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I am working on a computer running Windows XP Pro. When I turn the computer on it will eventually activate the monitor. However, only the wallpaper appears...no icons, no start menu, no taskbar. I can right click and get to the (Arrange Icons, Refresh, etc) dialogue box, but I can not access Task Manager. I also cannot boot into safe mode. I can't even get to the alternate boot screen to select safe mode. I click f8...as well as trying other keys as well...and the system just ignores it. I get no beeps at all. One other weird thing...the computer will not turn on with the cmos battery in. And when I put the cmos battery in after the computer has started...it turns off. Can someone give me a suggestion or two...I hate to admit it, but I'm stumped. Thanks to anyone who can help.
 

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On the blank desktop press CTRL+AL+DEL start the Task Manager. Here go to File/New Task(Run) and type in explorer.exe and press enter.
It is normal for a computer not to run with the CMOS battery, if the computer shuts down, this could mean that the CMOS battery needs to be changed, but more likely that the Power Supply Unit is Failing. Or that it is overheating. Be sure to clean all dust and blow out all fans with a can of compressed air. Take a look at the PSU label and report the make, model# and wattage. Start the computer and make sure all fans are spinning.
You can also download the ISO image for Memtest in my signature, burn the image to CD using IMGBurn also in my signature. Remove all but one stick of RAM and boot off of the newly created CD. Run the tests on each stick of RAM separately. If you get any errors (Red) that stick of RAM is bad and needs to be replaced.
 
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