Help me fix my Start Menu?
October 24, 2005 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Windows XP has stopped recognizing the special nature of my Start Menu's Programs directory. As a result, when I hover over the "all programs" link in my Start Menu, nothing's there.

Is there any way to force Windows to rebuild the Start Menu? Failing that, is there any way to create a new user account that is exactly like my current user account (settings, desktop, documents, etc)?
posted by xyzzy to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Really stupid question, but have you tried rebooting? Sometimes XP stops recognizing that there's anything in my MyMusic folder, but when I reboot, the mp3s reappear.
posted by iconomy at 9:20 AM on October 24, 2005

Response by poster: Sadly, I've rebooted a few times. I tried rebooting as different newly created users as well. Good suggestion, though--XP repairs a lot of its' own problems with a reboot.
posted by xyzzy at 9:22 AM on October 24, 2005

Have you tried switching to classic start menu mode and back again? That might make it refresh it properly.

Other than that, you could dig through your Documents & Settings folder to find the folder containing your start menu short cuts, copy the contents of it all, restart / log out, and copy it all back.
posted by alexst at 9:26 AM on October 24, 2005

Response by poster: I did try switching to Classic Mode and back. I also recopied everything from the "All Users" account, hoping that it would mainting the special settings. No dice there, either. Another good idea, though. :)
posted by xyzzy at 9:27 AM on October 24, 2005

When you went to Classic Mode and hovered over "programs," did you see a little box pop out telling you that there were no items? Or did it just not pop out?
posted by rxrfrx at 9:36 AM on October 24, 2005

Response by poster: It said there were no items. =( But there clearly are. And even if I remove them it SHOULD show all the items from the All Users menu, but it doesn't. =(
posted by xyzzy at 9:39 AM on October 24, 2005

if you right-click on the start menu and select "explore" does it show that goodies are in the appropriate folder in your profile still? You say "But there clearly are [items in the folder]" but do you mean that there clearly should be items there, or have you confirmed that they didn't get disappeared?

If they are there, tweakUI has a "rebuild icons" command, which might be the same kind of thing in XP's mind.
posted by misterbrandt at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2005

Response by poster: All the files are physically there. But even if they aren't there, the All Users profile has all of the same files, and those aren't showing as they should.

If I make a new user, that Start Menu works, but it does not contain the items from All Users, which used to be what happened.

So it seems to be a problem with "All Users," which controls my Start Menu. Or used to.

I *think* I know what caused the problem--Microsoft AntiSpyware popped up something that asked if I wanted to allow my default profile to be changed to All Users. I said no (I wanted my profile to be my normal one.) But I think I misunderstood the question. Digging into Anti-Spyware, I removed the disallow notice, but that didn't restore the previous behavior. Removing MS Anti-Spyware didn't do it either.
posted by xyzzy at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2005

Best answer: WRT Ms anti-spyware, can you roll back to an earlier system restore point?

Are all of your program shortcuts in the "all users" profile, or are there also some in your own users's programs folder? If you create a new shortcut in your user's (not all users) "start menu\programs" folder, does it show up? (could you copy all the shortcuts from "all users" to your own profile?) This isn't a fix, but it is a workaround.
posted by misterbrandt at 10:56 AM on October 24, 2005

Response by poster: I wish I could roll it back, but MS AntiSpyware didn't create a restore at that point, and my most recent full system backup was about two weeks ago. Since then I've done a lot of stuff that I'd hate to redo.

New shortcuts don't appear in my Start Menu if I create a new shortcut in my profile folder. Prior to this I'd periodically move all my Start Menu entries to the All Users folder to make managing my Start Menu easier. I was in the process of doing this when all this folderol started.
posted by xyzzy at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2005

Tweakui has an option to see and change the location of special folders, such as My Documents, or the Start Menu. Try seeing where it points to now, and if wrong, change it to where your start menu is located.
posted by Boobus Tuber at 11:25 AM on October 24, 2005

Response by poster: Ahh, thanks MisterBrandt. On a whim I checked the system restore area because I remembered that I had uninstalled a game this morning. Luckily, I uninstalled it about 2 mins before MS ANtispyware broke my Start Menu.

All fixed now. :) Thanks again!
posted by xyzzy at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2005

Did you try the tweakui "rebuild icons" fix? Also, TweakUI has a setting to show/change the path to your start menu "programs" folder, under My Computer | Special Folders | Programs. You can at least confirm if the registry is looking in the right place...
posted by misterbrandt at 11:33 AM on October 24, 2005

uh, should have previewed. cool.
posted by misterbrandt at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2005

« Older Creative ideas for a Lost-themed party   |   Put Humptey Back Together For the First Time? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.