The Vista Black Screen After Login Mystery…Solved!

The Vista Black Screen After Login Mystery…Solved! December 16, 2007

I have struggled for some time with a problem that I know has plagues other Windows Vista users too – after logging in, instead of going to the usual desktop, Vista would bring you to a black screen with Windows Explorer as the only thing visible. Many have discovered the work-around, which is to press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and run explorer as a new task. But this is not a solution to the problem.

I am happy to offer those struggling with this issue a genuine solution. It can presumably be accomplished by actually editing the Windows registry, but as I used a program that helps with startup problems, and since that is the best option for most users, I will describe that method here.

First, download the free Autoruns program, which is made by Sysinternals (a Microsoft-owned company). Thanks to Scott Dunn, whose article “Fast Windows Fixes” in the latest issue of PC World recommended this program.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the program, right click on it and run it as an administrator.

Next, once the program is running, you will see a list of all the start-up functions in the registry and elsewhere. You will probably want to look for places where it says a file that the registry is supposed to load is not found, and either uncheck that entry or change the location to the one where the file is, if it still exists on your computer.

The key to solving the black screen is a file called lsass.sys. I found the problem initially because it was looking for that file in C:WindowsConfig instead of in C:WindowsSystem32 where it is actually located. But changing the location did not solve the problem (I mention my doing so simply because this was a step I took, and I have no way of telling whether it was significant in the resolution).

The final step I took that solved the problem was to uncheck the command to run lsass.sys at startup/login. Once I did this and then closed the program and restarted my computer, it worked properly.

I hope this is helpful – it is certainly a relief for me to finally have this issue sorted out. Now I’m struggling with another problem – when these other problems arose, another symptom was my printer no longer being recognized and functioning with the computer. Uninstalling and reinstalling the software/drivers that came with it doesn’t help. Instead of installing the drivers, I get the bizarre message (stemming from rundll.exe and/or newdev.exe) that there is no program associated with this file! Any suggestions would be welcome.

Finally, there are things that can help Vista run faster on slower computers. Some are mentioned in the article in PC World I referred to earlier. But when trying one, namely SystemPropertiesProtection (type it in the ‘search box’ on the Start Menu), I discovered by accident that it is possible to switch off features such as icon shadows, animated drag-and-drop, and other features that have no value other than to make Windows “look cooler”. If your computer is sluggish, switch off all these options and it will certainly help.

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  • A lot of people seem to be finding their way here searching for information about the Vista black or blank screen after login problem. If the fix suggested here is helpful, or if it isn’t, or if you find additional or alternative solutions, please do come back, leave a comment and let me (and others trying to resolve the same problem) know!

  • There’s actually a great fix that corrects most of Vista’s problems. The last update you’ll ever need.It’s called Linux.

  • I have not gone that route for pretty much the same reason that I haven’t gone the other route that would almost certainly fix the problem – the complete reinstall of Vista that wipes the hard drive clean in the process. That would mean starting over again installing all my programs (and with Linux, I’d have to discover which ones work under it, although Vista has surprises in that area too). Vista has a pretty neat ‘repair’ feature, but it doesn’t always work either. And Symantec’s Norton System Works has had runtime errors when I’ve run WinDoctor. So far all the fixes other than this one I posted about have their own flaws. Can Linux really be universally compatible and also flaw free?

  • You can run any Windows program under VMWare, and most under WINE or cxoffice. But it will never be truly universally compatible–MS owns all the patents for the MS technology required to run a lot of Windows apps. VMWare players makes it easy and free to run a virtual Windows though, which I have to do for Logos and Bibleworks (Libronix 2 will work under WINE, 3 won’t).That said, unless you’re a gamer, Ubuntu will most likely do everything you need it to after an install. If it doesn’t, getting software is easy, thanks to Synaptic. Just search and click. Plus its community support is unparalleled–any problem you have, a Google will almost certainly turn up a fix from someone who had the same problem.All in all, Ubuntu probably offers a more user-friendly experience than Vista, despite Linux’ reputation as a tool of geeks and tech-whizzes.

  • Thanks, that’s actually really helpful. I’m going to think seriously about it. I do think I belong in at least one of the categories you mentioned that is associated with Linux users! 🙂

  • Michael

    I have a co-worker that runs Vista on his Macbook for some reason thinking that would give him Mac OS X reliability but Windows compatability. First he tried Parellels then Bootcamp. Well, what he actually got was a Macbook looking Vista machine that hung, crashed, had him rebooting daily, and re-installing every couple of months just like the rest of us.So why would you run Vista in a VM on Linux? You’ll still get the black screen when you try to RDP into it.

  • My God, I would never run Vista in a VM.XP. And that only grudgingly.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the help.It was a great fix.Now if only Microsoft could determine why so many startup files go missing…

  • Headcult

    I have a 100% tested solution for this problem. 1)Run regedit.exe and proceed to the following registry hive:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon2)Look for the String Value “Shell” and it should contain the data value of: “Explorer.exe” (w/o the quotes).3)In my case it contained some thing like this :Explorer.exe C:Windowssystem32spoolsv32.exe4) So remove the rest of the code and just put “Explorer.exe”.5) This should do. It worked like a charm to me.Reply if you like the solution.

  • HP Pavilion Vista prisoner

    as far as the explorer.exe in the registry deal, it didn’t work for me because when I went to that hive, I already had the proper value. 🙁 Trying the blog fix now…

  • HP Pavilion Vista prisoner

    Ok, all was good with lsass.exe as far as the location, but here’s the description of it: SamSsThe startup of this service signals other services that the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) is ready to accept requests. Disabling this service will prevent other services in the system from being notified when the SAM is ready, which may in turn cause those services to fail to start correctly. This service should not be disabled. Microsoft Corporation c:windowssystem32lsass.exe ….It doesn’t seem like a good thing to be unchecking… Kinda scared so I’ll create a system restore pt

  • HP Pavilion Vista prisoner

    Sorry, I am chickening out. I am sitting here deciding whether I want to trade in one relatively annoying problem (black screen after login and “temporary profile loaded” after login) for a possible myriad of other annoying problems. Thanks for the help anyhow. Any other more benign suggestions besides disabling a service that seems to be required? Thanks! (I think its pretty safe to say now that my next computer will be a Mac, I’m not hardcore enough to go with Linux.)

