Desktop icons don't work and taskbar on bottom is "whited out"

I have a Dell Inspiron 530s running Windows XP SP3. We had been getting blue screens with increasing frequency for awhile. I ran our antivirus scan, Malware Bytes, a registry repair program, check disk, and defragged the hard drive. None of these things turned up any issues, nor did they stop the blue screens.

Last week, the blue screen message changed to “unmountable boot volume” and the machine would no longer boot. I used the original windows XP disk to get to the recovery console.

Ran chkdsk /p and it said there were one or more errors on the volume.
Ran chkdsk /r and it appeared to resolve all errors.
Ran chkdsk /p again and it did not indicate any remaining errors.
Ran fixboot c: (got these suggestions off of tech forums online) then restarted the machine normally.

Upon booting up, the computer this time asked the user to login (never normally does this). We have no password on this machine, so I hit enter, and the desktop loaded.

The display and the desktop icons looked funny (very small and the graphics didn't look right), and the taskbar on the bottom was entirely whited out except at the far right (start button and the icons to the right of it are whited out). None of the icons on the desktop will work and I get error messages stating this when I click on them.

I'm not afraid to tinker with computers, but I am not a "techie" person and don't know what to do next. Might I need a new hard drive?

Thanks for your help!
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Sounds like the HDD is failing. WinXP, huh? Must be an old computer.
  2. Hello,

    Win7, 1 year old Toshiba, menu system/start menu disappeared, ctrl alt del was disabled or would not restart. Couldn't get into services at all. Was able to run apps from icon on desktop. Turned computer off and it restarted itself immediately. Didn't really restart.


    Logged in as a different user and shutdown properly using the menu. When in restarted, I used the original login and it worked. I restarted again to see if it really is back to normal. It is for now. FYI: You should always have another login with admin rights to do this.
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