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Nothing Will Start

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by MikeA01730, Sep 25, 2008.

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  1. MikeA01730

    MikeA01730 Thread Starter

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    I have a problem with my daughter's computer that I can't figure out how to fix. The problem is that after running a while (typically several hours), nothing new will start. It doesn't matter what, as long as it's a windows (not command line) program. But actually the programs DO start: the problem is that they don't display anything! E.g. if I try to start notepad, I see the hourglass for a few seconds, and the task manager shows notepad.exe. It uses a bit of CPU time at first, and then settles down to 0% CPU and ~4MB memory, just as it does when it's working correctly. But nothing ever shows on the screen: the Notepad window doesn't open and there's no entry in the Start bar. This continues to happen if I try notepad again, a web browser, or anything else. If I try to restart, I get lots of messages asking me permission to kill things (XP components and unnamed things and the things I started) that aren't shutting down normally. Sometimes the shutdown works, and sometimes I have to cycle the power. When I start again all is well for several hours until the problem starts again.

    I use Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 AV, and it finds no problems. I ran sfc, which looked like it replaced a few files, and I've uninstalled anything that my daughter installed but doesn't use. She typically uses Yahoo IM, Outlook Express, and IE, and not much else.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Claymore

    Claymore

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    If you the Alt+Tab do the "invisible" programs show?
     
  3. MikeA01730

    MikeA01730 Thread Starter

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    Claymore,

    When I use Alt-Tab, the phantom programs are not visible.

    This morning I rebooted around 10:00 AM, used IE a little, and left the machine idle for the rest of the day. When my daughter tried to use Outlook Express around 4:30 PM, nothing would start. I had to reboot.

    Mike
     
  4. Claymore

    Claymore

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    Hello Mike,

    Very wierd. I was thinking that maybe the windows have gone off-screen, but the they would show in the Taskbar and in Alt+Tab.

    You could try this:

    Go to Start => Run and type in (or copy/paste):

    regsvr32 /i shell32.dll
     
  5. MikeA01730

    MikeA01730 Thread Starter

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    Claymore,

    I tried your suggestion last night. The problem is back today.

    Any other ideas? I'm not really anxious to blow everything away, but maybe I should just reinstall XP & start from scratch.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  6. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    This site offers a solution.

    The problem is not quite the same as yours, but running the VBS script will do no harm.
     
  7. MikeA01730

    MikeA01730 Thread Starter

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    WhitPhil,

    I ran the script last night. The problem is back this morning.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  8. techychick

    techychick

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    Is this a laptop or desktop?

    How old is it, has it been upgraded?
     
  9. MikeA01730

    MikeA01730 Thread Starter

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    techychick,

    This is an HP Pavilion a500y desktop PC with 2.6 GHZ Intel Celeron processor, 512 MB memory, 160GB disk, integrated graphics, and XP Home OS. It was purchased in April 2004. No hardware has been upgraded. All XP service packs and updates have been installed. Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 is used. There's over 100GB free disk space. There are no other problems with the machine that I know of.

    Mike
     
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