desktop tab, the Background window, Browse button, and Position select box are all grayed out.  The color select box is active but if you change the color and hit apply, the Windows XP Please Wait logo appears for a second or two then the screen blinks and the color in the selection box itself shows the new color but the screen is unchanged (black).  I even tried setting the wallpapaer directly in the registry but it is still black.

A little background info: This PC was invested with several trojan virus and too many malware/spyware hits to even count.  I ran hijackthis, adware away, ad-aware SE personal, and spy sweeper several times and also performed several full virus scans.  I also went through and googled every exe file I didn't recognize or couldn't identify as being supplied from a legitamate company and deleted them.  Now the PC seems to be virus and unsolicited pop-up free (it was a nightmare, I told the owner no way I was going network it up to my PC to backup his personal files).  It was after I got it repaired that I noticed the problem with the desktop property, I have no idea if they were related....
Avatar of Bartender_1
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Now that you have the system clean, have you tried repairing the corrupted stuff by running the sfc command?

click start,
click run,
type "Sfc /scannow"
click ok.

Once that's complete, make sure the system has all of the latest updates from

Hope this helps!


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This is a long shot, but I think Your VGA Card driver might be corrupted, I think reinstalling the driver might help.
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Or perhaps it is the NoChangingWallpaper restriction mentioned on this page:

>>This PC was invested with several trojan virus and too many malware/spyware hits to even count.
>>Now that you have the system clean,
>>Or perhaps it is the NoChangingWallpaper restriction

There are so many ways it could be fouled up yet no longer infected.  Incorrect registry settings like the one LeeTutor mentioned could be just the tip of the iceburg.  Hidden/broken/inacessible registry keys could abound.  How does the control panel work?  Can you start & stop the firewall, change the exception list?  What about services.  Try the root kit revealer from sysinternals, that should reveal hidden registry keys.
Now that it is no longer dangerous, can you just back up the important stuff & reinstall?  Might save you a lot of time trying to fix things and would give youu a clean start.
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LeeTutor's suggestion about the registry key was the fix.  The other suggestions were also very good advice and I plan to strongly suggest to the user that the PC be rebuilt.  After I got that running I did in fact run the system file checker as well as a few of the steps JohnBPrice mentioned.  Thank you guys once again you've helped me out of a jam.