"Had" problem with taskbar tray icons missing and windows explorer lag

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Newuser12345215

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Feb 9, 2007
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I solved this problem by system restoring but the question I have is what caused the problem? Could it be data corruption, malware, or something else? It seems to definitely be software related since I fixed the problem by system restoring.

I did not remember any major differences (software related) between the days this problem has not occurred and started occurring with the exception of a Windows Update for "Windows Defender" (it is possible for a definition update to cause these symptoms?).
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Two problems I "had"(before system restore):
1. Taskbar icons not appearing ("most" aren't showing up; the processes are running).
2. Really bad Windows Explorer lag (+40 second lag when opening folders in start menu, alt tabbing from full screen, etc).

About four days ago, I started Vista and noticed some of my taskbar icons missing (despite the fact that they're all loaded when I checked the task manager).

I followed this guide which said to go to

"HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \TrayNotify"

and then delete the values "IconStreams" and "PastIconsStream".

I did that and restarted explorer.exe, it worked and brought back my taskbar icons.

However it's not permanent (the problem comes back after I restart my computer) and Windows Defender never reappears in the taskbar even after I followed those steps.

On the same day of the problem, I notice windows explorer in general has been really unresponsive and slower than usual.

For example - when I go to "Start Menu" then open any folder, windows explorer lags for 40+ seconds (anything explorer related lags and is frozen) before the folder actually opens.

Another example - When I alt + tab from a full screen video game (doesn't matter which game), it also lags 40+ seconds before explorer responds and updates. Before this problem occurred, windows explorer rarely lagged or slowed down for more than 3 seconds (but now 40+ seconds).
________________________

I fixed the problem by system restoring but does anyone know why these symptoms showed up in the first place? I want to avoid it from happening again but if it does happen again how can I solve this issue without system restoring? Also I did a virus scan with Avast (custom settings, I set all the scan settings to highest) but found nothing during the period of problems.

Any help and info will be really appreciated, thanks.
 
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