Desktop icons don't work

Posted on 2012-09-12
Last Modified: 2012-09-12
I have Windows 7 pro 32-bit, and when I try to open my desktop icons or any icon or program in the start menu it does nothing.  I can temporarily resolve the issue by restarting the workstation or ending Windows Explorer and starting it back up.  But after a day or so it will start the same issue.  I've looked in the event logs and there is nothing showing any error or warning, and I've done scans with Malwarebytes and Symantec EPP and nothing shows up. Does anyone know what could cause this?
Question by:derrekh
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Unplug any USB devices you might have plugged in
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    also try and disable AV apps
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Try creating a new account:
    Create a new user account
    1. Click the Start Button, type User Accounts in the start search pane and press Enter.
    2. Click Manage use accounts.
    3. Click Create a new account, and type the name.
    4. Choose account type as Computer administrator.

    Does the issue persist after creating new user?
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    some malware can do this try downloading and running rkill esentially it does a quick roll through TSR's and known hooks that could be attached to the explorer process then restarts explorer..takes all of 1 minute. Then see if everything is fine when it's done. If so runn MBAM again before restarting.
    Also..and not to be glib, but are you sure your mouse's left click button isn't broken?

    you can get rkill here:  just choose any from the download links, they're named iexplore and userinit etc. on purpose as most malware will ignore those filenames. if you can't click on anything after download you can always run from command prompt: Windows Key+R >> cmd >>enter  then cd to your download location where you saved the file: cd c:\windows\users\yourname\downloads  then iexplore.exe (or whatever version of rkill you downloaded)
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    There is a known issue with IE8 that can cause this.  When they don't work open task manager and look for instances of the process iexplorer.exe (NOT explorer.exe). If you close all you IE windows and still see this process end it and then check your ICON's. If they work then you need to check for updates to IE8 and may need to remove and reinstall:
    LVL 50

    Expert Comment

    derrekh--If this is something recent, run a System Restore from a date before the problem started.

    If no help, run a Repair Install.
    LVL 59

    Accepted Solution

    You could try this Microsoft Fix-It:
    Fix broken desktop shortcuts and common system maintenance tasks

    Author Closing Comment

    So far this has resolved the issue.  Thanks for the quick replies!!

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