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The background loads but explorer.exe doesn't load. We can get onto this via ctrl+alt+del and opening task manager then running the new task "explorer.exe"

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Go to your registry (open start menu, choose 'run' and type in regedit.exe). There, go to the following key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon] There you should see a 'string value' called "Shell". If you double click it, the value should be "Explorer.exe". If there is another value, or some parameters following this, change it. After that, restart your machine.

For more information, also see this post. Third option is what I suggested.

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Also, if that fails for some reason, you might try logging in one last time to backup all information from the user account (migwiz.exe or Easy Transfer Wizard can help), completely delete the user account and all files, and then re-create the account. – LawrenceC Feb 21 '11 at 11:32

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