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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    No Desktop, no Taskbar

    Aaarrrggghhh!!! Typed a marathon post with everything anyone would need to know, but when I went to post it, was told I didn't have permission and asked to log in (again - had already done so). Didn't suggest I might like to copy the text before it shut me out. Logged on and found a blank message. I repeat - aaarrrggghhh!!!

    So now, here is the short version. If you need more info, ask me.

    I start up my laptop (Toshiba Satellite L650), log into Windows (7 Ultimate), and then get nothing but a dark grey screen. Forever. (OK, the longest I've left it is overnight, but that feels like ever.)

    Ctrl+Alt+Del allows me into the Task Manager. Nothing on the Applications tab, a few images listed on the Processes tab. A lot of names listed on the Services tab.

    This has been an intermittent problem for a while. Using Ctrl+Alt+Del to get the Shut Down button then starting up again usually meant things went back to normal.

    Now, however, I get the grey screen of death every time - except that, sometimes, Windows Explorer then opens up, enabling me to open files and even get to Internet Explorer by typing a hyperlink and Ctrl-Clicking it. (Sounds a bit like a cartoon character drawing a chalk outline of a door on a brick wall, then going through the door.)

    No Taskbar shows, and if I minimise my open windows I get a small tab - not a Taskbar button - showing application icon, first letter of window name, Restore, Maximise and Close (X) buttons for each window.

    If I open in Safe mode, I get the Safe mode text at each corner of the screen; otherwise grey as for Normal mode, and everything else works the same.

    Haven't needed to try it, but if I don't even get Windows Explorer, think I can use Task Manager to create a new task. Except that on the odd occasion, even Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't work.

    Has anyone ever come across this before? It's certainly new to me.

    Regards

    Alison C
    (And that was the short version. Now I'm going to copy it before I try and post it...)

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    The best thing,I can suggest is to do is an Repair Install.Here's a link that I hope it will help;http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...r-install.html
    Please read the whole article.The best of luck to you.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    As far as the needing to log in again, I had same problem. Put a check mark in the remember me box before logging in and small problem solved.

    chowur has stated what I feel you will need to do for the big problem. Good luck!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If you can get in with recreating the explorer shell from task manager it will be worth the effort to check out the event viewer for errors.
    The event manager may also be accessed through safemode as well.
    (You would be looking for a reason why the explorer shell isn't loading)

    Booting with the Windows 7 DVD and doing a simple repair might also prove to be useful.
    Consider recreating an account if the trouble is confined to a specific user account in a multi user account environment.
    The System File Checker utility may also prove worthwhile: sfc /scannow.
    The Custom repair install is also an option if all of the lesser invasive methods fail.


    **The custom repair install option may not work with "imaged" restoration type disks or hidden partitions that certain manufacturers provide.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-03-23 at 21:28.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Download and update malwarebytes. boot into safe mode and run it. I have seen a version of a virus that would kill explorer.exe so you couldn't run any app.

    Jerry

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
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    My apologies to all who took the trouble to reply - I thought I was going to receive e-mail notification of replies, and when nothing came through thought perhaps my problem was too odd to elicit any response! (Note to self - check settings.)

    Meanwhile, the problem went from bad to worse, ending with a polite message to save the file I was working on (in response to no Close action from me), after which it very politely and definitely shut down. Forever. Now when I start up I get a grey screen with a blinking underscore cursor in the top left hand corner, and nothing else. Apart from a brief moment when I am offered the option of tapping F2 or F12.

    Tried to get the last of my data off with Acronis, but the .tib file was corrupt when we tried to extract the data. Finally managed to use Linux to get the file I'd been working on and one other I'd forgottent to backup earlier, and then tried to reset to factory settings with the Toshiba-recommended method of holding down 0 while switching on, and releasing after it starts to beep. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Rien.

    We thought it might have been RootKit, and would have tried the Malwarebytes approach if I had needed to get back to my PC as it was when it was working, but I had already decided a factory reset would be the best way of ensuring there was nothing left to cause me problems. Now, however, it's been recommended by a tech that I should get Toshiba to look at it under warranty, as he thinks there's something more fundamental wrong with the hardware.

    BTW, he also advised that, if using Malwarebytes to remove RootKit, you need to run several passes - in safe and normal mode - and, very importantly, check the task scheduler, which he found on another machine had 24 tasks, set to run at 30-minute intervals, to re-download the RootKit malware. Sneakly little *%##@&, it seems!

    Thank you for your responses - and apologies again for appearing to ignore them.

    Cheers

    Alison C

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If hardware is suspected then going through the warranty process with the manufacturer is your best option.
    Several passes may indeed be needed but it would also be helpfull to have a tool that is more specific to rootkit detection & removal,
    if a rootkit is actually suspect.

  8. #8
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    Allfrog,

    In light of your recent troubles I would suggest at the very least you should ensure you have "working / tested" backups of any data you consider important in case you are not lucky in the future with either malware or hardware issues.

    Fingers crossed it is very unlikely that you'll be bitten by any remnants of malware but rootkits which can hide in your hard disk's MBR can be rather nasty. For reference Malwarebytes's reputation is positive because it is good but it is not the definitive guide to clean vs. infected systems.

    I would recommend you also run "SeaTools for Windows" which is produced by Seagate but will support other brands with generic testing this may give you a heads up as to whether your hard disk is on its way out and then you can proceed to tango with Toshiba warranty support.

    All the best,
    JDB.

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