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XP loads to a generic desktop, no start menu order desktop icons

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#1 apintpro


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Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:51 PM

While working offline, my Dell Latitude 131L goes into hibernate. When I restart the laptop it opens to a generic "Dell" desktop picture. There is no Start Menu or toolbar. No desktop icons are available. The cursor is in the middle of the screen, but is of no use. I was NOT installing any software or hardware.

I attempted to reboot, same screen appears.

I am able to start in "Safe Mode."

I attempted to use a Restore point, but each time (I tried several dates) it will not take.

I called Dell and we ran a Hardware test (Fn and Power keys), no errors were present.

Update: It loads REAL slow, taking about 15 minutes or more. But then I can not anything. After an hour of loading, I ran Kaspersky and no threats were found.

Restarted and got a blue screen that says
Checking the file System C:
The type of file system is NTSF.
The volume is dirty

Then it does a series of verifications that take a long time.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Edited by apintpro, 13 December 2010 - 11:20 PM.

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#2 AustrAlien



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  • Local time:05:16 PM

Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:33 AM

The following steps will be a good start to resolving the issue.

:step1: The first thing that you should do is to check that your hard drive is not failing.
On a working computer, download the diagnostic utility from the hard drive manufacturer's website to create a bootable floppy or CD.

To make a bootable CD, download the .ISO image to your computer. If you don't have a suitable burning program, download ImgBurn and install it. Open ImgBurn, and choose to "Write image file to disc", and then navigate to the .ISO file that you have just downloaded. The completed CD will then be bootable.

Boot the afflicted machine with with the CD that you have just burned, and run the short/quick test and then the long/extended test.

Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD, see the following link:
How to Set BIOS to Boot from CDROM:

ONLY if there is no problem what-so-ever with the hard drive should you proceed with either Step 2 or Step 3.

If the hard drive tests show NO problems what-so-ever with the hard drive, then it is safe to proceed with more work to rectify the problem with the Windows system.

:step2: If you can start the system normally or in Safe Mode. (If you cannot start the computer, move to Step 3.)

Use the Windows Error checking utility (Check Disk).
  • Open "My Computer"
  • Right-click on the drive that you wish to check > Properties > Tools.
    In the "Error checking" section, click on "Check now".
  • Place a tick in both boxes > Start.
  • If the disk you have chosen is the system disk:
    • A message will notify you that a restart is necessary: Click OK, and close all windows.
    • Re-start the computer. The disk will be checked when the system boots.
      This test will take some time to run and at times may appear stalled but just let it run.
    • When the disk check is complete, the system will re-start automatically and load Windows.
    • If any errors were found, or repairs made, re-start the computer a second time.
  • If any errors were found, run Error Checking again, and if necessary repeat a third time.

A log of the disk check is recorded (only if the scheduled re-start is used).
To open Event Viewer and view the log:
  • Go to Start > Run > and type eventvwr and press the <ENTER> key.
  • In the left pane, click on Application.
  • In the right pane, at the top, click on the column heading Source to sort the list alphabetically.
  • Look in the Source column for "Winlogon", with an entry corresponding to the date and time of the disk check.
  • Double-click on that entry to view the log.
  • Click on the "copy" button to copy the log to the clipboard.
  • Paste the log text into your next reply.

:step3: ONLY if you can NOT start the computer either normally or in Safe Mode (and were not able to do Step 2).

If you do not have access to a Windows XP installation disk (OR a Vista or Windows 7 installation disk, which can also be used to run chkdsk from the command prompt) ...
On a working computer, please download ARCDC from Artellos.com.
  • Double-click ARCDC.exe
  • Follow the dialog until you see 6 options. Please pick the appropriate selection, for example: Windows Professional SP2 & SP3 ( Replace "Windows Professional SP2 & SP3" with the OS required. <<< IMPORTANT)
  • You will be prompted with a Terms of Use by Microsoft, please accept.
  • You will see a few dos screens flash by, this is normal.
  • Next you will be able to choose to add extra files. Select the Default Files.
  • The last window will allow you to burn the disk using BurnCDCC.
Your ISO is located on your desktop.

Burn the .ISO image file to a CD, to make a bootable CD.


Boot the afflicted machine from the CD that you have just burned or a Windows XP installation CD.
  • Insert the CD in the computer's optical disk drive tray.
  • Start or re-start the computer so that it boots from the CD. You may be prompted to "Press any key". (If the system does not appear to be booting from the CD, you may need to enter the BIOS Setup Menu and change the boot order, so that the CD-ROM/optical disk drive is set to boot before the hard disk drive.)
  • When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press the R key on your keyboard to start the Recovery Console.
  • The Recovery Console will ask which Windows installation you would like to log on to.
    If you have multiple Windows installations, it will list each one, and you would type the number associated with the installation you would like to work on (usually C:\Windows) and press the <ENTER> key.
    Please advise if you are not seeing C:\Windows listed (and you think that you should).
    If you have just one Windows installation showing, type 1 and press <ENTER>.
  • You will be prompted for the Administrator's password. If there is no password, (and this is most likely), simply press <ENTER>.
  • You will be presented with a C:\Windows> prompt.
    Please advise if you are not seeing a C:\WINDOWS> prompt (and you think that you should).
At the C:\Windows> prompt, type chkdsk /r and press <ENTER> (Note: There is a space between "chkdsk" and "/r")
  • This will take some time to run and at times may appear stalled but just let it run.
  • If any errors are found/repairs made, run chkdsk /r again, and repeat if necessary.
Type "exit" at the prompt and press <ENTER> to close the Recovery Console and restart your system.

Does Windows start and run normally now?
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