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Desktop Icons Not Showing After Logon


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So, I happen to have an issue involving my desktop not loading proper after logging in.

I have checked the following:
- Windows Update is all caught up with updates.
- Video / Sound drivers and all essential programs are up-to-date. As a streamer, that included browsers, Elgato's software, etc.
- Made sure only the essential items are enabled during start-up; in my case: sound, webcam, keyboard, Defender.
- Had CCleaner installed. After hearing about the malware issue, I immediately uninstalled it; it did not have the affected update installed. [ http://time.com/4946576/ccleaner-malware-hack ]
- With prior "Critical Process Died" BSoDs, I figured to update the HDD's firmware. Memory tests and chkdsk's were also done in the past; no issue.
- Have Adguard installed, because of issues with Adblock Plus. Thinking this was the culprit, I made sure it doesn't start on startup, but it also has a service; disabled that.
- Rebuilt icon cache.
- Defragged system drive via Vopt.
- Re-enabled hibernation via elevated command prompt, which gave back the Fast Startup option. Anyone here would know what this does, but it only affects shutdowns, and not reboots; this issue affects reboots and hardware changes, primarily.
- Thinking it involved startup, I figured to tick off normal startup via msconfig. BSoDed before Windows had a chance to boot.
Was able to fix using recovery media; bootrec /scanos, bootrec /rebuildbcd, bootrec /fixmbr, bootrec /fixboot.

1. It loads Windows fine, up to the logon screen.
2. I have automatic sign-on enabled (via netplwiz), as I am the only user, and I have no use for the lockscreen. Windows logs in, desktop appears.
3. Desktop shows: wallpaper, taskbar, Start8. Doesn't load any startup items at this stage; only shows Safely Remove Hardware (internal card reader is installed), volume, and network icons.
4. Ctrl-Alt-Del works during the hang; Task Manager will not open, either via said screen or Ctrl-Shift-Esc.
5. After waiting for two minutes, you eventually hear the HDD making read noises, and it loads the desktop in full. If Task Manager was trying to be opened during the hang, it'll open now. As I have a Logitech G510s keyboard, during this entire process, the keyboard illuminates white. Once it loads, it goes to my preferred color, telling me that Windows is done loading.

It's tough to describe, but it's the best I can do.
If you're asking about the Fast Startup, from the moment I shut down, to the time the desktop icons come up, with a 3-second window during the time the fans stop moving and pressing Power, is roughly a minute.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 (9600)
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model
    i5-2500K @ 3.3GHz x4
    AsRock P67 Pro3 SE
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 750 Ti 2GB (EVGA)
    Sound Card
    Realtek IC
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 22MA43A
    Screen Resolution
    Hard Drives
    WD Black 2TB, Seagate 1TB, WD 320GB
    NZXT Guardian 921RB
    Logitech G510s
    Microsoft Explorer Touch
    Internet Speed
    Firefox 56 beta 12
    Windows Defender

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