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Solved: Black desktop, no icons, no taskbar even after windows reinstall

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by George300, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    Desperate situation here...

    I have WIN7 SP1.
    After logon the desktop is black with no icons. There is no taskbar, no start button. The shortcuts WIN+R, WIN+E, WIN+F, etc are not working.
    The problem is also there in safe mode.

    I read many things about explorer.exe being corrupted or infected.
    My C:\Windows\explorer.exe file is 2,616,320 bytes

    I tried many suggestions:
    -I made sure there are no multiple displays in Display settings.
    -I updated and run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    -I did a system restore.
    -I run SFC /SCANNOW and took "Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them", but in the log file (CBS.Log) I found only errors "Cannot repair member file" about wmp.dll of Windows Media Player, so I did nothing cause Windows Media Player is irrelevant.
    -I even did a windows reinstall, but the problem is still there! (btw, since then, windows fails to install many updates including IE11, so I now have IE8)
    -I deleted the "iexplorer.exe" in key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution options" (there was no "explorer.exe" key to delete).
    -I made sure the value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell is “Explorer.exe”.
    -I did a Quick Scan with a Windows Defender Offline cd and found nothing.
    -I created a new Windows user.

    Nothing worked.
    I cannot work on my pc and I am really desperate.
     
  2. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    I followed this crazy suggestion from http://www.sevenforums.com/general-...ows-7-there-no-icons-taskbar-my-desktop.html:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > Current Version > Winlogon > Shell (other window) > delete: explorer.exe and retype it in
    (retype it??? why???)

    I now have a taskbar and desktop icons.
    (although I should wait, because the user that provided that solution had the problem reappear after 2 days)
     
  3. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    As you have reinstalled Windows you should not be having these problems, it is fairly likely that you have defective hardware that is causing file corruption. I would recommend you run a diagnostic test on the hard drive and the memory.


    You can create the Seatools disc on any fully functional PC with a CD burner or use any PC to create the Flash Drive.

    Open Internet Explorer and click on this: Seatools

    Save the download to your desktop.

    In Windows 7 right click the ISO file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts.
    For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn Install the program (make sure you uncheck any boxes that will install bundled software) and start the application. Select the top left hand option to Write image file to disc and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the ISO file on your desktop. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.

    You will need a blank recordable CD or a re-recordable CD. If your PC has no CD/DVD drive or you would prefer to run Seatools from a Flash Drive follow this guide: How to run Seatools from a USB Flash Drive

    When the CD has been burned boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence Bios Boot Order Guide. Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into DOS. Click on Basic Tests and select the Long Test. If using a Flash Drive you need to set USB to 1st in the boot order, if there is no USB available in the boot order you will have to run the test from a CD.

    A full set of instructions can be found here: Seatools instructions

    When the test completes it will show a Pass or Fail.

    ===============================================

    Download Memtest86+ from here
    If you wish to run the test from a USB flash drive use this link Auto installer for USB key
    When the download is complete right click the file and select Extract Here and burn the image to a CD.

    In windows 7 right click the extracted file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts.
    For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn
    Install the program (make sure you uncheck any boxes to stop any bundled software from installing) and start the application. Select the top left hand option to Write image file to disk and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the ISO file you have downloaded. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.

    Testing

    • Boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence.
    • Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into dos.
    • Leave the test to run through at least 8 passes or until it is showing some errors.
    • If errors show in the test, stop the test and remove all but one of your RAM sticks then start the test again. Repeat the test on each stick until you find the one that is faulty.

    NOTE: This is a long slow test and for convenience should ideally be run overnight.

    The memtest will not be 100% accurate but should easily detect any major faults.
     
  4. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your help.
     
  5. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    You're welcome, please do let us know the outcome of the tests.
     
  6. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    I just run a chkdsk on C with the following results.

    Checking file system on C:
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Volume label is WIN7.

    A disk check has been scheduled.
    Windows will now check the disk.

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
    324352 file records processed. File verification completed.
    322 large file records processed. 0 bad file records processed. 2 EA records processed. 76 reparse records processed. CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
    389342 index entries processed. Index verification completed.
    0 unindexed files scanned. 0 unindexed files recovered. CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
    324352 file SDs/SIDs processed. Cleaning up 1711 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 1711 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 1711 unused security descriptors.
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    32496 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    37356408 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
    324336 files processed. File data verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
    10309185 free clusters processed. Free space verification is complete.
    Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

    104864255 KB total disk space.
    63079872 KB in 211464 files.
    114660 KB in 32497 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    432979 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    41236744 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    26216063 total allocation units on disk.
    10309186 allocation units available on disk.

    Internal Info:
    00 f3 04 00 04 b9 03 00 07 a7 06 00 00 00 00 00 ................
    40 03 00 00 4c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 @...L...........
    60 68 24 00 50 01 22 00 28 20 22 00 00 00 22 00 `h$.P.".( "...".

    Windows has finished checking your disk.
    Please wait while your computer restarts.
     
  7. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    That log looks ok, but I would suggest you run the tests I advised you to in post 3.
     
  8. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    I ran a Seatools Long Test and got a Passed.
     
  9. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    That is a good result, please continue with the Memory test.
     
  10. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    I had Memtest86+ 4.0, so I ran that with the following result:


    Time: 4:50:38, Pass: 9, Errors: 0
    Pass complete, no errors, press Esc to exit
     
  11. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    That is a good result. So, still a mystery as to how things went wrong after reinstalling Windows. Are you using a burned copy of Windows 7 or a bought DVD?

    How well is the system running now, are there any other issues?
     
  12. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    It's a burned copy of Windows 7.
    The system is running fine, no other issues.
     
  13. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    My only suspicion is that there may just be a minor error on your Win 7 DVD, but what caused the initial problem is going to remain a mystery. As the system is running ok there is no error to look for so you are good to go.
     
  14. George300

    George300 Thread Starter

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    Yes, it's a real mystery.
    Thank you.
     
  15. Mark1956

    Mark1956 Malware Specialist

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    You're welcome.
     
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