Taskbar Blank / Computer Frozen on Startup

By MCTaylor
Aug 7, 2009
  1. I'm a newbie to these forums, and I really know very little about fixing problems with computers. I have a Windows desktop, running XP Professional edition. It's been great for 4 years now, with only little issues that I've been able to fix on my own, but I just ran into a problem I have no idea how to go about solving.

    Last night I somehow got an 'Antispyware 2010' virus on the computer. Fixed it today by downloading MalwareBytes, and computer worked fine afterwards. I'm pretty sure this isn't what's causing the problem. Windows Defender hasn't been working for a while, so I decided that this would be a good time to get it back up and running. I followed some advice related to the error message ( and after restarting the computer the problem at hand arose.

    The issue: The computer restarted (and restarts) fine. It comes up to the screen where you choose the user. Once you choose the user and type in the password it starts up alright, the wallpaper loads, and the desktop images load. That's where everything stops working correctly. The taskbar fails to load - it remains a darker shade of blue than normal, start menu doesn't show, and the system tray doesn't show. When you drag the cursor down over the taskbar, it changes from the pointer to the hourglass. All of the desktop icons are there, but you can't click on any of them. Control+alt+delete doesn't work. The computer is basically frozen, except for the fact that you can move the cursor around.

    I have no idea how to begin getting the computer back up and running. I am writing from a laptop, so the PC is basically non-functional for the time being. Any advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

    Thanks in advance,
  2. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Try logging in as a different user and see if you have the same result.
  3. MCTaylor

    MCTaylor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow. That was like magic. Thanks for the advice. I had previously tried to log onto the other user to no avail, but this time it logged on right away in a very basic mode of Windows (gray task bar, blue wallpaper, etc.). Then I went to switch user, and it came up to the main user account with no problem.

    Only one issue: the internet didn't work. I connect with a wireless router, so after fooling with that and rebooting a handful of times the original startup issue came back! It only lasted for a couple of reboots, and now the internet is on and it seems to restart fine.

    I guess this resolved it...I guess only time will tell.
  4. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Good to hear.
    I don't know if you did the complete check, but run this (just to be sure) I highly recommend it, and use the programs recommended.
    If you can, you can delete that user account (it won't delete the files, you have an option to keep them) and recreate it.
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