  • Anonymous

    I seem to have multiple layers to the issue. It seems that when I installed AIM, the setup program messed up privileges on the system account. This caused a blank screen on startup. After finding a fix for that, I find that only 1 of my accounts can log in, the others login to a black screen.I have deleted the non-functioning accounts, and now when I add an account it goes to a blue screen!It looks like the permissions are still messed up somehow…

  • 123abc

    when i go to uncheck the box running lsass an error message occurs ‘Error changing item state:access is denied’ (w/o quotes). I do run autoruns as administator, and so I don’t understand.Any ideas?

  • i have the same problem also!it gives me an error while i’m running in administrator mode

  • Anonymous

    I can’t disable it (it keeps saying access denied). I ran “Autoruns” as administrator, looked for the lsass.exe by using “Find” and tried to disable it but a messagebox comes out saying that access is denied. Why?Any help, please.

  • Those of you who have an HP laptop and have this problem, I found a fix. Trying to fix this problem by trial and error on my friend’s laptop, I discovered that the hangup has something to do with Cyberlink programs. Run msconfig and go to the services tab. Narrow down the list by checkmarking “Hide all Microsoft services.” Find anything that says “Cyberlink” and uncheck these. Apply and restart your computer. Startup should be light years faster now.

  • AJNV

    Thanks so much ! worked perfectly on the first go with your instructions !

  • Anonymous

    It worked just once after restarting the computer the first time. Then I wanted to make sure it actually worked by trying shutting down and trying it again but the “2 minutes black screen” was back (maybe the first time was just a coincidence; sometimes but very rarely, the black screen doesn’t appear when I login). I have an HP Pavilion laptop with Vista. Any help on the black screen would be appreciated. Thx on advance.

  • Anonymous

    On the post on top of this one I meant the “Cyberlink” strategy.

  • Anonymous

    I FIXED IT! OK, well after a long long long googling apparently there are two ways of fixing the black screen after login. #1: Basically you have to disable the User Account Control (UAC) which is the small messagebox that appears asking for administrator permission each time you open something. Go to Control Panel and type “uac” on the search box on top. then disable it on the link that appears. It worked for me but I had to remove that uac feature which is supposedly for security. #2: I would had chosen this option#2 instead of the #1 but apparently this updates didn’t apply to my system, maybe it will work for yours:Install the updates that are in the first post of this link Restart. It worked for the guy in this other thread(Read it and look at the end of this thread->Page 2):;=1(Try #2 first. If it didn’t work for you, then the option#1)Hope this was helpful.

  • I found this web page after having this black (and blue) limbo screen. As far as I can tell, the problem went away after i disabled my user account control. I had user account control turned off a while ago, but I added a user to my computer and I made the mistake of allowing the user account control to be put back on. I have no idea why this would cause this error.I thought that the error would come from my NVidia drivers, but that was not it.

  • I found this webpage because I encountered the same black screen/ bluee screen error with my Vista. From what I can tell, it all happened because I made the big mistake of turning my user account control back on. I did uninstall the Nvidia drivers at the same time, but I don’t think that was the root of the problem

  • Thankyou so much!I have spent hours trying to sort this out. Looked everywhere to try and restore everything to factory settings etc. Didnt occur to me to just type “Blank screen after welcome vista” on Google!It worked first time!One thing though, it didnt say ‘lsass.sys’ it said ‘lsass.exe’ I unchecked it anyway and works like a dream. Many many thanks. 🙂

  • Search engines have saved me from calling in a professional for what is a solution I can implement myself.Back in the Win95 days, if the computer crashed, it was the end of the world for me.

  • yay! turning off user access control from safe mode helped! now it works fine!

  • Anonymous

    tanks all for your good comment my bug is now fix you are very crack

  • Anonymous

    I had the same issue yesterday, a black screen with a cursor.From the event log I saw a critical error with lsass.exe not running.After using MSCONFIG in safe mode and rebooting with minimum number of drivers and disabled the VMnet adaptors, I got finally my screen back. I uninstalled VMware player and it is woking great!It seems that HP credential manager does not work properly with VMAuth service. I have HP6910.Hope that make sense.Good luck,

  • Anonymous

    Hi James, Thx for yout help. Your sollutions worked great.You saved my day (week, month)Remco, Amsterdam, Holland

  • Anonymous

    THIS WORKED THANKS!▽ ▽ ▽ ▽ ▽ ▽ ▽”Headcult said… I have a 100% tested solution for this problem.” *What a messed up problem though. I have a legit copy of Vista too. I have to say the last thing I did on my laptop wasn’t though. I installed a cracked version of winrar last night. I wonder if this had anything to do with that lol.

  • Anonymous

    When I get the black screen, I have the mouse pointer, but CTRL+ALT+DELETE does not work…nothing happens. Nothing happens when I do CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE either. Is there anything I can do?

  • Sounds like a different problem than the one I posted the solution for here. I would try updating the motherboard drivers, if you’re able to start in safe mode.

  • Anonymous

    The winlogin regedit fix from headcult worked like a charm for me !! Thanks a lot headcult !!

