What's causing my icons and task bar to disappear?

Question

I have Windows XP and the screen will blank out on me right in the middle of something. This has been happening a lot lately. Usually once if not twice a day when I'm online. The icons on my desktop disapper, the start button, everything. All I'm left with is the wallpaper. I have to hit ctrl, alt, delete just to be able to shut it down, since the start button is gone. What could be causing this and how can I fix it? Thanks for your help.

Answer

This question was answered on October 5, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

You should check to see that your video card and monitor are configured correctly Right-click on your desktop (background) and select properties You should get the Display Properties box; select the Settings tab Check to make sure that your monitor is set correctly

When you turn on or restart your computer, does the POST beep 'normal' When your computer first turns on you should get a short, quick beep to tell your computer is normal If you get anything else, you may have a video card problem Finally, if you have a spare monitor, replace the monitor If the problem still occurs you may have a video card problem, if not then it's your monitor.

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Author

Posted by Nathan of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on October 5, 2005