I should mention when I got it the desktop was not accessible, i had to install norton and the spyware stuff via a thumbdrive and task manager.
My wife brought home a pc from work they use in the back office as a spare, it was all gunked up with spyware and a few viruses, loaded malwares anibytes, spybot search and destroy, norton with all updates and just ran the heck out of those 3 to clear things up.
The problem is the desktop is still not showing, explorer.exe seems to be missing from C windows area, I ran a sfc /scannow and do have the original windows xp service pack 3 disc from the pc here, yet it didn't seem to "fix" this.
I also tried pulling the explorer.exe file off my pc and putting it into c windows but that too didnt work.
If I put that explorer.exe on a thumbdrive I can get it to work thru task manager alt cnt del, point to the explorer.exe file on thumb and it does restore the desktop, yet once you reboot it's back to no start menu no desktop icons (only control i have is thru task manager new task).