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It just stopped running and I want to know how to restart it w/o logging out and in...

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It is explorer.exe. If you have task manager open (you can start it from the ctrl+alt+del menu), do File -> run new task and type explorer. This got me a regular explorer window, in there, go to c:\windows\ and run explorer.exe -- this brought the start screen and charms back for me.

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This is not a separate executable, but rather built-in into your desktop...

Just press the Windows key, or hover your mouse in the bottom left corner.

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Hmm. I got to a state that the windows key did nothing and the edges brought up nothing. How do I restart the desktop then? I tried killing explorer and restarting it and no cigar. – Shahar Prish Oct 19 '12 at 21:10
Did you apply any anti-start screen patch? Because this is weird... – Tom Wijsman Oct 19 '12 at 22:14
Nope. Nothing like that. So far happened only once.. So in what process does this actually live? Does anyone know? It must live somewhere in user session land. – Shahar Prish Oct 20 '12 at 20:21
@ShaharPrish: Okay, I'll just suppose I was wrong above. Let's suppose this to be explorer.exe, then killing explorer.exe would no longer allow you to press the start button if my assumption were right. That might mean that restarting explorer.exe could solve your problem; in which case, I apologize and it appears this is not implemented in the parent of explorer.exe (wininit.exe?) but in explorer.exe itself. I also doubt you would be able to restart the parent process, as that is the desktop itself. So, if restarting explorer.exe doesn't help, there is not much you can do... – Tom Wijsman Oct 20 '12 at 21:07
Thanks. Was a bit hard to compile what you said, but I think I got it. Essentially SOL. :) Ah well. That kind'a sucks. – Shahar Prish Oct 20 '12 at 21:17

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