Entire Desktop is missing after normal startup or reboot

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by LPDad, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. LPDad

    LPDad OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    205
    This is a very strange one.
    This happened before and I fixed it with a reinstall of winXP but it just started again.

    After starting up windows XP (either startup or reboot, happens either way) I end up with a Totally blank computer screen. The backround shows up but there are NO desktop Icons and there is no taskbar. (I am using just the standard solid blue backround)
    The cursor arrow shows up and moves but neither right nor left clicking works to bring up anything on the blank screen. If I move the cursor over where the taskbar should be I get the little hourglass.
    Using the "windows" key on the keyboard does nothing (normally it brings up the start menu+taskbar)

    The only thing that seems to work is a CTRL-ALT-DEL which brings up a functional taskmanager which shows everything is working normally. If I log off using the taskmanager command then log back on my desktop magically appears and everything seems normal.
    From the blank screen I have to use the taskmanager to log off or reboot, and sometimes after a reboot the desktop is fine.

    Nothing shows up in the event viewer. No programs have been installed, and a restore to the day previous to when the missing desktop started does not fix the problem.

    Any Ideas???
    Thanks in advance.

    WinXP pro + SP!
    Athlon XP 2000
    Abit KR7A-R
    :mad:
     
  2. Hipster Doofus

    Hipster Doofus Good grief Charlie Brown

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    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Just a guess. If it is happening after an install with nothing added have you tried a different graphics card.
     
  3. allan

    allan Guest

    Gee - I don't think it could be the graphics card HD (but of course I've been wrong many times before).

    LPDad - you say you fixed it with a reinstall - but did you reformat? If not, I'd suggest a full virus scan. Also, when you open Task Manager is there anything there that looks strange? And did you do anything at all before the problem arose again (new sw, hw, tweaks...anything)?

    You might try going to msconfig and doing a selective startup, disabling everything from loading. If XP comes up normally, start adding things back one at a time until the problem recurs. If it does not come up normally, then perhaps HD is correct and it's either a piece of hardware or a driver (make sure you have the latest drivers for all your hw - downloaded from the OEM web sites, not Windows Update).

    Hope some of this helps.
     
  4. dave holbon

    dave holbon Moderator

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    Location:
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    As the task bar is not loading correctly I suspect that the GUI portion of XP is stuck in a loop. Somewhere in the registry an error or multiple errors exist.

    Can you access the recovery consul (at boot-up)?


    :)
     
  5. allan

    allan Guest

    Dave - I tend to doubt it's a registry problem. He said a system restore didn't help and it's the second time it happened (he did a reload of XP).

    I'd guess something is starting (or not) that's interfering with the Explorer Shell loading - thus my suggestion(s) above.

    BTW - you can always acces the Recovery Console even if you haven't installed it - you just need to boot to the XP CD and choose the first repair option.
     
  6. dave holbon

    dave holbon Moderator

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    Location:
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    Alan this was going to be the next line of enquiry. A HTML page attempting to load at this point will give this error symptom.

    What we don’t know is what sort of re-install was undertaken.

    As yet there is not enough information to determine the cause especially as a re-install did not correct the problem.
     
  7. gath2

    gath2 OSNN One Post Wonder

    Messages:
    3
    explorer.exe not loading

    I have had this same problem in XP and am not sure of the best way to fix it. I have had it on freshly installed machines as well as ones that have been up for several months. All I have to do is open Task Manager, start a New Task of explorer.exe and everything seems to look and work just fine. Is it possible that XP is somehow forgetting to load explorer.exe? I can't put it in startup because that does not load until after explorer.exe. Anyone have any suggestions of where I can tell it to load explorer?
     
  8. gath2

    gath2 OSNN One Post Wonder

    Messages:
    3
    more info

    By the way, these are systems all configured with the exact same hardware and the exact same ghost. I think I have had it happen on 3 out of maybe 30 machines. A reghost is probably my best option, but I'm looking for a quick fix to get the machine working normally again.