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"windows.exe is not a valid win32 application." Help!

by toocool_sashi / February 23, 2008 11:05 PM PST


Ok so i wanted to give my comp a thorough clean up so i did an online anti virus scan (Panda Anti virus). In the middle of the scan, the desktop and the start menu disappeared. My hunch was that explorer.exe terminated. I tried restarting explorer.exe through the task manager but it said "explorer.exe is not a valid win32 program". When i restarted the computer, windows opened but i cud only see my wallpaper, no desktop or start menu. All programs are working, the only thing is that i have to start whatever i want to use using the task manager.
What do i do to get my desktop and start menu back?


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Keep an eye on this link too.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2008 11:17 PM PST

If there is anything we've learned over the years is spyware and more can damage this OS. Reboot, retry and ignore the usual errors if they happen one time. Always research on and arm yourself to the eyeballs or else.


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by toocool_sashi / February 24, 2008 1:39 AM PST

hey the other link was also posted by me Silly
well this problem happened to me a month ago, ive been living on the task manager since then! i tried system restore when it no avail! Sad
any other ideas? please..anything would be helpful! Happy

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Have you done a check for a corrupt profile?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 24, 2008 1:46 AM PST
In reply to: Re:

In the discussion at it became clear to me it was the age old issue of the corrupt profile. Easy to spot when the owner writes "I tried creating a new account and that seemed to work."

The good news it that it's a common problem with an easy fix. The bad news is that no one (Microsoft included) has issued a tool to repair a corrupt profile. At least you never have to format your machine due to this one and I've never lost any files due to this one.


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by MIpapaof4 / February 24, 2008 2:03 AM PST

Use an on line scan and you will get exactly what you pay for. Why not pay for a good one and be satisfied?

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by toocool_sashi / February 24, 2008 1:22 PM PST
In reply to: windows.exe

firstly, thank you for SOUND technical advise.

secondly, i do have AVG Professional installed on my computer. Apparently it is not so good cuz the online scan detected 200+ "viruses".

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by toocool_sashi / February 24, 2008 1:26 PM PST
In reply to: RE

Hi, thanks for the advice..but the thing is, that machine can get a start menu by pressing the windows key. that means that explorer is up and running. i can NOT get the start menu up by pressing the windows key, so i think the two problems are fundamentally different? what do u think? im on my academic departmental network now, ill go back and try to create a new profile and let u know.

thanks Happy

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One Other Idea: There is a Tool for Repairing...
by tobeach / February 24, 2008 2:15 PM PST
In reply to: @Bob
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didn't work! :(
by toocool_sashi / February 24, 2008 6:17 PM PST

That tool didnt work. maybe because my underlying problem is with my explorer file, not with the taskbar or the start menu. will it help if i get a fresh explorer.exe file and overwrite my prev file?

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With 200 viruses the usual fix is
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 24, 2008 9:45 PM PST
In reply to: didn't work! :(

To save your files then start over. Can you think what someone did to allow such on the machine? Remember that while we can find, remove most pests we can't always fix the damage.

-> Last ideas.

1. Corrupt profiles.
2. The task bar is set to hide.

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by toocool_sashi / February 24, 2008 10:41 PM PST

i guess ill format the system (i checked for corrupt profiles already, and my taskbar isnt hidden). thanks for ur time and help bob Happy


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