Apologies if this is thr wrong place to ask, but I hope that someone can
help me.

I have a machine running W2k Pro (SP4) which, following some
over-zealous tidying up with the use of a SpyWare utility, appears to
have lost something critical to normal operation.

The symptoms are that the machine seems to boot up perfectly normally,
getting as far as the log-in window. I can enter a name/password, I get
the little windows welcome jingle, but the desktop remains as a plain
blue screen (my configured desktop colour), but with no shortcuts and no
task bar displayed. The mouse pointer moves but clicking on either
button brings absolutely no response. The machine will respond to
ctrl/alt/del, so I can log off, shut down and access the task manager.
Some applications, started via the Task Manager, run perfectly well.

Shares are accessible to other machines connected on the network.

Booting into safe mode results in a very similar scenario - a black
background but with no task bar/short cuts and no response to mouse
clicks.

I realise that I have the ability to recover all of my data, but I feel
that it should be possible to recover this machine without doing a fresh
instal. Performing a recovery from the W2k CD does not make any
improvement.

As far as I'm aware, the spyware purge did nothing other than delete
some cookies, delete some other files (.exe and possibly some others)
and deleted some keys from the registry. Now, I don't believe that
deleting cookies could have this effect. Deleting a critical .exe could
do this, I guess, but wouldn't the system recovery pick this up? I
suspect that it is an absent registry entry which is causing the desktop
to go awol, but can anyone give me any clues as to what it might be, or
how to fix the machine without re-installing?

TIA for any assistance.

Registry backups? I'm afraid there aren't any! Next time ....!

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Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')