Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Black desktop and empty start menu, Desktop unavailable

  1. #1


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8

    Black desktop and empty start menu, Desktop unavailable


    So I rebooted my computer after a crash, and after logging in the screens were completely black and my mouse & keyboard was unresponsive. I did Crtl + Alt + Del which brought up the correct menu, and after I exited it I was put onto the start menu, which was blank. Just like the login screen and lock screen, the colour and design had been reset (to purple, if it matters). Leaving the start menu presents me with the black desktop again, but the start bar at the bottom is present and after a while the clock, wifi, volume etc. loads in the bottom right as well as a User Profile Service notification telling me I've been "signed in with the default profile for the system". There are no pinned apps either, although FileZilla Server loads up after a minute and that is on the start bar now. Also, immediately after leaving the start menu, a "Location is not available" dialogue box comes up with the error message:

    C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or your network, then try again. If it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location.
    When I click OK on that, the Recycle Bin appears on my desktop. Opening the recycle bin displays the same message as before, and it does have all of the recycled files and folders inside. From here I can navigate through my folders, although the libraries option on the left side is empty (it normally has my documents, videos, user folder etc.). If I navigate to D:\Users\Administrator, my desktop folder is there with everything inside. I can also type Google (or presumably anything after http://) into the explorer bar which opens up Google Chrome, as well as open cmd and Control Panel by typing each one in. Navigating to C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile shows that \Desktop isn't actually present any more.

    I've tried using both elevated cmd (net user /add Username) and control panel to create a new user, but the control panel button "Add or remove user accounts" button is unresponsive, and although cmd gives me a successful operation message (and tells me the account already exists if I do the same command again), it doesn't show up on the logon screen. I've tried making the user through cmd while logged in to administrator, using the Advanced Startup Options command prompt (the one that uses X:\) and using safe mode with command prompt. The right-corner-menu > Settings > Change PC Settings button is unresponsive. I can't use the built-in administrator account because after I similar occurrence before, I've been using the built-in admin, which is the one that is now broken. None of my older accounts show up, either.

    Also, after a few restarts and many attempted fixes (mainly automatic repair etc.), it now plays the whole patronising "We're getting your PC ready" video whenever I try to log in, and then it displays the start menu and bar (so I don't need to do the Crtl + Alt + Del step).

    Sorry if this is a big wall of text, any help is appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    If you can get an administrator command prompt run:

    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    &

    sfc /scannow

    It might help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8


    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth gave the the error:

    Deployment Image Servicing and Management toolVersion: 6.2.9200.16384




    Error: 3


    An error occurred. The directory in the temporary folder C:\Windows\system32\con
    fig\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Temp\ could not be created.
    Ensure that the path to the temporary folder exists and that you have Read/Write
    permissions on the folder.


    The DISM log file can be found at C:\Windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log
    and sfc /scannow says

    Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.

    Another servicing or repair operation is currently running.
    Wait for this to finish and run sfc again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Maybe a refresh or restore is in order.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Maybe a refresh or restore is in order.
    Is that the only option? Will restoring delete the files I've downloaded recently, or just uninstall the programs?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Someone else may suggest an alternative.

    You can expect to lose programs & files if you refresh or restore.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Someone else may suggest an alternative.

    You can expect to lose programs & files if you refresh or restore.
    Okay, thanks for the response.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    When you get everything working good again, you may want to make a system image with:

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    When you get everything working good again, you may want to make a system image with:

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
    Thanks.

    I just ran scf /scannow again, and I got
    Verification 100% complete.

    Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some
    of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For
    example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently not
    supported in offline servicing scenarios.
    Should I just do the restore? Is there anyway to do a refresh (without affecting my files) via command prompt or control panel, since the Metro Change PC Settings doesn't work?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Try running the dism command again.

    Do you have a restore point to go back to ?

    I don't know about restoring with a command prompt.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Black desktop and empty start menu, Desktop unavailable
Related Threads
Hi. I am running win 8.1. I bought my laptop with 8.1 installed, but I suspect that Dell took my win 8 and sold it to me after upgrading to 8.1. I would like for all of my clicks on the Start menu to return me to the Start menu, and not leave me on the Desktop. I recently abandoned StarDock's...
Earlier, the only user that would appear whenever i log in my windows 8 desktop is the built in administrator even though there were other users in my laptop. So ummm i followed the first step in this link: Fix: Other Users Not Displaying On Windows 8 Logon Screen. But the problem is, by doing so...
Start menu / Desktop in General Support
Hi. How can I take an apt tile from the win 8 start screen and pin it to the desktop as an icon like you can do the same but in reverse. Start to desktop not desktop to start. I know that one. Thank you, Dave:think: ps. I'm new to this forum system and don't know how to properly thank people...
Is there a way to change this so the computer starts with desktop showing instead of the tile menu? I know it's easy enough to click the desktop tile and go there, but I rarely use the tiles and would rather have the desktop come up automatically.
Hey! My start menu looks like this: 21881 It happened after my computer froze and I had to press the restart button manually. To be honest my desktop is loading up slower too. My desktop doesn't have a black wallpaper, it's original and blue hence why I am confused. Hopefully it'll be...
This poll is interesting to me, but it doesn't substantively or clearly get at what I'd most like to know in relation to having a desktop start menu and our proclivities to accept Windows 8 in a post-purchase, Windows 8 in-use environment. In conducting this poll, I am trying to get at the...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook