Missing tools in Illustrator cs4

hey,
This problem is driving me crazy. I have Adobe Illustrator cs4 installed (win.Vista), it runs o.k but I'm missing a lot of tools- I get all the main tool groups but the groups wont open` so I have the line tool but not arc or spiral, I have warp tool but not twirl or bloat, text area but not text path and so on.
I have tried redirecting to plugins>tools via the edit>preferences>plug-ins and scratch disks dialog, but then when I load the software I get an error notice saying that some of the plug-ins conflict with... and it doesn't work. I've also tried deleting the AIpref. file from appdata but that didn't help.
What am I missing? this situation consumes too much of my time and sanity!
thanx

Let me ask a question, are you launching AI from an alias located on your desktop? Another Question did you move the Illustrator folder out of the Illustrator application folder and perhaps to a place where you could more easily launch it?
An alias is a copy of the icon of a folder or directory of fie that links it to the original and looks like the actual originl.
The aliases you know are My  Computer, Internet Explorer, Documents etc that you find commonly on a PCs desktop.
This is the scenario that often takes place on a mac and probably would cause the same problem on a PC.
Instead of creating the alias to use as a link to launch the application you either copied the application it self or you moved it to the desktop.
What that means is that some essential links between the application are now broken such as some of the tools and menu items that reside in the Applications folders such as filters and effects, file formats and extensions.So they are not showing.
The way to fix this is either move the application back to to the Illustrator folder and read about how to make an alias or just launch it from the Start menu or delete the copy if you have a copy of the application on the desktop and again either make a proper alias or launch from the Start menu.
I do not know how this might effect the preferences on a PC but on the Mac it sometimes corrupts the preferences and they have to be trashed as well as correcting the problem.
Having written all of this there was another way this can manifest itself on both a Mac and PC and you might do a google search if what I describe above does not apply to you.
It was actually posted here about four or five months ago and it involved deleting a file.

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