TechSpot

Desktop Not Appearing on XP

By trippfam05
Jul 19, 2007
  1. Whenever I boot up my computer and log in to one of the user names, the desktop does not load, save the wallpaper. None of the icons, programs, or folders will load, and the computer is virtually useless right now. When Task Manager is ran, you can use the "New Task" option to open up the Internet and from there, you can access every file on the computer, but you can't do anything from the empty desktop. I ran HJT, but the only things that popped up were files or toolbars that were associated with programs that were on the computer long before this took place.

    Does anyone know how to fix this, or at least what's going on?
     
  2. yhelp

    yhelp TS Rookie

    Try booting into Safe Mode by repeatedly tapping the F8 key after your BIOS POST but before Windows starts.
     
  3. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,554

    Sounds like spyware. The more common symptoms would be your background is changed on you or is blank but yours is the other way around. Still, it smacks of spyware!

    Here are the 3 anti-spyware utilities I recommend:

    • Ad-Aware 2007
    • Spybot Search & Destroy
    • AVG Anti-Spyware
    All are free and can be downloaded via the Internet.
     
  4. yhelp

    yhelp TS Rookie

    Well if he/she can not see the start or any thing like that on the desktop how is this going to work for him/her.
     
  5. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,554

    He/she said she can access the Internet and the filesystem. Therefore, he/she can download and launch programs. :p

    QED
     
  6. yhelp

    yhelp TS Rookie

    Yes he/she did I looked at it wrong well it is 5.22 am here. Like you put i was going to say if he/she can get in to safe mode and see the desktop it will be some software/spyware/adware that's on the pc.
     
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,554

    The advantage of Safe Mode is that it includes on the necessary components to run Windows. Optional parts are left out. That means if the spyware is running out of the optional parts then, yes, it should disappear in Safe Mode. But the person stated that he/she cannot see icons but the Desktop component is also part of Safe Mode. Unlikely the icons will appear in Safe Mode but it is possible.

    I find Safe Mode works well when removing stubborn spyware/virus. In Safe Mode many Windows security features are removed or relaxed for this very purpose. Some psyware virus take advantage of these security features to prevent detection and removal. In Safe Mode, the security features are gone and you can then remove the offending malware.
     
  8. yhelp

    yhelp TS Rookie

    Your a 100% right.
     
  9. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Posts: 2,407   +6

    Hello and welcome to TechSpot.

    Please do the following, to determine what's wrong with your system.

    Go and read the Viruses/spyware/malware, preliminary removal instructions. Follow all the instructions exactly.

    Post fresh HJT, ComboFix, and AVG Anti-Spyware logs as attachments into this thread, only after doing the above. Also post here the results of the AVG Anti-Rootkit scan.

    Regards :)
     
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