I have a friend's laptop with Vista. When you boot up, and try to log in it takes a few minutes then stalls before the desktop icons and taskbar show up. All I get is the wallpaper and mouse pointer. I can't right click and the windows key on the keyboard won't activate the start menu.
However, I can Ctrl+Alt+Del and start the Task manager. From there I can start programs, install programs and I opened the Device Manager. There are no hardware problems listed there.
Explorer.exe is listed in the processes tab as running. I tried shutting it down and restarting it but it wouldn't restart.
I installed Spybot Search and Destroy with latest updates and ran it. It didn't find anything. I also ran Hijackthis and it didn't list anything suspicious.
I ran the Fix Startup Problems (or whatever it's called) accessed by pressing F8 during bootup. That didn't do anything. Tried a System Restore but there were no restore points available.
Also, ran msconfig and disabled everything that wasn't related to Vista itself.
I've been at it for a few days. If I can't find something today I'll probably try a clean reinstall.
Thanks for any help.