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IE opens on its own and the taskbar and icons disappear

by Car Key / June 11, 2007 8:52 AM PDT

Hi, something really weird has happened.

I was on Opera (as I am now) and IE just opened itself automatically, which I haven't used for ages, so I closed it straight away and assumed it was a spyware thing, so would scan my PC tomorrow.

But when it closed, I got the eggtimer pointer and my taskbar disappeared and all my icons disappeared.

I was going to print screen and save it, but because my taskbar has disappeared and my start menu cannot be accessed by the start button (as it went with the taskbar) or the windows key, I can't get to photoshop or paint or anything.

Anyway I think you get the idea, I can only use the programs that I had open which is Firefox and Opera.

Anyone else encountered this, and know of any way to counter this, without restarting (as my PC doesn't like restarts, but that's a whole different kettle of fish)?


Any reply is appreciated.

Specs if necessary:

Windows XP
P4 2.2Ghz skt 478
512Mb 400Mhz RAM
256Mb ATI Radeon X1800GTO
40Gb Hard Drive
Asus Mobo

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by Car Key / June 11, 2007 8:58 AM PDT


I've managed to get the Task Manager up after a lot of Ctrl+Alt+Delete-ing but the thing is explorer.exe isn't even listed in the processes. It is all very strange.

Because usually if you end explorer.exe it kind of just refreshes the system as it were, and the taskbar disappears then reappears, as well as the icons, so I was hoping that would happen. But explorer.exe isn't even listed.

Any ideas?

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Re: Update
by Tufenuf / June 11, 2007 9:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Update

Car Key, Open Task Manager, click File>New Task (Run...) and type in explorer.exe and click OK.


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Tell us more
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 11, 2007 8:45 PM PDT

"my PC doesn't like restarts, but that's a whole different kettle of fish"

Tell us more about this. It may be related.


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I have the exact same problem
by brdlysf / July 13, 2007 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Tell us more

I only use Mozilla but IE keeps opening by itself, usually to some disgusting porn site. And the taskbar and icons sometimes disappear. After an hour or two, IE is chugging away and the system hangs.

My husband is threatening to throw the whole computer out the window but I keep telling him its not the computer, its some software crap on the computer.

We have switched internet companies about every year, and I'm wondering if this is some sort of punishment from some company we left (AOL -> Verizon -> PeoplePC -> Earthlink -> Back to Verizon DSL now).

Please please please help!

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Run the scans...
by John.Wilkinson / July 14, 2007 6:56 AM PDT

It sounds like a textbook case of a malware infection. Make sure your security software is up to date and then run full virus and spyware scans. AVG Antispyware is a powerful free spyware scanner, while Housecall is a nice free online virus scanner.Those should complement your current protection (if any) nicely and help you oust whatever plagues you.

Let us know how it goes.

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