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Window Screen Blank After Startup Combined With Task Manager Disabled


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#1 magicfrog

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 05:34 AM

Hello, everyone!
This is my first post.
My problem seems multiple in nature and unique from any problem I have read.
My wife's computer is a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with Intel duo, running XP SP2, and it will not properly boot.
All it will do after POST and the "Starting Windows" screen is to load the cursor onto a blank screen (with the wall paper).
There is no taskbar, icons, or anything. I can move the cursor, but nothing happens.
The menu does not appear when I right-click, and I can not drag to form the outline of a square.
I can no longer bring up Windows Task Manager from CTRL+ALT+DEL. I get the error message saying "Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator".

I remember having seen this Task manager disabled message for quite sometime when I hit CTr-Alt-Del, but since it didnít affect other functions further so we just overlooked it (now it seems a fatal mistake).


I can load Safe Mode, then I see there are two accounts on the laptop, one is Administrator and the other is Dell (both with admin right).
When I log in Dell Account in Safe mode, I can see only a black screen with Safemode at the four corners and Serial # of windows XP on the top of the (tiny) screen, and nothing else works as described in Normal mode.
I tried the Administrator account. First there is only a black screen with Safemode at the four corners too, but I can load the task manager by CTRL+ALT+DEL.
From here I managed to run explore (by browsing into windows folder) and thus restore the screen with the usual icons, bar etcÖ

A look into the user accounts in control panel showed that there are two accounts
1. Administrator: with admin right
2. Dell: with admin right.

My first try is to delete the Dell account from Administrator Account, but no such option available from the managing menu
I cannot change the type of the Dell account either (from the two options: the guess status option was greyed- not available, only computer-administrator option is available)

If I restart the computer, it obviously goes straight to the Dell account without asking me, and I have no access to nothing there.
I canít regedit to see if the registry of Dell Account is set by any malware to disable my task manager since the Windows button wonít respond (as all other keys).

(Having looked at the registry when in Administrator Account: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/SoftwareMicrosoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/System everything here seems normal, no DisableTaskMgr entry)

Since the Administrator account is working to some extent (I mean I have to manually start Explorer), my amateur guess is that the Dell Account was compromised by a malicious virus, which makes the Dell account the only choice in Normal mode (no asking), and disables both Explorer and Task manager.

I canít find a way to go from there. I used another computer to download the Task manager disable fix posted in many forums, but I cannot access anything if I log into Dell account, so I canít apply the fix.
Pls help me. Any hint is appreciated.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 05:58 AM

I suggest obtaining a USB enclosure for a laptop hard drive...attaching the drive to a known, protected, working system...and scanning from their for malware.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...p;Sku=M501-1030

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817105015

Before I did that, I would try running the fixmbr or fixboot command from the Recovery Console of the XP CD. Before I did that, I would run chkdsk /r.

Louis

#3 magicfrog

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:24 PM

Thanks hamluis,

Unfortunately I did not find the XP CD coming with the laptop, do u think any XP CD (with license) would do? If not i am going to try the enclosure thing.

Regards

#4 dc3

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:49 PM

As this is being posted in the XP forum I will assume that you are running XP.

If this computer is still under warranty you should let Dell deal with this problem.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 magicfrog

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:23 AM

Hi guys ,
yes I am using XP. Unfortunately my Dell is no longer under warranty.
However the problem is solved after hours of desperate tweaking and blind trials. Here is the fix:

I used the Administrator Account to log in; Activate Windows Explorer then run Restore.
. The Restoring Point is just before I took some effort to build an internal network between my desktop (which still runs perfectly well) and my wife's laptop. Luckily it worked again quite smoothly.
Haven't found so far what is wrong with that, but very happy now that the laptop works (and my wife...)
Thank u guys for helping me. good to know that there is always someone there to ask.
Best

#6 hamluis

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:44 AM

System Restore proves its value...this time.

I believe that any suggestions related to scanning for malware, checking EV for errors, etc...still need to be followed up on.

Just one opinion...

Louis




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