I have spent a couple of weeks researching this with no fix.
Maybe because most of the posts I have read have not contained enough information.
Just to rule out the unnecessary posts, YES I have done the Malware, Spyware, Virus, etc. checks. Not related. Also have tried this running Norton, Bitdefender and currently MSE.
On a fresh reboot everything runs normally. Can open programs, access the start menu, access "My Computer" on the desktop. I am running Firefox and IE 9 for browsers. Can open and use the browsers with no problems. As soon as I pin a program short cut to the task bar or delete an old short cut from the desktop, I lose the ability to open any of the remaining desktop short cuts. Including the My Computer. Each one will highlight when mouse over but will not function.
I can reproduce this over and over. Reboot always fixes it until I alter short cuts again. I believe it is related to the 64 bit version, as I have tried it on 32 bit and all works fine. I need to use the 64 bit for my needs so I need to figure this out.
My test between 32 and 64 included the same hardware and software loaded with the appropriate drivers (32 or 64) as required.
Thanks for trying to help.