My main problem is that my desktop is a plain blue field -- that's it. All shortcuts and icons are gone, and to open any application, I need to hit [ctrl] [alt] [esc], hit the "new task" button, and browse for the app through that. As far as I can tell now, with the continuing exception of the desktop display, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, the Start Menu, and the Control Panel, everything else seems to be working fine.
When I type "Control" into the New Task window, the hourglass cursor appears for a few seconds, the toolbar appears at the bottom of the screen, and then it promptly disappears again. I've tried to click on the start menu button for that small period of time where it's on the screen, but either I'm not fast enough or it isn't registering.
These problems have been in place since I restarted my computer immediately after being infected with Spy Falcon. I hadn't taken any steps to deal with the virus -- other than trying to uninstall Spy Falcon -- prior to restarting my computer and finding the desktop display missing.
At that time, my desktop background was still what I had selected, but after running antivirus software that reset the desktop background to a blue field, which it has been ever since. I'm not sure of what to enter at the command prompt in order to try to pull up all the other Windows utilities, so I can't really say what's been knocked out beyond that.
I found the "How to repair Windows XP" link: my computer came with Windows pre-installed, with a few discs from the manufacturer included. They include a "System CD" and three "Recovery CDs." I'm not sure if this is the standard issue warning for all XP Pro discs, but when I put the disc into the drive, it doesn't give me an option of repairing or selectively re-installing certain parts of the OS; all it does is say, "DON'T continue unless you're sure you know what you're doing!" As I am not sure, I haven't continued.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!