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Blank Start Menu

    Question

  • I have googled this phenomenon and received a number of hits from people who have the same problem but I am unable to find a solution.  My start menu has gone entirely blank on the left hand side (above the "all programs") line.  Things I have done:

    1) rebooted

    2) have the boxes marked store recently opened programs and the one for files

    3) navigated to this site (which describes my problem) and cant figure out what the solution is

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282066/en-us

     

     

    If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

     

    Thanks

     

    Thursday, May 08, 2008 5:57 PM

Answers

  • Derrick

     

    OK, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

     


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    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, May 10, 2008 7:37 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Derrick

     

    Right click the Start Button and select Properties/Start Menu Tab/Customize Button.

     

    In the 'Start menu size' section, make sure that the 'Number of recent programs to display' is not set to 0 (Zero).

     

     


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    so that other members can benefit from the discussion.


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Friday, May 09, 2008 1:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Nope, set to Nine (9)

    Friday, May 09, 2008 2:27 AM
  • Derrick

     

    OK, here is something else you can check.

     

    Press the WINKEY+R.

    In the Run dialog box,  type  regedit.exe  and press OK.

    This will open the Registry Editor.

    Navigate down to the following key.

     

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

     

    With Advanced selected, look in the right side pane for a Value named 'StartMenuInit'. 

    This value should show a number ending in '3'.

    If it has any other number, double click this value.

    In the 'Value Data' box, change the number to 3.

    Click OK.

     

    If the 'StartMenuInit' value does not exist, create the value.

    Right click and empty area in the right side pane and select,

    New/DWORD (32bit) Value.

    Name the new value  StartMenuInit  (Case sensitive)

    Double click this new value.

    Type the number 3 in the Value Data box.

    Click OK.

     

    Exit the registry editor and reboot the computer.

     


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    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    • Proposed as answer by pattrriicckk Saturday, June 07, 2014 2:12 AM
    Friday, May 09, 2008 9:03 PM
    Moderator
  • When I navigate to that registry key, I sont have "Advanced" I only have SessionInfo.

    Friday, May 09, 2008 11:07 PM
  • Derrick

     

    Strange? That Advanced key has to be there as this is where all of the settings for the Start Menu are kept.

     

    Are you running Regedit as as administrator. Just to make sure, go to Start/All Programs/Accessories. Local the 'Command Prompt' icon. Right click that icon and select the 'Run As Administrator' item. You should see a UAC prompt, click Continue.

     

    When the command windows opens, type  regedit.exe   and press Enter. This will open regedit with admin privileges.

     

    The Advanced Key should be the first key below Explorer.

     


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, May 10, 2008 1:32 AM
    Moderator
  • It keeps getting stranger, I do not have regedit under Accessories, either but I was able to type it in the "start search" box and then I got the result which I was able to right click on and run as Administrator.  Still no "Advanced" under Explorer, just SessionInfo.  I am running Home Premium and the keys that in the Explorer folder are:

    CleanShutdown

    NoFileFolderConnection

    ShellState

    ShowDriveLettersFirst

     

     

     

     

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 1:57 AM
  • Derrick

     

    Your describing the correct values in the Explorer folder.

     

    The SessionInfo key does exist under the Explorer key, but there should be around 30 other keys before the SessionInfo key under Explorer? These are all critical keys with settings for the explorer GUI.

     

    Have you used any type of registry cleaner on this system recently?

     

    Make absolutely sure that you are in the correct registry location.

     

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

     

    Let me know.

     

     

     

    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, May 10, 2008 2:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for helping me. It didnt even occur to me but I have used ccleaner recently.  I can not do a system restore as I tried that before I started this thread. There are no other values under Explorer other than SessionInfo.  I tripled checked that I was under the exact registry key you pointed me to.

     

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 3:20 AM
  • Derrick

     

    OK, does CCleaner create backups when it deletes registry keys? If so, you might want to check those backups to see if they contain any of the keys that you are missing in that Explorer branch of the registry.

     

    With those missing keys, you may have more problems. Those keys contain some very critical settings.

     

    Let me know.

