I've already tried this: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-desktop/windows-xp-will-not-restore-my-active-desktop/f664bfe4-0acd-4b11-8918-eb779bb2cc07

had no luck. All I know is that the computer crashed from a power outage. I've tried clicking the restore button and rebooting. Nothing.

What else is there to try?

Would like to have the desktop back.

It powers on fine. I can login and use windows just fine. Just you get that annoying restore active desktop screen.

enter image description here

  • Updated with details :) – Rachel Nark Nov 19 '12 at 16:08
  • I updated your post - can you confirm this is the screen you are getting (if not, I will edit your post) – Dave Nov 19 '12 at 16:12
  • What happens when you click Restore my active desktop – Dave Nov 19 '12 at 16:14
  • If the suggestion from Microsoft doesn't work then your limited to reinstalling Windows. We need more information about what the crash was. A screenshot also would be helpful. – Ramhound Nov 19 '12 at 16:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can try to edit the registry

Run regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\Components

Change the key value - DeskHtmlVersion REG_DWORD 0x00000110(272) to decimal zero

If the Desktops are controlled by Group Policy, and if you are not an administrator for the computer or network, you may not have the proper permissions to repair it.

Perhaps check out this related/similar SU question: Recovery Windows XP Active Desktop for Restricted Users

1 Open Notepad
2 Copy and Paste

strComputer = "."
Set objReg = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")
strKeyPath = "Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\Components"
strValue = "0"
ValueName = "DeskHtmlVersion"
objReg.SetDWORDValue HKEY_CURRENT_USER, strKeyPath, ValueName, strValue

4 Double click the VBS file.
5 Refresh Desktop.

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