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computer chaos. please help!

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I'm new to this board so a big hello first and foremost. now....help me! lol.
My computer is driving me crazy. I'm using windows xp home. Everything was fine and dandy this morning. but tonight, I turned on my computer and the following happened:

1. All of my desktop shortcuts had disappeared - I put them back but they rearrange themselves at will

2. My background destop image is just plain blue and I can't change it - i've tried every way.

3. I can't change the windows display settings. I click 'apply' and nothing happens

4. I can't open msn messenger - haven't tried any other prgrams yet but msn definately won't run.

It's almost as if windows has gone completely back to default displays etc but I can't change it back. I can't run certain programs and certain things have gone from the start menu. Other small changes that I had before (like using cleartype and having big fonts in the window headers) have gone.

I subscribe to Ewido security suite and I've performed a full sytem scan with that. I've also used registry mechanic and McAfee. I'm not sure what else to do. It's really annoying because no matter how I alter the appearance of windows, it reverts back to this default state every time I reboot - I just get the plain blue desktop background and my shortcuts are all rearranged.

I understand you're all busy people but any help would be massively appreciated

Thanks for you time.
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Welcome to Geeks to Go takamba! :tazz:

Please go to the malware forum and follow the instructions at the top....Especially the CLICK HERE .

That will give you several steps that will help you clean up 70 percent of all problems by yourself. If at the end of the process you are still having difficulty--and you may not be-- then post a hijackthis log in THAT forum.

If you are still having problems after getting a clean bill of health from the malware expert, please return to this thread.
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