No icons or taskbar on Windows XP screen

All the usual program icons and the taskbar with the start button have gone invisible from my Windows XP laptop screen. The screen and the keyboard work fine as the Net connection comes on immediately after the computer boots and my wallpaper is also visible on the desktop. Please help.
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  1. a) Easy attempt to fix the problem (recommended): Restore the System to a previous date.

    b) Not so easy fix: Logon with another administrative user account... browse to the damaged user profile folder and replace the NTUSER files with the backups. See the article for the procedure.

    Fix a corrupted user profile
    http://windows.microsoft.com/is-is/windows-vista/fix-a-corrupted-user-profile
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