I was asked by a friend to see if i could help them with a problem they are having with there computer but was unable to help.

When you click the start menu and go to programs there is nothing in the menu besides the startup folder(witch is empty),,,, No Accessories or anything.

The computer is running 98....
To me it looks this problem may have been human error,,, but thought i would write to you guys as you have alot of experience in the field.

Is there a program that can get all the programs in the menu again or something instead of having to manually place everything back in there??

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by DMR

Do you know for sure that they are on the computer, and not deleted?

For most reliable operation, since you do not know the cause, I would go to add and remove programs to delete them, then reinstall them.


The problem may indeed be user error, or it could have been caused by some random system fault/corruption as well. If not even the default Windows groups (Main, Accessories, Games, etc.) appear under the Start Menu, here are two things I can think of that you can try:

1. In Windows 98, the default locations for the items is C:\Windows\Start Menu, or (if there are multiple users) C:\Windows\Profiles\username\Start Menu. Search the entire computer to see if the folders/groups still exist, but have been moved:

* Configure your computer to display all files and folders:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the View menu and then click Folder Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the Show all files radio button and select it.
  6. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and close the My Computer window.

Do a full search of your C: drive to try to locate the missing Start Menu groups:

  1. From the Start menu, select Find, then Files or Folders...
  2. Make sure you are on Name & Location tab.
  3. In the Named: field, type the name of one of the default group items ("Accessories" would be a good choice, because there shouldn't be many other files with that name on your computer).
  4. Select [C:] from the Look in: drop-down box to search your entire hard drive for files of this type. Make sure Include sub-folders is checked.
  5. Click Find Now to generate a listing of all files on your C:\ drive of this file type.

If you find the missing items, you can try moving them back to thier original location (C:\Windows\Start Menu or C:\Windows\Profiles\username\Start Menu).

** Be aware that because the default Windows groups are special, system-generated items, their associacitons in the Registry may have become disassociated by the move, and therefore they may not appear correctly under the Start Menu, even after moving them back to their proper, original location. If you experience that problem, try #2:

2. Run the GRPCONV utility to recreate the default Start Menu groups. Note that this will only recreate the default items present in a fresh Windows installation; you will need to manually repopulate the Start Menu with any program icons or other customizations which were added by the user(s) or subsequent program installations. The user-added (and program-added) icons are just shortcuts to the main executable (.exe) files which live under the Program Files folders, so you don't need to uninstall/reinstall the programs to get the shortcuts back- you just have to make new shortcuts and place them in the appropriate places under the Start Menu folder hierarchy. If you found the missing items by following the steps in #1 above, you can just move the user-added/program-added file and folder shortcuts back into their original locations under the Start Menu.

Instructions and further information on the GRPCONV utility can be found here.

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