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A blank desktop may appear when you log on to a Windows XP-based computer

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

When you log on to a Windows XP-based computer, a blank desktop may appear. The desktop contains no desktop icons, and the Start button does not appear.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


To apply this hotfix, you must have Windows XP Service Pack 2 or a later version installed.

Restart requirement

You have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other previously released hotfixes.

Registry information

To use this hotfix, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
Windows XP SP2, x86-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirement
Windows XP SP3, x86-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirement
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Article ID: 948277 - Last Review: 05/05/2008 18:10:47 - Revision: 2.1

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbautohotfix kbexpertisebeginner kbfix kbqfe kbhotfixserver KB948277