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Explorer.exe not loading properly/taskbar icons missing


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#1 banger

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:07 PM

Hello all,

The issue I am having is at startup. After rebooting my pc, I discovered that the screen was black shortly after the Welcome screen loads. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del brings up the Task manager and shows me that explorer.exe is running, however my toolbar and desktop background aren't showing. I cancelled the process and ran explorer.exe as a new task and the toolbar reappears though without my AVG icon. I then logged off and back on to my user profile. My icons reappeared in the toolbar. After doing some research on people with similar problems, I attempted to correct the problem by first checking the shell extension of explorer.exe to see if it was renamed or manipulated but it shows as "Explorer.exe". I then attempted a system restore to an earlier date but that didn't fix the issue either. I've run both AVG Antivirus and Malware Bytes from safe mode in an attempt to locate any infections but neither found anything. I also ran /sfc scannow, but the problem persists. Also, due to the product being pre-installed (so no installation dvd), I could not find the option to run a startup repair.

The last program I downloaded was Microsoft's Compatibility Toolkit v5.5 and used it to remove the UAC popup when running Ventrilo chat software. I had recently downloaded Vista Home Premium sp2 as well but have since uninstalled it trying to troubleshoot this issue.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 6/3/2009, 18:06:04
Machine name: BANGER
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.090302-1506)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: HP-Pavilion
System Model: GC671AA-ABA a6130n
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5000+ (2 CPUs), ~2.6GHz
Memory: 3070MB RAM
Page File: 1154MB used, 5209MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 10
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 6.00.6001.18000 32bit Unicode

Edit: I tried startup repair and it didn't find any errors. I'm stumped.

Edited by banger, 03 June 2009 - 09:13 PM.


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#2 banger

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:44 PM

I chose recently to run Spybot S&D. I can't verify whether or not it fixed the issue, but I haven't seen the error return. I have noticed, however, that IE is lagging a bit when loading initially.

#3 tork

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 06:21 AM

Have you rescanned with AVG antivirus and MalwareBytes' in normal mode ?
IE lag loading - have you disabled addons - any difference in loading?

#4 banger

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:18 PM

I've run both AVG and Malwarebytes in Normal mode. AVG located some low threat tracking cookies, but nothing I haven't seen before. Malwarebytes came back clean. I also disabled most of my IE addons and that seems to have sped up load times a bit.

#5 tork

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:29 AM

What does Event Viewer show in the way of errors? Check if any recent events show a round red exclamation mark error icon. Double click that error and a Event Properties window will pop up. See if the information helps you identify the problem.

#6 banger

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:51 PM

I'm in the process of doing that now. I also checked the bootlog and noticed a few drivers having difficulty loading, but nothing that would hang the system for that long.

#7 banger

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 12:59 PM

I've reinstalled Vista sp2 and updated my audio driver. After running WinBootLog, my boot time is back down to 71s or so. I'll drop by the HijackThis forums for safe measure and will continue to root through the errors in my Event Viewer although the last few event IDs I've researched didn't match any issues. Consider this "solved" for the time being and thanks for the replies.

#8 Orange Blossom

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:54 AM

Hello,

Now that you have posted a log here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/234139/possible-infection-av-found-only-low-thread-tracking-cookies/ you should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc) unless advised by a HJT Team member, nor should you continue to ask for help elsewhere. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show in the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make on your own may cause confusion for the helper assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

From this point on the HJT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the HJT Team members are EXTREMELY busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the HJT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond. Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response but your log will be reviewed and answered as soon as possible

To avoid confusion, I am closing this topic. Good luck with your log.

Orange Blossom :huh:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

Orange Blossom

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

SpywareBlaster, WinPatrol Plus, ESET Smart Security, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, NoScript Firefox ext., Norton noscript




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