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Can't see my desktop icons, task bar, and can't open task manager

Last response: in Windows Vista
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December 21, 2012 12:24:35 AM

Hello,
okay so i started having this problem where when i boot up the computer i get this white screen but if i click somewhere it goes away. it goes to my desktop background with nothing on it. i try to open task manager so i can run explorer.exe to see if that works and task manager doesn't even pop up. i push the power button to shut it off because that's the only way i can turn it off and it flashes real fast and everything is right there. it's as if there's a veil over my screen that i can't access anything until my power is shutting off. does anyone know what's causing this? i'm on vista if that helps any
December 21, 2012 5:08:51 PM


Hello and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums.

Start up again and tap the Function 8 key several times as Windows starts to load then select Safe Mode with Networking from the advanced boot menu. Log in as Administrator as, hopefully, that account won't have been compromised. Go from Start to Run and into the Open box, type msconfig and press Enter. Click the StatUp tab and untick everything except your anti-virus and firewall programmes.

Go to http://www.malwarebytes.org and download the free trial version of MalwareBytes (MBAM), install it and update it - probably twice. Run a full scan and let tick everything it finds then click on Remove Selected.

Restart back into Normal Mode and all will be as it should be.

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December 21, 2012 5:10:31 PM

Oops, sorry - thought this was the XP Board. In Vista, Start and Run won't find an Open box. Instead, press your Windows key and R at the same time.
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December 30, 2012 4:12:06 AM

i can't even see that. nothing pops up whenever i do any sort of keystroke. as i said it's like there's a veil over the screen that i can't click on anything underneath it yet when i shut it down the veil goes away. i've found a work around of sorts where i log onto a different account on the computer and then log on to the one that i use on a regular basis and it seems to work. however i know that's not how it should be normally so if there's anything you can suggest to fix it to where i don't have to do that any longer would be great. just a reminder i'm in vista which is always a winner >.>
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December 30, 2012 5:09:56 AM

When your desktop is in its normal state, right click it and go to Properties to check if the Theme has changed. Also, under the Desktop tab, check the Wallpaper and change it back to the one you originally chose.
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January 23, 2013 6:25:03 AM

Hi,

Does anyone have a solution to this? I have exactly the same problem as thexsn3akyxn: I start up vista, then, for a short period of time, I can see my desktop. After a (very) short while, icons and task bar just seem to dissappear. All that is visible is the mouse. Crtl-alt-del functions, but when I ask for the task manager, it does not pop up.

The problem does not seem to be that explorer did not start properly. When I force a shut down of the system, both the desktop icons and the taskbar become visible right before the system shuts down, and i can see that the system has started up normally. It is indeed as if a veil is covering the desktop.

Starting up in safe mode is an option, and I have tried to clean the registry as suggested by several forums. Nothing I have tried so far, worked.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mark
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January 23, 2013 9:06:49 AM

Does Control, Shift and Escape bring up Task Manager? If it doesn't, try right clicking eth Taskbar. Once in, click on Processes then right click explorer.exe and select End Process. Give it a few seconds to clear the screen of everything except Task manager then from the File menu, select New Process and type explorer.exe in the box and hit Enter and perhaps it will restart in a better mood.

It's not a fix but if it behaves better second time around, it may point to one.

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February 5, 2013 11:19:28 AM

markmarkmarkmark said:
Hi,

Does anyone have a solution to this? I have exactly the same problem as thexsn3akyxn: I start up vista, then, for a short period of time, I can see my desktop. After a (very) short while, icons and task bar just seem to dissappear. All that is visible is the mouse. Crtl-alt-del functions, but when I ask for the task manager, it does not pop up.

The problem does not seem to be that explorer did not start properly. When I force a shut down of the system, both the desktop icons and the taskbar become visible right before the system shuts down, and i can see that the system has started up normally. It is indeed as if a veil is covering the desktop.

Starting up in safe mode is an option, and I have tried to clean the registry as suggested by several forums. Nothing I have tried so far, worked.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mark



okay so i figured out the solution..make sure you have Malwarebytes installed on your computer and log onto a secondary account on your computer that isn't the one you normally log on with. then run malwarebytes from that account and it should get rid of whatever was wrong with it. And Saga, the whole point is that neither of us could see anything no matter what we did, not even the task manager. it would be there when it shut down but that's the only time it was visible. Hope this helped (:
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February 5, 2013 2:13:04 PM

I hope it helps markmarkmarkmark but it would be helpful if you could post a copy of your MalwareBytes log so we can see what it found and healed. I'm fairly sure there isn't anything identifiable in the log but please check it first and edit out anything you want to be made public.
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!