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Hello,

New to the website.

Today I was cleaning my fiance's father's computer and last thing I had done was do a check for bad sectors ( C: ) Right click and did a system check for bad sectors and repaired them. After that I had removed some applications that were downloaded for screen savers in the "Add and Remove" area.

Anyways, I had restarted the computer, went to the Start Menu, than went to open the Programs Menu and there was nothing there whatsoever.

I am curious to know if anyone knows how to fix this problem? I don't understand what I may have done wrong that would have made the start menu mess up like this? I'm also terrified that her father might kick my ass once he realizes the problem LOL

Anyways, thanks for any available assistance!

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Last Post by chi_features
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We need two pieces of information at least:
1/
What's in C:\Program Files? Prolly the programs you're missing.

2/
What's in the Registry? Prolly NOT the programs you're missing.

You might be able to restore to the last known good configuration via F8.

Your future father in law should use the shotgun on you because you didn't back his data up!

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lol Well, the intention behind cleaning up some things on the computer wasn't to delete the menu. It just suddenly disappeared without trace. All the programs are viewable in the folder "Programs" but in the start menu they are just not present. I retraced my steps on what I had done but nothing that should affect the Programs menu.

The last thing I did before this happened was....

Opened "My Computer" and right clicked "ACER ( C: )" and in the drop down selected "Properties", and in that I went to "Tools" and performed a "Error Check" < This option will check the volume of errors >.

Then in the new window "Check Disk ACER ( C: )" I selected "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors".

Once that was done, it asked me to restart the computer, which I did, and when it restarted, I went to the START menu to open the Control Panel and highlighted Programs by accident and noticed the problem.... Nothing was in it...

Any ideas? Thanks for any suggestions!!

And I hope it's no shotgun, that would suck LOL

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But did you look into your Registry? We need that info to diagnose the problem.

Is there a stack of software listed under
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE

If not, at least we know why Programs shows nothing. Then we can guess the likely cause, which might be the repair function of chkdsk. I always back up data before running chkdsk with /F.

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Hello,

Sorry, it wasn't until now that I figured out the Registry bit. I tried following some guidelines from a site called "Xperience Xp" the link is....

http://xperiencexp.blogspot.com/2005/10/all-programs-menu-missing.html

Anyways, yes, under SOFTWARE there are a whole heap of files and folders available.

What can you suggest would be my best next step to take? I really appreciate any further assistance you can offer in helping me resolve the problem.... Future "Father-in-Law" may just be getting that shotgun ready LOL

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Hello,

To be more precise, this is a perfect explanation to my problem I found on another website, but there were no replies that solved the issue.... Perhaps this will help a little more in trying to explain my situation.

Today I received a call that an EU was unable to see any programs in their start menu.

I went to the EU's office and sure enough that was the problem among other things. I also found that the "Recycle Bin" was not on the desktop nor was it listed in "My Computer" or in the "Explorer Window."

I also noticed that the properties for the "Start Menu" (Advanced Start Menu Options) was blank. This was also the case for the folder options; (Windows Explorer --> Tools --> Folder Options --> View (Tab)--> Advance Setting Window).

In addition to these oddities, the files that the start menu was suppose to point, where on the workstation.(i.e C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs") All the icons she needed were there, yet the program menu on the start menu said "Empty"
Anyone have any ideas as to what happened?

I checked for Spyware using Adaware, Spybot, and HiJackThis; none Made sure that the anitvirus software was up to date; it was.

I rebooted the workstation and logged in under my administrator id and received the same results.


The computer I am using is a Acer Dell Windows XP SP2.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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My understanding is that you are referring to the All Programs menu within the Start Menu, not the Start Menu itself.

Can we get that cleared up first or did Thunderstorm98 latch on correctly?

if it is the All Programs menu, you could try to add System Administrative Tools through the Customize/Advanced menu item. If something appears you'll be frustratingly on your way and by no means there yet!

Also you can try running a program from Program Files. if it's all OK with the Registry, the program should run and you can icon it on Desktop to give you some breathing space.

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I did some research in the Registry and then checked my theory in Google. Sure enough there are entries buried that must be there for All Programs information to be displayed.

If the stuff below solves your problem, you'd need to try and find out what zonked your Registry entries. Chkdsk /f? Hmmm.

ANyway this is what I uncovered:
---------------------------------------------------------
Empty All Programs menu due to lost links

To fix empty All Programs menu problem, run the regsvr32 /i shell32.dll command and then restart your PC. Your program links must be visible in the All Programs menu after restart.

If not, then you will need to check Shell Folder data for certain values in the registry. For this, open the Registry Editor window by running the regedit.exe command.

Next, navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current
Version\ExplorerUserShellFolders folder and check if the entries listed below are visible in the right pane.

Value name Value data
Start Menu %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
Programs %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs

Also, navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curren
tVersion\Explorer\UserShellFolders folder and check the values given below.

Value name Value data
Common Start Menu %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu
Common Programs %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs

Next, to repair the problem, add the missing expandable string values to their specific locations. Finally, restart the system to implement the changes.

