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Windows 7: Broken start button, crashing explorer.

03 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 x64
Broken start button, crashing explorer.

Not quite sure what has happened, Win 7 x64 has been running like a dream, I typically leave my computer on during the nite and have it set to a 2 hour sleep as to not waste to much electricity.

When I woke up this morning I noticed it was still on which was strange, after a reboot all of the pinned icons, icons in desktop etc have dissapered but the text that would be underneath them as normal is still there.
I can hover over where the icons are on the taskbar and the popup text appears fine, i.e it will tell me, ie firefox, winamp etc. I also looked in the My Computer, no HDD icons and the control panel also shows nothing, not even text.

Also the start button when i hover over it will 'light up' as usual but when clicked, does nothing, I can see the icons in my gadget box fine as I have shortcuts to games and HDD's etc in there.
To top it off explorer crashes and restarts every now and then.

I tried a system restore, which had no effect, system repair detected no issues.
I have scanned with ad aware and NOD32 and they have detected nothing, I have no idea what would cuase this issue, I thought it was icon related but obviously not with the broken start button and crashing explorer.

Apoligies for the long post, wanted to be clear and concise.

Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

Scan with superantispyware, full system scan, and then run sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 x64

Tried superantispyware and it just detected a few cookies, same as Ad-Aware.
As for the command prompt, I can create a cmd shortcut on the desktop without the startbutton, but im not exactly sure what you have posted does, could you elaborate please?

Added a screenshot in hopes it may clarify the situation.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

The symptoms seem to point out an infection, but if SAS is clean after a full system scan, then the command will scan your system files and fix (usually) any broken system files. Keep the dvd on hand. Search for cmd and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter, the command won't work in a standard command prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 x64

Ok WRP found corrupt files, it was unable to fix them all though, looking at the cbs.log it moved files in and round SystemRoot\WinSxS, im not sure if thats just standard or whatever, i'll try a reboot and see.

After a reboot its the same as before, im getting a sinking feeling of having to do a complete backup and a fresh install and I have only been running Win7 a month :/
I shall perservere to find out what cuased the issue though to prevent it in the future.

Any other idea's feel free and thanks for the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #6

Dual boot Win7 Home Premium and Vista Home Premium SP2

Have you tried a simple System Restore to just a few days before? I find this quite useful especially after Windows Updates where one may seem to screw things up....

May help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

Post a screenshot of your installed programs and what the msconfig startup tab.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

I think you should definitely try system restore if you haven't already. Hopefully you have system restore enabled? It just might work. Certainly easy enough to try if you can find system restore w/o a working start button.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #9

Windows 7 x64

Yes a system restore was the first thing I tried, I was able to boot from the Win7 DVD and used a restore from a few days ago and also tried a repair, it made no difference.
The explorer crashes are being reported to be cuase by the module shell32.dll, and the computer is running really sluggish, IIRC from XP a few years back, it typically cuases GUI and performance issues, im wondering if I can try and restore the registry and file?

As for installed programs, all is fine, already checked my startup in msconfig, I only have Nod32, win7 OS, Realtek Soundcard drivers and Mouse drivers starting up.
I made a shortcut for cmd ran msconfig and from the tools tab can launch programs that I can't access in the control panel atm, and just remembering I can get to sys restore from there without the dvd doh!
Im scanning through the event veiwer to see if I can spot anything out of place.

As a side note I dual boot Ubuntu, but I have since i've had Win7, im 99% sure it has no effect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)

Going out on a limb here, but if System Restore did not make a difference, then I have to say that your operating system is fine. I believe your video card may have failed or be failing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Broken start button, crashing explorer.

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