General Question

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Windows XP only showing wallpaper. Why isn't anything else appearing?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1897points) December 23rd, 2012

First of all, Windows XP is really slow when it says “Loading your personal settings.” It eventually gets past that after like 10 minutes and finally the wallpaper shows up. . . .but no icons or taskbar. I try doing CTRL+ALT+DEL and nothing shows up. Can’t right click either. I tried going into safe mode when it boots for some reason nothing happens. Is it F8 I have to press? And when exactly do I press it?

Oh, wait, the usual options showed up right now when I pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL. I wanted to go to task manager because I found out you can take out some things to make it run faster, but not even the task manager is showing up, or at least it’s super slow too.

This laptop’s been around since 2008. My mom’s using it now. Obviously I’m on another laptop online asking for help. It’s been working fine, supposedly, just last night. And now this morning it was just super slow.

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10 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

If your icons are not showing up, that is because explorer.exe is not running, so you get no icons or start bar.

The way you fix this, is by going to the task manager, opening a new task, and selecting explorer.exe to run, and all the icons come back. However, your problem seems to go beyond that.

Have you ever formated it, or defragged the hard drive? are you running any anti virus software?

Based on how recent this is, since last night, I am guessing you have downloaded something that has infected you some how, or the computer CPU has taken some damage.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Task manager did end up showing up a second ago and explorer.exe was there in the process list, so it must be running, right? I tried to go to other tabs under task manager but it’s. . . so. . . damn. . . slow. . .

I’ll have to ask my mom if she downloaded/installed anything last night then.

poisonedantidote's avatar

That is strange, if explorer is running you should have your icons.

This is a long shot, but maybe right click the desktop, go to properties, and check to make sure you are seeing monitor 1, and that it is not set to 2 monitors some how.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

I read up some things as to why this is happening. My father used to own a second laptop that is no longer within our network. Could it be that it’s being slow because it’s still trying to detect that second laptop that’s no longer in our network? But then how come my laptop can access everything so quick and easy?

WestRiverrat's avatar

When you are checking properties like @poisonedantidote suggests, check to see if someone didn’t toggle off the show desktop icons setting too.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

I asked my mom if she installed anything from the Internet, she said no. She only installed one program called Avery or something like that which makes labels for letters. But that wasn’t from the Internet. That came from a CD.

Whoa! Finally got Safe Mode running, let’s cross our fingers and see what happens.

mrentropy's avatar

About this time is when I’d check the drive for bad sectors. If the drive has to re-read sectors until it gets a good read that can slow things down a lot, too.

SABOTEUR's avatar

When was the last time you cleaned or defragged? Junk files, registry errors and misplaced files contribute to deteriorating performance. Doesn’t make sense to pursue anything else until you’ve done some basic housecleaning.

You might also want to close down unnecessary programs running background applications.

I highly recommend Advanced System Care software. They provide a variety of user friendly preventive maintenance tools to keep you up and running.

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bomyne's avatar

” It eventually gets past that after like 10 minutes”

This right here leads me to believe the computer is struggling. Has it always taken 10 minutes? If not, try running a scandisk of the hard drive. I’d also try downloading a memory test program to another computer, burn it to a CD and try booting the troublesome laptop with it. You can find more information on Google but this one is one most recommend.

You say nothing has been installed recently, so it’s most likely a hardware issue.

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