I have recently been forced to reinstall Windows XP. Since then, every time I install Service Pack 3, my task bar does not load when I log in. The only way I have been able to get it back is to repair the install using the Windows XP install disk. This does not help much, however, as I am then left without installed updates. I have tried stopping and restarting explorer.exe and I have copied the explorer.exe from my old install (my computer recognizes the drive but refuses to boot from it now). Neither of those have worked. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could either tell me how to fix it directly or avoid the problem the next time I have to install XP SP3. I am currently on that machine. I'm using the Task Manager to open up the command line.

EDIT: I just thought about it and realized that there's more to the problem. My desktop icons haven't been loading either and nothing in the startup folder runs. I don't know why, but it just occurred to me that this may also be part of the problem. Until now I thought that it was all linked to the taskbar not loading, but now I think there's a bigger problem here.

Update: I'm going to attempt a system restore from the command line to roll back SP3. If that doesn't work then I'm going to repair the install again. The taskbar tool recommended in one of the comments did not work. Neither did running explorer.exe. Some of the answers have not provided enough detail as to how to fix it, such as making a change to an executable file. Others seem to be addressing a different problem altogether. Keep the answers coming and remember that I don't have any kind of graphical explorer interface.

Update 2: System restore did not work so I had to go through the repair process again.


What I could find is that they changed something about the taskbar in Service Pack 3.

According to Microsoft:

We had to remove the address bar functionality due to legal restrictions. The release notes carries this as a known issue

To get it back:

To get back the address toolbar, simply replace browseui.dll in your windows/system32 folder with a pre-SP3 version. The easiest way is to use Start->Run->msconfig->Expand File and get a copy of the file from your windows CD

if it gets overwritten by the SP3 version:

Copy the following registry keys to disable WFP, even though I do not recommend doing it. BTW, there is an article at this url (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/wfp.mspx).

Disable WFP

Code Snippet Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon] "SFCDisable"=dword:00000001

Enable WFP

Code Snippet Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon] "SFCDisable"=dword:00000000

Hope some it helps

| improve this answer | |

Somebody describes a similar problem here.

Had the same problem after installing XP SP3 yesterday.

Two things you can do.

  1. Bring up the task manager (Ctrl+alt+del) and under file select "New Task" (Run). THis will give you a window "Create New Task". Browse to C:\Windows\explorer and click open. This should get your task bar and explorer icons. This is only a temporary fix.

  2. Look for a startup called Msmqlntcert (Filename "C:\Windows\system32\regsvr32.exe" /s mqrt.dll) and make sure it is set to start. Seemed to fix my problem

Still have another though. Can't seem to get Automatic Updates to run, Cannot enable and start the service. Keep getting an error message "Error 1058: The service could not be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it." whenever I try to start the service.

Or try out the Taskbar Repair Tool.

| improve this answer | |

The final fix was to reinstall Windows XP. Apparently something had gone wrong during the first install, but now it works. Thank you for your answers, I hope someone is helped by it.

| improve this answer | |

Download SP3 from Windows website. Get a free standalone program called Autostreamer. You'll also need your XP install disc. Use Autostreamer to slipstream the service pack into XP and create an iso file. Burn the iso file to a cd (I use Burnaware). Boot from the cd and install. This also works with upgrade versions, but not the 64 bit version of XP. If you get an error that says the file you are replacing is newer than the one you're it with, change the "dll" extension in the SP3 file to "old", then copy the SP2 file over.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.