  • ShroomCloud

    *******I FOUND A SOLUTION********I have the same exact problem as everyone and all of the solutions listed didn’t help me although it did help some. Here’s what happened with my computer: About a week ago my computer had the black screen with moving mouse problem. This happened the same day I just installed new memory and a cddrive in my computer. I thought it was the ram or cdrom drive causing the problems so I took them both out and still had the problem. Then I just happened to check my ANTIVIRUS LOG AND IT SHOWED THAT MY NORTON ANTIVIRUS CAUGHT A VIRUS (BLOODHOUND.W32.2) THAT INFECTED MY “userinit.exe” file. The userinit.exe file runs at startup and tells which programs to startup according to a google search I ran. So my antivirus had to delete the infected userinit.exe file, thus giving me a black screen at startup. So I knew I had to get my userinit.exe file back, but where? Luckily I had imaged my C Drive with a imaging program when I first installed vista. I was able to browse the image and find the userinit.exe file and I copied it back to where it was supposed to be which is the “system32” folder. I rebooted and everything now works again! So in summary: CHECK YOUR ANTIVIRUS LOG TO SEE IF YOU RECENTLY HAD A VIRUS THAT INFECTED A SYSTEM FILE AND WAS DELETED BY YOUR ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM. I was lucky to image my c drive in the past with a imaging program: “acronis true image” for times like these. So image your drive people that way you have a backup of all your system files without having to reinstall or recover using your vista CD or whatever you’re supposed to use.–Shroomcloud

  • Paul

    The regedit fix worked perfectly for me. I installed a new program and the only way to see the task bar/ desktop was to run explorer.exe manually. Once the shell value was changed as above i rebooted and Bingo!

  • Anonymous

    Go to control panel–system and maintenance–admin tool–scheduled task–scheduled task library–Microsoft–windows–mobilepc–TMMDISABLEPROBLEM SOLVED YOU SUCKERcontact me chaparral at .com

  • one maddened anthopologist

    MICROSOFT OUTDID THEMSELVES WITH THIS HIDEOUS BUG-INFESTED VISTA!! i tried all the suggestions and nothing worked:( then a friend told me to open up “run” and run explorer and the screen materialized out of nothing! now i’m trying to figure out how to put explorer.exe back to the startup programs….my next computer will definitely be mac

  • Maddened anthropologist (not the only one),You will probably have discovered by the time you read this that simply adding Explorer to the startup programs doesn’t solve this problem. I hope you’ll come back and try the solution offered here!

  • Anonymous

    I have taken the time to bring this to the attention of the folks at Dell. Let’s see if they can solve their own problem or if the money and tiem I’ve wasted cause a claass action to occur.

  • Just so you don’t waste time suing the wrong people, if it comes to that, my impression is that this is an issue with Microsoft Vista which manifests itself on many different brands of PCs, rather than something specific to Dell.

  • one maddened anthopologist

    James, I tried your suggestion but it didn’t deliver coz microsoft somehow managed to further expropriate me from control over my computer (after denying me the option to use some other OS or XP coz they don’t make drivers for those). in other words, i cannot change any priorities and privileges bcoz “you are denied access by your admin” well, WTF?! i’m the admin!!how can i change that? only some weird application called “FriendlyInstaller” or something like that has full control. i’m helpless. i think the only option i have is to re-install the OS..

  • You need to “run as administrator” when you run Autoruns.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Hi y’allWell none if the comments posted here seem to be working for me. I’ve tried out the autoruns program, the services menu, the cyberlink service and the TMM tip. The wretched black screen is still present and eats up of about 20 seconds of my bootup time. I have a dell system with Vista Basic installed. Please help me out. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Heynow, I had this problem after installing a cracked WINRAR program. I only mention this because someone else seemed to have this problem. Anyway, I ran the regedit fix listed here and deleted the path while keeping the explorer.exe file and it worked like a charm. I wonder if MSFT does this whenever you load a non-legit software?

  • Dave E.

    This issue happened to be after uninstalling CD XP (free CD Burning software) … headcults fix worked perfectly. I had the path to LSASS.exe after explorer, so I just removed that and it fixed everything.Much appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    Thank a lot Headcut! ur solution worked Perfectly! I have no experience in fixing computers but ur solution was so simple and easy to follow! once again! thanx a lot!

  • Anonymous

    open ms command propmt and type explorerhit it will restore this link for description

  • Anonymous

    Headcult’s fix worked for me. Just did what you instructed and it worked! Thank you!

  • Just been suffering with this problem all morning. Managed to fix it by pressing F8 on boot and then selecting the Repair option. This allowed me to select which restore point to go back to. The last one was a Windows update which took place yesterday so assume it was that causing the problem. Picked an earlier one and it worked no problem.

  • Here’s a strange solution…I received the black screen for the first time this morning. Thankfully I had my laptop with me as well and was able to surf the web for solutions. However, I could not use ctrl alt delete…nothing would happen. I right clicked…nothing…So I rebooted into safe mode. When I did that windows said “windows has recovered from an unexpected shut down” I allowed it to try to find a solution (it didn’t find anything). However, from safe mode I hit restart and it came up fine.Hopefully this helps others. It is the most simple solution I have seen.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what fixed it for me. If you have only one profile, or have auto-logon enabled, try disabling auto-logon/putting a password on your account. I tried all the answers here, and then figured it had to be a profile issue, but found that if Vista logs directly into a profile rather than after I select one, I get this problem.Hope that helps somebody.

  • koalatomato

    Spreadsheets Direct.. Thank you SO much for your post! Tried everything else without success.Vista suckz, u rock. ’nuff said.

  • Lenovo K210 + Vista Crap Home Edition. Black screen after login. Lenovo tech told me to kill everything and reload the whole fucking Vista Crap. Guess what, the problem went away after i disabled my user account control. It’s my friend’s computer. I got iMac myself so I don’t have to deal with this Vista bullshit everyday.

  • Petter N

    I have the black screen problem, I also have another problem, when the black screen appears there is no win explorer or anything, all I see is the mouse arrow and BLACK SCREEN. Nothing works, no right-click, no CTRL-ALT-DEL. The screen resolution is okay. Anyone got a clue ? Im greatful for all help..

  • Anonymous

    First I’d like to mention that I cannot use the task manager or Windows-R to get explorer running. If i press CTR-ALT-DEL and select task manager. It tells me immediately that the task manager has crashed. Which is what it says about explorer immediately after logon. So i click close and then i sit @ the black screen w/ my cursor w/ the rest of you.I checked the registry and indeed i had some pretty funky looking stuff in my Winlogon/shell entry. I changed it to: explorer.exe but it made no difference. I can still not get passed the black screen.Can anyone confirm that this is some sort of trojan/virus/worm?

