Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Killed some viruses, lost my desktop!

by 79Wolverine / August 21, 2009 2:37 PM PDT

I have a Windows XP SP2 laptop that hadn't had it's virus definitions updated in a while (because it was a scheduled thing and I never had it turned on at the right time! duh).

So, I updated the definitions, then ran a full scan (Trend Micro-2008). It found 31 issues and two Trojans. It deleted the cookies, quarantined the Trojans and I re-booted as instructed.

Now it boots fine, but doesn't show the desktop, no icons, no status bar, nada. It just shows my background wallpaper image and sits idle. It responds to mouse movements, and ctl-alt-del (shows no apps running - none using CPU), but does not respond to mouse clicks, the Alt button, F keys, etc.

I re-booted to safe-mode and it hangs without showing the desktop, re-booted to last known good config. - no difference, re-booted to debugging mode and no messages, no difference.

Any ideas???

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Killed some viruses, lost my desktop!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Killed some viruses, lost my desktop!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Does not respond to mouse clicks?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 9:38 PM PDT

If that's the case then there are problems.

In normal mode, (not safe mode), when you open the Task Manager by CTRL+ALT+Del, can you goto File > New task (Run...)? If so, can you type in explorer.exe and click OK or press the Enter key on the keyboard?

If you can do all that, hopefully explorer will start and display your Taskbar and desktop icons.


Collapse -
by 79Wolverine / August 21, 2009 11:45 PM PDT


Thanks for the answer. When I hit file, new task and type in Explorer.exe, I get an error meesage that says "Windows cannot find 'explorer.exe' Make sure you types teh name crrectly...".

Wehn I type in CMD and Dir, it appears that the hard drive is in tact, but apprarently some system files have been removed due to the way it's behaving. Just my guess.

Collapse -
When the damage gets this deep
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 11:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Explorer.exe

then often the only solution is either a "Repair Install", or a "Clean Install".

Do you have that XP installation CD?


Collapse -
Install CD
by 79Wolverine / August 24, 2009 2:46 PM PDT


No I don't have the install CD. XP came pre-installed on the hard drive.

Collapse -
If there are no install disks,
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 24, 2009 10:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Install CD

then most manufacturers used to supply a "Recovery partition" on the same hard disk. It is usually hidden, and it holds all the information needed to return this system to where it was when you brought it. Everything currently on the C drive would be lost.

That hidden partition is normally accessed when the system is first turned on.

If your system has neither the install disks nor the hidden partition, then you will need to contact the supplier and ask them to send the disks to you. They will normally charge a small fee.


Collapse -
Install partition
by 79Wolverine / August 25, 2009 12:35 AM PDT


Thanks for all your help on this. I'll look into this strategy.


Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!