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"Users" get Blank Screen at Logon, Administator's Works

Posted on 2010-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I have a computer that I just loaded with XP Professional SP3, and when I logon as any standard User account, the desktop is completely blank....no taskbar or anything.  I can ctr-alt-del and get Task Manager.

If I logon as an administrator, or put any standard user in the "Administrators" group it works fine.

I need a solution that does not include reloading the software.  I have spent too many hours securing it.
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Question by:rand1964
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Rob Hutchinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 30244182
It looks like there is something in the default profile that is requiring an administrator account to run.

What happens if you:

Click the Start button then the ‘Run…’ menu choice and type in msconfig
This runs a program that will give an option to disable programs not needed to run Windows. If not sure what programs need disabling, it’s best to leave them.

Note here: the two tabs to be concerned with are the ‘Services’ and ‘Startup’ tabs.
On the Services tab, check the box, [  ] ‘Hide All Microsoft Services’ to prevent disabling services Windows needs to run.
On the ‘Startup’ tab, you can uncheck as much as needed here.

If you disable most of the programs trying to start when logging into Windows, will it let the account with user's permissions login?

Another trick to getting past that blank screen to help diagnose the problem( not as a solution) is to choose
"File . New Task (Run...) from the Task Manager and type in "explorer" to force the Windows explorer to load....it may still just hang, but it might force a profile load and let you see an error message.
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by:rand1964
ID: 30323081
I will try the the first part that you suggest when I get back in on Tuesday.

The last part I have tried.  You type in Explorer.exe on "New Task" and explorer breifly shows up in the running Apps list and then disappears and I get no errors nd no profile load.

So you think that maybe that profile is disabling certain Services as it tries to load?
I have tries a "Diagnostic" Startup in MSCONFIG and it didn't help.
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by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 30529854
Yep, I'll attach some print screens so show you where:


msconfig-1.bmp
msconfig-2.bmp
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by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 30530055
At least this will tell you if it is a program that is blocking the profile from loading.

If the profile loads fine after this, then just start re-enabling a few at a time to see when the login locks up again.
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by:rand1964
ID: 30631110
OK, I tried this and it dod not solve my problem, so that tells me it isn't a program that it doing it.

If the Administrators work and the "Users don't, that tells me it is a permissions thing...but where?  I have looked in the obvious places.
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by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 30651197
Can you check the event viewer logs, both Application and system?
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by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 30651463
maybe even the security logs.

First reboot the computer, then try to login using "user" permissions, then press CTRL ALT DEL, restart, then login as admin and check the event viewer logs to give you some clue as to what is causing the lockup.

umm, wondering also what type hardware this is, and how many different computers is this happening to?
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by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 30651603
If you want, you can also export the log files, and then upload them here.
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Author Comment

by:rand1964
ID: 31040148
OK...I solved it.  It is a Registry Key setting called "CrashOnAuditFail" and if it is enabled, it is to instantly shutdown the computer if the User cannot be audited by the Event Security Log.
This makes no sense to me why it is doing this because the security log is not even close to being full.  DSS requires this setting to be in place....so I am in a catch 22.  

Thank you WiRedNeT for your help, you helped point me in the right direction, and you di a fantastic job showing the graphics.  I am awarding you all the points but I am going to split the solution...and if anybody has any ideas on how to get this to work I would love to hear it.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Hutchinson
ID: 31715566
Found this article although it doesn't look like an exact match, it has some helpful info:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888179

One thing it says that's interesting is that they say it might be because the security log is full.

You can try setting the security log settings to auto overwrite events as needed.
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