  • ChristopherB

    I’m having the black screen after login issue (only the mouse cursor shows; no other recourse). i found the posting about the BLOODHOUND virus interesting and would like to try it. What I find most annoying and frustrating is that the this response, along with several others, claim they have a black screen with no options but then proceed to describe a fix which implies they can get to SOMETHING to address the issue. How can this be!? I’m so frustrated and want to follow the advice on some of these threads, but they don’t seem “follow-able”. Can someone please address this for me?

  • ChristopherB, Restart In safe mode that is how the others are getting past the black screen when ctrl+alt+del does not work.

  • jayka

    what if after changing the regisrty to explorer.exe it goes back to its initial over and over again???

  • After endless fighting with the Vi$ta Crap I fixed it by reinstalling my laptop with the Fedora Linux. Now I can browse the net without fear of catching viruses, I don’t need to wait for the damn wheel to stop spinning, and also people now consider me a guru. And I got the whole office suite for free. Do you know any better ?

  • richard

    Hi!Black screen startup Windows Vista problem…Here maybe another FIX (this one worked for me)make a new txt-file and copy this into it:Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon]”ReportBootOk”=”1″”Shell”=”explorer.exe””Userinit”=”C:Windowssystem32userinit.exe,””VmApplet”=”rundll32 shell32,Control_RunDLL “sysdm.cpl”””AutoRestartShell”=dword:00000001″LegalNoticeCaption”=”””LegalNoticeText”=”””PowerdownAfterShutdown”=”0″”ShutdownWithoutLogon”=”0″”cachedlogonscount”=”10″”forceunlocklogon”=dword:00000000″passwordexpirywarning”=dword:0000000e”Background”=”0 0 0″”DebugServerCommand”=”no””WinStationsDisabled”=”0″”DisableCAD”=dword:00000001″scremoveoption”=”0″”ShutdownFlags”=dword:0000002b”AutoAdminLogon”=”0″Save it and rename the txt-file into a .reg-fileRun it and voila.Hope this helps…greets!Richard, the Netherlands.

  • jayka

    I tried this and it doesn’t work. After restarting the computer the registry files go back to their initial state. Please help 🙁

  • Anonymous

    after a couple of hours of trying the suggestions on this page and having no apparent solutions i was simply trying to restore my system, but didn’t know how without the start button. i started my task manager and went to file/run. after typing a few things that it said did not exist i typed explorer into the bar and suddenly everything magically fixed itself (background, icons, little bar at the bottom of the screen, the works) i thought that had to be a coincidence. i then went back and turned my uac back on. (i turned it off because of another suggested solution) after restarting my computer i found after login the black screen was back. i instantly opened task manager typed explorer into the run bar again and voila it fixed again. this may be a complete coincidence but its worked for me twice. its worth a try!*Travis*p.s.- if the things i was doing sounded dumb and like i had no idea what i was doing its because i’m 15 and i don’t

  • Anonymous

    okay this is travis again from the last comment i have tried this on every user on my computer and realized this is only a temporary fix. it appears to work but as soon as you log out and back in or restart your computer it goes back to black screen. you can simply retype the word explorer into the bar again everytime you log in but you’ll probably want a more permanent fix.-Travis-

  • Turning UAC back on is the problem. I havwe yet to turn UAC back on, because that seemed to be the root of my problem. My thought was that when you have multiple users on one PC, and you have UAC on, that’s one way this black screen problem is created.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I got this problem after putting some services to manual, tried several things from several sites.I’m aware of the tool explained it and used it to find “file not found” lines, where I found a missing uninstaller as runonce.So, it might not be the services afterall, well, I hope that I can continue happily after a reboot. ( Still my system boots slow, but that’s something I can fix with Process Monitor or something after I get back in a normal booting state 😉 )

  • Anonymous

    POST 2Okay, my above fix didn’t work. So I’m trying to turn off UAC (a service might be dependent on it) and uninstalling NVIDIA.Hope to find the service causing this because I want to keep UAC running. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    POST 3Oh no…Tried everything here, hmmz, seems I need to move on and try other things from other sites.

  • You are not listening to what people say. People say: fuck Vista, use XP, Apple or Linux. So I guess you are either stupid or masochist. Or both.

  • I get a black screen after the login, I tried safe mode and in that i see the cursor moving but the screen is still black… Is there any steps I could do before I reinstall the OS.

  • Dawna

    the solution of turning off UAC works for me!!thanks a bunch!!Great Blog…

  • Anonymous

    Headcult’s fix worked. I guess I cirus must have altered the registry entry.In my case the value of Shell was:Explorer.exe C:WindowsSystem32fservice.exeThe fservice.exe file didn’t exist in the system32 folder.After changing the Shell value back to Explorer.exe, the computer turned on.I’ve installed Avast! now and am running a boot-time virus scan. It found a BUNCH of viruses so far!Thanks again, Headcult!!

  • Anonymous

    I did a system restore and it got stuck in limbo, forever waiting. After 5 hours, I restarted the computer and it showed the compaq loading screen and then after that, the black screen with just a cursor. I have NO IDEA how to do the stuff anyone has said here. I just want to get to my login page. I don’t know how to ‘run’ things or what have you. Is there any way someone can talk me through this? I’m on a pc now and the issue is on my laptop. I have tried ctrl-alt-dlt and nothing. I have tried safe mode, safe mode w/networking and safe mode w/command prompt. None of it works.Please help me!

