Desktop icons & start menu tools wont work!!!

 BDK -
im stuck if anyone can help me PLEASE!! everything was fine yesterday I logged off and when I went to log on again all my desktop icons had the IE logo instead of the normal icon pics and when I try to open them it just opens an internet explorer page then that disappears and a download window opens but when I try to click download it disappears and the IE page opens again it just repeats that process every time. also I cannot open any of my programs in my start menu they all say windows cannot open this therefore I cannot even do a system restore. I cant use my virus software or anything and ive tried downloading stuff to fix it but I can download but cannot actually save it to run it so im at a loss as to what to do next ive been trying to fix this now since yesterday and im not real computer savy so I didnt want to do something that could hurt it either. I did try to get to system restore through safe mode but it does the same thing in safe mode. also cant reinstall windows xp cuz my cd/dvd isnt working either! im going crazy trying to figure this out please help!!!! its a Dell XPS windows xp professional edition.

4 replies

Registration date
Thursday September 30, 2010
Last seen
September 30, 2010
If you have already Rebooted and the problem still exists, you can still try this but I doubt it will help. If you haven't (and dont want to reboot for whatever reason) give it a shot. It won't hurt and may solve your problem

I have had this happen several times. While viruses or malware MAY cause this a more common problem is an app you are running that is "not playing nice with memory". It has happened to me while running something I really don't want to cancel and restart.

This solution is quite simple and DOES NOT Require a REBOOT.
  • 1. Open Task manager (Ctrl - Alt - Dlet),
  • 2. Click Process tab,
  • 3. Find Explorer.exe (or explorer.exe).
  • 4. Terminate it. (ignore warning)
  • 5. Click Applications tab
  • 6. Then New Task.
  • 7. Enter (guess what) explorer.exe and press enter

your desktop and taskbar will reappear (and your long running app will still be running)

Thanks for trying to help me :-) Im just glad I was able to fix it! lol

It happened to me as well and there were several explorer/exe (4 of them). I terminated only one at first. It did not work, then I got scared to terminate the others...then, I thought :whathever...and terminated all of them....have no idea what I did or if it was going to ("or will") harm the computer...did it anyway and bingo... it worked. Thanks a lot for the tip. I love the internet...
Note: 3 of the explorer.exe had 54 kb or something and one said 200 and something...why they different?
Thank you...Problem Solved:)
you are a genius and a blessing!
Uninstaling avast antivirus solved my problem, I activated Windows Defender antivirus, now start menu and Cortana works perfectly

I finally fixed it!! this is how I was able to get system restore up to fix the problem!! To start System Restore using the Command prompt, follow these steps:
bring up task manager (ctrl+alt+delete) hold ctrl and click new task which will bring up the command prompt.
At the command prompt, type %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, and then press ENTER.
Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to a functional state. Hope this can help someone else that is going through this cuz I know I was about ready to pull my hair out I was so frustrated!! lol so good luck
thanks it works, but the problem is that after restarting the PC the problems comes again what steps to take to solve the problem permanently
I fixed my issue by deleting icloud photo... just before my start menu would go crazy I would get the message "icloud photo not able to load" and then all hell would break out. After I did the delete (got rid of apple icloud and photo) it stopped... it's been a few days now and no issues :-)
Anthony, you are a genius! I had the same problem. My windows explored would crash and restart, crash and restart, crash and restart endlessly. At some point, after crashing and restarting a gazillion times it would apparently set, but the start button would not work. I deleted apple's iCloud, restarted my PC and, presto!

Apple's PC software is always crap. iTunes is also crap. They are very good with their own products but Apple is incapable of developing decent PC apps.
Amazing thanks so much worked a dream been crashing for past two days
I was getting hopeless and found this forum and it worked. Thank You
Same Here. But I stopped the icloud service first from the task menu. I could then right click the task bar and get to the settings where I uninstalled icloud.