--------------------------------------------------------

Let us know.

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and if that don't work ,what about trying a system restore back a few days before you made changes ,to someones computer wit out there consent ,especially the future father in-law , ouch ouch !!LOL

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My understanding is that you are referring to the All Programs menu within the Start Menu, not the Start Menu itself.

Can we get that cleared up first or did Thunderstorm98 latch on correctly?

You're right, Suspishio, it's the "All Programs" menu that has disappeared.

if it is the All Programs menu, you could try to add System Administrative Tools through the Customize/Advanced menu item. If something appears you'll be frustratingly on your way and by no means there yet!

Where can I find the "Customize/Advanced Menu", or even better yet, where can I find the System Administrative Tools? This is VERY frustrating.... Poor me... On my death bed now.

Also you can try running a program from Program Files. if it's all OK with the Registry, the program should run and you can icon it on Desktop to give you some breathing space.

Yeh, this is what I've done for the time being, created shortcuts to what he uses on his desktop rather than having to use the All Programs menu since it doesn't display properly.

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I did some research in the Registry and then checked my theory in Google. Sure enough there are entries buried that must be there for All Programs information to be displayed.

Thank you kindly for your research, I really appreciate the assistance you're providing me with this problem. You're most helpful!

If the stuff below solves your problem, you'd need to try and find out what zonked your Registry entries. Chkdsk /f? Hmmm.

Not too sure I understand what "Chkdsk /f?" means... Could you explain, just so I can have an idea of what you're talking about. This is a learning experience for me :-) Thanks!

To fix empty All Programs menu problem, run the regsvr32 /i shell32.dll command and then restart your PC. Your program links must be visible in the All Programs menu after restart.

How do I run the "regsvr32 /i shell32.dll" command? I've heard of the command, but not sure how I would run it, or what it would be doing for the computer? And when it says "your program links must be visible in the All Programs menu after restart..." This means the programs will appear again, but won't be able to click on them yet because they're not quite fixed?

If not, then you will need to check Shell Folder data for certain values in the registry. For this, open the Registry Editor window by running the regedit.exe command.
Next, navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current
Version\ExplorerUserShellFolders folder and check if the entries listed below are visible in the right pane.
Value name Value data
Start Menu %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
Programs %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
Also, navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curren
tVersion\Explorer\UserShellFolders folder and check the values given below.
Value name Value data
Common Start Menu %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu
Common Programs %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
Next, to repair the problem, add the missing expandable string values to their specific locations. Finally, restart the system to implement the changes.

I've tried running something similar to this in the Registry. With no luck did it work... I will try this method you've provided once I get a reply from you on how to run the above .dll command first. Then will try it step by step and let you know my results.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for your supportive friendly assistance! Thank you so much for all the help thus far!

--------------------------------------------------------

Edited by Dani: Formatting fixed

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...How do I run the "regsvr32 /i shell32.dll" command? I've heard of the command, but not sure how I would run it, or what it would be doing for the computer? And when it says "your program links must be visible in the All Programs menu after restart..." This means the programs will appear again, but won't be able to click on them yet because they're not quite fixed?
QUOTE]
First of all, save your registry.
1/
You go to the start menu in the bottom left of your screen and click RUN. In the data box, enter the Regedit. Choose menu option File/Export; click All and choose a name like 071025SAV. Click Save and your registry is saved.

2/
Using the same RUN technique, use the Regsvr32 string in red above and hit return to execute the command. If the programs re-appear, you're done OK.

3/
If the programs don't re-appear, RUN --> Regedit. Then in the left hand pane, locate the HKEY_ CURRENT_USER key that was mentioned in the earlier post. Ensure that the mentioned keys/data values are present at the indicated place. You might need to have some reference material in front of you as to how to insert keys; editing a value is simple - you click on its name and hit Edit/Modify. Then you can enter the data. It'd be tedious hand holding you through this so I suggest you download and read/have handy some Regedit reference material.

Good luck again. BANG .. oops!

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Really thought ,would this not be a good time for a system restore back a few days before the special event !

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Suspishio,

I tried everything....

You go to the start menu in the bottom left of your screen and click RUN. In the data box, enter the Regedit. Choose menu option File/Export; click All and choose a name like 071025SAV. Click Save and your registry is saved.

Using the same RUN technique, use the Regsvr32 string in red above and hit return to execute the command. If the programs re-appear, you're done OK.

OK, ran the command you told me to, All Programs did not re-appear. Restarted the computer before I tried making the changes to the Registry, just in case something did change but a restart was necessary, to be on the safe side.

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Suspishio,

I tried everything....

You go to the start menu in the bottom left of your screen and click RUN. In the data box, enter the Regedit. Choose menu option File/Export; click All and choose a name like 071025SAV. Click Save and your registry is saved.

Using the same RUN technique, use the Regsvr32 string in red above and hit return to execute the command. If the programs re-appear, you're done OK.

OK, ran the command you told me to, All Programs did not re-appear. Restarted the computer before I tried making the changes to the Registry, just in case something did change but a restart was necessary, to be on the safe side.

