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Icons not displaying properly (or at all), frozen


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#1 SmaggTheSmug

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:07 PM

Hi. I have a distressing problem with my 32bit Windows XP. Here's what happens:
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.


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#2 Michael Howells

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:41 PM

It seems your windows is not installed properly or the c: drive was not formatted properly. While installing the windows do you format the concerned hard disk drive full and not quick? Also make sure that you don't have any bad sector in your hard drive.

Try reinstalling your windows and if the problem still there then do install windows in other partition probably d: or e: etc. Hope that helps.

Good luck.

#3 SmaggTheSmug

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 03:17 PM

No, I didn't format at all, I just did repair installs. I don't have all my drivers on me (the computer was moved some time ago), so I'm not sure I can format C: and get everything up and running on short notice. My Adobe programs are there as well, but I actually have them on a disc (I'm worried about activation tough).
Also, every time I try to reinstall I get stuck on the "Please wait..." screen... I've found out this may be an issue with IE8, so I'll try installing it in Safe Mode.

EDIT. Now I'm stuck at the Welcome screen...

Edited by SmaggTheSmug, 10 December 2011 - 03:48 PM.


#4 a_cup

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 04:09 PM

Hi SmaggTheSmug,


Something caused you to lose the file associations..As you have mentioned suspicious items were found in your scan, I would recommend posting in the Am I infected? What do I do? as you may be infected. Please read Before You Post About A Problem before posting.


Pauline

#5 SmaggTheSmug

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:59 PM

Hi SmaggTheSmug,


Something caused you to lose the file associations..As you have mentioned suspicious items were found in your scan, I would recommend posting in the Am I infected? What do I do? as you may be infected. Please read Before You Post About A Problem before posting.


Pauline

Thanks for the heads up.

I performed another scan (using portable Emisoft Emergency Kit, as before; database up to date), and nothing came up, so apparently this isn't an infection problem.

Now the OS doesn't go past the "Welcome" screen and googled solutions (virus scans and/or repair install) yielded no results.

#6 SmaggTheSmug

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:40 PM

A closure for future solution seekers:
I didn't fix my XP; I got a portable HDD and a key for Windows 7. Total format, clean install, new OS.
Now I hope my Adobe suite won't hiccup on registration :P
Thanks for advice.




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