1. Have you made any software or hardware changes to the computer prior to this issue?
2. Did you accidently enable auto-hide option for taskbar?
To work on the issue, refer these methods.
Method 1:
I would suggest you to run an antivirus scan using Microsoft Safety Scanner to confirm that your computer is free of any virus infection. Please find the link below.
Note: Any data files that are infected may only be cleaned by deleting the file entirely, which means there is a potential for data loss.
Note: The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.
The Microsoft Safety Scanner is not a replacement for using an antivirus software program that provides ongoing protection.
Method 2:
Step 1:
Refer the following link to obtain description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP.
NOTE: Select Safe Mode with networking option once you see the Windows Advanced Options Menu.
Once you’re done working in Safe mode if you want to get back into Normal Windows, restart the computer like you normally would and let it boot normally.
Check if the issue persists in safe mode.
If behavior doesn’t persist in safe mode, it indicates that a third party program or service is preventing you from performing the action as supposed to.
To validate or determine which service/startup item could be causing this, restart the computer and boot to desktop normally. Once done, perform clean boot.
Step 2:
Clean boot- It’s a process wherein you can start Windows XP by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs.A clean boot helps eliminate software conflicts.

Please refer the following link to obtain information on how to configure Windows XP to start in a “clean boot” state.


Check if the issue persists in clean boot state.

NOTE: Ensure you perform the steps mentioned under “Steps to configure Windows to use a Normal startup state” after you check if the issue persists in clean boot.
Method 3:
Perform a SFC scan and run the sfc/scannow command.

Description of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 System File Checker (Sfc.exe)

NOTE: You might be prompted to insert the Windows XP installation disc while performing the scan. Keep the installation disc handy.
Also refer:
Post the results of the scan.
Method 4:

Refer: After the Windows Logo displays or after you log on to Windows, a Windows XP-based computer may only display the wallpaper, a black screen, or a blue screen

NOTE: Perform Methods 1 and 2. Ignore Methods 3, 4 and 5 from the link mentioned above.
Hope the information is helpful.

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