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Missing Windows Desktop Icons and Startup Button

Last response: in Windows XP
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February 6, 2011 8:10:09 PM

I recently removed Google Chrome from my hard drive and downloaded Firefox with Iolo System Mechanic, and I believe that I removed some essential elements because shortly after I accomplished this I no longer can access a start menu and my desktop icons are all gone. I have tried last known good config, I have run a chksys, I have tried system restore, and I have tried safe mode but I have no desktop or start menu there, either. I opened a new account and I have no access to explorer whatsoever, and it will not run. I have uninstalled and reinstalled it, and it is listed as a program but will not load. My only access to my programs, which still seem to be intact, is through the task manager. I have ran several virus scans and malware programs, and several items were quarantined but the problem still exists. When I type explorer.exe into the taskbar, the start menu flashes briefly and is gone again, the same when I type "control" or "desktop." I have tried the kelly's corner downloads, but I can not locate them on my hard drive when I save them or run them from the download menu for some reason. I am running Windows Xp, and I have no disc and cannot find the i138 file on my drive. I have been searching this forum and several others and have tried everything. I do have the product key and activation code for Windows that was installed to my pc, but I have no way of doing a repair, and I am afraid that I will lose my photos and data. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and as I said I have searched and tried every thread on this forum and nothing has worked as of yet. Thank you in advance!
February 8, 2011 2:20:09 AM

Hi mibix, thank you for your reply.

Yes, I will have to borrow a disc. I will also look into your link as soon as I have time- I have ran malwarebytes and it did pick up quite a bit, but it did not rectify the problem. Thank you for your recommendation, I truly do not wish to lose all my photos and music. I hope to avoid this in the future, it is an enormous cause for frustration! Thanks again.
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February 8, 2011 2:28:20 AM

You could try opening "task manager", then in the "applications" tab, click on "new task", then type "explorer.exe" then click "OK". This should bring back your desktop and start menu, etc... From there you can backup all your documents, pics, etc... Then you can do a repair or a fresh install of windows and scan your back up device (ext. HDD or flash drive) for malware that may have transferred.
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February 8, 2011 6:44:18 PM

Alaskan, hello-

When I type explorer.exe in the applications tab nothing happens, the start menu flickers briefly and is gone again. Explorer won't load at all. I appreciate your suggestions!
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February 8, 2011 7:21:35 PM

ldunn7 said:
Alaskan, hello-

When I type explorer.exe in the applications tab nothing happens, the start menu flickers briefly and is gone again. Explorer won't load at all. I appreciate your suggestions!


My mistake, I missed that part in your post. In that case, your best option is what mibix19 suggested.
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February 8, 2011 7:28:38 PM

Can you get into safe mode. Press F8 repeatedly when starting your computer. If you can from the list, go to safe mode with networking and see what happens then. If you can borrow a disc you can run SFC from safe mode and hopefully replace the missing/faulty files. It sounds as though Explorer.exe has been deleted. If so you have problems. If you have access to another computer,you could try copying their Explorer.exe and from a command prompt copy it onto yours
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