Hey, I've been working on this exact same issue all night, and after solving it (on my end, at any rate), I thought I'd finally
get around to registering for seven forums. I've been lurking the forums long enough, time to contribute, I s'pose. Hopefully this helps.
I noticed at first that my start orb had somehow shrunk to within the confines of my taskbar. I was using large icons on the taskbar. I paid it no mind, at least until I noticed my icons all seemed to align to the vertical top of the taskbar. Look at the OP's first image to see what I mean - you can see maybe a few millimeters of space under each icon. Anyway, I tried everything, up to and including using scannow. Still no go. Then, in a frenzy of frustration, I tried removing the extra toolbars I had created. Specifically, the one for the recycle bin (found here
). As soon as I removed the pinned shortcut AND the extra toolbar, icons all went back to normal. Well, my start orb is still a little screwed up, but whatever, I'll live.
Hopefully this can help the OP. Maybe, like me, he got his mods crossed