Disappearing / Reappearing Vista desktop

Microsoft Windows vista ultimate w/ sp1...
February 23, 2010 at 13:41:45
Specs: Vista
This has happened to two different PCs in the office the computers are about a year old. The user logs into their computer and when it comes up there are no icons or default settings (actually it acts like it is the first time the user has logged in). The sidebar displays in the default mode.

If they log out and back in all their desktop settings return as expected.

Has anyone seen this type of behavior in Vista (I can't find any similar issue posted in my searches so far).

Thank you,

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February 24, 2010 at 07:15:00
Sometimes if Windows has an issue loading the user profile, so
it will logon to a generic empty desktop. This may be caused by
how you turn off the computer. Make sure you turn it off by going
to Start>Powerbutton>Shut Down. Make sure all of your drivers
are up-to-date and that you have all windows updates installed.
Go to Start>Control Panel> Security> Windows Update and
install all updates. If you always log in and out without restarting
the pc, try restarting.

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February 24, 2010 at 09:15:54
Thank you for the recommendations. I will check with the users and make sure to run all the updates and that everything is current. I'll also check with how they are shutting down their computers.

Thanks again!!

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March 29, 2010 at 09:28:03
Hello everybody. This is my first post, I hope it helps somebody.

I have been having this same frustrating problem intermittently for months. I think I have figured out the problem and can fix it. It’s pretty annoying HUH?

This fix applies to Windows Vista and probably with Windows 7 also. I have Vista Home Premium SP2 from Dell.

Background: By default, Windows does not provide detailed startup & shutdown messages that it is capable of providing. It is this associated registry key or more appropriately, the absence of it that causes this intermittent probem.

To FIX IT: (instructions are for Vista SP2 but 7 may be similar/same)

1. Press the Start Orb & type “regedit.exe”
2. Right-click on regedit.exe & select run as administrator
3. Select continue if the UAC pimps you.
4. In regedit navigate to:
5. Look for the “VerboseStatus” key in the right pane. If it is there, then these instructions may not help you. If it is missing do the following.
6. Right-click in any open space in the right pane and select “New\D-WORD (32-bit) Value”. Type the name “VerboseStatus” for the key name and hit ‘Enter’
7. Right-click on the “VerboseStatus” key, select “Modify…” & hit ‘Enter’.
8. Type “0” or “1” as desired…..”0”=false & “1”=true. “0” is the default and it means that when starting & shutting down it will just give the message “Please Wait” if necessary. If the value is set to verbose “1” you will see other messages during starting/shutting down.
9. I BELIEVE YOU CAN SET THAT KEY EITHER WAY AND IT STILL CURES THE PROBLEM. The problem isn’t the setting, it is the absence of the “VerboseStatus” key that causes the intermittent “Preparing Your Desktop” error. If you set the key to verbose i.e., “!” you may see the “Preparing Your Desktop” message among others but, it won’t be an error.

I hope this helps. I am still testing mine but so far I have been unable to get that pesky error to re-occur on either setting. Goodbye “Temp” user profile forever I hope.

Good luck & let me know if this helped.


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April 20, 2010 at 08:19:50
Follow up to my post:
Through extensive testing I can still get the error to occur.........it's less often but still can happen.

Sorry everybody this wasn't the definitive answer


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