Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)

During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details

Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Suspect Registration problem.

by edjec / September 20, 2008 4:01 AM PDT


I apologize for the length of this post, but I wanted to include the most accurate information that I could. I am running Vista Home Premium on an Asus P4P800E-Deluxe MoBo, Intel P4 3Ghz/4GB, HIS/ATI HD 2600-XT 512Mb.

After a cold boot, the system comes up to the logon screen and is normal to this point. After login, the screen goes black with only the white arrow cursor (again normal). However, it never displays the Desktop, Start button, Task bar/Tray or Side bar. Just two black screens. Right clicking does not produce a menu and the system is unresponsive.

A three finger salute does bring up the screen allowing me to load the Task Manager, which I can then move to either screen. In reviewing the loaded processes dwm.exe is loaded as well as most other essential processes as compared to my laptop (running the same version) but explorer.exe is noticeably missing. If I try to manually start explorer, it will flash on in the processes screen for about ? second before disappearing.

I have been able to load any other programs I have tried, but must do so through the Task Manager with the Run cmd. I can also start system level programs by running a command screen. In short, the system runs fine except there is no Desktop and everything must be started manually. It's interesting to note that when I start a new program by using ?Run/Browse? explorer does function properly when started internally.

I have performed diagnostics and have even run sfc.exe in an attempt to correct the problem with no change in results. I have also checked the following registration entry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and the shell string is set to explorer.exe.

I have also run Boot Log and did not find any smoking guns. In searching tech forums and Microsoft's TechNet, I can find no reference to a situation such as this. I am convinced the problem resides within the Registration file, but have no idea where to look. What I obviously want to avoid is reinstalling Vista and having to reload all of my programs.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Ed McDermott

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Suspect Registration problem.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Suspect Registration problem.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
To help you find more clues.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2008 5:32 AM PDT
Collapse -
Suspect Registration problem.
by edjec / September 20, 2008 9:52 AM PDT

Thanks Bob,

I forgot about Event Viewer. After previewing the logs, I was unable to find any reference to Explorer failing to load or anything else I could put my finger on that might cause this problem.

Unfortunately, there are no restore files that predate this issue. It's never easy, is it?


Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!