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Missing Taskbar and Start Button


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#1
dreed2440

dreed2440

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My daughters desktop computer running Win XP, is booting up to the desktop, but the taskbar is missing the "Start" button and everything but the clock. When I click on one of the few desksop icons that appear, nothing happens. If I right click an icon and click on "Open", I get the following error message. "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling application may fix problem". At one time only the "Active Desktop" error screen would appear, but it's now gone. The only thing I can get the computer to do is start in "Safe Mode". Been years since I used DOS, so I'm lost right now. I'd like to be able to fix the problem without losing the data on the HD. This computer has not been connected to the internet, but it's possible something may have happened when she copied some of her music CD's to the computer.

Thanks much...any help greatly appreciated...Dave
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#2
ranchhand3

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Hi Dave..... sorry to hear of your problems. So... your problems started immediately after your daughter loaded some songs onto your computer? If that's the case, I suggest bouncing over to the Malware forum and having them check out your unit for viruses. If you are running an antivirus program ( I sure hope you are) boot into Safe Mode, make sure all the indexes are up to date, and order a complete AV scan of your hard drive. If your problems started before your daughter's music download, try a system restore to a date immediately before all this started. Start with the easiest thing to do first. Your problem sounds like a system corruption or a poorly instigated virus attack which did not hijack your computer but damaged the system. Post back with your results.
As far as losing data, there are several ways we can pull that data off your hard drive. The data is still there, you just can't get to it. But let's see if we can get up & running first.
By the way, if you have been keeping regular imaged backups of your hard drive, a restore can make things a lot easier.

Edited by ranchhand3, 13 October 2012 - 04:19 PM.

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#3
Tehyoda

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Do you get the "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect..." error when you try to run any programs?
Or just specific ones? If so which?

Download this to your desktop and double click on it to add it to the registry.
Then reboot your computer and see if the problems with your taskbar are resolved.
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#4
dreed2440

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Yes I get the error message when trying to open any program. I'm not able to get on the internet or run any programs on her computer. Can only boot in Safe Mode and then not sure what to do from there.
Thanks...Dave
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#5
Tehyoda

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Starting to sound more and more like malware.

I recommend you follow the instructions here to make a post in the malware removal forum,
and have a malware removal expert help clean your computer :)
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#6
dreed2440

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Thank you guys so much, I will do that.
Dave
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