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losing my active desktop

By getreal ·
Since about 4 MSIE6 upgrades ago, when either an explorer folder or internet explorer crashes I lose my active desktop. The normal black color turns white, my picture disappears and right clicking results in no menu. The only way to get my desktop back is to roll the registry back to a day when it was working. If it started normally earlier in the same day, that saves a lot of problems, but there isn't always a same day backup available. What windows system files are responsible for the desktop and why do folder crashes destroy it?

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by jschein In reply to losing my active desktop

The active desktop uses resources from explorer / internet explorer. If one of those services fail in any way, you will lose your active desktop.

Now, do you really need an active desktop? 90% of people do not even know what that is. Disable it and find yourself a normal black background or picture to use as your wallpaper.

Good luck

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by getreal In reply to

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by TheChas In reply to losing my active desktop

The fix for your problem, like many Windows 98 problems, is to install an updated video driver.

If you have an older video card that does not have new drivers available, you need to roll back to IE 5.5 and DirectX 8.1

If you have an ATI Rage series, a 3dfx, or other older video card, there are not drivers available that properly support IE 6 or DirectX 9.

The Desktop settings are stored in the System Registry. From memory, the system files for the registry are user.dat, system.dat and system first.

When either Internet Explorer, or Explorer crashes, Windows defaults to a more stable configuration.
Active desktop displays your wallpaper as a web page.

You also might want to run System File Checker (SFC) from the run box, and see if you have any corrupt or missing system files.


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