Answer for:

Missing Windows XP Desk Top Icons

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If running explorer from the Task Manager does bring up the desktop, perform a check of the hard drive. Tell it to:

Automatically fix file system errors, and
Scan for attempt recovery of bad sectors.

I have found this usually resolves this issue if there are not more serious problems.

If this does not work you can try re-installing Windows. This has the benefit of possibly fixing the problem while still retaining your softeware and settings. DON"T FORGET TO BACKUP FIRST, if you can. Just in case!