You can try this, but no promises:
close ID, then relaunch. Before you do ANYTHING else, hit the Tab key.
I did as you suggested but no results. Thank you anyway.
OK, trashing the prefs doesn't affect workspaces, so let's try removing any "current" workspace xml files from your user profile. For Windows 7 and a US version of ID, that would be C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version 7.0\en_US\Workspaces You might want to move them to a safe place for the moment, rather than delete.
Also, are you runningthe Aero theme? have you adjsuted the font size in Windows? That does bad things to ID.
I removed the current workspace xml files and restarted the computer - ID is still the same.
I'm running the Windows 7 Basic Theme and have not adjusted any font size.
Sigh, this is giving me grey hairs.
I think I would suggest another round of uninstall, clean script, reinstall, but before doing the reinstall run MSConfig and turn off all non-essential startup programs and services (you can run it again aft the install to restore normal startup). In particular, turn off anti-virus and spyware scanners, browser helpers and toolbars, iTunes and instant messengers.
Ok, followed your instructions, reinstalled CS5 and opened up ID - and there it was in all its glory!
I've run the updates, turned on the antivirus etc and restarted the computer a couple of times. Everything seems to work. (For now anyway, I wish I knew what caused this mess.)
Thank you for your time and very clear instructions.
Glad to hear it worked, and sorry it didn't the last time.