Disappearing Desktop, pane and other randomness

I’ve been having the weirdest random config changes for weeks now. Every time I boot/reboot, there is a good chance something isn’t as the same as it was before the reboot. Oftentimes, it happens while the system is still up, like the mouse pointer randomly cycling through different icons while I watch.

Another would be the sound output sometimes choosing the HDMI output, sometimes choosing the laptop’s onboard speaker out. There are a whole slew of other weirdness that happens but I’ll skip to the bullshit of the day.

Yesterday, a reboot after installing the Razer device configuration ended up in a blank screen. Desktop compositing screen edge effects work (show desktop, show windows, krunner, etc) work. Nothing else works. Applications can be accessed through krunner and no other way. Wallpaper is gone, as are left and right click menus. I can’t even seem to find the the desktop settings menu.

On reboot, there is a glimpse of the desktop and panels as they load and within a second or two screen goes, blank.

For a while, I was getting the blanks screen after login if the laptop was plugged into the dock on logging in, so I had to undock, login, replace in dock whenever I rebooted. Then that went away for a few weeks, now I have this.

I’m inclined to believe that a person or persons has compromised my system and is fucking with me (for real reasons) especially since the system has rebooted itself more than once. I once turned off annotations on a Youtube video, then the page refreshes itself, the annotations have been turned back on and the menu item is gone from the settings menu. WTF?

Thinkpad X230 with standard mods
Thinkpad Mini Dock Plus Series 3
45" Samsung TV as primary display
24" Thinkvision as secondary

3 keyboards hooked up
1x Das Keyboard (Mac ed)
1x Cheapo USB wireless
1x Apple Wireless (BT)

Reason I’m mentioning keyboards is because with the wireless keyboards, I had an issue that as I typed my password from wireless devices, letters would often hit as double registers.

Anyway, primary goal is to get the desktop and panels back. T-hx

  • back up data (only data: no config settings)
  • Use a wired keyboard / mouse, sell the other ones
  • reinstall
  • restore data

Start making crash-proof backups when you’re off-line only:

is all I can tell you.


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I wouldn’t even try attempting to fix it. Just do a fresh install. Then immediately after, enable your firewall.

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I’ve marked the below answer as the solution to your question as it is by far the best answer you’ll get.

However, if you disagree with my choice, please feel free to take any other answer as the solution to your question or even remove the solution altogether: You are in control! (I just want to avoid even more subjective opinions being posted and confusing you even more)

P.S. In the future, please don’t forget to come back and click the 3 dots below the answer to mark a solution like this below the answer that helped you most :
so that the next person that has the exact same problem you just had will benefit from your post as well as your question will now be in the “solved” status.

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