no icons on destop after logon

I am the computer teacher at a small high school.. Recently we had a problem with our network where the computers slowed to a crawl.. It turned out to be a symantec issue where some computers didnt recieve the updated version.. Now that that is resolved we are experiencing a blank desktop when the students log on.. They have to CTL ALT DELETE to log off.. once they log back on they get the desktop.. Any thoughts?  Unfortunately because it is a small school the applications teacher gets to troubleshoot!! Thanks   ps we are windows XP pro and server 2003
honochickdAsked:
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honochickdAuthor Commented:
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PeteJThomasCommented:
When you first logon and it's all blank, do you have a Taskbar/Start button etc? Or is the screen totally blank other than your background?

If it's totally blank, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and see if Explorer.exe is in your process list... Let me know!
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LotokCommented:
If explorer.exe isnt there, file--> new process/task --> type explorer.exe and press ok.

If may be that the users profile is corrupt. Look at c:\documents and settings\ are there extra user names with appending charatcers such as yourmname.0 or workgroup.yourname?

If so they are the old profiles, if you go into an old profile there is a desktop folder and the icons would be in there. You can copy them over to the path c:\documents and settings\username\desktop\ and they will appear on the desktop as you would expect.

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honochickdAuthor Commented:
to PETEJTHOMAS... I'm not sure if this is where I send the reply to your comment
there is only a blank screen no task bar, ect... there is no .explore in  the task manager and when the student logs off then back on they have the icons and explorer
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LotokCommented:
A temp fix to get icons back is press ctrl+alt+del, choose task manager, access file menu at top and choose new. in the input box type explorer.exe and press ok. This launches your explorer process and will show the desktop.

To figure out the cause and give  a permanent fix, There is a few possibilities.
Do you use roaming profles? If there is a large file on the desktop the workstation has to download that from the server so can cause a large delay. It would also suffer a delay logging off as it would be uploading the file(s).

if you do not use roaming profiles there must be something else the OS is trying to do. Are there any mapped drives to locations that no longer exist?
Is there a logon script running (would usually show a black DOS box) ?
Do you know if a domain controler was moved or an IP changed?
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PeteJThomasCommented:
Agreed! Sounds like there's a big delay in starting Explorer.exe, hence why logging off and back on again resolves the problem. If there was an actual fault with explorer, no doubt you'd see some kind of error message...

Follow through Lotok's instructions/questions and let us know the results! :)
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honochickdAuthor Commented:
thanks so much.. It took awhile because we had a few snowdays in between!! it is up and running now. thanks again. ps i hope I distributed points fairly
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PeteJThomasCommented:
Many thanks, but in truth, I did nothing worthy of the points! You don't need to assign points for people randomly adding comments, unless they actually help lead to the solution.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not complaining, just pointing it out! :) If Lotok has any objections then by all means request for the points given to me to be transferred to him instead! :)

Thanks again,
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LotokCommented:
I have no prob. Glad you got it working.
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