SOLVED All Windows 10 Icons disappeared


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I am in the extreme panic mode. Please help.
Wanted to change the default setting from Opera Browser to Firefox - the setting would not budge.
I have surely made a mistake when I clicked on the Microsoft recommended settings.
It wiped out all icons everywhere including the Start menus, and all folders. Not an icon anywhere on entire HDD.
All blank paper page and nothing works. Rebooting the computer did not work.
Also after I finally got the file explorer to work by clicking on some text file.
I can not start any program with the extension .exe from any directory.
Most .exe files were renamed or replaced with .Ink. Exe files only display pop up Save or cancel download window.
The Windows pops up to ask what program I should use to run anything and look in the Store.
I only got this Firefox browser going when I clicked on html file.
Not even sure I will get my Portable Thunderbird going, as I really have no access to file explorer.
How do I get my Windows working again?
Thanks in advance.
 
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No, I do not have tablet or any other devices. Only my desktop.
This happened immediately after I clicked on Reset to Microsoft defaults.
 
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No desktop tablet mode ..?? Have never seen it. Not on any drop down menus.
So where is it?
There must be something wrong with the Settings.
That is why I fatally decided to click on Reset because I could not move the default settings
I was in the Default settings and clicked on the reset.
If you are in the Settings window you can not click on anything on the Desktop anyway.
And I would have to deliberately click on this selection, not true?
When I closed the Default Settings window, there were no longer any icons on the desktop
Nothing works.No icons on the Tool bar. All paper sheets with inkl on each and every one on entire computer. So How I get the Ink to start the program when even what exes left does not work?
Computer boots into Windows but there is nothing that runs from NOWHERE.
I am now working from my Linux HDD.
 
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I find it in the notifications on my desktop. Click on that and Tablet mode is one of the options.

If you are in tablet mode then clicking on the bottom right corner of the screen may get there.
 
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Thanks for all your input Tim. I do appreciate it.
I read the forum as far as I could, and seen that this suggestion of yours about the tablet helped someone. So I have tried now.
As I said this action was not even possible to accomplish from the Settings Window, and certainly NOT by randomly clicking somewhere on the desktop by accident. This tablet display is completely out of the question - the displays are all over my desktop and, of course all the icons are white sheets of paper even on this tablet display.
This switch can only happen by deliberately selecting the option ( I had no idea it existed) and I would think that you know this.
Besides I am sure that it is not intention of anyone to completely crap out the desktop computer
Windows just to switch to any other device.
Mine is still the same. Inks everywhere and no exe programs run.
Please do look elsewhere ?
thanks in advance.
 
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Unfortunately you may need to reinstall Windows if something has gotten corrupt. I'd backup whatever data you can and do a refresh. Settings/Updates & Security/Recovery, then click Get started under Reset this PC. You can opt to keep your files, but I'd still backup what I can just in case. You will need to reinstall all your programs after.
 

Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Boot the system from a Rescue Disk or installation media and use the Repair link to get to advanced troubleshooting and use that to try a system restore to a point a week or two ago before all this started.
 
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Boot the system from a Rescue Disk or installation media and use the Repair link to get to advanced troubleshooting and use that to try a system restore to a point a week or two ago before all this started.
I always forget that since I turned mine off. Yes try first.
 
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Thanks. I have no installation media - ASUS has not provided any disks with the computer.
Have several old boot flash drives made by other programs, will try that. Have no problem booting Windows and getting into settings. Have never been able to rescue a thing from Windows back ups as the Windows have to be running to do so. Have never tried the restore so will do that, if it does not work from the sticks, will run it from the Windows settings after the boot up.
Third party programs I am not worried about and my data is on external drives.

Update:
OK - have booted from the rescue USB and run the System Restore..
Found 1 Restore point and one Update.
It did not complete successfully the system files and settings were not changed.
Source:AppxStaging
Destination:%ProgramFiles%WindowsApps
An Unspecified error occurred during System Restore (0x80070091)
Next I have tried the advanced recovery - from image, but it has not found any system image.
What now?
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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I am now working from my Linux HDD
Use the browser in that to go here
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
It might be awkward in Linux but I think you should be able to use that interface to download the ISO

Once you have the ISO, you can use ImgBurn to burn it to a DVD, http://imgburn.com/
or Rufus to burn it to a USB ThumbDrive, http://rufus.akeo.ie/
either of which you can use to boot your computer.

