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Problem with nothing showing up on the desktop.

Old 08-18-05, 10:12 AM
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Problem with nothing showing up on the desktop.

I have a computer that when you start it up it says explorer.exe error and then nothing comes up on the desktop. Just the wallpaper. It is a home built computer with Windows 98. I assume I would need to go to safe mode and find out what is causing the error but I can't figure out how to get to safe mode. DEL goes to bios. I've tired all the F buttons and the ESC key. How would I get into safe mode? Or how would I start to investigate the cause of the problem?
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Old 08-18-05, 10:24 AM
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Per the Spyware/Popup sticky:
Safe Mode in Win 98

tap the F8 (function key) a few times at startup until the Startup screen appears

What is the exact error message?

Last edited by 68ShelbyGT500KR; 08-18-05 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 68ShelbyGT500KR
Per the Spyware/Popup sticky:
Safe Mode in Win 98

tap the F8 (function key) a few times at startup until the Startup screen appears

What is the exact error message?

I'll try that. I probably didn't tap it long enough or at the right time.


The error message says there has been a problem with explorer.exe and it must be shut down click ok to close. That's not what it says exactly but that's the only info I have for the moment. The computer isn't with me. If you click ok then the message goes away but nothing ever comes up on the desktop.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:54 AM
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Explorer is what displays those icons on the desktop. If it's not running, then you don't have a desktop. Or anything else, for that matter.

I suggest reinstalling 98. Or better yet, installing XP.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:55 AM
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It's been ages since I have run 98, but does it the error message have another button like "details"? If so, click on that..It should give more info. 98 can have so many different issues and explorer.exe is generic.

Try the CTRL key if you can't get F8 to work.

Also, check this link Error Loading Explorer.exe You Must Reinstall Windows. It involves editing the system.ini file while you are in safe mode or booting from a Startup disk
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Old 08-18-05, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 68ShelbyGT500KR
It's been ages since I have run 98, but does it the error message have another button like "details"? If so, click on that..It should give more info. 98 can have so many different issues and explorer.exe is generic.

Try the CTRL key if you can't get F8 to work.

Also, check this link Error Loading Explorer.exe You Must Reinstall Windows. It involves editing the system.ini file while you are in safe mode or booting from a Startup disk

Yes there is a details button. I'll try what you linked above or I'll just reinstall 98. Probably the easiest thing to do. It's not my computer and it's a Duron 750 with 64mb of RAM so XP really isn't an option. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:58 AM
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Interesting. Well, if it's for someone who's not computer-savvy and not taxing the hardware - e.g., it's just your parents, and they're just checking email - then Win98 is probably fine. If there's an ounce of "real" computer use, I'd recommend having them upgrade to an XP box. You can get a cheap P4 Celeron for like $150, maybe less.

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Old 08-18-05, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sfsdfd
Interesting. Well, if it's for someone who's not computer-savvy and not taxing the hardware - e.g., it's just your parents, and they're just checking email - then Win98 is probably fine. If there's an ounce of "real" computer use, I'd recommend having them upgrade to an XP box. You can get a cheap P4 Celeron for like $150, maybe less.

- David Stein

Well it's a customers computer. I work for a telephone company and sometimes I repair customers computers on the side. All they do with it is email and their daughter plays some games on it but I'm not sure I want to get that envolved in it to want to change rebuild the whole thing for them.
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