No desktop access

Posted on 2011-05-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
I have a Win xp pc recently infected with windows recovery virus.  Cleaned with malwarebytes, unhid files and folders so programs and hidden files visible, task manager accessible.  Everything appears to work only Unable to copy anything to the desktop.  Items in the desktop folder for the logged in user do not appear on  the desktop but work fine if accessed within the folder.  Get a circle with a line through it when attempting to copy items there.  Changed the desktop theme thinking desktop had been replaced with a webpage.  DEsktop themes change as expected but no icons or files. Just a blank desktop.  
Question by:marty-240
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Could be some corrupt system files. You may want to try running /sfc and see if that helps. Here are instructions
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Haven't seen this before... can you access the folder from %userprofile%\desktop?  What about the %allusersprofile%\desktop folder?  Check permissions on the folders (both) and try putting a test shortcut (or notepad text file) on the desktop in both the desktop locations (name them differently).

    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Also, check the location of the desktop folder in the registry.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    You can try resetting the the system back to the default security settings for the registry, files, and folders as follows:

    First, click on Start, Run and then type in CMD. Now copy and paste the following command into the window:

    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

    This will take a few minutes to run through. Afterwards, exit the command window and reboot. Test.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    system file checker good first step (sfc /scannow) but could be a corrupt profile. Does the 'write to desktop' problem happen if you create a new user? If yes, quickest solution might be move problem user's data to new profile.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Some malware changes the attributes of some folders to system and/or hidden when the folder isn't supposed to be.  See if All Users Desktop or %username%'s desktop has been.  The anti-malware likely hasn't completely reversed everything the malware did.

    Author Closing Comment

    Maybe not the best but the quickest and easiest solution,  to go with a new profile.  A new domain was in the works so went ahead and migrated this user leaving old profile behind.  Attempted all other suggestions, reset registry defaults, verified file attributes, unhid all files, and tried the sfc which requested original installation media to which I no longer have access.  All good sugestions which I tried as I am sure I have left much behind with the old profile.  Will attribute it the cost of user randomly clicking on popups and infecting machine.  Much thanks to all.

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