Blank Desktop, No toolbar

(SOLVED) Blank Desktop, No toolbar

Ok, this sucks..

Last night my computer locked up on me. I am working on a Dell laptop running 32bit Windows 7. I had about 5 programs running and most of them stopped responding so I pulled up the task manager to end them all. Then the task manager froze. In frustration, I hit "end task" button repeatedly (stupid, I now know) and I finally got the boxes to come up asking me if I wanted to close my programs. One of those boxes said that explorer.exe had stopped working or something along those lines so I closed it as well. When I did a restart, my desktop is solid black (my wallpaper), with not task bar, start button, or desktop icons. Right click does not work, but using ctrl+alt+del I can open some programs such as google chrome, IE, etc.

I have searched numerous topics and it looks like my explorer.exe is corrupted or gone completely. Many sites have recommended searching for explorer.exe via the task manager, but when I do I get a message that I cannot be found, or something along those lines.

I am completely open to re-installing Windows 7, but I tried and it wont let me until I delete a few items (iTunes, Dell Printer Software, etc) and I have no way of doing that.

Can anyone give me some advice for what to do?


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Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
you could try booting from the 7 disk. This involves entering the bios and changing the boot order so that CD/DVD is first. On the reboot remember to press any key when prompted.
Another option would be to use 'System Restore' and go back to a time before problems began.

Thanks for the info...just a few other notes:

Booting in safe mode for me does not work. I mean, I can do it, but I still have no icons, start menu, etc.

I also have no way of accessing system restore since I cannot get into my control panel.

How do I change the BIOS to boot from the disc first? Thanks


Essential Member
On startup, try hitting Ctl-Alt-Del the type in explorer under the new task entry

Also, while in Task Manager, make sure dwm is in the list.

I would also suggest going to Start > Run, type cmd. Now type sfc /scannow, or from new Task in Task Manager.

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Thanks for the help.

I booted using my CD/DVD drive and instead of doing a clean install of Windows 7 I clicked on "Repair My Computer" and was able to do a system restore via the 7 disc, thank God. So after alot of stressing out, things seem to be back to normal.


Essential Member
Glad to hear it:)

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