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For some reason, sometimes my notification area icons are invisible in Windows 7 64-bit (Boot Camp, on an iMac mid-2010), as seen in this screenshot. Clicking on an invisible item does nothing. Restarting the computer will fix them, though. These icons are invisible during about 25% of all Windows 7 startups.

This installation of Windows 7 64-bit is completely fresh; I just installed it, then installed the latest Boot Camp drivers, and that's it.

Anyone know what's going on here and what I can do to fix it?

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2 Answers 2

What I did to fix this was disconnect the Ethernet cable from my iMac, and when installing Windows 7, don't connect to wifi just yet. Then, install all Boot Camp drivers, and only then can I reconnect Ethernet and wifi. This prevents Windows 7 from automatically downloading drivers when it is unable to communicate with the iMac's features, since the Boot Camp drivers were not initially installed.

So, the notification area problem seems to somehow be related to conflicting Windows 7 and Boot Camp drivers. I notice the problem briefly returns when I install Windows 7 updates, so that seems to prove my point.

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Pull up the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + esc).

On the “Processes” tab, find the process named explorer.exe.

Select it, then click End Process.

The taskbar should now disappear.

Switch to the “Applications” tab, click New Task and enter explorer in the small window that should pop up.

Confirm with OK.

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