  • Hi, I found a way to get rid of the “Vista Black screen after welcome” on my PC.The following has to be done in the stated sequence; 1) From the control panel, Disable the side bar and click on “Apply”.2) Using msconfig, disable the service “Windows image ackuisition (WIA)” and click on “Apply”.3) Restart the PC.The PC should start without the black screen and without the side bar.4) From the control panel, Enable the side bar and click on “Apply”.5) Using msconfig, check that “Windows image ackuisition (WIA)” is still disabled, And click on Apply.6) Restart the PC.The PC should now start without the black screen, and with the side bar.I found the WIA problem by first disabling the side bar, and then running msconfig to disable all start up programs and all services, this made the PC start without the black screen. Then i enabled all start up programs and still no problem.After that I enabled all services and the problem came back.I disabled all services again, and started to enable them about 20 a time. About half way through the list I found the one that caused my black screen problem. It was “Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)” I left it disabled and enabled all the other services. When restarting the PC there is no black screen.However, when enabling the side bar, the black screen comes back.The side bar somehow enables the WIA service. Fortunately, it showed that if you first enabled the sidebar, and then (in the same session) disabled the WIA service, then on start up there is no black screen, and you have the side bar there.

  • Mary

    Hello, I was having problem with my Vista with black screen. But the situation seems a bit different from what you had described. For me, the login screen didn’t even appear. The furthest that it would ran is the vista horizontal bar with something running. What would show up is a black screen and sometimes it come with a few bright dots on the screen that’s all. I had had reboot it every time when that happened. Seems like it would do that when it had encounter errors… but not sure. I had ASUS laptop. Please help!!! Thanks!

  • The solution posted by Tomas october 12 really works

  • John Oxlade

    This is all fine except on my PC I have a black screen with a mouse pointer and nothing else. I cannot run anything as I cannot see anything on the screen. The mouse pointer works fine but I haven’t found any key combination (Alt-Ctrl-Del, etc.) that does anything.I am also reluctant to re-install, so any suggestions would be appreciated.John

  • Anonymous

    same problem…. mine seem to stem from a toolbar that my wife downloaded (Kiwi). First I noticed that while the computer would connect to the internet it would not connect to my home network. I found this third party software and did an uninstall… when I rebooted I would left with a black screen and except I have the arrow. However, the computer will restart in Safe Mode.

  • Linda

    Same for me, started earlier today when I couldn’t connect to the wireless network in school, deactivated the wifi and did a reboot. that’s when the black screen appeared.. like some of us most unfortunate people I can’t do anything. not in safe mode, no ctrl+alt+del, nothing. Tried to plug in my tv, and the screen is black there too. Also tried to do a system restore from an earlier date when I didnt have this problem.. but the freakin black screen is still there.. if anyone knows what to do, pleas help.

  • خودم

    1- Reboot your system in SAFE mode (by pressing F8)2- go to Control Panel3- go to Administrative Tools4- Run Local Security Policy5-select Local Policies6- select security option7- right click every option8- choose properties9- select Explain tab10 – find “DEFAULT:…” line11- set the option value to this Default value is written.12 – do it for all options13- reboot your system14- Your system will be returnedAmir

  • Anonymous

    headcult i love you!1)Run regedit.exe and proceed to the following registry hive:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon2)Look for the String Value “Shell” and it should contain the data value of: “Explorer.exe” (w/o the quotes).3)In my case it contained some thing like this :Explorer.exe C:Windowssystem32spoolsv32.exe4) So remove the rest of the code and just put “Explorer.exe”.5) This should do. It worked like a charm to me.^^^every go this – headcults idea – not mine

  • Has Microsoft fixed this problem with any updates? Since this happened to me, there have been about a dozen updates at least. Does any onw know if these updates resolved this error? I wouldn’t turn my UAC to try it out 🙂

  • If you are having the Black screen thingy, its easy to fix… You actually just have to validate your windows ONLINE… So open your vista in low function mode ( if you dont get explorer thats ok, you dont need it… ) Then search in google for the online validation tool. tada fixed! If you however installed SP 1, you have to wait 14 seconds before to open low function mode. Then you just do the same 🙂 Worked like a charm here!

  • Anonymous

    Like John Oxlade (oct 27, 2008) and a few others we had a computer that had the black screen with a mouse pointer. Alt-Ctrl-Del would not work none of the pre-boot options would work. Ultimately we made the Hard drive a slave to another system and copied all needed files and then re-imaged the system. I would have liked to have checked out ShroomCloud’s (April 9, 2008) suggestion to see if that could have been the issue but too late now.

  • You will never be happy using Vista. Your life will gradually get darker. Your wife will leave you, your kids will turn into drug addicts. Don’t use Vista for your own family’s sake. Get Linux, MS-DOS, Posix or better yet, get Commodore 64. Then you’ll see sheer happines and you life will prosper.

  • Anonymous

    Helpful posts to problems listed here are beneficial and are appreciated. Your post really doesn’t address our issue. For some of us, throwing away everything and starting from scratch with a totally different system, for various reasons, isn’t an option. But thank you for playing!

  • You’re welcome. Next time I’ll add a big red “JOKE” sign so that you and people like you get it. And by the way, the word “Vista” is pretty much equal to the word “Joke” anyway. I guess you got no clue what “Commodore 64” stand for 🙂

  • Acretian

    Thanks guys, Checked the win logon registry i’m now able to c the screen and my machine is infected i can take it from here

  • Sean

    Like other people who posted here, restarting in safe mode isn’t working. I was able to open a command prompt with my restore partition but sadly I lack the knowlege to make much use of it and the command prompt isn’t being run as administrator.Any ideas at all anyone?

