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Desktop Icons Changed to Blank Squares

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  • Desktop Icons Changed to Blank Squares

    I'am running Windows XP Pro (SP2)
    All the icons on my Desktop and all Programs icons have been replaced with small white squares. When Clicking on any one of it a window is popping out with the following:
    Windows cannot open this file: File:...... To open this file Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs on your computer

    1. I restarted the PC twice and got the same issue. The System Tray is "empty" except the Ewido guard and the clock.
    I clicked on "Start" and got also small white squares for all the existing programs except for Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.
    I performed PC scanning using Ewido (as above) and two on-line scanning programs (BitDefender and Trend) with no finding.
    Thru the "Start" I can open "My Documents" and "My Computer"... but nothing thru the Desktop

    2. I cannot use the system restore, since I cannot open any program from the desktop or from the "Run". I used the "System Restore " in Safe Mode to a previous date (October 31). The issue remain unsolved.

    3. I decided to check the OS repair using Windows CD .The computer then boot from the CD, opening the first screen that offers to load repair console. As "advised" (in http://www.michaelstevenstech.com ), I skiped the first screen and clicked on the second Repair command . The repair process ran smooth, asked for the CD key while "installing Windows" and after a while (34 minutes left) a window popped up with the following:
    Windows cannot open this file: File: rundll32.exe To open this file Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs on your computer.

    After cliking Cancel several times to allow the process to continue, additional windows (same ones) popped up for the following files: "regsvr32.exe", "fixmapi.exe", unregmp2.exe", "Cmd.exe" , "migrate.exe", "logagent.exe", "uploaddm.exe", "mstinit.exe" and I had to hit several times Cancel to continue.
    Finaly, the process ended, the PC rebooted but the main issue has not been solved.
    Note: When The PC rebooted I 've got a window (as above) for the file: Setup50.exe.
    I cliked on Cancel to get the Desktop opening.
    I repeated this task twice, but got the same results.
    Why these windows popped up during the repair process? Is this means that I cannot repair my existing OS and I have to reinstall it completely (Clean Install)?

    4. I tried to open the Recovery Console and type my "regular " Password with which I am opening my Desktop (we are four users: my kids and myself, and I am an administrator), but the PC didn't accept/reconize it.

    - Is there any way to skip this step. I have tried three times and the task ended.

    5. If a Clean Re-installation of Windows XP OS is the lonely solution to solve this issue (and there is no other alternative):.
    - Have I to re-format drive C (where previous OS is installed)
    Note: My HD (80G) is divided into C Drive (40G) and D Drive (40G).
    - Can I skip re-formatting drive D assuming that existing files on it, will not be affected.
    I know it is suggested to copy them on CD's (just in case)
    - I think the existing format is FAT, is it possible/recommended to format the C drive in NTFS (while the D will remain in FAT)
    - I have never performed this task before, and I am little bit "reluctant" doing it. Is there any guidance showing how to skip steps (partitions resizing, re-formatting, etc)


    Sorry for this so long thread - I wanted to describe all the actions I have done till now.
    Thanks for your assistance and advise
    Last edited by sammy; 9th November 2005, 16:48.
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