Blank screen after login

By PrincetonGeo
Mar 28, 2007
  1. Hello all,

    I am new to this site, but looked at some other threads, and people seem to be pretty knowledgable here. I am not really advanced with my tech abilities, so bear with me if I am slow on the uptake. I use a Dell Dimernsion 8250 with Windows XP Pro SP 2 (though not rigth now, cause its down).

    So my problem is this:
    My computer froze (during a backup, which thankfully, seemingly completed) and had to be restarted. Once I restarted, it took longer to start up, but got me to the login screen, and then took a while to login. Upon login, the task bar showed up very briefly and then the screen went blank. I restarted and tried logging in as other users, with the same result - though when logged in as me the screen was gray, as my boss the screen was blue, and as the guest the screen had a background picture. Despite the blank screen, the OS seems to be running in the background, as I can access it from other computers on the network and can bring up the task manager with ctrl+alt+del, but can't seem to do anything else. At one point it stopped letting me login at all and got stuck at the XP startup screen, but that was fixed by one of the repairs I tried below.

    After looking at some of the other threads on here, I have tried various things. I tried starting in safe mode, but again the task bar show up and then disappears, leving only the background text saying that it is in safe mode. I have starting from the cd and doing repairs (I only have the OEM cd, not SP 2). From the repair menu, I have tried "chkdsk /r" , "fixboot", and "fixmbr" as suggested elsewhere, with no change. I also tried "copy userinit.exe wsaupdater.exe" to no avail. I tied reverting to the last working configuration at the F8 startup mene and that didn't work (and now at startup says my copy of Windows in not genuine).

    Any ideas on what the problem might be and how I could go about fixing it, preferably without reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling everything?


    (sorry for the long message, but I wanted to get all the specifics in there)
  2. PrincetonGeo

    PrincetonGeo TS Rookie Topic Starter


    When logged in with the blank screen, I pulled up the task manager as before, and then did a File>New Task (Run). Under that, it is showing my hard drive as "Local Disk (F:)", not C like it should be. It also can't find any of my programs and reverted to an old copy of Windows Media Player, so I'm guessing that my attempt to repair the installation from the cd caused it to revert to the OEM standard and I guess cleared my programs (or at least their drivers).

    So it is looking more like I wil have to reformat and start over, but not knowing what caused the problem, I'm not sure if that will even work.

    Also, when I minimize the task manager, it minimizes to just above where the taskbar should be.

    I guess it doesn't seem to be a hardware related issue, with the hard drive still containing my data (though now as F) and the computer seemingly running, so I am thinking maybe a display driver issue. But then again, I'm an environmental scientist, not a computer tech, so what do I know.

    Anyone have any ideas?
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