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Taskbar and Icons disappearing on XP [Solved/Closed]

goldtop - Latest answer on Oct 10, 2012 07:00AM
Hello,
As with several other people, I too have a blank XP desktop missing the icons and the taskbar (wallpaper is present though). At one point system recovery from an earlier date cured the problem, but as soon as I switched off and re-booted the problem returned.
I have tried typing 'explorer.exe' in the Task Manager, but Windows cannot find it. Even if I include the full path (C:\windows\explorer.exe) it gives an error message saying it can't find the file. Even if I copy explorer from another machine onto a removable drive it STILL cannot find it. However if I re-name 'explorer.exe' to, say, 'explorer1.exe' it does find it, so there is something about the explorer name that is being blocked.
If I type 'explorer1.exe' as in the previous paragraph it doesn't fully cure the problem. It brings up a copy of Windows Explorer at the 'My Documents' level and one can navigate from there, but this is not the true desktop, nor is the taskbar present.
All the above applies whether in Safe Mode or otherwise
Can anyone help with this unusual problem? Many thanks.
Read more 
Answer
+413
moins plus
Suck bulletin board.
Readers: Please patient and read the instruction in several messages then.
Part 1:
1. Ctrl + Alt + Del to bring up Task Manager.
2. Click "New Task..." then click "Browse..."
3. Click My Computer on the left panel. Click C:\ - WINDOWS.
4. Navigate to explorer.exe, right click and copy explorer. Rename it to explorer1 (.exe)
5. Hit Cancel to go back to Create New Task window. Type regedit.exe and click OK.

don- Apr 23, 2010 12:00PM
can you help please my task manager just doesnt open i have tried lots of ways
please help
thanks
don
LoOpEdd- May 1, 2010 06:26PM
right click you taskbar and click taskmanager.
toom- May 9, 2010 12:21PM
thanks.
arpit- Jul 7, 2010 07:59AM
hey dude u r great , it workd ..................
thanx a lot
PX- Jul 7, 2010 09:46AM
THis works fine - found it myself. But how do I fix it permanently?

PX
Answer
+43
moins plus
I had this same problem and thanks to anhtrung it was fixed easily. My icons and taskbar would disappear for about 10 seconds and then reappear for about 10 seconds over and over and over. Windows Explorer would disappear if it was open but other programs would stay open if I was quick enough to get them all the way open before the icons flashed again. Taskmanager was the only thing that worked and if I stopped explorer.exe and restarted it the flashing would begin again. Heres the instructions again.

Thank you anhtrung

Part 1:
1. Ctrl + Alt + Del to bring up Task Manager.
2. Click "New Task..." then click "Browse..."
3. Click My Computer on the left panel. Click C:\ - WINDOWS.
4. Navigate to explorer.exe, right click and copy explorer. Rename it to explorer1 (.exe)
5. Hit Cancel to go back to Create New Task window. Type regedit.exe and click OK.

6. In the registry editor, navigate to the following Key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

With the Winlogon key selected, look in the right side window for the
'Shell" value.

Double click Shell. In the Value Data box, you should see Explorer.exe. Change it to
explorer1.exe and click OK.

Exit the registry editor and reboot the computer.

JohnOQ- Oct 11, 2009 02:59AM
Hey Clarkd88,

I tried the popular anhtrung fix that seemed to work so well for so many here. Unfortunately, it did not work for me. I also tried the Symantec Vundo removal tool - (no trojan found). I have spent so many HOURS on this (yeah... I know I can just open task manager and run explorer.exe, but it just bugs me to have to do that !) and I guess I'll quit trying to fix this for a while.

I thought I had a very simple idea, though, and I don't know why it did not work. I thought - "why don't I just add explorer.exe to my startup menu? After I did that, it did not help anything, and when I went back to msconfig to check the startup items, it was not there. So I don't understand why I cannot just add c:\windows\explorer.exe shortcut to my startup files that way.

Anyway, I'll check back on this subject thread here in a day or two to see if any new techniques I haven't tried yet, or if anyone happens to know why my idea did not work. Glad to hear that so many of you have found solutions, though, to this very annoying problem.

See ya later !
Dinu- Jan 23, 2010 09:22AM
It worked.thanks man
lalala- Jun 12, 2010 03:46AM
shell value is shell u double click shell
jaelle- Jun 12, 2010 06:26PM
thank you
sid- Oct 10, 2012 07:00AM
thank u clarkd88 it worked
Answer
+34
moins plus
Open task manager run Explorer

Type explorer in it and should come up


this happent to me i had to restore my computer

Answer
+29
moins plus
6. In the registry editor, navigate to the following Key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

With the Winlogon key selected, look in the right side window for the
'Shell" value.

Double click Shell. In the Value Data box, you should see Explorer.exe. Change it to
explorer1.exe and click OK.

Exit the registry editor and reboot the computer.

gambler- Dec 30, 2008 07:29AM
Thanks it worked for me too!!!

