Longtime subscriber Greg wrote to ask:
My desktop has started to have a couple really aggravating problems and I wanted to run them by you.
1) Every morning when I go to check my email before work, I find that all my desktop icons have disappeared and I am looking at the wallpaper only. My PC is password protected and even the login box does not appear. I have to restart every time. I tried a MS fix but it didn\’t do anything. What may be causing this problem.
2) My machine has started to run incredibly slow when it boot us, when I launch a browser (IE or Firefox) or when I right-click a desktop icon. Re-starting takes absolutely forever every step of the way.
When I dbl-click the Firefox icon, the hourglass shows for an instant than disappears. If I am willing to wait 2-3 minutes, the browser may launch. Even after I have FIrefox open, and I select a new website via a new tab, nothing is instant anymore. It just seems to take forever for anything to happen.
However, if I am working in Word or Excel, those operations seem to run at normal speed.
I run an anti-virus and have done scans with no results. This is driving me nuts and I\’m ready to get a new PC just so it will run right! What do you suppose is behind these two problems?
Except for the disappearing desktop icons, Greg has done a good job of describing the symptoms that I had when I had several drives go bad.
It’s time for Greg to make sure that he has a backup of all of his data.
I a situation like this, if your computer still has some life based on CPU, quantity of memory, and OS, you should get a new hard drive to replace the drive that’s going bad — and do it as quicly as possible.
Even if you could reinstall from an image backup (my usual way, using Acronis True Image), I would not trust one that was when this problem is happening — it’s likely to have corruption problems or be missing some recent data.