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Why taskbar reverts to grey colour at every startup and system is very slow?

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 27, 2010 1:32:07 PM

Hi,

These past couple of days I have noticed that my PC has slow down considerably and everytime my PC is turned on or rebooted, the taskbar would change to a dull boxy grey colour. When I look into the display properties and all the themes have disappeared! I have googled and tried all avenue on the internet to fix this but with no luck. Can someone please help me? Do I have some virus on my PC or something? I have Windows XP on my desktop.

Thanks in advance.

FuRy
May 27, 2010 5:50:04 PM

FuRyFu said:
Hi,

These past couple of days I have noticed that my PC has slow down considerably and everytime my PC is turned on or rebooted, the taskbar would change to a dull boxy grey colour. When I look into the display properties and all the themes have disappeared! I have googled and tried all avenue on the internet to fix this but with no luck. Can someone please help me? Do I have some virus on my PC or something? I have Windows XP on my desktop.

Thanks in advance.

FuRy


Most likely an automatic MS update has changed the settings of the computer, or corrupted the system files. This happens quite often. From what you describe, it's not a virus.
click start
click all programs
click accessories
click system tools
click system restore
check the box that says: restore my system to an earlier date
click next
select a bold date on the calendar, a date before the problem started
click next
follow directions to restore system
System restore does not affect your personal files, and is reversible, you can go forward or back at any time.
It merely removes the offending changes to the software and system files of the computer.
when restore has completed, restart computer
if problem was not fixed, if system would not restore, repeat above using an even earlier date
system will be set back to a time before the MS update corrupted the settings or system files.
if that above does not work, there is another alternative. But try the system restore first as above.
If system restore is non functional, does not work at all, it could be disabled by a virus infection, but do not assume a virus until you try the above.
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May 30, 2010 3:30:29 PM

soundguruman said:
Most likely an automatic MS update has changed the settings of the computer, or corrupted the system files. This happens quite often. From what you describe, it's not a virus.
click start
click all programs
click accessories
click system tools
click system restore
check the box that says: restore my system to an earlier date
click next
select a bold date on the calendar, a date before the problem started
click next
follow directions to restore system
System restore does not affect your personal files, and is reversible, you can go forward or back at any time.
It merely removes the offending changes to the software and system files of the computer.
when restore has completed, restart computer
if problem was not fixed, if system would not restore, repeat above using an even earlier date
system will be set back to a time before the MS update corrupted the settings or system files.
if that above does not work, there is another alternative. But try the system restore first as above.
If system restore is non functional, does not work at all, it could be disabled by a virus infection, but do not assume a virus until you try the above.


Thanks for your post, Soundguruman.

Unfortunately there wasn't any ealier restore system dates for me to perform as you had suggested.

However, I have managed to run tdsskiller.exe and it seems that all my themes have been restated in Display Properties. Because of this I think my PC is now running a lot quicker (back to normal speed as I would say) and is not slow as per my original post.

I've run services.msc and checked to ensure that themes is set at "automatic" at startup and also that the status is always showing "started", which they are.

I have noticed something strange in the startup tab when I ran msconfig, but not sure if it has anything to do with this grey taskbar issue that I am currently experiencing. I have noticed that in one particular row there is no name (i.e. completely blank) in the startup item column (normally it should have a name, for example "stsystra") and also no file path is showing in the command column. This is the first time I have noticed something like this. However, in the location column, it is showing "SOFTWARE\Mircosoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run". Does this make any sense to you?

I am not an IT person and I am extremely worried that some spyware / malware may have been installed in my system as I have lots of important files that I haven't been opening in these past few days. I was thinking of doing a repair to the system, as in installing my WIndows XP CD and run sfc/scannow, but i am afraid that i would lose all my files and applications after repair. I have backup in an external hard drive but I don't have the know-how to reinstall the operating system and mack around with my backup. Are there any alternatives to my problem?

Thanks
FuRyFu
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May 30, 2010 4:31:25 PM

you can run the XP repair install (do not reformat) without losing your personal files
You can backup your files before doing the repair to CD, DVD, online backup such as mozy.
Does not sound like a virus, sounds like the system was corrupted by a microsoft automatic update, you can turn off automatic updates.
What you can lose after a repair install is the motherboard drivers, which can be downloaded from the manufacturers website.
To find malware, run Panda active scan. It will tell you what is in the system.
http://www.pandasecurity.com /homeusers/solutions /activescan/
remove spaces from above link before copy paste to browser window
Spy ware typically is in cookies, and cookies can be deleted from the cookies folder.
It is always better to buy a high quality all in one security solution on a disk. There are many fake antivirus scams, do not download them unless they are from highly trusted well known, widely used sources.
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