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Windows 7: empty desktop on login (explorer.exe is in the list of process)

23 Dec 2016   #1

empty desktop on login (explorer.exe is in the list of process)

i updated a win7 machine and the installed zonealarm (this was a software update, not just an identifications update), restarted the machine and on login the desktop is empty (no decorations/windows/icons/background).

i can open a taskmanager and see the following processes:
explorer.exe (restarting this does not help)
taskmgr.exe winlogon.exe (should this still be running?)

* i can run firefox.exe, it shows up in the process list but no window appears.
* i can run a shell just fine.
* if i try to view processes of all users, the tasknamager gets inresponsive.
it still displays changes in the process list, but i cant move the window or click on anything.

i still can boot into safe mode.
i looked at <a href="!104768!crash-lockup-debug-how/104768-troubleshooting-explorer-exe-crashing-issues.html" target="_blank">this</a> but the explorer is not crashing.
i still tried:
* ShellExView (deactivated anything not microsoft)
* sfc /scannow (no errors)
* creating a new profile (i can lof into it in safe mode, but when booting normally it gets stuck on the welcone screen)

any idea what causes this and how i can fix this?

i tried system repair (found nothing to repair).

then i used systemrestore (pre uninstalling unused sw and updating zonealarm, but post windows update) and tried everything again (except uninstalling silverlight).
this time it worked.
so either the explorer / windowmanager for some reason uses silverlight or something went wrong during the zonealarm update.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 empty desktop on login (explorer.exe is in the list of process)

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