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blank screen at startup

by blueflamedazn / October 16, 2007 7:44 AM PDT

I?m 90% sure this is caused directly or indirectly by a virus I accidentally installed through a program I wasn?t suppose to install. First thing?s first here are my laptop specs:

Asus A8JP
C2D 2.0gHz
Windows Vista Home Premium
ATI x1700 (catalyst 7.9 drivers)

So I ran the virus/Trojan program (not knowing it was, even though AVG warned me not to run?foolish move on my part) and a windows error window showed up saying something about needing to protect my computer and explorer.exe shut down along with other programs. So my computer restarts, I see the ASUS screen, then the ?windows is starting? screen. Then when it should get to the windows login screen, the screen is black and stays black after 5-10 minutes. If I vigorously move my mouse cursor while its starting up, the same black screen persists but I can now see the white mouse cursor and can move it around the black screen. Also when I press alt-tab I see 2 programs running and can alt-tab btwn the 2. One does not have a name (I?m presuming it?s the virus/Trojan program that?s preventing windows from starting up) and the other is named ?windows logon? so I?m guessing windows log-on is definitely running, but that unnamed program is preventing me from seeing the log-on screen or accessing the log on screen. So here are thigns I?ve tried (w/o any peripherals plugged into my laptop)

1. Safe mode starts up until the screen where the drivers/files are being loaded, and the ?please wait? screen, but right afterwards when its suppose to go into the desktop in safe mode, the machine restarts automatically in non-safe mode, brining back to the black screen I decribed before.
2. I inserted the windows recovery cd and can?t restore my computer to a previous restore point because I turned that feature off. I tried to automatic repair service but after the ?repair? I still get the blank screen.
3. I can use the command prompt via the recovery CD and have tried running ?chkdsk? which resulted in no errors. I also tried running ?sfc /scannow? but I get the message ?Windows File Protection could not be initiate a scan of protected system files?

I?m pretty confident the virus program has maybe indirectly or directly altered system files or display drivers so that I can?t access the log-in screen, or prevents me from booting into safe mode.

Is there any way I can boot from a USB disk drive that has a anti-virus scanning program I can run to rid the virus? Right now I can not even access safe mode nor the desktop, but can access my BIOS screen and the vista recovery CD.

I really hope to fix this blank screen problem w/o reformatting my hard drive as I have not backed up my personal files and do not wish to loose them. Thanks.

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What Program Did You Install That You Weren't Supposed To?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 16, 2007 10:08 AM PDT

That information might help us.

One note: I recently ran into something similar to your issue regarding the "Windows Logon".. There are a number of malware programs which will rename the critical "winlogon.exe" file to something else like "winlogon2.exe".. The malware then replaces the renamed file with a trojan also named "winlogon.exe". So the "bad" winlogon.exe is working as a trojan while still allowing the "good/real" winlogon.exe to sit beside it.. (The "good/real" file has an icon which looks like a blue window with a yellow half-moon inside so it's easy to identify.)

In my case, I used the XP Recovery Console to scan through the files in C:\Windows\System32 and find both the bad and the good versions of the file.. I deleted the bad file from the Recovery Console and renamed the good file back to its original/correct "winlogon.exe".. Rebooting the computer allowed it to load Windows so I could run antispyware scans and finish cleaning up the computer.

It might be worth checking..

Hope this helps.


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by blueflamedazn / October 16, 2007 12:04 PM PDT

hmmm i don't remember the name, but it was an exe file. I'm on vista and as far as i know, there is no recovery console to delete the good and bad version. any other suggestions?

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Could try a Linux LiveCD...
by John.Wilkinson / October 16, 2007 12:18 PM PDT
In reply to: .

Normally I'd suggest connecting the hard drive to another computer and access it that way, but without knowing what malware we're dealing with it's possible it would self-propagate to the other computer. Thus, I'd suggest using another computer to download/burn a Linux distro LiveCD, such as Ubuntu. You can boot to it, and then use a Linux-compatible antivirus application, such as Avira AntiVir, to scan your hard drive. After you've removed any malware found you can try running SFC again from the Vista DVD's command prompt, hoping it works out this time. If not you may have to turn to file recovery and prepare for a hard drive wipe as Vista lacks XP's convenient repair installation feature, but you will be able to get your files back, provided the malware hasn't destroyed them.


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same problem
by bobnedved / June 9, 2008 5:29 PM PDT

I am having the indentical problem. I definitely downloaded a virus. How did you fix it?

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access your desktop
by danielnky / July 23, 2008 9:36 PM PDT

Well, I just had the same problem : black screen at start. I was resigned to reformatting my laptop, so I was backup-ing my impt files thru the task manager. Through pure luck I discovered the way to restore your Desktop Screen.

1. "Ctrl" "Alt" "Del"
2. Select "Start Task Manager"
3. Select "Applications" tab, and click <New Task>
4. Click "Browse"
5. Just right click on any folders and select "Search"

This brought up my Desktop back.
At this very moment, I'm scanning my laptop with Anti-virus and spyware. Hopefully it will work...

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by stratusman1 / December 17, 2008 7:26 AM PST

ok ihave the same problem caused 100% virus...ok at the black screen covering the login press alt-tab press tab to swicth between the 2 winlogon.exe's hold alt-tab and press delete button on the one without the name or if they both have names just try either the event you delete the wrong one it ok just restart...anyways i dont know if thats all wrong with you but i got wAY more problems when i actually do get to sign in on normal mode but it's t start for you and anyone else who see's a black screen after the loading and before login's basically a part of virus that overlaps the exsisting winlogon.exe...i created this account to just help you out so dont bother msg me back...your welcome...good luck my friend

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