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Desktop Background Visible But No Icons or Task Bar


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Teach Power

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:52 PM

Hello all,

Well I turned on my computer and it started OK but after it appears to be finished with all loading processes the desktop background picture appears with no icons and no taskbar. I try to right click, hit windows button, etc. to get some sort of response or workable area and nothing. I then restarted the computer and tried to boot in safe mode but it always gets to a certain point then restarts itself. So for that reason I can't even give you an OTL report or HijackThis report. Can somebody help me get a workable area so I can see something on my desktop and start trying to clean this problem? Thank you very much in advance.

The OS is Windows XP Pro.

Edited by Teach Power, 25 February 2010 - 01:52 PM.

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#2 shrdt

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 03:58 PM

desktop or laptop? My first bit of advice, remove the network cable / turn off/unplug the wireless

also when you get to safe mode, it's the list of

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
etc etc

or does it reboot before/as that appears?

last question for this post, seems this isnt your only PC, what are the brands and set ups of the PCs you have, might be able to run a connection between them ( but of course i wouldnt do that just yet for fear of cross contamination )

will wait for your response, if I dont get back with you today, I will check again tomorrow morning :thumbsup:

#3 Teach Power

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:25 AM

shrdt... thanks for the prompt reply. With this community I feel like I have my own Geeks Squad on call without the exorbitant prices :thumbsup: !

First off it is a desktop. When I reboot normally it goes through the normal motions and ends on the blank desktop with the beach background and no taskbar. When I CTRL-ALT-DEL I see that there are the normal processes running in the background but I can't open or run any program like the AV and antispyware tools I have that I usually run if I get a problem.

If I F8 to choose the SAFE MODE it starts but then gets to a point where it reboots itself. Sounds like whatever I have is preventing SAFE MODE to get rid of itself. I haven't tried SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING.

So not being able to work on my desktop even in SAFE MODE is not allowing me to take any steps to cleaning my machine. If I can only get to desktop I would be able to take the steps I usually do.
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#4 shrdt

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:22 AM

Hmm, this is a tough one...

so when you hit F8 and the safe mode screen appears, you select SAFE MODE, the white text scrolls by, and THEN it restarts?

or does it appear to get past that, try to load the desktop where you can see the Safe Mode text in the four corners of your screen, THEN it restarts?

when I encounter problems like this, where the hard drive is so infected that it cannot boot to the desktop at all, I usually do 1 thing that can **SOMETIMES** fix the problem, and I don't really suggest it to you, less you have the knowledge and the skill to do this.

which is take the infected drive from PC1, go to PC2, and hook the drive up to PC2, then scan from there...

I'm lucky enough to have an IDE/SATA USB device where I can hook up hard drives like it was an external drive and scan it that way.

I know it isn't applicable for everyone, but I'm going to do a bit of research to see if I can find a way to fix this for you without having to take that infected desktop apart...

on the other PC do you have a disc burner? I think we could make a boot disc if so...

also, on the infected PC, can you enter the BIOS? where when you start up the PC it usually says press F2, F9, or F12 to do something?

I'll start looking into " Booting into the desktop when you can't boot to the desktop" problem while you look over and answer what questions you can.

Don't give up hope! I'm sure we can get this, hope another forum lurker decides to chime in with info I may not be thinking of right now lol :thumbsup:

#5 realmc

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:30 AM

Can you open Task Manager (press Ctl, Alt, Delete)? If so, click Applications tab>New Task>Browse>Look in Desktop>Open. If Task Manager will open, you can get to your desktop icons (or use command lines) and start work on your problem.

ps: I am currently working on the same issue. My desktop icons and taskbar will not load and explorer.exe will not open. Will let you know if I find a solution, but in the meantime search the web. There is lots of infomation on this problem, but move with caution, as some suggestions involve altering your registry.

#6 Teach Power

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:51 PM

realmc and shrdt... Well instead of going to SAFE MODE I decided to try the SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING and still no dice. So I then tried RESTORE TO PREVIOUS WORKING CHECKPOINT. For some reason it worked and was able to get to a workable version of the desktop. From there I updated and ran Spyware bot destroyer, Malwarebytes Antimalware, Avast!, and maybe one or two other tools to clean it up. Lets hope that it is clean. I just would like to know what is the general problem or infection so I know what to do next time. Sounds like a rootkit but I want to know for sure. Thanks both of you for your time. :thumbsup:
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#7 shrdt

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 11:19 AM

for anyone to know what the problem was, try posting the results from the notepad into here, and we can look to see if we can see anything lol

glad things are working better for ya!

#8 realmc

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 03:50 PM

realmc and shrdt... Well instead of going to SAFE MODE I decided to try the SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING and still no dice. So I then tried RESTORE TO PREVIOUS WORKING CHECKPOINT. For some reason it worked and was able to get to a workable version of the desktop. From there I updated and ran Spyware bot destroyer, Malwarebytes Antimalware, Avast!, and maybe one or two other tools to clean it up. Lets hope that it is clean. I just would like to know what is the general problem or infection so I know what to do next time. Sounds like a rootkit but I want to know for sure. Thanks both of you for your time. :thumbsup:


What were the results of your scans?

#9 Teach Power

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:25 PM

Oh I'm sorry... I didn't think about posting the results from the tools' text files. Where would they save those .txt files too? the same directory? Anything to continue helping others that might find this post and need help.
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#10 shrdt

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:50 AM

might be in the same folder that your "Downloads" or "My Documents" are?
could also be in the folder the program is in as well, all depends on if you said them lol
if ya find em, post em :thumbsup:

#11 Teach Power

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 03:28 PM

Sorry it took so long to get the reply back but I wasn't able to find the .txt files of the results of those tools. I just wanted to reply so I could wrap this thread up and not leave it hanging. If I would have found them I definitely would have posted them so to help anybody that would benefit from them.
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