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I just got a computer of mine back from my niece. Not working very well. When boots it just has blank desktop, except for background pic. no start menu or icons. When I right click on background, I can get to various programs, but the icons won't do anything. I thought I would just format, but it won't boot from disk. I was going to check bios to force it to boot from disk first, but I can't get to bios. It will only boot to blank desktop. I can insert a disk and see what is on it, but nothing will work when clicked on.

It is an acer aspireT320. windows xp.

I can't find a similar problem, so thought I would post for help. Anyone run into this before?

Thanks for any time or help.

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  • Are you using a USB or PS/2 keyboard its a corrupt windows install i think ,most likely cause is virus/trojan . no a new harddrive is not the answer ,why you upped the resolution on a computer already having problems baffles me! ,unplug tower , open the tower and remove … Read More

  • Well done. The cleaning is on old trick I learned on the PS2. Anyway, you only took two cards out. So put the Video card in first and get the worst over with. What should happen is that it will detect the card and ask for drivers. If Windows doesn't … Read More

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what have you done to try and get to the bios

Niece = Young Person = MSN messenger = nasties/viruses is a possibility.

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I tried rebooting and tapping all F* buttons. Tried different combinations also. Cant' get it stop booting to desktop. I can't get to task manager. control/alt/delete does nothing. Can't get to dos to try to get bios from there.

I'm looking at the thread recommended above, but everything hinges on safe mode, or task manager etc... which I can't get to on this computer.

icons aren't working, won't boot from disk. I'm lost what to do next.

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What does "won't boot from disk" mean? Floppy? If so what's on the floppy? CD?

When you boot there is a key you can press like F1 or Del or ESC that boots you into BIOS Edit mode whwre you can alter the boot priorities. Have you found that entry to BIOS?

CCan you confirm that after the initial boot bit, tapping F8 a few times doesn't get you to Safe Mode? Or do you get to Safe Mode and it's the same problem?

A blank desktop usualyy means Explorer.EXE is missing or corrupted. There are a few threads around this subject on the forum.

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not a floppy. trying the windows cd set that came with computer. I'm supposed to be able to reboot with cd in, and it will run, but it doesn't.

pressing any key during reboot does nothing except cause no booting at all, can't even get to desktop.

f8 won't get me to safe mode. there is no screen with writing on it during boot up, like my other computers, where you have options to interupt boot up. it just boots to desktop if you don't press any keys. if you do, then nothing happens. f8 doesn't work.

I can create shortcuts on my blank desktop, by right clicking, but of course nothing works that runs anything. I can open a folder only, not an icon that might do anything.

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no key has got me into bios either. I tried multiple, including f1 and f2 as listed on acer site.

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This is most odd. If you get to a desktop, booting is OK. If you can use the keyboard, then that is OK. The keyboard does work - yes?

If booting is OK & the keyboard is, you must be able to get into the BIOS. You would normally get a display in the first couple of seconds offering the BIOS Setup function; if you miss that window, you can't get into the BIOS.

The F8 window is immediately after the other window I mentioned. There should also be a message on screen offering the F8 option.

Our aim is to get you to boot from the Windows CD to repair your hopelessly broken Windows environment.

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keyboard is working. I went to create a new user and was able to type there. I didn't actually create a new user, just was looking for somewhere to type to make sure keyboard was working. Since no icons would work, can't open a wordpad or anything.

I get no display to allow me into bios. screen is black until the acer logo appears on blue background, followed immediately by blank desktop.

As a chance to make this simpler, could it be hard drive problem? ie...if I were to try a new hard drive could that work. And if it didn't, what would be the root of the problem then. And do new hard drives come with windows or do you have to install them after hard drive is installed? Just wondering if it could be a hard drive problem.

On another note, I changed the settings of the monitor to a higher resolution. Computer went blank, and now won't boot at all. So was thinking maybe hard drive or motherboard fried or something. I've always been able to fix computer problems, but this one has me stumped.

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In my reckoning, the Axer logo is the point where you press F1 or F2 or whatever.

The higher resolution: have you set it back to the worse resolution? During booting, the default of 640x480 @ 60Hz is used and if you've forced it higher to a value not supported by your graphics card you'll likely see nothing.

There are many forces at work in these situations.

A new hard disk is always blank; a Windows hard disk from a non identical system is unlikely to work because of drivers.

We have to get you to the point where you can boot from a CD with either your current HDD or a new one.

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Are you using a USB or PS/2 keyboard
its a corrupt windows install i think ,most likely cause is virus/trojan .
no a new harddrive is not the answer ,why you upped the resolution on a computer already having problems baffles me!

,unplug tower , open the tower and remove all addin cards like modems and nic card ,sound if any ,if you have unboard video and a addin video card ,remove the card and use the unboard video ,

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Sorry for the delay. Didn't receive an email so I thought there was no replies to this thread.

I pressed all F keys etc....while the logo was on with no effect.
I can't set it back to lower resolution, since screen is completely blank now. I don't get logo screen or anything now.

