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All Programs Start Menu Item Missing
Tomiko writes in with a troubleshooting question
Question: I cannot open "All Programs". Even though I click start --> all programs, the computer does not show any programs. What is wrong with my computer?
Answer: It sounds as though the Programs container/folder got deleted from your computer. This method will vary on your computer whether it uses the All Users folder for your start menu or your own profile. Browse to this folder using My Computer or Windows Explorer C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu. Then look for a folder called Programs underneath it. If you don't have it there then look in your Recycle Bin for a Programs folder. If its there then right click it and pick Restore.
You can also browse to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu where username is the name you login as. See if you have a Programs folder under there. If either one has the correct Programs folder with everything in it then you can copy it to whichever Start Menu folder doesn't have a Programs folder.
Basically your Programs on your Start Menu are stored in a folder on your computer just like any other type of file. So you need to see if the All Users profile which applies to everyone that uses the computer or your own personal user profile has the correct Programs folder. Then copy that folder to whichever profile doesn't have a Programs folder.
If that doesn't work then another option is to try a System Restore back to a point where you had the Programs folder.
You can also try changing the Start Menu layout to Classic and see if it brings anything back to your program list.
One other option is to download and install TweakUI from Microsoft. It will have a section that shows your Start Menu items and maybe you can get some positive results with that (See attached screenshot). Here is the link to download TweakUI.