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No desktop after virus

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a windows xp pro sp3 machine that I just cleaned a virus off of.  The little B@$#!%&$* somehow disabled the desktop.  There is no web tab under customize my desktop and the kelly's corner reg fix didn't do it either even after a reboot.  There are no group policy settings related to the desktop configured either.  Please help!!!
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Question by:willmarple
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by:dbrunton
ID: 34241951
No desktop?  Perhaps a few more words describing this.

And does CTRL-ESC work permitting you access to the menu and the command prompt?

And is Safe Mode working also?
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flubbster earned 500 total points
ID: 34242133
Two things:

Open task manager ctrl-alt-del and select new task
type in explorer.exe

Did your desktop appear?

Next, open regedit and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options

Scroll down through that key and see if explorer.exe is listed. If it is, delete it and reboot. Your desktop should be back.

NOTE: In that reg key, any entries in there are meant to hijack that particular application to stop it from running. You can and should delete every entry in there. You can also run MalwareBytes AntiMalware. It will remove all those entries.
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Expert Comment

by:BuggyCoder
ID: 34242182
add explorer.exe manually from task manager new task, will work
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Author Comment

by:willmarple
ID: 34242195
No desktop.  Meaning the desktop is blue (wallpaper is missing), icons are gone, wallpaper options in display properties are grayed out, no web tab under customize desktop, show desktop icons in desktop context menu is grayed out and from what I can see all group policies related to these things are not configured.  No desktop means the desktop is unavailable and I can't turn it on by normal methods.  Safe mode works, desktop is normal for other users so the issue is restricted to the user in question.  I  just created her a new account and transferred her user data.  Thanks for the quick response.
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Author Closing Comment

by:willmarple
ID: 34242205
Thanks flubbster, the reg key was exactly what I was looking for.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 34242222
You're welcome. Glad I could help.

take care...
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