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Windows 7: Most start menu program folders say (empty)

28 Apr 2013   #1
Vladimir8185

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 
Most start menu program folders say (empty)

Hi there,

I have a problem with most of the programs in my start menu no longer containing any shortcuts but just displaying "(empty)" as shown below.

And when I use "search programs & files" to find the program it doesn't find it either.

I first noticed this happening about 3 months after I did a clean install of Windows 7 and I am 99% sure it affects all programs I have installed since then. The shortcuts are there after the programs are first installed (I don't check this all the time though) but disappear soon after - maybe after the next logon... I don't know.

It must be related to permissions because when I right click on "All Programs" and select "All Users", if I try to open one of the affected program's folders I get the message "You don't currently have permission to access this folder". I can click "continue" and open the folder and the shortcuts are there.
(A related problem maybe that some of the shortcuts have lost their icons??)

I don't know much permissions and ownership etc but have managed to change the ownership of one of these folders to Administrator and it then the shortcuts also appear again in the start menu.
I could just go through and do this to all the 40 odd programs that are affected buy I want to know what's causing it to stop it happening in the future.

I have spent hours trying to find a solution to this problem and it is driving me crazy!
I have seen a lot about the Windows 7 restore virus that makes start menu folders empty? I don't think this is the problem (I used to run AVG but now Microsoft Security Essentials and they have never found anything) but I haven't actually seen any info about how to confirm if you have this virus or not - mainly people advising to run different "virus fix" programs which I am wary about.

I have only ever had one user account on the computer which is set to admin privileges too.
Any help would be much appreciated, Thanks!




Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #2
Vladimir8185

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

just saw this in the "similar threads" below this post

Start Menu empty

Quote: Originally Posted by beabt1
My Start Menu......Once was populated but now is vacant. I'm not aware of any action of mine that has caused the original list to disappear. Items can still be added to the menu if I choose to do so.

It is a known problem when start gets more than abt 80 items. I have it now. there are 2 fixes. first have less than that number of items. second there is a thread here that has the cure. I forget its name and fix. Just search for it. Me I just deal with it too much trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

Have you tried re installing the program ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #4
Vladimir8185

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Yes, it's not just one program though, i'm pretty sure it's all of the programs I have installed since it first started happening 6 months ago (and no, I have no idea what changes might have happened at the time)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #5
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Did you install the programs form your user account or from an Administrator one? Did you select "Install for all Users" or maybe "Just Me"?
How have you accessed them for the last 6 months?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #6
Vladimir8185

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Installed from my account (which is an admin account anyway) and always select All Users if the option is given.
I just pinned to the start menu the ones I use often and the others I open directly from within program files....which I have gotten sick of doing now hence having ANOTHER go at trying to find an answer, giving up and posting here haha
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2013   #7
Vladimir8185

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Does no one have any ideas on this one???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2013   #8
VistaKing

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 

Hi Vladimir8185

Can you tell me if you have this folder ( in bold ) C:\Users\(YourUserAccount)\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2013   #9
Vladimir8185

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

No I don't, I checked the Administrator user as well. Is that how you check if you have that virus that affects the start menu?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2013   #10
VistaKing

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 

Yes the virus stores folders in that folder and the folders are numbered 1 , 2 , 4 . Each number goes to a specific folder . Can you take a screen shot of the entire start menu ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Most start menu program folders say (empty)




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