Strange Windows Xp issue need help!

At the beginning of last month my Windows XP installation began to look strange. It's basically because the task bar is leaning! Like half the task bar is pushed in, and the other half pushed out. It looks very weird, and is also affecting my browsing. When I browse websites? The google results pages look titled, as if the text are about to fall off of a cliff! It looks as if my taskbar and browser windows have a "crook" or "tilt" in them. It's still readable and I can still browse, read, and type easily. But I can't do any graphics work because this "irregularity" makes things look out of whack, ugly, and not display properly.

The computer I have is a Gateway e4100 I purchased from e-bay last fall. This problem started up in April of this year. I bought a new tower from the same seller. Problem persisted. I bought a new tower from another seller, problem persisted. I have switched out hard drives. Problem persists. I have switched monitors, crt for flatscreen. Problem persists! So is this Windows Xp telling me I need to get Windows 7 or what's going on here? Below two screenshots. One is of how Windows Xp should look, and the other is how my "affected" installation currently looks. Any ideas suggestions, what exactly is happening here?


personnally, I can see no problem with the taskbar in your pictures.

so the first thing you should do is run checkdisk with the /r parameter, and run as many times as it takes till no errors are found.

this would be best run from the recovery console.
instructions on how to burn a hiren's boot cd and run recovery console from there unless you have the recovery console installed on your pc as a boot option:

Courtesy of Jose Ibarra:
Anywho, to make a Hiren's boot CD, do this:

I am going to recommend you use Hiren's boot CD (it will also go on a USB drive).

This is good for you because it has many more tools on it that on the XP Recovery Console CD, does not care about your Administrator passwords and you will not have to futz around in your BIOS if any afflicted system has SATA drives - Hiren's can deal with that.

You will have a whole bunch of cool tools that you don't have in the XP Recovery Console... a registry editor, password resetter, and a desktop that looks like Windows XP so you will feel comfortable maneuvering.

You can also easily copy your personal data (documents, images, music.) to an external drive.

From a working system, first download Hiren's Boot CD from here (it is a substantial download but worth it): (look near the bottom of the page, do not click on any ads).

Unzip the Hiren's to some folder where you can find it. There is a Hiren's.BootCD..iso in there that you are going to need next.

Hiren's has instructions to make a bootable USB that you can use, but it requires you to first burn the .iso to a CD and some other steps, so I suggest another way...

Download RUFUS 1.20 from here (read some stuff on the page so you can know more about it):

I will caution you to be careful that you don't accidentally format any of your hard drives - be sure your USB stick is in and know what the drive letter is! This part always makes me a little nervous, so be careful.

Launch RUFUS and all the defaults should be okay, for the Device, choose your USB drive letter, Quick format, FAT32, label it if you want to and in the Format options box, click the little icon that looks like a CD and a window will open. Navigate that dialogue to point to the folder that contains the Hiren's.BootCD.15.iso that you unzipped earlier and the box should change to say ISO image (RUFUS understands the Hiren's ISO file).

Double check you have the right Device selected in the top (NOT you HDD) Click Start, acknowledge the warning and let it finish (it will take a little while) as it copies the files. The Hiren's ISO is also good size.

When RUFUS is done, it will say 'DONE' in the bottom.

Put the USB stick in the afflicted machine and reset/reboot and press whatever key you need to press to get to a boot menu where you can select the USB as the first boot device (that is F11 for me). If you don't see a boot menu choice, you will have to adjust your BIOS to boot from the USB first instead of the HDD.

When the Hiren's menu comes up, choose the Mini XP Mode and it will start loading (slowly from a USB drive) and eventually you should see a Windowsy looking desktop. You should recognize that part and feel comfortable, but it is not your desktop - it is the Hiren's desktop!

Remember: You did not boot on your hard disk - you booted into the Hiren's desktop
Hiren’s for flash drive