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Windows7 Desktop icons missing\text titles present, start menu not opening and taskbar icons missing aswell.

    Question

  • I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit RTM fully activated. Ran fine for 3 weeks and yesterday I started having trouble with IExplorer slowing down and not responding. I ended up rebooting and resetting the wireless adapter, checked all the configuration and so on but nothing helped. I rebooted one more time and when the desktop appeared all the icons were missing. The text labels for each icon are there but that's it and they don't respond to any cursor clicks, dragging, cutting and pasting, they just don't respond. Next I noticed that the taskbar icons on the bottom left are also missing. Upon mouse over movement there appears a transparent square where the icon should be but that's it. Those only respond in that way, clicking on them won't provoke any further action. And lastly the start menu will not open either, not with the cursor click or with the keyboard start menu key. I'm sure I don't have a virus as I've ran scans with Avira fully up to date and comes up clean. I tried resetting the icon cache, restarting EXPLORER from the task manager, tried system restore using two different dates, uninstalled and reinstalled the graphics driver and even did the repair option with my installation disk. Still no icons or start menu.

    I'm at a complete loss, never see anything like this before nor have I ever run into a problem with windows that I couldn't fix with little or no outside support. So besides reinstalling the OS and probably loosing my activation for my product key I'm stuck with a basically useless Windows 7 laptop.

    The machine this problem is occuring on is a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 (7659-A71), Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, 2 GB DDR2 @ 667mhz, 250GB HDD, Intel Graphics, Intel 4965ABG Wireless (I think) and no fingerprint scanner. I've had the laptop for 6 months without any problems. I can dismantle and reassemble laptops in my sleep tell me an issue and I can usually identify the problem with 80% accuracy and fix it too but this has me stumped.

    I searched around online and found nothing usefull for help except a bunch of rednecks all yelling restart EXPLORER and it will all work. I don't think so!

    Please help if you have any idea how to fix this issue. Thanks in advance!

    Mike
    Monday, August 24, 2009 2:30 PM

Answers

  • Hi Mike,

     

    Based on the information you provided, it seems the issue can be related to the factors including damaged user account, third party software or certain driver installed.

     

    I recommend we reboot the computer to the Safe Mode to check the result first. (Restart computer, press the F8 key when the boot menu pops up, select [Safe Mode], and boot up)

     

    Does the issue occur in Safe Mode? If not, let's create a new user account with Administrator privilege to see if the issue can be resolved:

     

    To do this, please go to Control Panel, click User Accounts, choose "Give other users access to this computer" to add a user with Administrator privilege.

     

    If the issue does not occur in the new user account, let's transfer the personal files to this account to resolve this issue.

     

    To transfer the files, please perform the steps below:

    =====

    1. Click the Start menu, and click Computer.

    2. Click the Organize button on the left top corner and choose Folder and Search Options.

    3. Under View tab, check the "Show hidden files and folders" box and click OK to save settings.

    4. Navigate to the C:\Users\(old user name) folder.

     

    Note: I assume that Windows 7 is installed on the C: partition. If Windows 7 is installed on the D: partition, the Users folder should be located in the D:\Users\(old user name) folder. Also the "old user name" refers to the user name of your old account. For example, if the user name of your old account is "Mike", the folder should be C:\Users\Mike.

     

    5. Copy all files and folders in the C:\Users\(old user name) folder to the C:\Users\(new user name) folder.

     

    What is the result? If Safe Mode cannot be accessed or if the issue persists in the new user account, let's try Clean Boot in the old account.

     

    To do so, please:

    =====

    1. Launch Task Manager, click File -> New Task (Run) -> type MSCONFIG -> click OK.

     

    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.

     

    2. Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).

    3. Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

     

    Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.

     

    Please test this issue in the Clean Boot environment, if the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, we can use a 50/50 approach to quickly narrow down which entry is causing the issue.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Linda

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, August 31, 2009 6:27 AM
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 6:43 AM

All replies

  • maybe you can run "explorer".press win+r,input "explorer" and press enter.
    Monday, August 24, 2009 3:58 PM
  • Hi Mike,

     

    Based on the information you provided, it seems the issue can be related to the factors including damaged user account, third party software or certain driver installed.

     

    I recommend we reboot the computer to the Safe Mode to check the result first. (Restart computer, press the F8 key when the boot menu pops up, select [Safe Mode], and boot up)

     

    Does the issue occur in Safe Mode? If not, let's create a new user account with Administrator privilege to see if the issue can be resolved:

     

    To do this, please go to Control Panel, click User Accounts, choose "Give other users access to this computer" to add a user with Administrator privilege.

     

    If the issue does not occur in the new user account, let's transfer the personal files to this account to resolve this issue.

     

    To transfer the files, please perform the steps below:

    =====

    1. Click the Start menu, and click Computer.

    2. Click the Organize button on the left top corner and choose Folder and Search Options.

    3. Under View tab, check the "Show hidden files and folders" box and click OK to save settings.

    4. Navigate to the C:\Users\(old user name) folder.

     

    Note: I assume that Windows 7 is installed on the C: partition. If Windows 7 is installed on the D: partition, the Users folder should be located in the D:\Users\(old user name) folder. Also the "old user name" refers to the user name of your old account. For example, if the user name of your old account is "Mike", the folder should be C:\Users\Mike.

