Question

Q: Start Orb / Start Button / Start Menu not working

[ Acer TravelMate 5742, 2 GB RAM , 32 bit Windows 7 Professional, SP 1, Kaspersky Internet Security ]

Hello All,

I cannot find a fix for this anywhere on the web. None of the solutions help.

So I have this client with this laptop and his start menu / orb doesn't work ! The orb is there but if you click it, nothing happens. When you hover over it with your mouse it highlights like normally. Also, when you open many programs, or folders, they do not show in the start bar. The only thing that is there that works is the little icons to the right along with the clock.

What I have tried :

  • used another keyboard
  • malware scan
  • used all the various key combinations to bring up the start menu
  • copied from other working PC registry settings for "StartMenu"
  • checked gpedit for any disabled items concerning StartMenu
  • created a new user profile
  • updated java and flash
  • removed temp files
  • sfc /scannow
  • chkdsk /f
  • defrag
  • same issue in safe mode
  • restore not possible
  • defaulting the "customize start menu" options
  • reset IE settings
  • disabled kaspersky protection

EDIT 1

  • Clean boot
  • Disabled display adapter

EDIT 2

  • explorer.exe close and re-open

So :

I believe somewhere in the registry, there is an issue or maybe there are files that are directly connected to the start menu and the orb that are corrupted ? The user has not installed any "modding" tools. It feels like the orb functions are missing - the code what the orb does is gone. Or did Kaspersky find another way to cause grey hair on humble and innocent computer users



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Hello Cyberion,

Thank you for posting your question in Microsoft Community. We are glad to assist you.

I appreciate all the efforts that you have put in while trying to resolve this problem. I would suggest you to try following the steps given below and check if this helps to fix the issue.

Method 1:

Step 1: Safe Mode

Boot the computer in Safe mode and check if the issue persists. Follow these steps to start the computer in safe mode.

Click the link and follow the steps “Start your computer in safe mode

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-in/windows/start-computer-safe-mode#start-computer-safe-mode=windows-7

If the problem does not exist in safe mode, try to perform a clean boot and check.

Step 2: Perform Clean Boot.

Putting your system in Clean Boot state helps in identifying if any third party applications or startup items are causing the issue.

Refer: How to perform a clean boot in Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

Note: After troubleshooting, refer to this section "How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting"

Method 2: Disable display adapter.

If the issue still persists, I would suggest you to try disabling the display adapter temporarily from the device manager and check if this helps to fix the problem. You may try following the steps given below in order to disable to display adapter.

Steps to disable a device:

  • Press Windows and R keys together. This will open the Run box.
  • In this box, type devmgmt.msc. Click OK.
  • This will open the Device Manager. Locate Display Adapter.
  • Right click on the device and select Disable.

Now check if the problem persists or not.

Do get back and let us know the status of the issue, we will be glad to help you further. We, at Microsoft strive towards excellence.

Thank you.

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Many thanks for the response Anshul Arora . None of those had an impact on the problem. I have now started a reinstall as a last resort, as the client wants it back and time is of the essence. I have however made a copy of the system, for future testing.

Before that I used a process monitor to see which programs and registry keys are being accessed when I click on the orb... I couldn't find something helpful there either.

If I knew which registry keys and files (dll and exe) are linked to the orb and it's functionality, I might be able to come up with a fix. Maybe it's a dll linked to the explorer.exe that has become corrupt ? Something that controls the task bar, the start menu and the orb... Or, for some reason something changed the permissions in the registry to these items, thus the system cannot access them resulting in the issue ?

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Hello,

Thank you for the update.

You may try to create a new user account and see if you get the same error prompt in the new user account as well. To create a user account follow this link:

Create User Account

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/create-user-account#create-user-account=windows-7

Hope this helps. Otherwise, feel free to write us back and we will be glad to help you further.

Thank you

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Gooday,

  • checked gpedit for any disabled items concerning StartMenu
  • created a new user profile
  • updated java and flash

As indicated in my original post, I have done that already.

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Hello,

I apologize for the inconvenience.

You may right click the start menu orb and choose properties, in the Customize Start Menu dialog box, click Use Default Settings, click OK, and then click OK again.


Also try these steps mentioned below:

a . Press Ctrl + Alt+ delete on the keyboard and click on Task Manager.

b . Click on the Process tab and locate explorer.exe in the windows and click on End Task.


c . Click on File and then click on New.

d. Type explorer.exe and press enter.

Hope this helps. Otherwise, feel free to write us back.

Thank you

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Hello again,

  • restore not possible
  • defaulting the "customize start menu" options
  • reset IE settings

I have tried that too.

I have tried the explorer close and re-open thing as well, thank you. Will add that to the list. This did not solve the problem.

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Hello,

Thank you for the update on the issue.

As you said it's a client's laptop, let me ask you, is the laptop connected to a domain?

If yes, I would recommend posting your query in the TechNet Forums at:

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?category=windowsdesktopdev

Have a nice day!

Regards,

Niranjan Manjhi

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No, the laptop is not on a domain.

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If you right the Start button do you see a drop down menu?

Select Ctrl+Shift+Esc and click the Applications tab and New Task. Type eventvwr.exe and click OK. Does Event Viewer open?

Gerry
Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England
Enquire Plan Execute

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Hello Gerry,

Sorry for the long wait. No, the start button does not open a drop down menu.

The eventvwr.exe opens without any problem.

Like I mentioned before, it would be nice to know which files and registry entries are connected to the start button (and the task bar) in order to attempt to reset them to default. I have many working systems to retrieve "healthy" files from I just need to know what to extract/export and what entries I must change to do this.

Example: There was a case where somehow a bug from a 3rd party program caused to deny the installation and re-installation of a certain USB communication device. It was found that a registry setting permission was set to deny any changes and access to it. Granting access to this registry item made the installation of the USB device possible again and no further issues came up on the USB devices and their automatic installation.

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Question Info

Views: 883 Last updated: May 14, 2018 Applies to: