Whenever I boot all seems well up until the welcome screen disappears and it goes to the desktop. The thing is, I see my wallpaper, I see the start bar (tough without system tray icons) and I used to see most of my icons, except they don't load properly: most of them (including My Computer and My Documents) look like a document that Windows doesn't know what to open with, other things just look like standard application icon; .doc, .pdf and folders load properly; also, when I move the cursor to the start bar it turns into an hourglass.
That's the visuals, the worse problem is: I can't open anything. I can't start any application, view a picture or open My Computer and the start menu is frozen as well. Recently even the Task Manager will not come up; when it did I tried to kill explorer.exe and/or start it up using "new task", but it didn't help (explorer.exe was unkillable; once all icons and the start bar disappeared, but the process was still there and I couldn't get a new one running). Recently it got worse: only one icon shows up at all (a .pdf document) and Task Manager won't appear.
I can access the Safe Mode and a mobile Fedora Linux works fine.
I've already tried repairing using the boot CD, I lost count of the chkdsk scans performed (various types, in and out of OS), I've scanned the whole thing for viruses (took 18 hours, deleted every suspicious file), I searched the registry for various things mentioned on various sites (found nothing mentioned there or everything was the way it was supposed to be). A full HDD format and reinstall is out of the question; I'd risk failing this semester. And Linux won't run any of the programs I need.
I've been trying to work it out since Monday; I need my PC to work ASAP. Please help.
Edited by hamluis, 10 December 2011 - 05:49 PM.
Moved from XP to Am I Infected.