Most of the desktop icons have vanished, although those on the quick launch bar are unaffected. The start menu had very little on it, and the program list had most programs missing.
I discovered that many program files were hidden, and I managed to unhide these and their names now appear on the "All Programs" list but none of the names on the list link to the programs.
If I look at Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools the only thing that is listed is "Internet Explorer (No Add-ons)" This link does work.
Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools is empty.
The Start>Search function is unavailable - although the search window does open, it contains the message that Windows search isn't running.
I am able to access Windows Explorer as I had an icon on the Quick Launch bar.
I have tried using Safe Mode to restore to an earlier setting, but it was unable to do it.
I am running XP Professional SP3, which I don't have installation discs for. We have another computer running XP Home which I have the discs for but I don't think I can use those to try to repair Windows XP Pro.
I have searched this forum but haven't found any solution. Microsoft don't seem to have a lot of help for XP - at least I couldn't find it.
Does anybody have any suggestions as to what I should do now?