Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Folders Inside the Start Menu -> All Programs say "(empty)"

by irinna77 / May 13, 2010 3:07 PM PDT

I am running 64-bit Vista on my HP Pavilion laptop. Recently I noticed that the shortcuts inside most of the program folders in the start menu have disappeared. The program folders and sub-folders are still there, but the actual shortcuts are gone. When I expand them, they say "(empty)".

This only happened to the shortcuts in the following folder: C:\Users\irina\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. The shortcuts are still funtion in the following folder: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\

My PC did crash a couple days before I noticed this problem but I'm not sure if the two issues were related. PC restarted fine after the crash. I tried System Restore, which did not work at first but was able to run it safe mode. I only went back a couple days (before the crash) and that did not fix the issue.

I have also tried to consolidate all the start menu folders into a few categories to reduce the number of folders in the start menu because I read that this may have been the cause. It was not.

I have back-ups of my PC (windows backup) but I'm not sure if there is a way to restore just the start menu. Plus, I really would like to know what could cause something like this. Could it be caused by a virus? Norton Anti-virus "helpful" feature?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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prior PC Crash
by Brechan / May 14, 2010 8:34 AM PDT

Your prior PC crash might have something to do with what is happening now. To view error messages form your computer:
Start--Control Panel--System and Maintenance--Administrative Tools--view event logs

It's a long and drawn-out process (to check through the logs), look for any 'Errors' and 'Critical' messages within the last few days. This will give you a good idea as to why your computer crashed, and will provide an error code (to research via Google/ Bing/ CNET Forums etc.).

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Thank you
by irinna77 / May 15, 2010 3:12 PM PDT
In reply to: prior PC Crash

Thank you for your response. I did go through the event log but did not see any errors in the last few days that were new or different. I was using windows explorer and the photo gallery when the system crashed. The last program I installed was about a week before the crash, it was a driver for a new mouse, which I have since uninstalled.

I have tried to recover my start menu from a back-up but found that this particular folder was not part of the vista backup.

I also found another issue since the crash. The internet tray icon shows that I am not connected to any networks even though I am. I found a fix for this, which was to restart the Network List Service but the problem keeps coming back after each restart. Also shutting down seems to take longer and so does starting up. Who knows what other services and processes may have been affected.

I have a backup of my registry from a few months ago. Would restoring that help or make things worse?

Thanks again for your help.

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