XP stops at wallpaper, no icons or start bar

November 4, 2010 at 04:11:57
Specs: Windows XP, 2.8hz 1mb
First off, I have spent all day searchig for a solution but none would work for me. And I do mean plus many many hours of searching googling and have not found the solution.

I have a desktop Dell Dimension 3100. Something has caused it to now only boot up till the desktop page, but no icons and no start bar.

I thought easiest solution would be to do a Repair Install. (yes I know not the best first option!!!)
I used the Disk XP SP2 provied with the computer. XP SP2 Media Home Edition.
I did the install and it gets a long way in and then comes up with a long error about
mscoree.dll and then mscorwks.dll that they are not available.

So then I did the research. Yep, I have learnt my lesson on this one. Research first, then action!!!

I have used Ctrl Alt Del to get to task manager.

I have tried entering explorer.exe, a brief flash of the Start Bar and nothing eles.

I have tried the option of renaming explorer.exe to explorer1.exe

I have tried all other "safe" modes. none let me see any desktop icons or start bar. Safe mode comes up as a black background with Safe Mode in the corners.

I have tried to but found no way of copying mscorwks.dll & mscoree.dll from my other laptop. I tried to download from a website only had zip files. the default option to unzip is an expired option. I cant right click and use another option.

I am unable to do a restore to an earlier point due to running the repair install!!

I have run AVG 2011 free and it healed some items, sorry didnt make a note of what.

I have run Spybot and let it do its thing, it cured some items.


All to no success. Still at the system boots to the desktop page no icons no start page.
I can open the Task manager with Ctrl Alt Del. Here I can access my desktop and open most items. i can launch Safari but not Explorer 8. If I run explorer.exe I get a 1 second flash of the Start Bar.

any ideas of how I can get this back running again.


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December 17, 2010 at 13:37:09
Hi - I found this solution to work great for me. I've lifted the full suggestion from a similar discussion thread on this board:

"Kye, Go to the link below and scroll down to line 195 (right column) and download the "Restore Desktop Icons and Taskbar" vbs file fix.
To use the VBS Files: Download .vbs file and save it to your hard drive (you may want to right click and use Save Target As). Double
click the vbs file. You will be prompted when the script is done.
NOTE: If your anti-virus software warns you of a "malicious" script, this is normal if you have "Script Safe" or similar technology enabled. These scripts are not malicious, but they do make changes to the System Registry.


I opened the vb script in notepad to see what it does. It basically fixes back the task bar and explorer settings to defaults. Good stuff. The hardest part is getting the file onto your comatose system.
Good Luck

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