Desktop items gone and programs empty

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Jun 1, 2011
Computer had fake virus rid of infestation but I still have no icons on my desktop nor any programs listed under "programs"... I cannot right click the desktop to make sure "show desktop icons" is checked. I've tried everything I can think of...Please help!! Thanks
Well, you apparently tried the first level of repair and it did not work... on to next step(s).

I almost don't know where to start because the actual problem isn't in front of me, so read everything here first, and here goes...

Start>Run>Gpedit.msc Navigate to:
User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar
Have a look around and see what items are disabled or whatever. "Not Configured" is the default setting. Of course, anything that is disabled won't work or won't show.

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop\Active Desktop,

Double-click Prohibit Changes and set it to Not Configured (as needed)
Double-click Disable Active Desktop and set it to Not Configured (as needed)


Start>Run>Regedit. Navigate to:
look for NoDesktop,REG_DWORD,1 If it is there, delete it (the NoDesktop key)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer,
Double-click NoActiveDesktopChanges and set it to 0 (if it is not already)
Double-click NoActiveDesktop and set it to 0 (if exists)

look for HideIconsREG_DWORD,1 If it is there, delete it (the HideIcons key)


Get your XP disk ready, you'll need it.
Start>Run>SFC /scannow


First, before you panic, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the system drive (C?) and look at Documents and Settings, your account, Start Menu, and see if they are actually there or not. Maybe should have done this first?

If they are gone, there is no automatic method of recovery (now you can panic).

Make friends with Windows Explorer, you be spending a lot of time with it.

Open 2 Windows explorer windows. One window, navigate to Program Files and the other Explorer window showing the system drive, Documents and Settings, your user account, start menu.

Make a new shortcut for each and every program you have from each program's exe file. Drag that new shortcut over to the other explorer window and drop it in the start menu (if the control key is not pressed, it will 'move' the shortcut which is what you want).

Hold the control key down and drag the shortcut onto the desktop and release mouse, then the control key to copy your newly made shortcut to the desktop. Repeat for every program you have. :(


Cool :)

I forgot to mention if you have XP Home Edition there is no Gpedit.msc, but the registry items go around that and were included to make sure the registry got the message. Thanks for the vote.

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