Solved What to do when Start Button and Taskbar seem to Disappear

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Thread Starter
Jan 23, 2006
I'd like to tell you all about a recent experience I had with Start Button and Taskbar. Sorry this post is so long, but I'm upset and hope you will understand why. A few weeks ago I accidentally corrupted Windows 7 by changing a system file. After that, PC would no longer boot and I believe there are some valuable lessons in the following events. I tried to repair it myself but failed. I considered taking it to a "Big Box" store to get it repaired but decided to save a few dollars by calling a private tech who advertises on Craigslist. About ten years ago, I met two of them and was always happy with their help and prices. But it's been five since I've seen either one and they are no longer active. So, I called three new people from Craigslist and explained my problem to them. All three told me I needed to re-install Windows and it would take them an hour or two to do that. I thought it was strange they all would say that before even examining my PC.

I invited one of them to come to my home. He repeatedly explained he'd been doing this kind of work for many years. Almost every question I asked, he began his answer with, "I've been doing this for more than 25 years now and..." As things progressed, he started complaining how difficult it was to make money with Craigslist. He complained how long the drive was to my home. He complained about the cost of gas. He complained and complained and complained. But I tuned him out because none of his complaints were any fault of mine. It soon became clear why he was complaining. He offered to sell me a new version of Windows and install it for $100. But it was not a legal copy. So, I refused and had a 2nd private tech come to my home.

My experience with the 2nd tech was almost identical to the 1st - except one asked for $100 and the other asked for $200. Both told me my PC could not work until Windows was re-installed. I got a bad feeling about both guys. I felt they were dishonest. So I took my PC into a small neighborhood store to be repaired. The store owner charged me $50 to re-install Windows and he did it the same day. I found him extremely competent and very honest. His prices were very reasonable. I was pretty sure no other store would have treated me so well. I will take my PC to him from now on.

The store owner re-installed Windows and when I got it home it did boot. But I couldn't use it because I couldn't get Start button or Taskbar to appear. I spent many hours trying to fix this. I've had similar problems in the past and I've always been able to solve them myself. But not this time. I Googled "problem Windows 7 Start Button and Task Bar disappear". There were several posts containing suggested solutions. But nothing I found helped me. So I called a third tech from Craigslist. On the phone, he told me I needed to re-install Windows. But I knew that was ridiculous since I had just had it re-installed. I told him I would not pay to do it again. But he promised he would fix it or there'd be no charge. When he came to my home, he examined the PC for just a minute and then told me it was unusable and he said the person who did the repair had "cheated" me and that he was incompetent. I got extremely angry because I knew the store owner was highly competent and very honest too. So I asked him to leave. But there is more to this story and I will now get to the Start Button and Taskbar. Sorry it took so long.

I took my PC back to the store owner who had re-installed Windows. After examining it for just a few seconds, he explained the problem was with my screen resolution. He told me I needed to set it to the proper values for my monitor and once I did that, everything would work fine again. HE WAS PERFECTLY CORRECT ABOUT THAT! The 3rd tech only spent a minute examining my PC before he told me I needed to buy a new version of Windows. I certainly hope none of you will ever fall for something that foolish. I should have known the store owner did not know what kind of monitor I used. It was much larger than the one he used in his store. So naturally, my PC could not work using the same resolution settings that he had used on his monitor. I should have known that and I should have told him. There was nothing wrong with Start Button and Taskbar. I just couldn't see them because the resolution moved them off screen so I could not access them. I see the entire problem as my own fault. The private techs were just looking for an easy way to make a fast buck by re-installing Windows when it never needed to be re-installed at all. I curse them.

One reason I think there may be a valuable lesson here is because I found plenty of possible solutions when I Googled for an answer. But none ever suggested the problem could be due to screen resolution. I'd like the advisors here at Tech Support Guy to know about this so in future, they can advise people who have this same problem to check screen resolution. They probably already know this. But they may not connect the problem with Screen Resolution to the re-installation of Windows. After re-installing Windows, people need to check their screen resolution. Especially if Windows was re-installed using a different monitor than their own monitor. A second reason I think there may be a valuable lesson is because I want to urge everyone to be very careful when inviting Craigslist private techs into your home. If they try to sell you a new version of Windows before they ever examine your PC, you might want to get a 2nd opinion. Same goes if they repeatedly tell you how long they've been doing this kind of work or complain how little money they make. That may just be a setup to cheat you in any number of ways.

I suspect some Craigslist techs have discovered a good way to make a "fast buck" is to make people feel sorry for them so they will buy something - even though it may be completely unnecessary. I wish I knew a good way to let people know they need to be careful about this. Can anyone here suggest a good way to let people know about these practices? I consider this to be a recent trend because I've used Craigslist techs for many years but these attempts to "guilt me" into re-installing Windows and paying more than $100 for a copy of Windows that may or may not be legal seems to be a recent development. There are many tricks they can use to keep themselves safe while they cheat people using illegal copies of Windows.
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