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Robert Perez-CoronaFlag for United States of America

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Start menu gone with black background after logon

I have an issue with a single computer with xp sp3 and internet explorer 8. The reason is because we need to migrate to ie8 so that our software is compatible with our clients needs.

In my test environment we used a 2008 sever but we have a 2003 server in our live environment.

The issue:

When I log onto the machine, the background turns blacks and the start menu is gone. We have the same gpo's in our lab environment and this does not seem to happen. However, our software dialog still appears as it's suppose to upon logging on to the machine.

Is it possible that the IE8 gpo settings might be causing this?

Feel free to ask any questions in order to provide more details.


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I would suggest reading this article thoroughly
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Does it work on other PCs with xp sp3 and internet explorer 8?

If yes, update the video drivers on the PC with the issue and install all latest OS critical updates ad most recent directx ver
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Dr. Klahn

This sounds similar to the effects of a virus that's been making the rounds recently.  There has been some commentary about it here on EE.  Has the afflicted system been virus scanned?
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Thanks for the input.

Yes it works on other pc's

What is weird is that this only happens with the user profile. If you log on as an administrator this does not happen.

This user has a mandatory profile attached to it that resides on the DC's share. We have 3 GPO's that are configured for this user. I've tried to disable them, but I have gotten inconsistent results.

I disable a GPO and the profile works, NO black screen issue and then enable the other and it stops working.  Then all of a sudden I enable the other and it stops working. Sometimes when I have the "working" GPO enabled by itself it doesn't work either.

Very inconsistent.

Thanks again for the input.

Looks like explorer is killed?

Can you start explorer from the Task Manager

What policies are you applying?

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Robert Perez-Corona
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Why would you have a screensaver running at logon? It should only be inactivity....
Since it's a public computer, that is our IT policy.
So now that we know what is causing the issue, why do you think this is happening?

I still need to have this run when the user logs on. How can I do this while preventing the black screen that covers the start menu? Remeber I have a mandatory profile that resets when the machine reboots.


In all honesty, I dont understand why it has to run AT LOGON. Specifying it via policy? Absolutely, but I dont think it needs to run at LOGON.

Is Autologon enabled? If anything set it to 1 minute inactivity.....
We need to run it at logon for a few reasons. Advertisement been one of them.

Yes autologon is enabled.

Do you mean setting the screensaver to that? We must run in upon logon. The rest of the machines are configured that way as well. Only difference is the outdated 3rd party apps and ie6 instead of ie8.

What else could be conflicting with this .scr file at startup that causes a black background that covers the start menu?

Thanks for the input.

There is another program that we run in the "run these programs at logon" GP setting. It's the GUI  to our software which prompts the user to select a language. It's a dialog with a language selection.

We have these two running without issues on other machines. For some apparent reason it only happens on this one machine with ie8.
Can you post an image of it?
I can't capture an screenshot at the moment because other people are using the machine.

But we have a gui exe file that is configured to run at logon as well as the screensaver.

When you run them both the gui(its a small language selection dialog) and the SS the a black screen overides the start/taskbar menu and only the language dialog shows.

I've tried reversing the order in which they run and it still occurs. I run the SS by itself, no problem. I run the GUI.EXE by itself, no problem.

Im sorry, I dont know what the problem could be....
A screensaver was the culprit. The cause is unknown but it was definitely causing an issue during login