Respect from Montego Bay, Jamaica
tonipukrteuba 2Posts Tuesday February 3, 2009Registration date February 4, 2009 Last seen - Feb 4, 2009 02:58PM
Used the "manual fix" suggested by Anhtrung and retrieved the desktop icons and taskbar and all worked wonderful! Thank you! THEN I ran the Malware Bytes app. It found MANY trojan files, including the explorer1.exe. I "fixed" the trojans, but alas, it also left me back at the blank screen.... I returned to Task Manager, used the manual fix again, and I was able to retrieve desktop and taskbar and a working computer. However, another Malware Byte scan showed trojan still in explorer1.exe..... I "ignored" it and was able to have the desktop and taskbar, etc. NOW I am wondering what I should do about the remaining trojan file.... Will this trojan just reattach itself to other files and cause problem again? Can I safely send emails? MANY thanks for your fix and for any suggestions concerning the trojan showing in explorer1.exe.

(I am using second computer now, which had trojan problem but I was able to use system restore on this one, and hopefully the malware bytes scan found all the trojans and quaranteed them!)
KG- Feb 21, 2009 06:28AM
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SAYING COPY AND RENAME explorer1?
mslal5- Oct 30, 2009 03:42PM
This didn't work for us. However, we are logged on as an administrator and where not able to rename explore.exe to explore1.exe. We were able to change in the registry, did the reboot and nothing. Scanned for viruses and malware and nothing. Any other suggestions to this issue?
B- Apr 1, 2010 02:01PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I did everything you said and when i rebooted it was perfectly back to normal!
Answer
+9
moins plus
Go to task manager and type desktop. that what I did and look at mines now, everythings there. I havent turned my computer off yet because Im afraid it will delte again, so im eventually going ot have to try. thanks .

Answer
+8
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OH MY GOD....I DID EXACTLY WAT U SED anhtrung.....and it worked.....i could kiss u........thank you

Answer
+8
moins plus
Guys i have found a much simpler fix for the problem, well at least it worked for me.

In that reg entry you may not have noticed that "explorer" is spelt is spelt with a capital "E" but when you run taskmngr and try to start a process, it tries to start a process called "explorer.exe" which in fact should be "Explorer.exe". I laughed at myself after spending 2 hours trying to fix this. simply change the name of the process you are trying to start from "explorer" to "Explorer" and it should work, well it worked for me anyway. and dont change anything in the regedit, leave it as Explorer.

Jump- Aug 12, 2009 12:21AM
IThe MicroSoft XP CD clearly shows the file as explorer.exe - no capital. It loads and installs this way under the C:/Windows folder. Check to see. When you changed it to a capital, it may have been like making it explorer1.exe
Answer
+5
moins plus
It works!! A million thanks to the one who post the solution...

Answer
+4
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after i enter exlorer1.exe then i reboot my pc and log in and i back to normal but i cant open start menu and document so i go ack to the rentry.exe i just type in exloprer.exe and it worked my icons and taskbar back in after i login also my start menu worked now i can open document too so so my pc back on normal (bad typing) thanks anyway anhtrung =)))) cheers happy new year

Answer
+3
moins plus
I have the same issue where renaming explorer.exe to explor.exe and changing the shell="explor.exe" kinda fix it. Running a adware scan now on the computer and not too sure whether it will fix it permanently or not.
I am thinking to change it back to explorer.exe later to check whether "explorer.exe being blocked" or some other file is corrupted. This is the 4th incidents I have for the past few weeks.

Answer
+3
moins plus
i think its a virus...you know what to do now!

Answer
+3
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Thank you so much,
Best instruction, I almost gave up when the taskbar on my computer disappeared. Good that I did not buy a new computer, but came up on this website!!THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Answer
+3
moins plus
Dear Asker,
The same thing happened to my computer!
I was on the phone for nearly 2 hours and the guy couldnt help me at all.
He said that I might need to re-install windows to get everything back to normal.
All my icons and taskbar went away but the wallpaper is still present like yours,
is there any thing that helped bring all that stuff back?
If there is,
write a comment under mine telling me which one did because I do not want to reinstall windows and loose everything!

David- Dec 30, 2008 10:52PM
I do not have access to registry. Is there anyway to remove the software key? It keeps copying the explorer.exe file. Really appreciate the great help.
Masamune- Jan 5, 2009 12:56AM
im having a problem just like that but mine dissapear closing mots apps i have started come back then repeats endlessly. this dosent give me enough time to get that malware detector installed. please someone help.
Answer
+2
moins plus
Thank you for the FIX. It was the only one that worked.

Answer
+1
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@anhtrung

Thank you!!!

I just had to fix this on a computer at work and your instructions were right on the money!

Thanks again!

Answer
+1
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anhtrung, thank you very much. I tried all others solutions on web, yours was the only one that worked. thanks again.

Answer
+1
moins plus
Thanks!!! anhtrung

your solution is work so well ...

Answer
+1
moins plus
Thanks for such a good post.

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