winnt4 server screen goes black after login

Posted on 2006-04-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Upon booting up the server after shutdown for the weekend, the system boots normally, the login screen is normal, but when you enter your name and password and hit enter, the screen goes black. I can bring up the task manager and log out to try logging in again, but get the same thing. The network seems to function ok as all the workstations and printers are working fine. Tried rebooting 5 times, no good. Even tried the revert to last known operating system, no good. Tried to repair with NT setup disk, but it could not read the emergency disk and says it can not find nt on the hardrive. Don't know what else to try, Any Hints???? Also tried to login with different users, same thing, but on some, if the background was set to a pattern the pattern would come up, no icons are any other features.
Question by:xman43r
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Doesn't NT offer a boot to VGA mode selection during boot?  It sounds like a display problem, this could get you up with a low res display screen for trouble shooting.

    Author Comment

    NT does offer a VGA mode, but that gives the same result. The video is working because I can bring up task manager and use it. They're just no icons or task bar that comes up on the screen. The black screen seem to be because the background is set to black. Each time I log in I now get a DR Watson warning claiming a access violation and that a log file is being generated. This is visible, after that the screen goes blank (no icons or task bar). Checking the watson log show a application exception occurred in Rundll32.dbg. I am still on a learning curve, so I don't understand what all this is trying to tell me... Larry
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Hello Larry I have seen similar problems related to PSU failing to push enough juice to run a video card and causing the black monitor.
    Also have seen this related to swollen capicitors on the mainboard.
    Try another monitor.As the fact is all the other clients seem to be running ok.
    What was happening before you tried to repair NT?

    Does this happen in safemode?
    Can you access safemode, if possible grab the events errors and paste them here.
    Just a few that is.
    These can help diagnose what is going as rundll errors can be a wide variety of issues.

    Check for spyware malware. Spam in your inbox maybe full.
     run a disck cleanup
    Download and update the databases on each program before running and run them in SAFE MODE if you can and if you can't then run them in normal mode.

    How to Reboot into Safe Mode. You can do this by restarting your computer and continually tapping the F8 key until a menu appears. Use your up arrow key to highlight Safe Mode, then hit enter.

    Also make sure you are using the latest version (1.99.1) of HijackThis and it's installed in it's own folder on the root drive. (C:\HJT)

    Open Hijackthis, click  scan and save a logfile
    then navigate to  hijackthis folder and copy out the log file
     contents and paste the log here

     click "Analyse", "Save". at the very bottom of this page..  
    look down this page and you can see your analysed log, ity does immediately.
    Copy the address/url  of this page and post that link  here.
    Ad-Aware® SE Personal Edition
    *Note* For Ad-AwareSE also install the VX2 Add-on Cleaner
    To run this tool once Adaware is updated click on Add-ons in the left-hand column. Select VX2 Cleaner V2.0 and click Run Tool. Click "OK" , then, if something is found, click "Clean" as in the directions given. Click "Close", and exit Ad-Aware.

    Spybot Search & Destroy
    Run an Antivirus/Spyware scan

    If you have a high speed connection Please go to at least two of these sites and run an online Virus Scan. This will help clear out a lot of the malware first so the Analyst's can then attack the main infections.

    If you already have an Antivirus program make sure you have an updated database for it and run it as well. You need to do both as one scanner may pick up what the other missed.

    Be sure to have the AutoFix box(es) checked if they are required.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    If you are seeing an error being generate, then you are fairly far into the login process.
    Have you tried a ctrl-alt-delete at that point?  If it works, then the taskmanager will open.  Go to File, select Run and type Explorer

    That should start explorer.exe which is the program that tracks and shows the icons on the desktop, as well as many other functions.

    Bottom line, it may get you in, so you can look around and figure out what's happening.

    Good Luck

    Author Comment

    Win NT 4 Server does not have a safe mode. The video card and monitor are ok. The black screen comes from the fact that my background was set to black. So the screen is coming up, just no icons or task bar.

    Tried ctrl-alt-del which does bring up task manager. But when I try to run explorer, it comes back with "File not found".
    Using a workstation, I checked the winnt directory and the explorer.exe file was there.

    I used a workstation to run a full virus scan on the server, but it came back negitive, no virus...

    Seems that I have had some sort of file corruption or hardrive possibly failing.
    Will try to re-install software Monday to see if this helps.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    VGA Mode is the equivalent of safe mode.  It causes the server to load base drivers, rather than advanced drivers.

    You might consider using your workstation to move a new copy of explorer to the server.  That would be fast, especially if it solved the problem

    Also consider downloading Dameware NT utilities, which would allow you to remote control the server, but give you a few more options to conrol it. - thirty day trial

    Good Luck
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    I'm with Merete, I have seen many times when it gets really wierd, that a new power supply fixes it right up.  That would be worth a try before the reinstall.  AAMOF, I just fixed a dual processor server that would give processor errors on boot and show only one processor by swapping the power supply, but of course I checked everything else first!

    I'm gonna try to remember to swap the power supply first the next time I see it all get just too wierd.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    The black screen comes from the fact that my background was set to black. So the screen is coming up, just no icons or task bar.
    no taskbar no icons is not caused by black bacground, I have black background lol that is hard to say.
    It is always recomended to run several scanners what one misses another finds:
    A virus called F-Nimda can cause this.
    Info here...

    Download the fix...

    "Download TweakUI from the link below, install it, click Start>Run, and type in TWEAKUI now click ok, in the window that pops up, click on Pepair, now click on the down arrow in the right hand pane, make sure Rebuild Icons is selected, now click Repair Now, Click OK, then Reboot, al should be well then."

    Tweak UI for Windows NT

    (and Windows 95)
    To display the taskbar:
    1. Right-click the desktop lower left Start button, click Properties,
    2. and then, on the Taskbar tab > clear the Auto-hide the taskbar check box.

    3. Otherwise
    If you have temporarily hidden the taskbar by dragging the top edge down, drag the visible edge upward to redisplay the taskbar.

    Author Comment

    While looking at the root dir on the server, I noticed there was a 100 or more temp files called glm000*.tmp. Dont know what these are, so I deleted all of them. This brought back the icons and task bar upon login. Just as I thought I had it made ,the system came up with another error. This time it says that the file explorer.exe cannot be found ( even though it was there). That was the last straw.....formated disk and reinstalled server software and supporting software. Everything working fine now. I will probably never know what happened to cause the original problem, because this was taking way to much time. Thanks to all who took time to help!!!!!
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    The SHELLFIX.REG file is used to fix Explorer startup problems
    resulted from unconditional termination of F-Nimda tool during
    its operation.
    If F-Nimda tool is terminated by a user or operating system while
    it is scanning a hard disk, there will be no icons and no taskbar
    on Windows desktop. To fix the problem you will have to run the
    SHELLFIX.REG file.

    You can execute this file on an affected NT-based systems
    (Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP) from Task Manager.
    Please follow these instructions:

    1. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL

    2. Select 'Task Manager'

    3. Select 'File' menu

    4. Select 'New Task'

    5. In the opened dialog window input the path to the SHELLFIX.REG
    file, for example if the file is on a diskette, input
    'A:\SHELLFIX.REG' (without quotes) and press 'Enter'

    6. Windows will ask you if you want to add information from the
    REG file to the Registry, answer 'Yes'

    7. Restart your system and the problem will be solved.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    cool thank you

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