     


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, May 10, 2008 4:51 AM
    Moderator
  • I do have some more issues (windows search indexing wont run, can not get the "show hidden files" radio button to stay on).  I do what I think are registry hive? files that I *thought* I had restored but the process was not too definitive.  The registry back up files that were created are named:

     

    COMPONENTS

    DEFAULT

    SAM

    SECURITY

    SOFTWARE

    SYSTEM

     

    Also in that same location (not sure they are related, I just stored them on my C drive so I could find them when it asked me if I wanted to backup) are:

    BOOTSECT.bak

    Encoder

    Yserver

     

     

     

     

     

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 3:24 PM
  • Derrick

     

    I can't help with the CCleaner recovery procedure, I have never used this program.

     

    You definitely want to restore the 'Software' hive, this is the one that contains the missing keys  we have been working with.

     

    At this point, I would recommend restoring everything that is available, just to make sure that you don't run into other problems in the future. If you're not sure how to do this, you may want to contact the support for CCleaner.

     

    Just for information, what was the problem that you had with System Restore? Also, do you have a Vista installation disk, or did Vista come pre-installed on your computer?

     

    Let me know if you need more help and please post back here with the results.

     


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, May 10, 2008 4:51 PM
    Moderator
  • System Restore only gave me one date/time which was not prior to the ccleaner process. Vista was pre-installed.  I will try to figure out how to restore the "software" hive and let you know if that works.

     

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 6:25 PM
  • Derrick

     

    OK, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

     


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, May 10, 2008 7:37 PM
    Moderator
  • Ronnie:

    Thanks for your help, I think you identified my problem.  I have not solved it per se, as it still exists but my registry is a mess (which you correctly have identified as my issue).  I have tried to restore my registry several times with backups, manually, etc and in the process I have made a mess of it.  My IE 7 no longer works (using Mozilla) and I cant see hidden files, my start menu still doesn't display frequently used, my "add/remove" has multiple programs listed twice etc.  I am pretty sure I know what I did but I just cant undo it.  I replaced hkey-machine data with hkey-local-user or something like that and I dont have the "original" backed up because I thought that was the original.  Anyway,  I am trying to figure out what to do.  I think I am just going to reload the OS.  I am able to back up all my data files so at a minimum I wont lose anything (other than time).   Again, thanks for walking me through but unless I can find a "default registry" file, (does that exist?) I am at a loss.

    Derrick
    Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:37 PM
  • Derrick

     

    I really wish I had better news, but I'm afraid that you are looking at a 'save your important data' + 'clean install the system' + 'reinstall all of your programs' situation.

     

    Even an upgrade install would probably not work where the registry has been corrupted to that extent.

     




    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 12:03 AM
    Moderator
  • set to zero and works for me

    Monday, May 05, 2014 4:16 PM
  • Do just what Ronnie says to do it worked perfectly on my windows 7 pro.   HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AdvancedWith Advanced selected, look in the right side pane for a Value named 'StartMenuInit'.  This value should show a number ending in '3'.If it has any other number, double click this value.In the 'Value Data' box, change the number to 3.Click OK.If the 'StartMenuInit' value does not exist, create the value.Right click and empty area in the right side pane and select,New/DWORD (32bit) Value. Name the new value  StartMenuInit  (Case sensitive)Double click this new value.Type the number 3 in the Value Data box.Click OK.  = windows 7 pro my start menu was gone  I followed your direction. my value was ending in 4.  I changed it to 3 as you instructed and upon reboot. yes Thank You everything is back Perfect it works when nothing else did. Ronnie you are Great !



    • Edited by pattrriicckk Saturday, June 07, 2014 2:38 AM edit
    Saturday, June 07, 2014 2:23 AM
  • Hi ,

         I have recently updated my laptop with windows 8.1.My start button(not the start screen) on the desktop flickers unusually with every 5 seconds. It has no response on pressing. Also,when I open any of the app like MS word ,it becomes dim for few seconds and gets selected again(the upper margin ,the pointer gets selected and deselected continuously). The same problem exists with all the app.Everything that I select even the cursor on the word document blinks(selected and deselected) automatically.Please help me with possible solution.

    Monday, June 09, 2014 7:12 PM
  • This seemed to work but when I rebooted it changed the value back to 4. Back to the drawing board.
    Thursday, May 24, 2018 2:02 PM