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I am currently using Windows XP (sp1).
I have 3 user accounts. Two of the accounts have lost all desktop icons and the start button/task bar. I have been discussing this in the thread titled "windows has mysteriously vanished from my computer". I have tried so many ways to attempt to fix this and get my desktop back, but I am unable to get things up an running again. Does anyone have any more suggestions?? Is there any way that I can have someone access my computer to attempt to find the problem? Please help!

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Last Post by Sessie69
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OK, here's my suggestion, made in the topic mentioned:

Your situation, however, is different in that one user account on the system works perfectly, whilst two other accounts do not. In your case try this:

Log in with the account that works OK. On the Start Menu, choose Control Panel then 'User Accounts.

Working on each of the faulty accounts in turn, select each, choose 'Delete the account' and then choose the 'Keep Files' button. The data files for each account will be saved to a Folder located on the Desktop.

Then create two new accounts, and copy/paste the contents of the relevent folders into 'My Documents' for the relevent new User accounts.

I hope that fixes it for you. If it doesn't you'll probably have to format the hard drive completely, install Windows again and set the whole system up all over again. you'll need help with that, of course, and the job should be discussed in its own topic.

Here's the response sent to me by PM:

Thank you for all of your help thus far....unfortunately, I have now attempted your latest suggestion, and I am unable to access the user accounts because the only account on my computer that is currently working is not an administrator account. It will now allow me to access the 2 accounts that are ailing.

Is there anywhere that I can get someone to access my computer and attempt to fix it??

I am at my wits end and don't know where else to turn.

Now the answer to this is really rather simple. Reboot, and press the <F8> key just before you get to the Windows Logo screen to access 'Safe Mode'. You'll be presented with a list of choices, and you can choose 'Safe Mode' from them.

Log in as 'Administrator'

Then, got to Control Panel , User Accounts again, select the Working account and choose 'Change' . Select 'Change the Account type' and choose to make it an 'Administrator' account. Click OK or Apply as necessary, and when finished reboot as normal.

You should now be able to use that previously 'limited' account to make system changes.

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OK, here's my suggestion, made in the topic mentioned:


Here's the response sent to me by PM:

Now the answer to this is really rather simple. Reboot, and press the <F8> key just before you get to the Windows Logo screen to access 'Safe Mode'. You'll be presented with a list of choices, and you can choose 'Safe Mode' from them.

Log in as 'Administrator'

Then, got to Control Panel , User Accounts again, select the Working account and choose 'Change' . Select 'Change the Account type' and choose to make it an 'Administrator' account. Click OK or Apply as necessary, and when finished reboot as normal.

You should now be able to use that previously 'limited' account to make system changes.

OK....I tried that. Now it gets really strange - the account that is currently working is not shown when I get into user accounts. Not only that, but I created a new user account. When I try to log into the new user account, there are no desktop icons or start button/task bar. Can I cry now??? :cry:

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Yep, you can cry now. Are there data files on that PC you need to retain? It sounds like you'll need to format and start over. In your situation, my own approach would be to purchase a second hard drive and install it in the system as the primary drive. Leave the original drive out for starters.

Install Windows on the new drive, set it up and install your programs.

When it's working, add the original drive as a 'slave' drive, copy your data files across and then format the thing when you've recovered all your data.

New hard drives are inexpensive, extra storage space is always handy, and that's the quickest way of fixing things up. If even an inexpensive new drive is too much expense, you'll need to back your data up somehow, because I believe you'll neeed to format and start over again anyway.

Let us know which direction you intend to take from here, and we can provide further assistance

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Yep, you can cry now. Are there data files on that PC you need to retain? It sounds like you'll need to format and start over. In your situation, my own approach would be to purchase a second hard drive and install it in the system as the primary drive. Leave the original drive out for starters.

Install Windows on the new drive, set it up and install your programs.

When it's working, add the original drive as a 'slave' drive, copy your data files across and then format the thing when you've recovered all your data.

New hard drives are inexpensive, extra storage space is always handy, and that's the quickest way of fixing things up. If even an inexpensive new drive is too much expense, you'll need to back your data up somehow, because I believe you'll neeed to format and start over again anyway.

Let us know which direction you intend to take from here, and we can provide further assistance

:cry: Is there not anything else to try? Having someone remotely access the computer just to check on things?? I still have my files - some of which I have backed up. Would this issue be covered under my warranty?

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Worse come to worse you can hire a pro to come in and fix it for you without losing all your files if you have anything important on there. You didn't by any chance set a restore point did you?

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All of the suggestions in the previous topic you were posting in, and also the relevent procedures from the article I linked in that topic.

But as said there, the most likely outcome is that you will need to format and start over. Serious system corruption like you describe is often impossible to overcome. No, it's not covered by Warranty because it will have originated from Spyware and other intruders that have been let in to the system. It's only a software issue, and if the system provider has also provided the means to format and install the system back to 'as new' condition then they've already fulfilled their obligation.

Edit: This is the previous topic, for the benefit of others providing assistance

http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread12908.html

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Worse come to worse you can hire a pro to come in and fix it for you without losing all your files if you have anything important on there. You didn't by any chance set a restore point did you?

yes, I set a restore point - the problem is, my restore point is after the problem began, and unfortunately, I can't get to a point before that. ( :confused: did that make sense?)

what about remote repairs. Is there anywhere you can suggest that I can have that done?

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You set a restore point after the problem. how useful. This isn't the kind of problem that can be fixed remotely and if you want your files, it isn't going to be free either.

