I have gone through a number of posts on this problem and tried them but they did not work for me. Here is my problem:
Yesterday a user complained that there laptop had slowed down in recent days. I went ahead and ran msconfig the I deleted most of the programs that were running on startup. I also stopped some services. The PC speed improved but when the user restarted the laptop there were no icons or taskbar.
I pressed ctrl-alt-del and started task manager. I started explorer.exe and my computer showed up with the drives on the machine. I also ran sfc /scannow and it did give any errors, i created another profile and it has the same results. When I right click on the desktop nothing shows up. I booted into safe mode and there are no restore points to recover to.
I suspect the problem is registry related and was caused by me deleting the startup programs. I am not sure how I can restore the laptop without reinstalling it.