After start up only wallpaper shows, no icons

Challanged - Updated on Jul 5, 2017 at 04:19 AM
 balbhadra - Jul 24, 2022 at 05:20 AM

Upon start up only my wallpaper shows. There are no icons, no task bar, no start menu, nothing, just a blank screen other than my wallpaper. When I right click just to get into the desktop, I select display and even that gets no response. Can someone please help me.

Thank you

67 replies

I had the same problem..
I tried everything..
the most common one was the

-file-new task-explorer.exe

that didn't work..
I tried rebooting as good done..
I scanned my comp. and it found lots of viruses..

Scan your comp. first then do this..

UNPLUG the main power source but make sure your comp. is off first..
wait for 20 mins then plug it back..

What I did was I unplugged everything in the tower..also the power source plug then I waited..
I restarted my comp. and BAM! everything is back to normal....

:P hope it helped
I have the same problem where upon startup only my wallpaper is visible. Using CTRL-ALT-DEL I am able to open the task manager but when I try to type in explorer.exe, explorer, regedit, iexplorer, and iexplorer.exe then click ok I always get a message saying that the file could not be found. In the proccess tab of the task manager there is no entry titled explorer or any varient of it.

I have also noticed that I am no longer able to boot into safemode. When holding down F8 during startup a very annoying beeping will start even though the computer is supposedly on mute.

Any help would be appreciated as this is really starting to drive me crazy, thanks in advance.
Hi I had the same problem to but nothing worked as mention in all the posts until I instaled internet explorer 8.:)
i too had the same problem.
i tried typing "explorer" in the task, no use
then tried the regedit method and tried to delete the explorer item but can't find it

the real method which worked on my lappy is to
ctrl+alt+del ----> new task----> then browse for the explrer icon in the windows directory. rename it to some other name.

And it worked fine. all my icons and cursors came up
then with my spyware and Malwarebyte's antomalware did the trick later

try it

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Go to CTRL, ALT+DEL (Task Manager) choose file and then click new task (RUN) type In the Open box, appwiz.cpl, and then click OK. It may take several seconds for your computer to compile a list of programs.
Scroll down through the list and click Windows Internet Explorer 7, and then click Remove later it requires restart of your Computer.

Simple method to follow :)
Open task manager and click new task. Type explorer.exe and it should all appear. Sorry AzNbOiYu
foxfour Posts 2 Registration date Sunday January 10, 2010 Status Member Last seen January 29, 2010
Jan 10, 2010 at 07:32 PM
This is my experience with this problem and let me start by saying that I don't think there is one cause and one universal fix. I tried all the stuff from earlier in this discussion about registry fixes etc and it didn't work.

The major problem I had was that if I tried to install or run any of the programs like HijackThis or antiMalwareBytes the virus would kill the program. System Restore wouldn't work either because the virus had turned this off and so all the restore points were lost. On top of that if I tried to delete or replace any of the files I thought were infected the computer wouldn't let me. What saved the day for me was the fact that some time ago I made a Bart PE disk which lets you boot into a Windows type environment from a CD. Booting from this disk I was able to replace Explorer.exe with a known good one from another computer. This brought back the desktop icons but not for long because they disappeared again shortly afterwards and the virus had changed the Explorer.exe file back to an infected one.

I downloaded the Sophos anti rootkit on a good machine and put it on a USB disk. I was able to run this program from the USB disk on the infected computer after booting from the Bart PE disk. The Sophos anti rootkit also detected the following files in the Windows/System32 folder as being infected - svchost.exe, dumprep.exe, mrt.exe, igfxtray.exe, hkcmd.exe, eventlog.dll plus of course explorer.exe which is in the Windows folder. I then deleted all the files marked as infected and replaced them all with files from a known good machine, except the igfxtray.exe which I couldn't find. I should point out that earlier I had used ctrl+alt+del to bring up Task Manager and Run msconfig and disabled all the programs that run at startup. No point clearing crap out of a machine to have it re-activated as soon as the computer re-boots.

Anyway after having replaced the dodgy files with good ones and re-booted the infected machine came back up OK. I was able to install AVG Free (downloaded on another PC) which found and removed a whole load more crap. Finally I was able to run msconfig again and re-enable all the startup items.

