I too have the same problem, the only difference is that when I type "explorer.exe" in the Hew task(run) I get the error message that says "Windows cannot find "explorer.exe" Make sure you type in the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click start menu, and then search". Obviously I cant do that either since I have no desktop or Start Menu bar.
Iam trying to reach my laptop's recovery/reformat option in the control panel from task Manager, with no avail. =(
I also try Control panel from task manager in the run option, and got the same respond as for Explorer.exe.
When I try Msconfig the option "Launch system restore" is gray out, as in I cant access it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!