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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Multiple Start Menu columns have disappeared

    Hi folks.

    Windows XP-SP3

    When I click the Start button and hover over All Programs, I always used to get a full list of installed programs spread across multiple columns.

    Just recently the multiple columns have disappeared and there is now only one column, which shows only a fraction of my installed programs. This single column is not scrollable.

    Properties for Start --> Properties --> Start Menu still has the Start menu selected (not Classic Start menu), and I can't see anything amiss in the General or Advanced tabs under the Customize button.

    The programs column that becomes available when using the Classic Start menu (which is not what I want anyway) doesn't allow access to all my apps either because the column is not scrollable!

    Have done the usual anti-virus/anti-malware thing.

    This is really annoying so any suggestions gratefully accepted.

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  3. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    The first question is always Have you made any changes recently? Installed anything? Uninstalled anything? Deleted anything? Changed your profile? Using a different profile?

    Bearing that in mind, right-click the Start button, and select Open. What do you see?
    Now right-click the Start button and select Open All Users. Are the missing programs there?

    In XP, some of the menu items are in your own profile's Start Menu folder, and the rest are in the All Users Start Menu folder. When you click the Start button normally, Explorer shows the items in All Users, plus those in your own profile. We need to know which profile they're missing from.

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    The change with the Start/All Programs menu occurred after I had done quite a bit of cleaning up of the hard drive. I hadn't been having any specific problems, but the machine is old and was getting slow. The cleanup included uninstalling quite a number of applications (all done properly through Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs), a thorough defrag using Auslogics Disc Defrag, and running of the following cleanup apps:

    adwcleaner
    Junkware Remolval Tool
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

    Everything seemed to go without a hitch, I've recovered a lot of space and the machine is running much faster.

    The menu aberration is the only problem and I only noticed it after the final reboot.

    > right-click the Start button, and select Open. What do you see?

    Shortcuts to several apps that display on the top left of the Start menu.

    > right-click the Start button and select Open All Users. Are the missing programs there?

    There are a handful of shortcuts there, but none for the programs I'm concerned with. The shortcuts are for the likes of Microsoft Update, New Office Document, Open Office Document, etc. These are the programs that appear in the upper part of the Start/All Programs menu.

    There are no icons anywhere for, for example, my actual MS office applications: Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. But of course they are all still installed and I can find them using My Computer.

  5. #4
    2 Star Lounger
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    OK. I should've said before, make sure the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users isn't hidden. If it is, the "All Users" start menu items won't show - unhide it and try your Start menu again. Do that first.

    I should also have said, when you select Open, or Open All Users, you should see a Programs folder. Open that, and keep drilling down the subfolders to see if they're there. If they're not, you must've deleted them somehow. You can easily recreate them by making shortcuts to the various program executables* and dragging them to your start menu folder - your own if you want only yourself to see them, the All Users one if you want other users of the machine to see them too. I suggest dragging them all to your desktop first, so you don't get in a muddle.

    *The easy way: right-click the executable, drag it a few pixels, select Create Shortcut(s) Here.

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    I guess you could look on it as an opportunity to customize your start menu.

    I think you must have a User or All Users Programs folder in one place or the other because Accessories, Administrative Tools and Startup folders inside Programs folder are system folders and should not be deletable.

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