I know that many of you reading this won't have a Bart PE disk and it's not the easiest thing to make but it's well worth the effort if you do a lot of helping people with their computers. I don't want this to seem like a rant but with so many free anti-virus and anti-malware products available these days there's no excuse for a lot of these infections.
THE REAL Simple & Effective & NOT-harmful DEAL (after going through most answers):

"Right Click on desktop > Properties > Themes Tab then in the drop down box restore it to the original "Windows XP" theme then apply, then back to they way you want it with your own picture and it worked properly for me this time."

thank you soo much you saved my computer
hey..thanks all...task manager thing slves my problem...

Upon start up only my wallpaper shows. There are no icons, no task bar, no start menu, nothing, just a blank screen other than my wallpaper. When I right click just to get into the desktop, I select display and even that gets no response. Can someone please help me.

thank you
Basically I'm having this same problem, no desktop, start button or anything.]

The reason for this is a spyware product called Virus Protector. It's completely ruining my computer and it's just a scam to take your money. I can't use Ctrl+Alt+Del nor any other variations because the program has taken away the administration rights to use this (Does anyone know a way to get them back so I can try some other solutions?)

Starting in safe mode doesn't help, because nothing changes, my desktop is still not there and I can't get into any other programs!

I'm completely lost and I have no idea how to fix my problem. Can anyone suggest anything new that doesn't involve what's already been stated about Ctrl+Alt+Del and using safe mode. Even the links that have been provided aren't working.

Please help!
OK, I've been wrestling with this problem for days.

If I boot into XP, I get just my wallpaper. In safe mode, just a black screen. In either case, I can hit ctl-alt-del to bring up the task manager. I select new task, and get the text box. At this point, it seems it doesn't matter what I type in -- absolutely nothing happens. I've tried "explorer" and "explorer.exe" as well as "regedit" and I get nothing. No result, no error message. Explorer is not running in the Processes box. I've replaced explorer.exe with a fresh copy of the file direct from my XP CD (copied in DOS mode) and nothing. I've also gone through the process of a BOOTCFG /REBUILD and FIXBOOT -- no help.

Any further suggestions? I'm pretty well stymied at this point.
al+ctrl+delete press in task manager new task and write exlorer.exe enter u screen icon will come back
so what would be the cause of this when icon do not show and only wallpaper?
I have this problem , and when I press right click , the info came up saying my task manger has been disabled by the administrator...what do I do now.i can't even operate safe mode , because when I go into it it will n ot allow me to cursor anywhere
Hi im freery ,
try this out!!!
Start task manager
(press ctrl+alt+del)
then it sould had your taskbar and icons

1. At the taskbar, select Start|Run.
2. Type
3. Then type

it sould solve your ploblem ,
then open up your antivirus,
then scan for virus|spy

Thanks , Freery
hi folks,

just simply press CTRL+ALT+DEL
select File and click NEW TASK on windows task manager window
in a dialog box, type C: and click OK

Thank you Scorpion,It worked!!!!
I was having this issue, but was able to run explorer in safe mode. I tried "fixing" the registry, replacing the shdocvw.dll and userinit.exe files in %sytemroot%\system32 and explorer.exe in %sytemroot%. I did this several times through several means.

For fear of giving the pleasure to some scriptkiddie for acknowledging a successful take down of my system, I'm not going to say which virus did it. However, I will say that it was a nasty little bastard. It took a lot to fix, but I did so through the following.

1. Remove the hard drive and slave it to another system. Run a virus scan on the hard drive and clean the infected file(s).
--The virus had successfully taken down my antivirus.

2. Run a full system repair from the XP installer disc.
--It took time to do, but nothing else would work.

3. Update your antivirus and scan the drive again locally.

Now that I've done all that, everything is back to normal except one thing; my internet connection. I have network connectivity, I just can't do anything on port 80 it seems. ICMP works, as do windows update, symantec live update, and network file transfer. It's probably something simple that I've overlooked, or it could just be that I need to install the drivers for my NIC/wifi.

Why someone would produce a virus that would render itself useless is beyond me. It would serve no purpose other than ticking people off. In this case, it worked. But TS, punk, you won't get the pleasure of knowing you succeeded.