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Missing Start Menu, Taskbar, Desktop Icons other Issues


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#16
rjpfletcher

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I will look into the Parallel clean install, like that idea. It shows for Professional XP, will it work for Home Edition XP? No System Restore point available.

In regards to the "My Computer" issue:
In order to pull that up I have to open Windows Task Manager, File>New Task>Browse>Then I click on the My Computer Icon...as this is the only way I can pull it up, and due to this way of pulling it up, it will not show File, Edit, Tools Drop down lists, so that I can follow your previous directions for creating a User acct. It just brings up C Drive, D Drive, etc in the window below. I know when I had a desktop icon for My Computer, I could click on it, and voila! File, Edit, Tools, etc were at the top. But using Windows Task Manager, it stays in "Browse Mode" rather than the actual "My Computer" Folder coming up under normal circumstances.

Edited by rjpfletcher, 22 January 2012 - 05:43 PM.

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#17
Ztruker

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Thanks for the info. I have never used the Browse function from there. I see what you mean though, no Menu capability.

Just realized you can start User accounts from there. Enter control userpasswords2

That would allow you to create a new account and see if the problem is system wide or specific to your existing account.
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#18
godawgs

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Hi Ztrucker and rjpfletcher,

If I may make a suggestion. I know that rjpfletcher thinks that this is a system problem because it occurred shortly after Revo Uninstaller was used, and it seems very coincidental that the symptoms of a virus or malware would occur immediately afterward. According to the posts, rjpfletcher has used Revo before and is familiar with using the program, but doesn't remember what programs were uninstalled.
With certain viruses and malware, if you uninstall or remove the malware file(s) improperly, the system can exhibit the symptoms described. Considering that you are down to a clean install of the operating system, I would suggest posting in the Virus, Spyware, Malware Removal forum. The Malware techs there should be able to get a set of logs that will tell them if the system is infected. And if the system has patched or missing system files or drivers, there are tools that look for those so that they can be replaced.
If it were me and I was down to reinstalling the system, I would give the Virus, Spyware, Malware Removal forum a shot. If nothing else it will confirm that there isn't a virus on the system.
Just thought I would suggest one last option before reinstalling the system.
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#19
Ztruker

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Excellent idea and definitely worth doing before trying other things.
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#20
rjpfletcher

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Thanks guys for your earnestness to help.

Here's something I tried last night:
Ztrucker, if you recall, I mentioned the WINNT32 "Windows Installer Package. I started it & entered my Product Key & realized I had just installed XP a second time!
The cool thing I found out is, in that new install it comes up with a Start Menu, Desktop, & Taskbar! So wouldn't this indicate or prove that missing files or the like, is the issue?

I also ran a Program called Reimage (http://www.reimageplus.com/) which I felt did a pretty good diagnosis. It confirmed I did't have any Virus or such, but did have other issues back around the time I started having my Missing Start Menu, etc., issues. I found out about this program from an in page Ad at (http://www.windowsreinstall.com/).

I will try the "control userpasswords2" idea & possibly the virus Tech site next, but please let me know your thoughts based on that new XP Install experience I spoke of. By the way, I've noticed using that new install, I have no sound, and only a Trash Icon populated on the desktop, rather than the usual icons that show up on a brand new, first time new install of XP, (Networks folder, My computer folder, Internet Explorer, etc.) and it has a lag time when I drag folders, so there seems to be some strangeness to it, (Maybe because I only have 22 GB HD left?) but other than that it works, with a Start Menu, etc! Wow, computers are a strange thing!
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#21
godawgs

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I would deferr to Ztrucker regarding the second installation of XP, but I will respond to this:

I also ran a Program called Reimage (http://www.reimageplus.com/) which I felt did a pretty good diagnosis. It confirmed I did't have any Virus or such,...

Reimage did not confirm that you didn't have a virus or such...
Reimage's web site says: "Reimage is the only program that has the ability to clean virus damage!
This from the Reimage web page:

Virus Damage

....After removing it with your anti-virus software, you're often left with lingering side-effects. The symptoms vary, but the bottom line is the same: Your computer doesn't work the way it used to. Your favorite programs crash frequently, your registry entries are a mess and even your wallpaper is mysteriously missing.
...Technically, your computer might no longer be infected, but that doesn't mean it's error-free. Simple removing a virus can actually harm your system.

Reimage Gets Rid of Virus Damage

...The Reimage repair automatically compares system files with the Reimage repository files. Infected files are easily pointed out and then replaced with healthy ones.
...Reimage is the only program that has the ability to clean virus damage!

So Reimage dosen't check for viruses or such. As far as comparing system files, what if the file containing the virus, malware code isn't in a system file? Most of the viruses or malware drop non system files on the computer. And I don't see how Reimage could include those files in their database because the file names are simply made up by the malware writers. As for the MBR Rootkit detection. The MDR loads before Windows does. So even if Reimage found a patched or bad system file and removed it the rootkit will simply replace it on the next boot up. And as for Rootkit infections that Reimage says it detects....There are new variants of Rootkits being discovered every week. And the malware experts work feverishly to come up with new tools to detect them. This is because commercial tools aren't designed to detect and prevent them. It's impossible to design software to stop something that isn't on the market yet. Believe me, with rootkit and bootkit and the nastier infections, there isn't one magical program that will detect, clean and repair them all.

And the simple truth is that NO AntiVirus program detects everything. And Reimage isn't an AntiVirus. It tries to repair the damage that a virus can leave.

You have spent so much time researching your problem, it's pretty clear that you would like to avoid having to reinstall the OS (though apparently you already have.) And I frankly don't understand your reluctance to eliminate at least one possible cause.

Good luck!
godawgs
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#22
rjpfletcher

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Godawgs, you're right, point taken. I will post to the Virus Forum to "eliminate" that possibility. I like your idea that they have other programs that can check for missing/corrupt files.

My reluctance: I just have this gut feeling, that I did a stupid, when deleting whatever that program was in Revo. I used several well recommended virus checkers, & the timing of the issue arose exactly after the Revo deletion & restarting of the computer, so a Virus just didn't seem logical...but since when are viruses or malware logical?!

Your take on viruses and malware makes sense to me, it was the wording of Reimage that felt like a confirmation of no Virus...it specifically says: "Security Threats - Preliminary scan found no malicious software on your PC." I also didn't see the word "Preliminary" so again, I get your point. Thanks!

But Ztrucker, please still give your thoughts about the newly installed XP and my explanation from previous post and this one, if you would. I was thinking maybe I could somehow transfer from one XP copy to the other, (probably ludicrous or impossible since it's on the same drive and letter C:, but I'm no Tech, so wondering) If not, then I will probably just delete that copy due to the strange way it acts per my comments from previous post.
I was able to get my Chrome settings, folders, etc over to the other XP install using Google Acct Sync, but it didn't transfer the Speed Dial 2 Sites. bummer.

It's making more sense to just clean install, but I'm holding out a little longer, in case something works.

Edited by rjpfletcher, 23 January 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#23
Ztruker

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The only way I know of to transfer anything from the old install to the new one is to manually copy things over. The instructions I listed in post #11 will do that for you. You copy everything from he old account to the account in the new install you did.

That should give you back everything, including Speed Dial 2 Sites, unless they are stored in the registry. If that's the case then I don't know how to transfer them.
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#24
tkemike

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This worked for me...


http://www.ehow.com/...s-xp-icons.html
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