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Black Screen after Login - Windows 7

    Question

  • I upgraded to Windows7 Enterprise from Vista Enterprise last week and have been having a very hard time with the fact that after I log into the computer, the desktop
    goes black and I cannot see anything.  The boot up sequence looks fine, the log-in screen looks fine.  Everything goes dark though after logging in.  No mouse pointer, no desktop, no nothing.  Ctrl+Alt+Delete brings up the screen with the lock, switch, log off.... list.  Selecting task manager from the list probably works, but nothing is visible on the screen.  Remote Desktopping into the PC while in this state yields a black screen as well on the remote PC.

    I've tried just about every suggestion out there on the Vista and Win7 forums that I can find, but so far nothing has been helpful.  These suggestions have ranged from turning off elements of UAC to getting the latest drivers directly from Intel (which are newer than the ones that can be obtained from Microsoft).  Nothing has completely solved the problem though.

    Booting into Safe Mode is the only way I can get the desktop to come back.  The 640x480 mode option does not work.   While in safe mode, I can set the display type to Standard VGA adapter and then reboot normally.  At this point in time, it is possible to login and see the desktop.  I can then rerun the windows experience index tool (sets the score to 1.0) and adjust the settings for best performance (unchecks all Aero features), load the drivers for my chipset and reboot normally.  At this point in time, I can once again login in normally and see my desktop.  I rerun the windows experience tool (score of a whopping 3.6) and turn the Aero things back on again and all is well.

    Now - if I log out (not lock) my PC, the problem remanifests itself and I have to go through this whole mess again.

    I am using an HP 5700 MT with the Intel 82Q965 Chipset in it.  Admittedly, this is not the best hardware out there, but it ran Vista OK, and seems to be running 7 fine after going through this painful set of steps.

    There are no errors in the event log that indicate anything is wrong.

    Any suggestions on how to resolve this problem will be greatly appreciated.
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:52 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Can you manually display the computer by pressing Ctrl + Alt+ Del==>clicking Start Task Manager==>clicking File==>New Task==>typing explorer.exe==>clicking OK?  I noticed that you can login the windows normally with standard VGA mode. It seems that the issue is mainly related to the display driver. I would like to suggest you starting Device Manager through the Task Manager by clicking File==>New Task==>typing devmgmt.msc==>expanding Display adapters==>right clicking to uninstall the display driver to see if the desktop appears. If it is the case, then reinstall the latest display driver from HP.

    If you can't launch explorer.exe, please start Registry Editor to navigate to the following item:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    Find the Shell entry and make sure the value data is explorer.exe.

    Best Regards
    Dale
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 8:36 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    Can you manually display the computer by pressing Ctrl + Alt+ Del==>clicking Start Task Manager==>clicking File==>New Task==>typing explorer.exe==>clicking OK?  I noticed that you can login the windows normally with standard VGA mode. It seems that the issue is mainly related to the display driver. I would like to suggest you starting Device Manager through the Task Manager by clicking File==>New Task==>typing devmgmt.msc==>expanding Display adapters==>right clicking to uninstall the display driver to see if the desktop appears. If it is the case, then reinstall the latest display driver from HP.

    If you can't launch explorer.exe, please start Registry Editor to navigate to the following item:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    Find the Shell entry and make sure the value data is explorer.exe.

    Best Regards
    Dale
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 8:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Sorry for the late reply.  For some reason, the notification did not make it through to me.  I'm checking the spam filter to see if it got caught there...

    Unfortunately, when in this state, it is not possible to see anything.  Pressing CRTL+ALT+DEL yields the standard screen with the options, so I can select Start Task Manager.  However, after clicking on it, the screen goes black again.  In fact, the only screens that actually show up and the system standard ones while in this state - Login, CTRL+ALT+DEL, and the Shutting Down screen.

    It feels like everything is up and running.  However, the desktop just does not show anything in this state.

    To be clear - starting the system in VGA mode does not solve this problem.  The only way to work around the problem is to follow the steps outlined above, which involves booting into SAFE mode and replacing the display driver with the VGA driver.  Once that is done, then I can reboot the system normally, log in, run the Experience Update thing, modify the desktop settings (turn all "cool" desktop features off), replace the driver with the recommended one, reboot, and log back in again.

    I have checked the registry value indicated above and it does show explorer.exe.

    For the past week, I've not logged out of the PC and things have been working great.  I am afraid to turn off the computer for fear of having to repeat these steps (which take about 1/2 an hour to complete).

    I've also tried every possible driver that I could find out there - from Intel, the operating system recommended selection, the Windows update site, and HP and none of them seem to address the problem.
    • Edited by POS_Nick Tuesday, November 03, 2009 11:24 AM Forgot to comment on the drivers
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 11:18 AM
  • How about restarting the computer without Windows Aero features on? Does the issue occur?

    Best Regards
    Dale
    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 1:54 AM
    Moderator
  • I turned off all of the Aero effects (went into Performance Information and Tool | Adjust Visual Effects and turned off everything) and then rebooted the PC.

    Good news!

    I am able to see the desktop after logging in, which means that I don't have to fear reboots any more - so long as I remember to make this change prior to rebooting.

    So it seems that the problem is related to Aero settings.  When I select "Let Windows choose what's best for my computer" the only option not selected is "Save taskbar thumbnail preview".

    Any thoughts on which of the other options are more taxing than the others?  I guess I could go through the bits one by one and try to figure out which one (or ones) is causing the problem.

    Thanks

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 11:49 AM
  • Hi,

    Since the issue doesn't occur after turning off Windows Aero, I suspect that the issue may be related to Windows Aero settings, conflicts between Windows Aero and third party programs. Thus I would like to propose the following suggestions to narrow down the issue.

    1. Run Windows Aero troubleshooter.
    2. Perform a Clean Boot to find the exact cause, if it is related to any specific software or driver, please try to uninstall to test, then reinstall the latest version to see if it resolves the issue.

    Best Regards
    Dale

    Thursday, November 05, 2009 2:22 AM
    Moderator
  • I had same problem after installing dec '05 directx sdk. Up until that point everything was working fine after many reboots (installing visual studio, etc).

    check his link here for another confirmed case:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowssdk/thread/f7523855-f40a-4cbc-9413-f46ce54c9cd4

    Maybe something to do with nvidia drivers? This has happened in both my laptop ( i reformatted back to xp since i couldn't afford to be without it, so didn't test) and now on my work desktop. both have quadros.

    Going to work on it later, but at least it's a starting point.

    -R




    Friday, November 06, 2009 4:04 PM
  • AND IF NONE OF THAT HELPS!,COPYIN EXPLORER.EXE TO A FLASHDRIVE FROM ANOTHER WINDOWS 7 PC AND USING TASK MANAGER TO BROWSE AND LOCATE IT ON UR FLASH DRIVE ON THE PC WITH THE PROBLEM AND RIGHT CLICK AND COPY AND PASTE IT TO C:\WINDOWS AND RESTART UR PC.......PROBLEM SOLVED

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:19 AM
  • Your suggestion helps only when Windows explorer isn't already running. You might need to kill the explorer process first and the restart it by starting a New Task
    Friday, October 12, 2012 10:14 PM
  • This is a problem with Windows Aero and the display driver. Check your display driver release notes to verify problem with Aero theme.

    Temporary fix: Change Windows theme from Aero to Basic. Verify black screen no longer occurs upon login.

    Permanent fix: Update to more stable newer display driver or choose older more stable display driver depending on which one you're using. Otherwise, don't use Aero theme at all.

    • Proposed as answer by w1m Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:54 AM
    Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:54 AM