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Missing Taskbar and Icons


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#1 scottybweyy

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:32 PM

I am running Windows XP SP3 on a Dell Latitude D620 with admin rights. RAM is 2GB and 60GB HDD with plenty of unallocated space.

Upon booting windows normally and logging in, nothing seems to occur. Everything was great yesterday. Icons and taskbar are now missing (have let it sit for over an hour and restarted many times). The wallpaper appears however. I have read some users who have this problem can see the taskbar or icons for a second - I cannot.

CTRL+ALT+DEL works and I can access change password and cancel. Task manager does not work. Upon locking computer I cannot re-login. Log off does not work. Restart and shutdown does not work and hard shut down is required. Please note I cannot force explorer.exe to run by going to task manager->new task since task manager does not run. My windows key does not bring a start menu. Windows Key+R does bring run prompt.

I have tried with multiple accounts and the same problem occurs. Safe mode (w/ and w/o networking) works. I do not have a system restore point since I have it disabled. There appears to be no visual indications of a virus. I can move the mouse. I cannot right click to bring up a menu. I cannot left click and draw the usual "section rectangle" on the desktop.

I have tried reading or doing the following in safe mode with no success (along with reading forum posts here an elsewhere):

1. "After the Windows Logo displays or after you log on to Windows, a Windows XP-based computer may only display the wallpaper, a black screen, or a blue screen" -
2. Kelly's Corner #195
3. Running Malwarebytes with nothing found
4. Running F-Secure F-Nimda virus scanner with no success
5. Running "Last Known Good Configuration"
6. Inspecting Startup Applications - Nothing is new
7. Running sfc /scanonce - RPC service is disabled in Safe Mode and I cannot run
8. Checking the Winlogin key and verifying it is "Explorer.exe"
9. Successful SAV scan.
10. Considered replacing Explorer.exe however my understanding is that if it runs is safe mode it is good
11. Created a new user in safe mode and same problem occurs when booting normally
12. Inspected recently installed hotfixes and MS patches from add/remove and saw nothing installed since last good login

My goal is not to reformat or repair windows here and fix the issue. Thank you in avance.

*Please note company IT policy does not allow me to post HijackThis logs.

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#2 Broni

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:44 PM

Try running system restore from recovery console...

If you have Windows XP CD... (if you don't have Windows CD, scroll down)

1. Boot from the CD.
2. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Select the repair or recover option by pressing R:

Posted Image

3. You'll find yourself at this screen:

Posted Image

4. Once you are at the Recovery Console you will be given at least one choice of Windows installations. Normally the choice you want is the number 1 choice. Click the number 1 key at the "top" of the keyboard and click enter.

NOTE: at this point your numbers to the right of your keyboard are turned off. If you insist on using these keys for your numbers remember to hit the Numbers Lock key before clicking a number over there or your computer will automatically reboot and you will have to wait through the previous steps to get back to the console.

5. You will be given a message asking for the administrator password. Unless someone or something has messed with your computer there is no password so you just click the Enter key.

6. This will bring you to a prompt that says:

C:\WINDOWS>

7. Type:

cd \

Press Enter

Note: between "cd" and "\" there should be a "blank space" otherwise the command won't work

8. The prompt should now say:

C:\>

9. Type:

cd system~1\_resto~1

Press Enter.

===============================================================================

Note: If it gives an error "Access Denied" while accessing the folder, follow the method below

Type: cd \

Press Enter

Type: cd windows\system32\config

Press Enter

Type: ren system system.bak

Press Enter

(note the spaces between ren and system, and then between system and system.bak)

Type: exit

Press Enter

now the computer should restart, then follow steps 1-9


===============================================================================

10. Type:

dir

Press Enter

NOTE: When you hit enter it will list all the restore points folders like "rp1", "rp2" we have to see the last restore point to copy the file from a recent backup. If the restore points have more than one page then you have keep on hitting the key to view the last restore point folder.

NOTE: It is a good rule of thumb to choose the files from the restore point folder which the second to the last one.

11. Type:

cd rp{with the second to the last restore point number }

Press Enter

Example: cd rp9. if rp10 is the last restore point

12. Type:

cd snapshot

Press Enter.

NOTICE: Now the command prompt will look like this:

c:\system~1\resto~1\rp9\snapshot

Note : restore point 9 assumed for clarity of the content.


13. Type:

copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

Press Enter

14. Type:

Exit

Press Enter.

Final note : If the above procedure won't solve the problem, repeat all steps, but in step 13 type:

copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

Alternatively, select different restore point.



If you don't have Windows CD...

Download Windows Recovery Console: http://www.thecomputerparamedic.com/files/rc.iso
Download, and install free Imgburn: http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download
Using Imgburn, burn rc.iso to a CD.
Boot to the CD...let it finish loading.
When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

Follow steps 3 - 14.

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#3 scottybweyy

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 09:52 PM

Try running system restore from recovery console...


I do not have a system restore point since I have it disabled.


Broni - Thank you for the advice however this is not an option for me since I have no restore points.

#4 Broni

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:15 PM

I do not have a system restore point since I have it disabled.

Pretty self-destructive, I suppose :thumbsup:

I believe, your only option is to run Windows repair.

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#5 scottybweyy

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:27 PM

I've needed the restore points in the past and they never worked out well so I usually disable to save resources.

I've never done a repair however. Does that mean I have to reinstall applications?

#6 coxchris

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:39 PM

Do you have a Windows XP Disc

Follow these steps: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsys...stxprepair1.htm

I never done in Windows xp either so I don't know the outcome however this states

Repairing a Windows XP installation is valuable when you need to keep your programs and data in tact but need to restore the Windows XP system files to their original state. This is often an easy fix for complicated Windows XP issues. This guide is broken into two parts for a total of 19 steps and will walk you through every part of the repair installation.

Please Be Aware of this: You should also locate the Windows XP product key, a 25-digit alphanumeric code unique to your copy of Windows XP. If you can't locate it, there is a fairly easy way to find the Windows XP product key code from your existing installation, but this should be done before you do the repair installation.

Note: You shouldn't need the product key to do a repair installation but it's good to have it in case your situation gets progressively worse and you find yourself needing to do a Clean Installation of Windows XP later.

Edited by coxchris, 10 July 2010 - 11:42 PM.

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#7 Broni

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:45 AM

For some reason, email notification missed me, but coxchris gave you good advice already :thumbsup:

Does that mean I have to reinstall applications?

Unfortunately, yes.

I've needed the restore points in the past and they never worked out well so I usually disable to save resources.

There is a good chance, that with your 1 day old problem, system restore could have worked.

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#8 CompExpert

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 02:31 PM

I've needed the restore points in the past and they never worked out well so I usually disable to save resources.

There is a good chance, that with your 1 day old problem, system restore could have worked.



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#9 scottybweyy

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:47 AM

All problem has been solved. It was linked with a McAfee DLP agent and incomplete version upgrade push.

Renaming the following files solved the problem:

[Root]:\Windows\System32\Drivers\fcdrv3.sys to fcdrv3.bak
[Root]:\Windows\System32\Drivers\fcdrv4.sys to fcdrv4.bak
[Root]:\Windows\System32\Drivers\fcdrv5.sys to fcdrv5.bak

Thank you for the help.

#10 Broni

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:03 PM

Good news :thumbsup:
Thank you for posting back :flowers:

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