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Windows 7: Win7 Prof no desktop or icons in normal mode; safe mode okay

24 Jan 2015   #1

windows 7 prof
Win7 Prof no desktop or icons in normal mode; safe mode okay

Lenovo Laptop

Windows starts normally, but after login displays a black screen with only cursor showing. Mouse is okay, ctrl-alt-del opens a window and task manager works okay.

Safe mode with networking works normally.

Restored from to a restore point prior to an install of "proformax Cleaner", no change to behavior.

Used task manager to take note of services running in safe mode.

Restarted in normal mode and used task manager to stop all services not running in Safe Mode.
Stopping the "Group Policy Client" caused the desktop to reappear. However on restart in Normal mode the "Group Policy Client" had the service's stop etc choices greyed out.

Running MSconfig to eliminate all startup programs and most services, the "Group Policy Client" choice rechecks the box when "Apply" is clicked.

My guess is that a virus changed a registry entry to prevent the desktop from being displayed. Any suggestions as to how to proceed would certainly be appreciated at this point.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello WWilliam50 and welcome to Seven Forums.

Have you run a full scan with your installed anti-virus of choice? Even if you AV comes back "no malware found" it wouldn't hurt to run some additional free on-demand scanners. (No AV product is 100% effective 100% of the time.) Some of the free software recommended by Forum members include: Malwarebytes; SuperAntispyware; and ESET Online Scanner.

warning   Warning
Make sure you don't install unwanted/unneeded crapware. Some sites are now bundling extra "stuff" with the main product. Uncheck any boxes for things you don't want.

Once you've completed all scans, see if you can rebuild your icon cache.

Icon Cache - Rebuild

If still no joy see if you have any damaged or corrupt system files by running a System File Checker scan from an elevated command prompt (option two.)

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #3

windows 7 prof
Further efforts

Thanks very much for suggestions. I installed and activated PC Cleaner Plus from SparkTrust (Via Source Forge). The scan told me that it found and "corrected" several registry issues and deleted numerous "unneeded" files. No apparent change in behavior though.

From the command line I ran SCF/Scannow which found "No resource violations"

I left the laptop on overnight and in the AM, the desktop was back and the laptop appeared to be working correctly. I took the time to uninstall the App "Driver update" by slimware Utilities.

Upon restart, we are again back to the black screen with nothing showing but the (moveable) mouse pointer. Been that way for about 15 minutes now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jan 2015   #4
Microsoft MVP


Why are you installing dodgy software and cleaners which already likely ruined Win7 instead of following the steps which were given you to try to repair the mayhem?

The only disk or registry cleaner ever needed is CCleaner as prescribed along the other tools and methods which work best in Clean Reinstall Windows 7 .

What was the result of the full scan with Malwarebytes which should have been done first? Now do another scan with ESET Online scanner: Free Virus Scan | Online Virus Scanner from ESET.

This time don't be distracted by ads or any other scamware or crapware which tries to sneak in. Just follow the steps already given and then continue with Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Once one uses this Cleaner Plus from SparkTrust you would be better off to stat over.

Using Gregs tutorial.

Clean Reinstall Windows 7 .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2015   #6

windows 7 prof

Thank you Greg, your question is probably the best that I've heard in a long time, I should have asked it myself. In (only) partial defense it isn't my laptop and I didn't install any but the one (pc cleaner plus) of the apps that are on the laptop now, including copies of Norton Internet Security, AVG antivirus and McAfee.

I've used malware bytes a lot to get rid of nuisance ware and started to install that from safe mode but ran into a bit of trouble with the download and backed off.

There are lots of sites and people with varying skills offering help, some of them with ulterior motives for sure, and having heard of Source Forge & them being a MS partner, it looked worth a chance and did no harm.

To the chase: Malware bytes worked!! Identified and removed StormwatchA, Vosteran, Gamevance, Installcore.A, and Vosteran.A. Laptop is now working okay.

Still uncertain about the Apps still installed: Unchecky, ViewNX2, and Loenov's 'ThinkVantage'. The owner should also decide on only one antivirus program. IMO

Beyond that, a very big thank you for the help!!!

First time visitor to the site, I've been working on PCs and LANs for a while now, hopefully I can now offer some help of my own. Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 Prof no desktop or icons in normal mode; safe mode okay

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