  • Anonymous

    start unit in safe mode with command prompt. run msconfig from command prompt, then select Diagnostic startup. answer yes to the system restart. when it (if it comes up) comes up. Run msconfig again and select normal startup and reboot the unit. This worked for me

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much, u r the best, it work!!!! I believe I have spend hours trying to figure out why my desktop was blank (I mean I try everything), again thanks.”Headcult said… I have a 100% tested solution for this problem. 1)Run regedit.exe and proceed to the following registry hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon 2)Look for the String Value “Shell” and it should contain the data value of: “Explorer.exe” (w/o the quotes). 3)In my case it contained some thing like this : Explorer.exe C:Windowssystem32spoolsv32.exe 4) So remove the rest of the code and just put “Explorer.exe”. 5) This should do. It worked like a charm to me. Reply if you like the solution. December 30, 2007 12:44 PM”

  • Had the same problem. Uninstalling Virtual PC 2007 solved my problem.Robin

  • Anonymous

    what i did is i clicked ctrl alt & delete and clicked new task and put c:/ and it came out went to windows and click explorer.exe every thing appeared and used system restore

  • Okay, If you try this and it doesn’t work, probably the problem is not with your windows vista OS at all. If your computer Laptop or PC, has a NVIDIA graphic card, it is most likely that your VC is the problem. You see many NVIDIA cards even though they say they are compatible with Vista they aren’t, so when your video card NVIDIA needs to communicate with the OS (like for controlling the fans etc.) your OS does not respond to you VC requests. The best thing to do is to change your NVIDIA card for a newer one or one of a different brand. I fix computer for a living and that is how I fix the windows black screen of Death!!!! For those of you who uses Dell or HP waranty plans you’ll see that what they do is change your video card to resolve this issue or your motherboard if you have a Laptop. If it helps you please leave me a nice comment in my Website

  • Anonymous

    System restore worked for me.

  • Peacher

    I have vista home premium, the registry think didn’t work for me, I already had “explorer” in there. But erwin’s solution with Cyberlink worked for me. Thanks so much 🙂

  • Torkiliuz

    Virus Infected System Try Another! Like for example: –

  • Hi,I’ve this problem!I’ve black screen after auto-login in vista business. I’ve Fujitsu Siemens PC with the original license and i’ve GeForce 8700GT Video Card.When i arrived to black screen i’ve the mouse pointer but i can’t make nothing (ex. CTRL+ALT+DEL, WIN+R, WIN+E, CTRL+ALT+ESC). I’ve attend 10 minutes but the screen remaining black.I’ve disabled “restore point” and so..when i click (in F8 mode) the voice “LAST CONFIGURATION … ” the black screen is always with me :)help me please, i’m very desperate!!PS I’ve tried to restore vista and i’ve make CHKSDK, i haven’t other idea.

  • Anonymous

    Hey guys, I got rid of that black screen after windows login, I simply installed the new ati drivers for my xpress1100 ati card. You need to d/l and install the new drivers manually because windows driver searcher will not find it.

  • Hi!For those folks who failed to fix the issue with the solutions above (nothing worked for me).I actually spent over 7 hours troubleshooting the dreaded black screen after log on and doing some research.In my case the problem was with corrupted event log files, that prevented “Windows Event Log” service from working normally.To troubleshoot this case:1. On the affected machine, boot using the Vista Media (i.e. the Vista install DVD or any Vista Media that is bootable will work) and Select “Next”.2. Then in the bottom left you will see “Repair your Computer”, select “Next”, then select “Command Prompt”.3. Type in the following commands:—C:cd windowssystem32winevtrename Logs Logs.bak—4. Restart the system normally.Hope this helps.Dmitry

  • Anonymous

    Oh my god! Headcult you are my hero, I was expecting a fresh install, but thanks to you I didn’t have to!

  • Anonymous

    Pradesh saysI have tried headcult method and it worked.Thank you very much as i have been trying for 3 days with this problem with no success. Bye Black screen

  • Looking at these posts and several other fora, I would say that this black screen (and frozen disk activity) problem can arise in many ways, with triggers that might be one of many executables. A systematic way to work out what is going on if the fault appears after logon, is to start up in safe mode (hit f8 while booting), and go to Start ->Run -> msconfig and look at the startup tab programs, one of which is probably failing to work properly. In my case it WAS a program, not a Service (another msconfig tab), fortunately.The normal way to sort this out amongst (in my case 44) many startup programs is to un-tick (disable)HALF of them (I ordered them by manufacturer first to help recall which ones I'd tried later on). Start the machine normally – if it doesn't black screen, go to msconfig and and enable HALF of the rest, and so on. If at some point the machine black screens, start up in safe mode, untick the ones you ticked in the most recent step (see what I mean about keeping track of what you have done) and tick the OTHER HALF you left unticked before at the previous step. Start normally to make sure no black screen, and then go to msconfig and enable HALF the remaining unticked ones…..and so on. The is called a workflow, algorithm or binary chop method, take your pick, but it's nearly the fastest way to track down to one startup program that's causing the issue. (For the mathematiciains amongst us, the fastest way might be to use "e" (2.718) as the base, not 2, but it's harder arithmetic!In my case the guilty party was an Intel program igfxpers.exe. This method doesn't give a reason , just finds a guilty program – ie sentencing doesn't recognise motive, just the crime! Fortunately it seems (from other fora) these Intel startup display options programs aren't vital (unless you are changing monitors and resolutions a lot) and so disabling has nothing but a beneficial effect for my system.In my case this issue just started to happen after a year of using my Toshiba Vista P200 laptop without any discernable change to my system, unless Windows Update or Norton 360 created, amended or destroyed something behing my back.One of your correspondents mentions "autoruns.exe" as a freely available diagnosic program, whicj identifies the much larger number of underlying startup programs, sub-programs and services. This might have been necessary, but the msconfig isn't a bad way to start since 44 is only 2 to the power of somewhere between 5 or 6, this being, then, the number of steps in this methodology to narrow down to igfxpers.exe, with the lead pipe in the library! autoruns might lead more directly to a registry entry with a missing program, but otherwise it might be quite a few (2 to the power n where n is large) steps to narrow down to one .exe, .dll or whatever.Sorry for all the words, I hope this might help someone approach the problem systematically where their issue might not be the same program as anyone else. Brian

  • Anonymous

    I would love to try one of these solutions but selecting (any) Safe Mode options is still leading me to the same black screen just with a bigger cursor arrow…what now, any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!!

