The Classic Start menu (Windows 2000 look) defaults to hiding programs that haven't been used recently.
If you're using the Classic menu, and want to make it always show all programs:
1) Right-click the "Start" menu button
2) Select "Properties"
3) If you're not already using the Classic Start menu, click the radio button next to this option, then click "Customize" next to "Classic Start menu".
4) Scroll to bottom of the "Advanced Start menu options"
5) Uncheck "Use Personalized Menus"
6) Click "OK", then "Apply" to save.
Prevent personalized classic start menu
Posted in Windows XP by Community Submission