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On about three occasions, I have left my PC (Windows 7, 64 bit), only to return after half an hour to discover, that the taskbar & system tray at the bottom of the desktop has disappeared, although the start button located at the bottom left remains and is fully functional ie I am able to launch programs, internet browsers etc from it.

Also a longish black rectangle appears in the centre of the desktop as shown:enter image description here

Upon rebooting the PC everything is restored to normal.

What could the possible causes for this be?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

My guess is that explorer.exe crashed. If you kill that task and restart it you should be fine, without having to restart your computer.

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I stopped explorer.exe, and has made my desktop go completely blank...luckily i was able to launch web browser via rocket dock to get back to this page. So that hasn't worked. – Simon Feb 13 '13 at 22:31
What happens when you start explorer again? – imtheman Feb 13 '13 at 22:34
How do I restart explorer ? – Simon Feb 13 '13 at 22:34
@Simon I think he means open task manager, then kill explorer, keep task manager open, then you can start explorer again from task manager – barlop Feb 13 '13 at 22:35
@barlop Yes, that is exactly what I mean. – imtheman Feb 13 '13 at 22:36

Not sure about the other problems, but for that black box im betting you have an ASUS motherboard. Do you? If so one of those ASUS utilities that starts up with windows is causing that annoying box - If i can remember it was AI Charger or something - it was the app with the little menu giving you options to access the different features of the MB like Overclocking, Bluetooth, etc. Shut down that Utility and that box should go with it.

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My motherboard is Packard Bell, thx for your input though. – Simon Mar 20 '13 at 9:23

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