So nothing is happening right now, so not sure how I'll get to boot from a CD. I'd try a new hard drive if you think its worth a try. If a new hard drive doesn't work, would that help locate the problem? Maybe motherboard is fried? Any help is appreciated Suspichio.

(can't get sound on my other computer now, so both of these issues keeping me busy. :) )

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Are you using a USB or PS/2 keyboard
its a corrupt windows install i think ,most likely cause is virus/trojan .
no a new harddrive is not the answer ,why you upped the resolution on a computer already having problems baffles me!

,unplug tower , open the tower and remove all addin cards like modems and nic card ,sound if any ,if you have unboard video and a addin video card ,remove the card and use the unboard video ,

ps/2 keyboard.
will forget about new hard drive then.
my screen was cut off on the left and wanted to see if I was missing anything that could be seen, so tried the resolution. only to make things worse, as I have mentioned.

So remove everything and then what? attempt to boot again?


Thanks so much for your help. Nice to hear from a fellow maritimer.

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ok, I removed what was asked, booted up fine. still lots o problems so am now reinstalling windows. We'll see how that goes. So after windows is reinstalled, I assume i can put everything back in I took out? let me know. thanks so much for your help. so far so good.

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Please tell us exactly what cards you pulled out and we'll tell you the order in which to put them back and reboot.

Can you confirm that the screen is behaving itself now and is it at basic 640x480 resolution (large icons, text etc)?

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Please tell us exactly what cards you pulled out and we'll tell you the order in which to put them back and reboot.

Can you confirm that the screen is behaving itself now and is it at basic 640x480 resolution (large icons, text etc)?

I set the screen resolution back to normal.
I took out the modem card and some video card.
having some trouble with windows installation though.... keeps telling me it can't copy ftdisk.sys, and if I skip it, it copies a few files but can't copy many others which I also have to skip. It also says if I have the disk, to put it in, but that makes no difference when i do.

So right now stuck in reinstallationland. Giving it another try now, we'll see how it goes. I'll post with success or failure.

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can't get windows to install. So I tried disc from my working computer. it installed fine. So maybe a disk problem. I'm assuming I can't run same version of windows on two computers, since it says I have 30 days to register, and after that I won't be able to use windows. So searching online now for some information.

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Again, the amount of information you provide is frustratingly short of diagnosable.

1 Is the disk that wont install an original for MS?
2 What is the version on the disk XP SP1; XP SP2 or what?
3 What is the version on the other disk?

Incidentally, after you've washed the original CD in tepid soapy water, rinsed it and dried it with a lint free cloth, you can update your current 30 day system from the original disk. Choose Update and it'll ask you for the windows key of the original disk.

If the two CDs are different versions of XP it should still work and if the original is earlier than the other one, you'll need to do your updates.

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Again, the amount of information you provide is frustratingly short of diagnosable.

1 Is the disk that wont install an original for MS?
2 What is the version on the disk XP SP1; XP SP2 or what?
3 What is the version on the other disk?

Incidentally, after you've washed the original CD in tepid soapy water, rinsed it and dried it with a lint free cloth, you can update your current 30 day system from the original disk. Choose Update and it'll ask you for the windows key of the original disk.

If the two CDs are different versions of XP it should still work and if the original is earlier than the other one, you'll need to do your updates.

1. its an acer computer and the acer discs won't work.
2. it is xp sp1 (the acer disks)
3. the disc that worked doesnt' say. it just says microsoft windows xp home edition. So I don't know if it is sp1 or sp2.

so i can keep working version on computer, and use the original acer discs to update? I think that is what you were saying.

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The disk that works is the original XP disk, no servive pack.

So, wash the Acer disk and do an UPGRADE from the Acer CD. The Autorun.exe is the appropriate starting point for the upgrade. You don't have to boot from the CD.

And please, full information when you come back to us. Take the trouble. Acer PC? What's that - although in this case I doubt it matters.

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I decided to try the acer discs one last time, and they worked. The cleaning I guess, or third times the charm. So waiting to hear how/when I should put the cards I removed back in.

Again thanks so much.

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Well done. The cleaning is on old trick I learned on the PS2.

Anyway, you only took two cards out. So put the Video card in first and get the worst over with. What should happen is that it will detect the card and ask for drivers. If Windows doesn't find them and you don't have them, get them from the web- but you need to know the exact make and model of your video card.

Re-boot and run the PC without the modem card doing stuff with the display settings you would normally have.

I expect this to work because something happened to take your system out of a state of grace when it was previously stable. The re-install would have done the trick, fortunately.

Huh - a dirty XP disk!

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couldn't have done it without him
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Everything is working fine now. Thanks a million!! Off to enjoy the weekend. Hope you guys do too.

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I had a client with similiar problem and the 'child' had set the deskktop top be a live web page with the address of a static picture on the computer. hence all that it would do is show that desktop picture and nothing else!

Worth just seeing is you can right click on the desktop and turn off active web page!
BOL
M

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