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Missing Desktop Icons and Taskbar

Kathryn writes in with a troubleshooting question

Question:
This doesn’t happen every time, but quite often when I log in to Windows the computer screen comes up just with my background and not the start bar or my shortcuts, meaning that to access any programs I have to use Ctrl/Alt/Delete/File/Run New Task. The start bar even then only sometimes re-appears if I restart the computer -at least three or four times- ...but it's so frustrating! Can you help?

Answer: You may have a problem with your video driver or a corrupt user profile. Start the computer in Safe Mode and see if the problem persists. This will start it with a standard VGA driver instead of your current driver. If everything works then I would reinstall or update your video card driver or rollback to an older version using Device Manager.
 
Next I would try logging in as a different user or as the administrator account. If you don't have any other accounts and already log on as the administrator then make a new account in Control Panel using the Users utility. Then log in with that new account and see what happens.

 



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