I never know when it will happen, and I can not make it happen, but every so often I can not click on any of the icons on the taskbar nor the Start button on the taskbar. Nothing. Like it is locked.

Until I press Ctrl+Alt+Del and open the task manager. Then I can immediately use the taskbar normally. I do not have have to do anything with the task manager. Just open and then close it.

  • 2
    Sounds like explorer.exe is crashing. How long since you've restarted your computer? – imtheman Jul 8 '12 at 3:50
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    When taskbar is locked, I can use shortcuts on the desktop. I can open explorer via desktop icon. Taskbar never disappears like it crashes. – Logman Jul 8 '12 at 3:52

After much analyzing, I could not replicate it and lived with it for some time until trying restore points. Restore points didn't fix it. The problem ended up being the MOUSE. A wireless mouse.

It was not the batteries. I tried re-Installing the wireless mouse drivers, no go there. But maybe the mouse was physically malfunctioning. I put a second wired mouse and everything is fine.

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It was wireless a mouse issue for me as well. I just discovered what had happened:

My wireless mouse has two thin silver plastic buttons with arrows along the left side that allow you to click the top one to page forward and the one behind it to page back.
At some point, the buttons had gotten depressed inside the housing of the body of the mouse. So, they were continually being pressed in. For some reason this triggered buttons on the desktop and task bar to be non responsive after start up, but work if ctrl+alt+delete was pressed and cancelled.

After inserting a thin blade along the edge of the buttons I was able to get them to pop back out after some jimmying and don't have the problem anymore.

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