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Lost all of my icons and task bars in windows XP - not sure how to proceed...


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#1 netrate

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 03:14 PM

This is my dads computer, and he refuses to let go of XP, so I am trying to help him.  I am going to get him windows 10 in the near future, but until then...

Booting the computer leads to a blank window XP screen, no task bars and no icons, just a green meadow...

 

- The first time, I tried to use ALT/CTRL/DEL to run a new task explorer.exe (after ending the task of the other explorer.exe) and this did nothing.  It did not return the icons
- I tried to boot to safe mode and a RESTORE point, but it keeps freezing or crashing when I try- have tried several times now
- After many reboot`s, now ALT/CTRL/DEL does not even work on the desktop blank canvas.
- Last working configuration does not work when booting - still blank canvas, no icons
- SAFE MODE works and all the icons are available (slow as can be though)

 

As it stands, I can only get to SAFE mode, and even there it is touch and go.

Where should I go from here? Any ideas or steps I could take to try and fix this thing? I think I have an XP cd somewhere but probably scratched to heck.


Edited by netrate, 17 August 2016 - 03:19 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 03:41 PM

Is there any important personal data still on the computer? 

 

What is the make and model of the computer?

 

I am assuming you have another computer available to burn a file to disk, correct?



#3 netrate

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 05:01 PM

I am writing to you on my personal computer with my dad`s computer to the left of me.  I was going to try the UNHIDE, but it says it is not a VALID WIN32 application.

The data on the computer isn`t that important, but it does run lotus 123, which is part of the reason he doesn`t want to leave XP.

Yes I can burn a disc

ASUS F1A75 M Pro CSM with an AMD A4-3400 chipset. 


Edited by netrate, 17 August 2016 - 05:03 PM.


#4 netrate

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 05:29 PM

Update.  I went into the registry and entered the SHELL and changed it to explorer.exe (even though it was already there).  I then made a new user in safe mode, rebooted to the new user (after a few times, it kept freezing on me) and now I rebooted again and I am up and running.  I think there might be a virus lurking in the background, so I will still need some help cleaning this system up.  

My dad only uses it for surfing the web, and I think we are going to have a buy a new system so he can do his banking without fear of using this old XP computer - but at least he can surf on this system and use the new computer for his financials.

 

So again, any burning or software I need to install to clean this system, please let me know.



#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 05:51 PM

@netrate #4

 

(1)  Your dad and his on-line banking. This is really not a good idea on XP, especially on a machine you think may have malware on it, given the security problems now inherent in using XP on-line. You are obviously well aware of this so do your best to persuade him to update !

 

(2)  Your suspected malware. The best thing you can do here is start a topic in the 'Am I infected ?' section of BC, but have a look at the pinned guides before you start a topic.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 06:21 PM

If you suspect malware then I would post In the Am I Infected Forum as requested by Chris.

 

I am assuming the ASUS is your computer. I was going to suggest possibly doing a full factory reset if the computer had a factory reset partition but that would require all your programs after purchase to be reinstalled. Your father's computer may not have the factory reset partition. You would also need to do any Windows Security Updates available.

 

+1 on no online banking. There is many known vulnerabilities that have not been patched.

 

Depending on the CPU and RAM I would strongly look at using a live linux disk to do any online banking or even install the linux distro if the CPU is capable and you have enough RAM. There is an equivalent to lotus 123 in linux called Libre Office.



#7 netrate

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 06:24 PM

He is going to buy a windows 10 laptop to do his online banking and use this computer just for surfing.  Seems like a lot of money for a single user computer, but it gives him piece of mind.



#8 netrate

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 06:32 PM

Well, I spoke too soon.  The new user I created seems to work fine , but the old user (with no icons - admin - my dad`s) is back to its old tricks and no showing me icons and such.  Must be a virus of some sort.

Since this is just a surfing computer, I will get him to use  the new USER instead of the ADMIN user.



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 06:38 PM

I would still recommend you start a post in the Am I Infected Forum. Good Luck.



#10 netrate

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 07:07 PM

I did. just waiting for responses now.



#11 hamluis

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 07:13 PM

New Topic:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/623807/am-i-infected/#entry4066081

 

This XP forum topic is now closed to avoid confusion.

 

Louis






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