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Start Menu, Taskbar Missing; Clipboard Doesn't Work

In Windows XP, you may have the following symptoms:

  • The Start Menu is missing and Ctrl-Esc does not make it appear;

  • The Taskbar is missing, although a strip of 4-5 pixels can be seen, it cannot be moved or resized;

  • You cannot copy anything into the clipboard using Ctrl-C or EditCopy;

  • You cannot open items in the Event Viewer;

  • Upon logging in, explorer.exe crashes and then restarts several times, which causes the desktop icons to disapper and re-appear;

  • No network connectoids appear under Properties of My Network Places;

  • Errors are logged in the Application Event log with Source: EventSystem, Event: 4609;

  • Microsoft Outlook does not communicate properly with Microsoft Exchange Server;

  • Clicking on hyperlinks in Internet Explorer does not work (nothing happens);

  • Right-clicking hyperlinks in Internet Explorer and choosing Open Link in New Window does not work (nothing happens);

  • Task Manager shows an instance of svchost.exe running at 100% or close to it; and

  • Process Manager shows ADVAPI32.dll!CryptVerifySignatureW running at 100% or close to it under the C:\Windows\system32\svchost -k rpcss process.

Solution

This appears to be resolvable by running a System File Check, with the following command:

sfc /scannow

You will need your original Windows XP operating system CD. If you have upgraded to Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2, this will work best if you create a new operating system disk with the service pack slipstreamed into the CD image.

When completed, reboot.

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