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Disappearing Taskbar on Win7 Home premium RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have had my Sony Vaio laptop for over 2 years and only had this problem start recently.  When I boot up the taskbar is viewable and every icon is appropriate.  Somewhere during the time I am working, either in MS Word 10 or on-line, the taskbar disappears and cannot be found.  Only the Windows Start button shows.  The only way to get the taskbar to reappear is to do a reboot.  How can I keep the taskbar visible.  Rebooting so often is a royal pain as I have to save what I am working on.  There are times when I need to check things on-line before continuing work on my document.

    Any advise how to solve this problem would be appreciated.

     

    Thanks,

    pclady48


    • Edited by Carey FrischMVP Tuesday, January 31, 2012 11:08 PM Remove PII
    • Moved by Carey FrischMVP Tuesday, January 31, 2012 11:09 PM Moved to more appropriate forum category (From:Windows 7 Miscellaneous)
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:33 PM

Answers

  • 'Explorer' is the name of the Windows desktop application and has the process name explorer.exe
    Internet Explorer (the web browser) has the process name iexplore.exe
    Terminating and restarting explorer.exe should at least temporarily restore the taskbar.
    I've never seen the exact problem before but I have seen cases where part of explorer becomes unresponsive while other barts continue to work.
    I would suggest scanning the system with a few free anti-malware tools. Some malware hooks itself into the explorer process and causes strange behaviour.
    I've had good sucess with SuperantiSpyware
    Unfortunatly sometimes the problems with explorer are caused by somthing that is not found by an automated tool, it those cases I go looking for suspicious dll files manually. This may not be something you want to try yourself, but here's what I do.
    Open the Windows\system32 folder by typing %systemroot%\system32 into the start menu search box and pressing enter.
    Change the Folder Options to make sure you can see everything you need to see: Click Organize > Folder and Search Options, Click the View tab
     
    Change the View to Tiles (Alt+v and s) Scroll through the folder contents and look at the tile details for all of the .dll files. Normal DLLs show a file name a version number and a description. (if the file name is really long you may not see the description)
    Look for any dlls that have no version number or description(like the selected file in the picture below), they are highly suspect. Rename the file (F2) to add .bad to the end of the file name, the name change will disable the dll on the next system boot.
     
    After checking all of the dlls reboot and see if the problem is gone. You may get a message that the renamed dlls can't be found, ignore it for now to see if the problem is gone. You can always go back and remove the .bad from the end of the file names to restore the dll if removing them does not help the problem.
    • Marked as answer by Niki Han Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:39 AM
    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:57 PM

All replies

  • Can you be a bit more specific about what is and is not on the task bar?

    Is the clock still visible?

    Are all the notification icons gone?

    Is the taskbar still visible, just blank?

    At first glance it sounds like some add-on my be to blame, a temporary workaround that might get your icons back without a reboot would be to terminate and restart explorer.

    To restart explorer:

    Press ctrl+shift+esc to open task manager

    Find explorer.exe in the list of processes on the Processes tab, select it and click end process

    Confirm that you want to close the process

    Now restart explorer by clicking the file menu (in task manager) and clicking new task

    Type explorer and click ok

    Hopefully when explorer restarts it will work properly for a while.

     

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 7:12 AM
  • The whole bar is gone; no clock, date or anything else except for the Start/Windows Globe.  I do not use Explorer, currently running Firefox. But have never had this problem on desktop of laptop until lately [on laptop only].
    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 2:07 PM
  • 'Explorer' is the name of the Windows desktop application and has the process name explorer.exe
    Internet Explorer (the web browser) has the process name iexplore.exe
    Terminating and restarting explorer.exe should at least temporarily restore the taskbar.
    I've never seen the exact problem before but I have seen cases where part of explorer becomes unresponsive while other barts continue to work.
    I would suggest scanning the system with a few free anti-malware tools. Some malware hooks itself into the explorer process and causes strange behaviour.
    I've had good sucess with SuperantiSpyware
    Unfortunatly sometimes the problems with explorer are caused by somthing that is not found by an automated tool, it those cases I go looking for suspicious dll files manually. This may not be something you want to try yourself, but here's what I do.
    Open the Windows\system32 folder by typing %systemroot%\system32 into the start menu search box and pressing enter.
    Change the Folder Options to make sure you can see everything you need to see: Click Organize > Folder and Search Options, Click the View tab
     
    Change the View to Tiles (Alt+v and s) Scroll through the folder contents and look at the tile details for all of the .dll files. Normal DLLs show a file name a version number and a description. (if the file name is really long you may not see the description)
    Look for any dlls that have no version number or description(like the selected file in the picture below), they are highly suspect. Rename the file (F2) to add .bad to the end of the file name, the name change will disable the dll on the next system boot.
     
    After checking all of the dlls reboot and see if the problem is gone. You may get a message that the renamed dlls can't be found, ignore it for now to see if the problem is gone. You can always go back and remove the .bad from the end of the file names to restore the dll if removing them does not help the problem.
    • Marked as answer by Niki Han Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:39 AM
    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:57 PM