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Article ID: 256194 - Last Review: February 28, 2007 - Revision: 4.4

This article was previously published under Q256194
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center (http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000) is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/) .

SYMPTOMS

When you log on to Windows 2000, you may see a blank desktop or no desktop. When this occurs, you can press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to start Task Manager, but Explorer.exe is not listed in the list of running tasks or processes. Starting a new instance of Explorer.exe does not resolve the issue.

CAUSE

This issue can occur if there is an older version of the Shdocvw.dll file in the %SystemRoot% folder. Because Explorer.exe is located in the %SystemRoot% folder, the search path for any called files starts in the %SystemRoot% folder before the path is searched. The default search order always looks for a called file in the folder containing the program file before searching the path to locate the file.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue:
  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then click Task Manager.
  2. On the File menu, click New Task (Run).
  3. Type cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
  4. If necessary, change to the %SystemRoot% folder.
  5. Rename the Shdocvw.dll file by typing ren shdocvw.dll shdocvw.old.
  6. Restart the computer.

MORE INFORMATION

Other older files that may cause problems with Explorer.exe or the shell if they are located in %SystemRoot% folder:
Browseui.dll
Comctl32.dll
Comdlg32.dll
Mlang.dll
Ole32.dll
Oleaut32.dll
Shdocvw.dll
Shell32.dll
Shlwapi.dll
Urlmon.dll
Wininet.dll
Setupapi.dll
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
162031  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/162031/EN-US/ ) Blank Screen or Operating System Cannot Load Profile at Logon


255758  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255758/EN-US/ ) Error Message: Explorer.exe Has Generated Errors and Will Be Closed by Windows


249321  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321/EN-US/ ) Unable to Log on if the Boot Partition Drive Letter Has Changed


137155  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/137155/EN-US/ ) Users Without System32 Permissions Cannot Log On


The desktop may also be blank if your computer is configured for multiple monitors and the icons are on a portion of the desktop that is outside the viewable range. Check the properties for the video adapter, and then click Settings. If two monitors are displayed, but only one is in use, click the first monitor, and then check the settings. If the Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor check box is selected, click to clear the check box, and then click Apply. The icons should then reappear.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kbprb kbshell KB256194
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