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You would be better to follow the advice given in the previous thread and this one. The people giving that advice, antioed, alc6379 and myself are all people who are the same sort of 'expert' who would be performing the remote assistance you'd be paying lots of money for anyway.

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You would be better to follow the advice given in the previous thread and this one. The people giving that advice, antioed, alc6379 and myself are all people who are the same sort of 'expert' who would be performing the remote assistance you'd be paying lots of money for anyway.

:eek: I don't have the slightest idea what has just happened, but for some strange reason, everything is back!! :confused:

I was burning my personal files onto cd when all of a sudden, the screen blinked and there it all is again.

I have been working on this since 10-17-04. Should I set a new restore point now??

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:eek: I don't have the slightest idea what has just happened, but for some strange reason, everything is back!! :confused:

I was burning my personal files onto cd when all of a sudden, the screen blinked and there it all is again.

I have been working on this since 10-17-04. Should I set a new restore point now??

Well, I thought it best to set a restore point - so I did.

Now I am afraid to shut the crazy thing off for fear that it may decide to freak-out on me again. What do you think??

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Do one now. Then follow all the cleanup procedures described in "Boot, Dammit, Boot!"

When you're sure the system is completely clean of intruders, create another restore point.

OK.....this is really strange!
I set a restore point and then followed the cleanup procedures as suggested. When my system rebooted, its all gone again. What should I do now?? :sad:

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Sessie69, I have to go back to the comment made by alc6379 in the other topic about problems similar to yours. It's very unusual for systems to be recovered from really serious intrusions and system corruption. Sometimes you simply have to face the fact that wiping things clean and starting over is the only realistic alternative, and I suspect that's the case with your system. In your place, I'd have performed a format and fresh install already.

The idea of 'remote repairs' that you have mentioned isn't a realistic one either. The form of 'remote assistance' that can be performed on a Windows PC is really designed for situations where you need assistance with operating software programs and for other rather minor problems. It's not designed with deep-level manipulation and reconstruction of the operating system in mind. Should you make use of such a service, I'm quite sure that you'd find yourself spending money simply to be eventually told to format and start over anyway.

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Sessie69, I have to go back to the comment made by alc6379 in the other topic about problems similar to yours. It's very unusual for systems to be recovered from really serious intrusions and system corruption. Sometimes you simply have to face the fact that wiping things clean and starting over is the only realistic alternative, and I suspect that's the case with your system. In your place, I'd have performed a format and fresh install already.

The idea of 'remote repairs' that you have mentioned isn't a realistic one either. The form of 'remote assistance' that can be performed on a Windows PC is really designed for situations where you need assistance with operating software programs and for other rather minor problems. It's not designed with deep-level manipulation and reconstruction of the operating system in mind. Should you make use of such a service, I'm quite sure that you'd find yourself spending money simply to be eventually told to format and start over anyway.

OK Catweazle. I have now come to terms with the idea of having to completely wipe clean and start over. Where can I get the necessary information to do this properly? And.......is it very difficult?

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This thread will link you to a couple of quite detailed articles of mine which address the preparation for and the carrying out of the job in front of you. Read them through, get your thoughts in order, ask any questions you might have before you start, and then do the job when you've prepared for it.

It's not really hard, and you'll have success if you do your homework first ;)

http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread6632.html

Edit: If you have the COMPLETE installation file for Service Pack 2 downloaded and saved to CD before you start, the job will be simplified a little bit. You can get it from here.

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This thread will link you to a couple of quite detailed articles of mine which address the preparation for and the carrying out of the job in front of you. Read them through, get your thoughts in order, ask any questions you might have before you start, and then do the job when you've prepared for it.

It's not really hard, and you'll have success if you do your homework first ;)

http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread6632.html

Edit: If you have the COMPLETE installation file for Service Pack 2 downloaded and saved to CD before you start, the job will be simplified a little bit. You can get it from here.

Reading up on this, and started the SP2 download. Should it take 30+ hours?!?! :confused: :confused:

By the way.....Thanks for the help you have given me so far. :p

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heh heh.....

I guess you're on Dial-up, eh? Took a few hours for me even on ADSL. But if your Windows installation CD hasn't already got SP2 integrated in the install, the download is well worth it in the long run. It saves on many, many hours of downloading and installing updates for future reinstalls, and of course once the Service Pack in its entirety is saved to CD it can be used with any system at all.

The 'WebUpdate' to SP2 suggests an 80Mb download, rather than the 270Mb download of the full installation. But that's only based on what an 'average' system would already have installed, and if you are updating a fresh install of the original Windows XP distribution, you'd need the complete update in any case ;)

270Mb takes AGES to download on dial-up!!!

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This thread will link you to a couple of quite detailed articles of mine which address the preparation for and the carrying out of the job in front of you. Read them through, get your thoughts in order, ask any questions you might have before you start, and then do the job when you've prepared for it.

It's not really hard, and you'll have success if you do your homework first ;)

http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread6632.html

Edit: If you have the COMPLETE installation file for Service Pack 2 downloaded and saved to CD before you start, the job will be simplified a little bit. You can get it from here.

Have been trying to get to the links, but they seem to be broken. I would like to print out information so I have it to look back on if needed while doing the reinstall.

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The site is currently undergoing routine maintenance. Try again later please.

P.S. That means I also can't currently access my work console :lol:

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I have finally completed my re-install and now, I am getting notifications from my McAfee software, that I have viruses on my computer already. I have installed the spyware doctor and that is telling me that I have 47 infections on my computer. How can I be sure that all of these are removed from my system so that I will not continually have this problem? I am getting very frustrated. :mad:

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