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Windows XP Black Screen with active mouse cursor

By ELW ยท 13 replies
Aug 21, 2005
  1. Windows XP Black Screen in Regular and Safe Mode.

    I could really use some insight into this problem....

    I am running Windows XP SP2 on an Intel Pentium 3.4 GHz and an Asus P5AD2 motherboard with dual WD Raptor drives in a RAID 1 config and 1 GB RAM. A few weeks ago I added a Matrox PCIe video card. I have not made any recent hardware changes.

    Yesterday, I ran Raxco PerfectDisk disk defrag and TuneUp RegistryCleaner. I run them weekly, and they appeared to run successfully as usual.

    Today, my computer won't boot properly. The bootup process successfully makes it past the BIOS POST, past the black Windows splash screen (with the blue progress bar), and past the blue Windows "Welcome" screen.

    After the Welcome screen, my screen goes completely Black. However, the mouse cursor arrow remains visible. The only thing I can do is a Ctrl-Alt-Del to pull up the Task menu.

    The same Black Screen problem also occurs when I boot into Safe Mode.

    Fortunately, I am able to successfully boot into "Safe Mode with Command Prompt". From there, I can launch explorer.exe and run my anti-virus, which finds no viruses.

    I loaded the Repair Console and ran MBRFIX. MBRFIX said that there appeared to be a problem with the MBR and I allowed it to re-write it. I rebooted; ran MBRFIX again, and it reported the same problem...hmm...

    Within Safe Mode/Command Prompt, I can see all of my programs and data files...which is of some comfort.

    I tried to bootup from the Windows XP CD. After loading the initial files, including the files for my Intel RAID controller, I get a Blue Screen of Death...this prevents me from re-installing Windows XP SP2.

    Any thoughts on how I should proceed to diagnose and fix this Black Screen problem?
  2. Garybeafl

    Garybeafl TS Rookie

    Here is a stab in the dark. In safe mode run "sfc /scannow" without the quotes.
  3. ELW

    ELW TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks Gary.

    I tried the "sfc /scannow" command from within "Safemode with Command Prompt" and I get an error message:

    "Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan of protected system files.

    The specific error code is 0x000006ba [The RPC server is unavailable.]."

    Any other things I can try?
  4. ELW

    ELW TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Name of file that loads Windows XP desktop?

    What is the name of the file that loads the Windows XP GUI desktop?

    I am thinking that perhaps that file has been corrupted.

    The reason I think this is that when I do a Ctrl-Alt-Del to pull up the Task Bar, I see that most, if not all, of the regular Processes are loaded.

    In other words, it seems like everything is loading except the Windows GUI.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 3,874

    That is explorer.exe
  6. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,070

    After F8'ting during boot screens , try "previous good start" option?
  7. ELW

    ELW TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Previous good config

    Thanks for the sugestion Liquidlen. I F8 during the boot process and ran the "Previous Good Configuration" but got the same problem....

    I ran SpinRite and Western Digital disk diag software on the hard drives....no problems found.

    From within "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" I can run explorer...but it does not give me my full windows desktop...just a file manager window.

    The odd thing is that after launching explorer.exe, I can open my files...for example, Excel and Word....so my data and hard drive appear to be fine.

    Windows is just not loading the GUI.
  8. Garybeafl

    Garybeafl TS Rookie

    If you can get to google (maybe on another machine) type in 0x000006ba and you will see some advice.
  9. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,070

    I believe you got some corruption .I would copy all your data. and go for a format clean re-install of Windows Use updated files for the SATA
    Also I suspect the Vid drivers you updated may be at least a part of the problem.Instead of using the latest one's maybe try a file that is one or two dates back.Vid card drivers are updated constantly the latest do not always work .
    Let us know.
  10. ELW

    ELW TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Hi Graybeafl...thanks for the links regarding the sfc error message I received. I did a test on my 'other' (known good) PC...and I see that SFC cannot run in Safe Mode.... On the 'other' PC, I get the same error message....but it runs fine in regular mode.

    It does seem like I have a corrupted file....and if I could just figure out which one(s), I could avoid about many hours of re-installation work, etc...

    I am suspicious that the disk defrag and spyware scans I ran the day before may have caused this problem.

    All components of Windows seem to be working and loading....except for the Windows GUI itself...minor little detail, heh.
  11. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,070

    This might be a long shot , but you've got command prompt.How about copying XP CD to a partition and try to install another O/S ,not on the same partition as the existing copy .You could maybe repair from it.
    Heh maybe.
  12. ELW

    ELW TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks so much for this idea...it led to the solution!!

    As I mentioned earlier in the thead, I was not able to reboot from the CD drive and re-install Windows XP...doing so allowed the Win XP installation to start....but ended up in a Blue Screen after loading all the drivers.

    Liquidlen's idea made me think to try booting in "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and then switching to the CD ROM Drive ( D: ) and lauching the Win XP setup. I did an XP "Upgrade" and now all is well.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed on this thread!
  13. fak

    fak TS Rookie

    I have the same black screen with only a moving mouse cursor on it.
    I found my solution when I tried to move data on the hdd using pm8.0
    It gave a harddisk error. Which made me think, that the hdd could have disk of file errors.

    I got a Maxtor 60Gb with NTFS.

    I went to www.maxtor.com and dowloaded PowerMax 4.21 Bootable CD.iso (Disk Diagnostics)
    Made a bootable cd and booted with the cd.
    In the advanced scan it found multiple errors and repair those.
    Then made another scan and all errors where solved.

    Then restarted windows (normal)
    Automaticly scandisk was running and repaired several files.
    Did another restart en everything was ok, normal windows logon screen appeared and windows was running like before.

    So no need for a windows repair (which in my case didn't work anyway).
  14. cobra24

    cobra24 TS Rookie

    Black Screen

    I currently have the same black screen issue, but not at boot up. The screen goes black but the cursor is still active. It appears to happen randomly and only when I'm on the net on specific websites. Could this be tied in with flash, active X or something?
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