I would then try to enable the hidden / disabled administrator account and use that to login.
Just to see if the Operating System is completely shot or if you've just managed to somehow destroy your user profile and a different profile might help.
Instructions here
http://pureinfotech.com/2015/11/20/how-reset-windows-10-forgotten-password-regain-access-computer/

Follow the step by step instruction to perform the task and then to undo the changes you've made after the fact.
 
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Thanks. Had no problem downloading the Windows 10 ISO with Firefox in Linux.
Took close to two hours, but it is in my Downloads directory.
I do have the DVD burning software installed but it only burns ISO to CD/DVD. 4.7 GB DVD is just too small and I unfortunately I do not have a double layer DVDs. The trip to town is 2 weeks away.

Sorry for so many questions, but have never had to deal with ISO images before.
I cant find a program in my Linux Mint repository to just burn the Windows 10 ISO to the USB stick. Downloaded Rufus,but nothing happens when I click Open file.
Not sure how to get it to work. For the Imgburn I would have to have the Windows working, so can't try it.
Does this ISO have to be burned to be usable?
Does this USB ISO have to be bootable to Windows 10? Problem doing it with only Linux OS running.
Have a new empty 16GB SanDisk USB flash drive ready (unformated?) - now what I do with it?
Format to NTFS? Could I just copy the ISO to the USB as is after?
Could I get the Recovery boot use it as it is?
Thanks for your patience.
 

Trouble

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You could return to your Win10 install and just double click the ISO to mount it, but since you reported earlier that no .exe files work ….. then you probably wouldn't have much luck running Setup.exe from the mounted ISO.
Have a new empty 16GB SanDisk USB flash drive ready (unformated?) - now what I do with it?
As I already gave you a link to "Rufus" above and I believe that they have a Linux version available you should be able to use that to construct a bootable USB thumb drive from the ISO

General use
Rufus.JPG


For GPT / UEFI systems
RufusGPT.png


For MBR / Legacy BIOS systems
RufusMBR.png
 
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Thank you all for your help. Honestly much appreciate it.
Despite all efforts all this I am back where I started.
None of the programs you gave me worked.
Rufus does not work on my Linux Mint Cinamon 19.1 Tessa.
Etcher is also Windows program not Linux, althou I di get it installed and running.
It recommended me to use WoeUSB instead.
Success burning the ISO on the USB, but again, there was 0 files on it visible to Windows Recovery.
The downloaded Windows 10 ISO file From Microsoft vwas supposedly downloaded fine and successfully.
On "Successfully" burned ISO just was not there. Windows Rescue recovery did not even recognized my USB drive.
Could not copy it as it is too large of a file that was impossible to splice.
Tried already installed USB Image Writer - same thing: Successfully burned (with 0 file on the stick)

My additional search discovered new UNetbootin program - and after install I had to get additional program called extlinux for it to work.
Once installed - worked perfectly making a Windows bootable USB from the ISO.
The rest of the problems:
Upon PC restart it got as far as the option to press E2 or DEl to get to UEFI, and it was hung up.
Now I could not even boot into my Linux and no access to UEFI
When I finally got the USB to boot - after forever loading up surprise: the Windows Recovery Menu was on - same as my Windows generated Rescue USB with the exception to Install Windows.
Huray I thought. Recovery same - have not found the ISO. Only option was to look for CD/DVD USB is not in the options. So had to reboot again, this time I clicked on Install Windows.
Installation started fine, but
ERROR happened:
'Windows Setup failed. Can't open the required file H:\Sources\install.win (WTF??)
Make sure all the required files for installation are available & restart the installation.
Error code 0.8007000D"

So what joke is this? I checked the ISO file size downloaded and on USB, they are same size.
5.1 GB - There is no install win file in the directory or anywhere else in this ISO.
 
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Correction- have miss-typed the extension.
Found the file on the ISO boot up USB F:\Sources\install.wim
The problem is the Installation setup is looking for it on my drive H: which is only 98MB. I am not even sure what created. It has only boot and efi folders on it.
But it is just too small to copy the Sources dir to it.
I am sure that copying only the install.wim file would NOT do the trick.
The whole ISO is burned to the USB F: drive
I have no idea what file contains this instruction to look for it on drive H:
If it is possible to change/edit this location to F: I may have this last shot at saving this Windows OS.
Could you do that?
Thanks again for your help and patience.
 

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