Taskbar and Icons disappearing on XP

Solved/Closed
goldtop - Sep 15, 2008 at 11:16 AM
 sid - Oct 10, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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.

18 replies

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.
415
Hei man thank you very much it did solve my problem...i wonder what is the cause of that!!
..what will happen to the explorer??while am using now is the explorer1!!is explorer.exe now redundat??

but anyway..man thank you..
can I kiss you??ahehehe

PEACE (^_^)\n/


†Wo|FWood†
0
i still have the same problem I followed your step but no result,thanks anyways...
0
Awesome anhtrung, your instructions worked great and easy! Thank you! YOU SAVED ME HOURS AND HOURS OF FIGURING THIS OUT!
0
I am sure this should work, but when I hit Ctrl, Alt, Delete it says "Task manager has been disabled by your adminitrator?" Any suggestions?
0
I just did all of the above and when I rebooted, the problem was not fixed.
When I went to regedit and checked out the "shell" the new name was there, explorer1.exe so it was changed. But it didn't fix the porblem. Another other possible solutions?
0
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.
45
People people

the thing that this guy says will fix your computerjust follow the steps:

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
Credits goes to that guy
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.
0
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 !
0
It worked.thanks man
0
shell value is shell u double click shell
0
thank you
0
Just call me Max
Sep 24, 2008 at 06:40 PM
Open task manager run Explorer

Type explorer in it and should come up


this happent to me I had to restore my computer
33
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.
29
it seams it worked for users not replying.. i'll give it a try.
0
Ya it worked for me but why start happening any reasons
0
thanks so much!
my computer is now working fine & your instructions were great :)
0
Thank you SO MUCH! That did the trick. My question now is can I go back to "explorer.exe"
0
Thank you very much!!!
You saved me a lot of time!!!!

George

Greece
0

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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 .
10
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.
9
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
0
Wasworriedsick
Jan 15, 2009 at 09:13 AM
OH MY GOD....I DID EXACTLY WAT U SED anhtrung.....and it worked.....i could kiss u........thank you
8
It works!! A million thanks to the one who post the solution...
5
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
4
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.
3
nomadcrys Posts 195 Registration date Tuesday November 18, 2008 Status Member Last seen January 29, 2010 48
Nov 19, 2008 at 06:08 AM
i think its a virus...you know what to do now!
3
@anhtrung

Thank you!!!

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

Thanks again!
2
Thank you for the FIX. It was the only one that worked.
2
Same thing happened to me
Dec 30, 2008 at 05:09 PM
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!
2
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.
0
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.
0
Thanks for such a good post.
2
anhtrung, thank you very much. I tried all others solutions on web, yours was the only one that worked. thanks again.
1
Thanks!!! anhtrung

your solution is work so well ...
1
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!!!
0