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I had to cold reboot my Windows XP and now the desktop background is all white with a big ecalamation mark. When I click the 'Restore my Active Desktop' button, I get a script error.

There's a tip to delete the desktop.htt file under C:\Documents and Settings[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer and relog in. I did that. But still same problem and that file gets recreated.

Then in the display applet, the backround options in the Desktop tab are all greyed out so I can't change the background.

Any more ideas?

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Does the same thing happen in Safe Mode? – CarlF Feb 4 '11 at 2:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Fix #2 did it for me:

Here’s FIX #1

  1. Open an explorer window (open My Computer for example)
  2. Tools
  3. Folder Options
  4. View
  5. Uncheck Hide protected operating system files
  6. Now do a search for desktop.htt…it should be on your C: normally
  7. Delete any desktop.htt files you find (there could be more than one depending on how many user profiles are on the machine) They should be located in Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  8. Close all windows you have open
  9. Now reboot your PC..Windows will recreate desktop.htt for you and it should work!

    oops…I almost forgot….go ahead a place a check back in Hide protected operating system files

If the above doesn’t work, try FIX #2!

  1. Go to Run, type regedit and hit enter
  2. Go here HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\Components
  3. Select the value DeskHtmlVersion
  4. Select the Decimal radial button
  5. Change the value of 272 to 0
  6. Most of the time it might take a few seconds for your background to appear and other times…you might need to restart your computer.
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