  • Anonymous

    I have a Hp Pavilion and i resolved when i disabled Quickplay Task Scheduler service.

  • For those of you that only get the black screen and a cursor, try this: hit SHIFT key repeatedly 5 times quickly – I was able to fix by pressing SHIFT 5 TIMES at the black screen. A dialog popped up for sticky keys. Clicking the link for advanced settings started an explorer and allowed entering commands in the address bar. A good one to try isC:windowssystem32msconfig.exeor if you want to edit services manuallyc:windowssystem32services.mscor:explorerThe point being, shutdown all services and startup items and work backward.I found that the Event Log Service was hanging the startup due to corrupt event log files. I manually deleted them. And the black screen problem went away. Seriously! Too bad it took two FULL days of hacking to find this fix.

  • Anonymous

    I got the black screen after log in yesterday, all I could see was the coursor and I could move it. Tried in safe mode, same thing exept it said safe mode in the corners. Ctrl-alt-del etc didn’t work, resetting the pc to an earlier point didn’t work. The only fix was ubuntu.

  • Anonymous

    DSUMIN, you are the man (or possibly woman). I worked on this for 2 days. Thank you very much.

  • Jes

    I’ve attempted many of the “solutions” above (mostly all of the regedit stuff), however a couple of the solutions say “..go to the control panel …” however I can’t get beyond the black screen of death (not even in safe mode). I’ve tried to run explorer.exe but I get the message “c:windowsexplorer.exe is not a valide Win32 application”.I’ve spent 2.5 hours with Dell on the phone who told me to contact Microsoft. Spent 2.5 hours on chat with them and they told me that they will escalate the issue and have a specialist(?) call me back?I really don’t want to do a reinstall, but it seems it’s coming to that (felt like I’ve wasted enough time on this).Any last thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    First off, Vista is complete POO! MS should be ashamed at releasing such a poor product, that is clearly leaving customers badly supported.There are clearly lots of problems that stop the desktop being displayed, so you will probly have to work through the various solutions people have presented.My problem was caused by a corrupt system log. I could not run task manager.System restore had no effect. The biggest issue is to get into your system to see what is going on. Regular Safe mode did not work for me, but safe mode with DOS did. After this I typed in explorer.exe into the command prompt and hey presto, a desktop. 🙂 Control panel, administrative tools, event viewer.. and the currupted log jumped out at me. Cleared the log, rebooted and all was fine.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you sooo much i followed your instructions and it really did work..even though i couldn’t find the lsass.sys. file i did uncheck the other files that couldn’t be found then restarted and NO Black screen! my desktops back to normal…thank god i was about to wipe everything off!! thanks again:)

  • Great work but unf. it didn't solve my problem. I did find a solution however.

  • Anonymous

    Erwin's solution worked for me: Remove Cyberlink's services from msconfig on an HP laptop.

  • Do Tuan Linh

    Hi pals,I had the same problem with my "HP pavillion entertainment" laptop. Having tried all the suggestions and nothing worked. Until I saw Richard post, and I found the file userinit.exe was not there in the C:Windows. In my case it was in C:WindowsSystem32. So I just copied it into the C:Windows and it solved. For those who dont know how to go from start, just Ctrl+Alt+Del –>Start Task Manager –>File menu –>New Task (Run…) and type "explorer" (w/o quotes), then do as I did above.Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous

    I have a C500 Compaq. Screen black after log-in, white arrow visible. ran msconfig, services tab – checked box to hide microsoft services and then clicked on the disable option. Rebooted comp and it works marve – home screen appeared immediately after 'welcome' screen.thanks for your suggestions

  • Baristaguy

    Thank you, dsumin – post on 02/01/09.I've been spending several hours trying things posted to get rid of (B)KSOD…renaming the log file worked the first time I tried it. Great!

  • Anonymous

    “The Black Screen software : An Anti-competitive Practice by Microsoft”(18.7.2009)Singapore must take the view that the global ‘black screen’ measure compulsorily imposed by Microsoft constitutes an act that falls within the domain of anti-competitive practice as envisaged by the Competition Act 2004. The question is whether a rightful owner be allowed by law to obtain unfair competitive edge via contractual advantage to the detriment of an innocent buyer/individual/users ?Although the Copyright Act 2005 and the Computer Misuse Act 1990 guarantee certain legal rights to the owner, they do not allow the rightful owner carte-blanche freedom to embark on anti-competitive measures with a view to protect his rights to the prejudice-and/or at the expense of consumer rights.No doubt section 7(1) of CMA’s “without authority or lawful excuse” is a stark reminder to all, but it is by no means an insurmountable wall of defence for Microsoft. If it can be shown that Microsoft themselves had in fact implemented the black screen ‘without proper authority and without lawful excuse’, the imposition of the black screen would be declared as unconstitutional and illegal not only under the Computer Misuse Act but also under section 47(2)(a) and(b) of the Competition Act 2004 pertaining to abuse of dominant position :47(1) Subject to section 48, any conduct on the part of one or more undertakings which amounts to the abuse of a dominant position in any market in Singapore is prohibited. (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), conduct may, in particular, constitute such an abuse if it consists in :(a) predatory behaviour towards competitors; (b) limiting production, markets or technical development to the prejudice of consumers;(c) applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage; or In any event, the last remedy against the black screen can be found in the law of restitution.The legitimacy of the black screen (and the Windows Genuine Advantage tool) may be tested in Court-if not in Singapore- it may be initiated in the EU or Australia. The black screen is not the only example of an unfair measure enforced by Microsoft in its global anti-competitive blocking strategy.……………………….Jeong Chun

  • Anonymous

    Had the same problem It was due to explorer not loading at login and as you know it may be an internet browser but it also configures your desktop(Mr Gates in his attempts to rule the world made the browser part of the operating system) I could get it working by using F8 at startup and choosing safe mode with dos prompt then typing explorer at prompt to rectify problem go to dos prompt type rstrui this is the system restore that won't work in windows this will give you a recommended date of last saved registry choose that (interestingly on my laptop that was the date before vista update!)of course in time it will want to load service pack 2 etc but in my case it was OK – Hope that helps – phil

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this info. It at least got me started in the right direction. My issue was the image path for explorer.exe itself was incorrect, it simply said "explorer.exe". I double checked that values for the other "user's" on the system like the SYSTEM account and Admin account and they gave the full path "C:Windowsexplorer.exe". I simply updated mine. My guess is there must be some timing issue involved and when the system path environment variable is set and that's why it sometimes works and other times we're plagued with the black screen at login.

