I have two hard drives. My main hard drive stopped working, so I am now booting from my storage drive.
I'm not worried about my dead drive. I would just like to get my current drive to function properly...
1. There are no desktop icons.
2. There is no task bar or start menu.
3. I must use task manager (Cntrl+Alt+Del) to launch any program.
4. Most programs will not run. Luckily, Firefox is one that does run.
When I installed the second drive (my current drive) I copied everything from my main drive (the one that is dead now) onto the second drive. My guess is that this is why I am able to magically boot from it. This is not the problem... It is simply additional info in case it helps to solve the mystery.
When programs do not run, they prompt various error boxes or simply do nothing at all.
I am still able to download things, and sometimes they actually install and work.
The desktop background is still there, although the only way I can change it is to find a picture on the internet and right-click to set as background.
Windows XP Service Pack 2
Dell Dimension E310
My uneducated theories...
1. It is set up as a storage drive, and not a proper bootable drive.
2. The shell is bad.
3. It is something way over my head.
I realize that I joined this forum just to solve this mystery, and that some of you might look down on me for this. I am hoping that presenting such a unique mystery might be my payment to you, if you tech geeks are as intrigued by this kind of stuff as I hope.