If the programs don't re-appear, RUN --> Regedit. Then in the left hand pane, locate the HKEY_ CURRENT_USER key that was mentioned in the earlier post. Ensure that the mentioned keys/data values are present at the indicated place. You might need to have some reference material in front of you as to how to insert keys; editing a value is simple - you click on its name and hit Edit/Modify. Then you can enter the data. It'd be tedious hand holding you through this so I suggest you download and read/have handy some Regedit reference material.

Just to lead off with... I did find some assistance with Registry, looked up a manual of terms and descriptions on Google.

When I went into these steps as was described, there was no

Value name Value data
Common Start Menu %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu
Common Programs %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs

There was only the Value, "Default" in this window, so I created the two new String Values under the New option, and placed in the corresponding strings. Restarted the computer and nothing changed.

Does this make sense?

Thanks again for the help!

0---- PS! -- Even bigger mistake, which I just realized, my father-inlaw has the option to save restore points turned off... I turned them on today... so I cannot restore to an earlier point... At least so I see thus far.

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So now, I presume you are doing the Regedit piece to check the presence of the keys and if they are not there, to insert or amend them to the correct values.

yes?

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So now, I presume you are doing the Regedit piece to check the presence of the keys and if they are not there, to insert or amend them to the correct values.

yes?

Yes, I've done that and restarted the computer with the new keys. But there's still nothing in the All Programs.

I'm confused LOL

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Were the keys missing? If they were missing it would have to explain the problem.

The substitution string %AllUsersProfile% should have been expanded to C:Documents and Settings\All Users

See how that works.

But I've just thought of something else

1/
In location C:\Documents and Settings\All Users you should find the list of all applications that anycone can use (e.g. MS Office).

2/
In location C:\Documents and Settings\%Username% (where %Username% is Mr. Shotgun's user name), there should be a few programs listed - only a few.

If there is NOTHING listed, then there's the problem, I believe. Shortcuts to the programs present in the Program Files folder should be copied to at least the All Users folder mentioned above. Try a couple; reboot and see what appears in your All Programs list.

But please do the %AllUsersProfile% substitution I mentioned.

I've checked these entries in my PC so none of this is nonsense - but whether or not it solves your problem ....

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I just fixed this problem on a friends PC.

The files are still there they are just hidden. Go into the folder options and choose to show hidden files and folders.

Now just spend your time unchecking the Hidden option in the properties for each file and/or folder.

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Does this make any sense ? -->
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292504

It is most likely that none of the policy settings will be present in sakimaoak's Registry and I don't think any of the ones listed in KB article apply to this case anyway.

I'd put a small wager on davper's suggestion and a smaller wager on my own!

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"Whether humanity is to continue and prosper on spaceship Earth depends entirely on the integrity of the human individuals and not on the political and economic systems. The cosmic question has been asked, are humans a worthwhile invention?"
- Buckminster Fuller

Off topic - Buckminster Fuller: with a strange name like that, no wonder he came out with that philosophical crap!

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I just fixed this problem on a friends PC.

The files are still there they are just hidden. Go into the folder options and choose to show hidden files and folders.

Now just spend your time unchecking the Hidden option in the properties for each file and/or folder.

OK... This may sound a little stupid, but what folder are we referring to here? Sorry it's been a long wait for me to come back, but been busy job hunting this morning lol Anyways, online for the next little while until my interview. Thanks guys!

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I just fixed this problem on a friends PC.

The files are still there they are just hidden. Go into the folder options and choose to show hidden files and folders.

Now just spend your time unchecking the Hidden option in the properties for each file and/or folder.

Hello,

Went to the "Programs" folder and found that only 3 folders were hidden... I selected in "Folder Options" to unhide the folders, but nothing changed in the "All Programs" menu.

Is this what we were trying to do?

Thanks!

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But I've just thought of something else

1/
In location C:\Documents and Settings\All Users you should find the list of all applications that anycone can use (e.g. MS Office).

2/
In location C:\Documents and Settings\%Username% (where %Username% is Mr. Shotgun's user name), there should be a few programs listed - only a few.

If there is NOTHING listed, then there's the problem, I believe. Shortcuts to the programs present in the Program Files folder should be copied to at least the All Users folder mentioned above. Try a couple; reboot and see what appears in your All Programs list.

But please do the %AllUsersProfile% substitution I mentioned.

I've checked these entries in my PC so none of this is nonsense - but whether or not it solves your problem ....

So what about this approach then from a few posts ago?

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Hi there,

Just a follow-up to the above problem after I found a fix to it.

Problem:
The computer I'm fixing had all sorts of spyware/viruses installed, one of the problems being the non-existent "All Programs" menu in the Start menu. It simply didn't exist, there was nothing there to replace it except for white space in the Start menu.

Fix:
The fix was based on some advice above going to the link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292504

  1. Enter: "gpedit.msc" (without quotes) into "Run..."
  2. Browse to: User Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Start Menu and Taskbar
  3. Double-click on: "Remove All Programs list from Start menu" (7th item from the bottom)
  4. Check "Enable" then Apply
  5. Check "Not Configured" then Apply.

Voila!

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