     

    5. Copy all files and folders in the C:\Users\(old user name) folder to the C:\Users\(new user name) folder.

     

    What is the result? If Safe Mode cannot be accessed or if the issue persists in the new user account, let's try Clean Boot in the old account.

     

    To do so, please:

    =====

    1. Launch Task Manager, click File -> New Task (Run) -> type MSCONFIG -> click OK.

     

    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.

     

    2. Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).

    3. Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

     

    Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.

     

    Please test this issue in the Clean Boot environment, if the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, we can use a 50/50 approach to quickly narrow down which entry is causing the issue.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Linda

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, August 31, 2009 6:27 AM
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 6:43 AM
  • I am having the same problem with my Windows 7 Professional x64 install. About a week ago, I noticed that text was not showing up when I would try to save things in Photoshop. Now it's much worse. Text is not rendering in most programs (Photoshop, SmartFTP, etc). The Start Bar does not show up when clicked, but the Windows icon flashes to indicate it is active. The desktop icons show no text as well.

    On the Windows login screen, my username does not appear and it does not show any text as I type my password into the password box.

    I cannot right click. At one point, a blank menu would come up, but now nothing happens.

    I still see text in Firefox.

    The problem persists in Safe Mode. I tried the suggested solution above by hiding all the services and running a clean boot environment, but the problem still persists. The msconfig window came up just fine - fully rendered and all, but the run box came up as a grey rectangle with no text. Help?

    EDIT:
    Fixed it!

    I went into safe mode again, opened a command prompt using Windows+R. Used the sfc/scannow command and it resolved whatever was wrong after a restart.
    • Proposed as answer by Holden Link Thursday, November 12, 2009 6:11 AM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:16 AM
  • Did sfc /scannow fix the missing icons issue?

    Could this issue arise when both a VGA and DVI video output are on the motherboard and each have been used - but not concurrently?

    Thanks.

    Monday, February 21, 2011 3:51 PM
  • i did all the things which u mentioned....but the problem is still present...what should i do????
    Thursday, November 03, 2011 7:06 AM
  • I have the same problem. It happened suddenly and I cannot recall what the cause is.

    1. I don't see any icons on my desktop, only the text.
    2. I don't see any icons in Windows Explorer, only text/filenames.
    3. The Start orb does not work anymore. It will highlight when I hover the mosue over it, but it will not respond to left or right clicks.

    I have checked the Internet and have done all of the following without any improvement;

    - refreshed the iconcache and rebuild it
    - right mouse click the desktop, view and enable show desktop icons
    - did a Windows 7 repair with the original Windows disk
    - ran Malwarebytes, HitmanPro, Microsoft Essentials; no viruses detected
    - verified if there are any unknown applications running on the system without signature.
    - checked all processes step by step to see if there is anything weird running
    - tried to recover from previous system restore points
    - tried to create a new user with and without admin rights with no improvement (same problem for this new user)
    - boot from safe mode without improvement
    - ran sfc /scannow and it did not report any issues

    I don't see any postings on the internet right now that speask about any other tips than the steps I have already taken.

    This problem is horrible and I am afraid I have to reload the O.S. again. Microsoft must have got some kind of advice what to do. Where is it? Who can help ?





    • Edited by Yunicx Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:43 PM
    Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:37 PM
  • Yunicx,

    This problem also happened to me today.. after rebooting my notebook..  i removed SP1 and the icons came back .. but not all services were restored correctly so i could not make an internet connection.. computer works fine execpt the startmenu and all the icons are missing..

    i'm trying to find out which program or other dll/ocx is responsible for displaying the icons and pupping up the start menu, if i find the solution i will report back..

    Best regards,

    Emiel


    Best regards, Emiel Wieldraaijer

    • Proposed as answer by sathyam1 Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:02 PM
    Friday, March 09, 2012 6:05 PM
  • Emiel (da's een Hollander),

    thanks for getting back about this nasty problem and I hope you will find the cause of it.
    I remember seeing the problem earlier on my workstation but it disappeared. Now, it is in the system again and won't get out anymore.
    My luck is that I use the system as a server and know my way through the OS and Apps when I need to login.

    If it would have been my every day use computer, it would have been a much bigger problem, but still, I want to get rid of it.
    I appreciate your effort trying to find the root cause of it and hope to see a solution from you!

    Bedankt voor de hulp!
    Thanks again!

    • Proposed as answer by sathyam1 Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:56 PM
    Thursday, March 15, 2012 3:43 PM
  • Thank you soooooooooooooooo much!!! I had to do a basic system restore cause I managed to delete my boot manager (what a fool!) and it had restored it with no menus, no text for icons, could open the apps but not select them from the menus. Using the sfc/scannow on command prompt fixed all! Thanks so much, saved my bacon!!! Anyone who has an issue with missing text/missing menus etc try (as mentioned above) opening windows 7 in 'safe mode with command prompt' (press F8 on boot up to get the option for safe modes) and just enter in sfc/scannow in the command prompt - it will scan and fix any issues it has! This command prompt may well work for many other issues too as it self-scans & self-fixes issue! Happy days! :)
    Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:50 AM