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Can't left right click on taskbar

Posted on 2009-05-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a Dell Inspiron 1520 with 4gb ram 320 hard drive running Vista SP1. Recently i noticed that once the system loads, I normally stream audio and video. I usually click on the sound icon in the system tray to adjust the volume. After one try it only makes a sound, nothing happens. I can only switch between windows via ALT + TAB. pleas help
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Question by:lhf_lee
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11 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 24345298
Try stopping and restarting explorer.exe. Instructions here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/aaron_margosis/archive/2007/07/17/how-to-cleanly-stop-explorer-exe-on-windows-vista.aspx

If that doesn't help, run System File Checker to restore and repair all Windows files:

Start » Run » Type "sfc /scannow" without the quotes. There's a space before the /.
Click OK.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Wolfhere
ID: 24346167


You are missing the context menu's on the taskbar? Those are the menus that appear when you right click on the desktop, icons, taskbar....etc. that you select from. You can fix this symptom through this link:
 http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/152914-taskbar-context-menus-enable-disable.html
if Vallis' suggestion above does not work.

Like mentioned above, any hacking on the registry to make Vista work like you want does have to be considered with caution and you should create a restore point before making any changes. This applies to editing the local group policy (as noted in the article linked above).

I used to limit student access to anything they were not supposed to be doing, by removing the context menu's through group policy. The beauty of editing group policy is, when you make a change and the result is not what you want (you will see the effect when the screen refreshes) you can change the effect back immediately through the same gui, no reboot required.
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Author Comment

by:lhf_lee
ID: 24346352
I ran a repair of Windows but this didn't work. I can restart explorer but the same results. Changing the "Remove access to the context menus for the taskbar" doesn't do anything. It appears that i've just lost the ability to either select different windows via the mouse, double-click on anything in the system tray, clock, etc. It makes a sound when I double-click on it but does nothing
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Author Comment

by:lhf_lee
ID: 24350971
When I first boot into windows, i can open multiple browser windows and switch between them easily by selecting them from the taskbar. after a couple tries, this fails. closing explorer.exe and restarting it restores it temporarily. it reverts back to me using ALT + TAB to either switch between browser windows or even selecting anything in the system tray. please help.

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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 24351634
1.  Have you installed any new programs/add-ons/plug-ins recently which may be causing a conflict?
2.  Have you updated and run your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs?
http://www.mistywindow.com/security/virus-protection.htm

I've asked the moderator to invite more experts to look at this.
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

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Wolfhere earned 500 total points
ID: 24397207
Sounds like explorer.exe is somehow corrupted. Have you tried copying explorer.exe from a known good machine to usb, booting your machine to something like UBCD4win or BartPE and copying the known good explorer.exe from usb to the appropriate directory (C:\windows) on your machine?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 24403889
"I ran a repair of Windows but this didn't work. "
Did you mean running sfc or did you carry out a Repair Installation of Windows? If you have only tried SFC, a repair install may fix your problem - otherwise you may need to reinstall Windos from scratch.

Repair installation of Windows
This leaves all your programs and data intact while reinstalling Windows.

1.  Boot the computer from your XP CD (if this won't boot, you may need to change the order of boot devices in BIOS setup).
2   Eventually you will see the "Welcome To Setup" screen. Press the Enter key to start Windows Setup.
3.  Be careful NOT to choose R, which is "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console".
4.  Accept the License Agreement.
5.  Windows setup will search for existing Windows installations.
6.  Select the XP installation you want to repair (there is usually only one) and now press R to start the repair.

More complete instructions on how to do this, complete with pictures, are here:
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Back up your data first, just in case!
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 24403931
Sorry, please ignore my last - I forgot we were talking about Vista:
Vista repair options don't include XP's Repair Installation.

However you can do something similar - instructions here:
http://vistasupport.mvps.org/repair_a_vista_installation_using_the_upgrade_option_of_the_vista_dvd.htm
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