Desktop only showing background, no icons, no right-click

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i have a Dell inspiron 1 desktop computer. Windows 7. whenever I turn it on it brings me to "start windows repair(reccomended) and "start windows normally" either way they both end up at the same place. (login background with no icons, no profiles to log into, and nothing to click) start windows normally just takes longer to get there.

So i've read a lot on this but ctrl+alt+del doesnt do anything and neither does right-click. So i'm stuck at the background and I don't know what to do!

Please help! in as much detail as possible.

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What do you get if you start in safe mode?
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How do I do that? is that the f8 thing? i've tried pressing F8 as soon as I turn it on, before the windows logo comes on, while i'm at the background. every time and tht doesnt do anything.
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If you kept F8 pressed down, then you did it correctly. If you can't apply xpcman's solution, you could try to restore to factory settings:

https://ccm.net/faq/7319-reset-dell-inspiron-to-factory-default-settings
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You probably need to run a Windows Repair operation from the Windows DVD or a special Windows Repair CD that you can download an burn to a CD from the internet.

You need to change the boot order to start for an optical disk (CD or DVD) that's done buy pressing a PF Key (it think it's F10 on a Dell).

Good Luck
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dont have a CD or DVD for it
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Then you will need to use another computer to burn a CD. The 2nd computer must match the Windows version you have. Either 32bit or 64bit.

Here is a link to instructions:

https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2083-system-repair-disc-create.html