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Wallpaper but no desktop icons or taskbar at logon

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  • Wallpaper but no desktop icons or taskbar at logon

    I manage an AD Domain that consists of approx 50 desktops and laptops. The domain includes a primary and backup domain controller both running Win2003 Standard RC2. Desktops and laptops running a mix of SP2 and SP3 nothing earlier than SP2 and no Vista boxes.

    The machines are all anti-virus protected using Symantec corporate antivirus versions 10, 10.2, or 11.x Endpoint Protection.

    At least 12 machines have started experiencing log on problems where only the wallpaper (no icons, no taskbar, etc) is shown at login. In all cases, popping up the task manager shows that explorer.exe is not running and manually launching explorer results in the desktop items being properly displayed.

    Our operating environment is such that very few staff have there own computers. All users are set up with roaming profiles. So it's not uncommon for one user to use any number of different computers. Before you ask they're only logged on to one machine at a time.

    When the problem occurs, it's not obvious to the user that they were successfully logged on and in many cases, they move on to another computer to try again and the "failed" log on computer is left to sit there displaying on the wallpaper. This represent a HUGE security hole as anyone smart enough to ctrl-alt-del to display the task manager, launch explorer now has full access to the user's account.

    I have reinstalled XP Pro SP3 (after a full HDD reformat) and fully patched 5 of the affected machines and the problem returned within one week. I have also done a full virus scan using (Symantec Corporate) and spyware scan (Spybot S&D) on ALL domain computers and all machines were clean.

    It doesn't appear to be tied to any one machine or user logon.

    I'm at my wits end. Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this problem?

    Thanks -- Aaron

  • #2
    Re: Wallpaper but no desktop icons or taskbar at logon

    Uninstall Symantec from an affected machine and see if that helps.

    Any problems in the event logs?
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

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