XP taskbar goes black for about 1-2 minutes on logon

I have a Dell D830 laptop running windows XP SP3. When I logon, the start button/task bar/system tray show for a couple seconds, then goes black for about 1-2 minutes then the task bar/start button/system tray re-appear and the laptop runs just fine.

The taskbar will reappear and remains the normal blue color.

I have deleted and recreated the profile and the problem still persists.
The core issue is slow startup and the taskbar going temporarily black
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Darren SharplesSystems SpecialistCommented:
click start - run and type msconfig

click the startup tab and have a look at what is starting up.

you can untick anything that you dont want to start up when windows loads. if you dont recognise everything you can google the filename to see what it is.

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itplatoonAuthor Commented:
If I uncheck everything and reboot, then the issue goes away. If I recheck everything and reboot the issue returns. I have gone through and started to uncheck items but when I think I get it narrowed down to one or two items in the msconfig<startup tab, the issue returns. Seems like it is a moving target.
You could try running Process Explorer v11.33 to see if it spots a rogue program running.....if you can identify one, it's a straightforward removal >


If the 'rogue' seems to be an infection, try running Malwarebytes....or even run MBAM immediately.   You should download & update Malwarebytes anti-Malware, from here:
When updated, reboot into Safe Mode by depressing F8 and run a scan.

Tutorial available, if you require >

If you cannot run mbam, try downloading a new mbam and rename it *before* saving it to your desktop, then try again.
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>Seems like it is a moving target<         << that may well be due to a Malware infection.

You could also try Trend Micro's, free, HouseCall 7.1, online virus scanner:
Ideal for scanning online, using "Safe Mode with networking".
Darren SharplesSystems SpecialistCommented:
you mentioned that the main issue is slow startup as well as the black taskbar, You should try to keep as many of those startup options unticked as you can to improve startup and overall performance.  Click the services tab also and untick what you dont need from there, be aware that you should only untick things from here that you dont need to work at all on the pc. the startup tab files that you untick can still be run manually.

install spybot with teatimer, if you do have a virus that is trying to make system changes then teatimes will alert you of this
itplatoonAuthor Commented:
As Sharpting advised, I unchecked all items in the startup tab under msconfig. The blank task bar issue stopped. I then started re-adding the startup items, one by one and not in any partiular order.

After completing this process, the blank taskbar problem has gone away.

I think the order for startup may have changed but I am not sure.
This certainly was a strange issue but tinkering with the startup items in MSconfig has helped resolve the problem.
itplatoonAuthor Commented:
Thanks, looking into the startup folder in msconfig resolved the issue.
Darren SharplesSystems SpecialistCommented:
I'm glad your issue is now resolved but I would still be hesitant to re-enable anything before familerising myself with what each one is.  Googling them should identify what they are.
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Windows XP

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