Checking and Correcting the Corrupt System Files to Access the Recycle Bin Settings
Hard Drive Integrity: Over longer periods of use, some system files tend to get corrupt or misplaced. This can be attributed to excess downloads or constant freezing of Windows XP computer due to lack of resources. First of all, check the integrity of the HDD. To do this, open the Run dialog box and type CHKDSK /R and click OK. You need to restart the Windows XP Computer to let the Check Disk program run. Once the program checks the integrity of the HDD, it boots and gives you the Windows GUI. Click on the Recycle Bin Icon to see if you can access it. If not, then we have to see if all the system files are in place.
System Restore: Before you check the system files, you may want to try the System Restore. Open System Restore from the Accessories Menu under the System Tools. Select a date when you were able to access the Recycle Bin Settings and click restore. It may take a while before your Windows XP computer is restored to the point you selected. Chances are that this step will solve your problem. If it does not solve the problem, we need to see if all the system files are in place.
Using System File Checker: Open the Run Dialog box. Have your original Windows XP installation CD ready. In the Run Box, type SFC /ScanNow and click OK. It will take some time for the SFC to check the presence of all required system files in their respective folders. During the process, it may also ask for the Windows XP Installation CD.
After the scan, if the scan reports invalid or missing files, you may use the RegSvr32 command to reregister the files. The syntax of the command run from the command prompt is: RegSvr32 filename. You need the command once for each file reported as invalid or missing. Please type the filenames of all the files that were reported to be corrupt or missing by SFC. This may help you.
This is the end of effective troubleshooting. In case you are still not able to access the Recycle Bin Settings, you have to repair the windows installation. This can be achieved through a fresh installation or a reload Windows XP process. Good luck!