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Computer problems

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I have a HP Pavillion dv1000 laptop and have Windows Xp. It has been working relatively fine(except the fact that it overheats sometimes but then I usually shutdown my computer either by going to the start menu and following the procedure of shutting down the computer or I will put my computer on standby or I will just directly press the power button on my laptop and then it will be cooled down and works fine). My problem is that on Saturday I was using my laptop, running the internet and some microsoft word documents. Well I wanted to close some word documents however they wouldn't close(usually if upon closing a document or my internet browser sometimes my computer will freeze and will open a new window saying that ''this program is not responding would you like to end now'' and I would press end now and then after a few minutes the program(s) would close and everything would work fine. However they wouldn't close on Saturday and my windows task manager wouldn't open when I tried(and it alwayss works). So I put my computer in stand by( the Word documents that could not be closed were still open and my internet browser was still open when I put my laptop into standby). But...instead of going into standby my computer's fans began making a rushing sound like as if they were working too much or overheating(sorry about the vocab I am not very good at computers). So I decided to shutdown my computer by holding down the power button and the computer closed. Then after 2 hours or so I press the power button to restart my computer and I got the regular windows xp loading screen buttttt then all I see is a blank blue wallpaper without any desktop items or start menu or anything! I only have a blue blank wallpaper and my mouse cursor. Please if anyone knows anything please help me

P.S. If anyone knows a way to fix this problem without having to reformat the whole computer(because I have important files that I can not afford to lose) that would be much appreciated!

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First of all, your computer is running way too hot.
My advice would be to open it up (usually there's an access panel that comes off) and use a can of compressed air to clean it out. This is usually overlooked by most people, myself included.
Second, open task manager and click File-> Run (New Process) and type explorer into the box that comes up. That should get your desktop up.

Edited by mkau, 08 February 2010 - 07:51 PM.

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