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HP slim desktop 260-p0286 won't boot past wallpaper (Windows 10)

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HP slim desktop 260-p026

When I start my computer it let's me enter my password to log in and then it gets stuck on the wallpaper with no icons showing except for a small windows icon in the corner that usually has all my programs in it. The cursor moves and turns into a timer when it hovers over the small windows icon but I can't click on anything or do anything. I've run a fast system test and everything was working there: memory test, hard drive/SsD optimized DST check, I forget what else it checked. I am running a second pass system fast test right now that takes an hour. Please help. Thank you!

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@Cnimer -- it is possible that your Windows installation is messed-up, and that your hardware is OK.


One way to prove this is will take some effort:

  1. if you do not have a "spare" disk-drive, purchase one. Maybe, a local "owner/operator" computer-store will have one for $10 to $20. Even a 60 GB disk-drive will have plenty of capacity for this experiment.
  2. open-up the computer's case, and disconnect the data and power cables from the disk-drive.
  3. remove the disk-drive.
  4. connect the "spare" disk-drive.
  5. if you use an Ethernet cable from the computer to your cable-modem, disconnect it from the computer.
  6. Download Windows 10 (
  7. it will offer to write the download to an 8 GB (or larger capacity) USB memory-stick, or to burn one DVD-recordable disk
  8. boot your computer from the newly-created device
  9. install Windows
  10. While installing, click "I do not have a product key", then choose "Windows 10 Home"
  11. Let the installation complete
  12. If your computer correctly has installed Windows, you should see desktop icons, and no "spinner" or "hour-glass"

Tell us if the above works.  If it does, the implication is that your copy of Windows (stored on the disk-drive that you removed) has a problem.


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