I have a Windows XP Home computer that displays a black blank screen shortly after the splash screen is displayed. Here's the story leading up to this:
I reinstalled the original XP Home disk back into the machine that has been my Linux box. The machine came up, and I logged in.
The first thing I saw was all the game icons on the desktop. User accounts on this computer are all limited accounts, not administrators or power users, so it must have been me installing these games for my son, because I'm the only administrator.
The second thing I saw was the absence of a task bar at the bottom of the screen. Pressing windows-E wouldn't bring up the explorer. I had a computer that was in the functional equivalent of a vegetative state.
The next thing that occurred to me was that, since it's been 6 - 8 months since this XP Home disk has been installed and used, it must be very behind on updates. Since I have an SP2 disk, I figured I had a magic bullet that would be a reasonable first step, so I used it.
After rebooting, I watched the Bios messages, watched the XP Home splash screen come and go, and then nothing. Just a black and blank screen. I think an underling cursor was blinking in the upper left corner. The green monitor LED stayed green for minutes, while I waited for some sign of life. (if no video was being sent to the monitor, the LED would have turned amber. it didn't.)
I booted into safe mode and could do some things, but I'm at a loss as to why the screen between the splash screen and the login screen is the Black Screen of Death, and I'm at a loss as to why Explorer is apparently not running when logging in under a user account.
My current thinking is to declare victory and to reinstall. Problem is that I cannot find the original XP Home disks. I have a fresh and virgin copy of XP Pro that I wouldn't mind terribly installing. But if I'm going to do that, I want to do the install on an unused partition on the disk I have already installed Linux on, so that I can have a dual boot machine that uses a 200G 7200rpm 8Mbcache hard drive.
My preference is to solve the problem(s) and try to avoid scope creep.
Any thoughts on troubleshooting a dark XP Home login and missing task bar? (if this fails, the dual boot question will be next.)