Name: Machelle S
when the computer was restarted the screensaver came up but nothing else no shortcut icons or start toolbar cannot retrieve any files
By “screensaver” I assume you mean the desktop background based on what you’re describing.
What appears to be happening is that your Explorer Shell is not loading, or not finishing loading. Windows is the base operating system, and the Explorer shell is the thing through which you do everything. (It’s what displays your pretty icons, and the start menu, and all that)
There’s plenty of things that can cause it not to load, usually it’s something that’s screwing with Internet Explorer. Since IE is effectively part of the Windows shell, if it’s hosed then pretty much everything is hosed along with it.
1. Download Hijackthis using another computer and then put it on a disk.
2. Insert that disk into the computer that’s giving you issues.
3. Boot the machine, and when you get to the point where it stops doing anything, then bring up the task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL
4. Click File->New Task (Run…)
5. Open the disk drive, then run HijackThis
6. Remove any BHO’s and any odd looking things that are loading on startup per the instructions on the HJT link above.
Now, you may be able to tell if this is worth your while by booting to safe mode first. Safe mode doesn’t load any extra startup items or IE BHO’s by default so if it’ll show your desktop properly (but at the crappy safe mode resolution) then the HijackThis method should work. You could also just run HJT from safe mode and skip using the task manager alltogether.