  • Anonymous

    the fix is from DSUMINHi!For those folks who failed to fix the issue with the solutions above (nothing worked for me).I actually spent over 7 hours troubleshooting the dreaded black screen after log on and doing some research.In my case the problem was with corrupted event log files, that prevented "Windows Event Log" service from working normally.To troubleshoot this case:1. On the affected machine, boot using the Vista Media (i.e. the Vista install DVD or any Vista Media that is bootable will work) and Select “Next”.2. Then in the bottom left you will see “Repair your Computer”, select "Next", then select "Command Prompt".3. Type in the following commands:—C:cd windowssystem32winevtrename Logs Logs.bak—4. Restart the system normally.Hope this helps.Dmitry

  • KSODed

    My friend suggested to scan my laptop with these three:AVAST! Home Edition,CCleaner andMalwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.After removing/deleting ALL the infected/malicious files/registry, the KSOD was gone. I no longer see the black screen with the white mouse pointer. I hope this helps.

  • Bratz Doll

    Having the same problem, it started yesterday with KSOD and "COM Surrogate has stopped working". fixed the COM problem, then KSOD and "Userinit Logon has stopped working." Followed the instructions above to fix it using Autoruns, system crashed before I could do anything. Now it's just KSOD with cursor. Tried a format and clean install with XP, it doesn't want to read from the CD. Safe Mode booted into KSOD, I restarted, Safe Mode wouldn't work, restarted, Safe Mode booted into KSOD….and so on and so on. !!!!!!!!!However I will try all the solutions given, will post back here if successful!!!CindyP.S. have had this HP Compaq CQ60 for 4 months. Before this had a 20GB HDD 256MB RAM Acer with XP for four years, the lil thing never gave me grief.

  • Here's the thing. I've read almost all of your comments/solutions. Mine is: I cannot even log on the system. No keyboard input possible, nothing. All I can do is move the mouse around over the blank screen, but there is no way of accessing anything! I'm looking for something to repair the registry offline. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    My problem is this:First the black screen appeared AFTER I logged in and took hell long to fully load my desktop like 10 minutes+. Then when I tried to click on something, it froze so I had to restart. I looked online every where and tried everything and downloaded every possible program and ran many scans. I then decided to disable UAC.After I restarted my laptop, the black screen appeared BEFORE the login page. Now I'm currently on safemode searching around for a solution.Thanks Vista, you piece of shit

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable!! The Shailesh tip`s work for me. This the only way I can access the explorer.exe!

  • Anonymous

    Headcult's solution about the "explorer.exe" in the Winlogon registry worked perfectly for me. Prior to that, i had spent 20 hours of endless testing various solutions.Thanks !

  • Anonymous

    SolvedMy case for posterityHP Pavilion DV4 1413la with Vista, KSOD CTRL + ALT + DEL Task Manager Crash, Safe Mode worked.The only solution that worked was disabling UAC.

  • Anonymous

    how do you install autoruns when you Windows Vista won't even load?

  • MindHunter

    Ctrl + Alt + Del doesn't work for me. I have been hunting for many websites to solve this issue. But the thing is my screen still remains black.

  • Tom

    hello,after i start my acer aspire 6000, the 'acer empowering people' apears, then it lets me choose which mode i want to run my laptop,:safe modenormal mode etc.i select normal mode, and then my screen turns black, and nothing happens…..what do i do?

  • That sounds like it may be a different problem than the one here. If you cannot revert the computer back to the last restore point, then perhaps try running in safe mode and uninstalling the last program you installed before it stopped working. But this is not a computer technicians' forum, and so my main recommendation is that you ignore my advice and ask your question someplace more appropriate! 🙂

  • I had a similar pb. Black screen or blue when i created a new user. The good news is my admin account worked. I was like pulling my hair out looking far away. SOLUTION: Restore your system to before the pb, for system restore will restore registry values, for I know most of these pbs are sourced from the registry.

  • Smelly_cow

    how do you “Run” Isass .sys?

    • You don’t run it. Windows runs it at startup. To select that it run or not run you need to modify which Windows modules of this sort run when Windows starts. See the instructions in the post for further details.

  • Smelly_cow

    Thank you, because iv’e been trying to open it with “run” which didn’t work.

  • Smelly_cow

    Why does this problem occur?

  • Smelly_cow

    Why do other people say i need to do something with a file called “shell” and why has it worked for others but not me?

  • Smelly_cow

    If you can, I would like you to make a tutorial on how to do this via video?

  • Smart

    How do you run it at startup?

  • I am not sure why most of the earlier comments on this post are not showing up, but I am no longer running Vista and so cannot make a tutorial, sorry.

  • smelly_cow

    how do you run the file at startup? sorry about the amount of questions, im anxious to fix it.

  • Mr. cool duude

    Same problem here,
     But know a short term solution that
    1 press ctrl+shift+del
    2 Click on start text manager
    3 File-> new task
    4 type C:
     your C drive will open atleast it will secure the data by coping it to another drive other than window’s drive
    Hope this method work for everyone

  • danish

    i didnt find any isass.sys. initially i was not able to download that autorun file. eventually i clicked for the direct run through theor web. and among the things thatshowed up in the log i simply unchecked three logs that showed  no file found against it. then i booted up again and the black screen vanished, finally. it was a like new lease of life for my comp. thanks. i hope it has not caused any other prob that i am not aware of. anyway thanks again for the much sought help.

  • Archana Chauhan