Advertisement

There's no such thing as a stupid question, but they're the easiest to answer.
Login
Search

Advertisement

Windows XP Windows XP
Search Search
Search for:
Tech Support Guy > > >

taskbar and menus turn black


(!)

Theano's Avatar
Theano Theano is offline
Junior Member with 5 posts.
THREAD STARTER
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Experience: Advanced
03-Aug-2004, 11:42 AM #1
taskbar and menus turn black
I am posting this problem now, although after searching the forums there are some things I should try when I get back to the problem computer, such as starting in Safe Mode or reinstalling my video driver. I'm not sure I have seen this exact problem though.

It is a Compaz 700 series laptop running WinXP Home with 256mb RAM. All WinXP updates are installed. I'm running eTrust antivirus and on an encrypted wireless network behind a router, run AdAware frequently and delete everything it finds.

I've had the computer for over two years and this problem has starting occurring within the past couple of months. It used to happen only occasionally and seemingly randomly, but now it happens every time I start up, usually within a couple minutes, and with no applications running according to Task Manager.

There will be a loud click or pop sound effect, the desktop will flash black and white, and then various items will turn black - usually, the taskbar and various (some or all) icons on it, Start menu, and the menu bars of any windows that are open. The blacked-out menu items and taskbar icons still work - that is, if I double-click in the clock area of the taskbar I get the Date & Time control panel and if I click in the Close or Minimize area of an open window's menu bar, that will happen. Also, if I open new windows, those menu bars are not black, but sometimes they turn black eventually. However, there's no way to get rid of the black, short of restarting.

When I go to restart, I get a process that will not end and must be manually shut down, this is "doctapi." I don't know if this is related.

After restarting the problem occurs again within a few minutes.

I guess it does sound video related, but why would it suddenly be a problem; I'm not aware of anything changing on my system.

Thanks very much for any suggestions,
Theano
natcom's Avatar
Senior Member with 2,243 posts.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: new york
Experience: Nerd
03-Aug-2004, 11:46 AM #2
yeah try to reinstall the video drivers and let us know we then take it from there
Theano's Avatar
Theano Theano is offline
Junior Member with 5 posts.
THREAD STARTER
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Experience: Advanced
03-Aug-2004, 09:41 PM #3
Hello, I did reinstall the video driver (S3 Twister, it did not have a new version or update). Naturally, when I started up the computer in order to do this, I did not get the problem for the first time in ages. Instead, while restarting there was the strange sound, which is like a boing or spring more than a pop or click, and everything flashed black a couple times, and a couple of icons briefly turned black, but went back to normal. Nevertheless I went ahead and uninstalled then reinstalled the driver. During the time while the driver was uninstalled, the same thing happened with the odd noise, the flashing black, things turning black briefly but not staying that way. After the driver reinstall and restart, the same thing happened one more time. I've now been using the computer for a couple of hours with no recurrence of the problem. Which seems to put it back in the category of what the heck, instead of big problem. Certainly it is a curious thing though... and I will report on anything new. I can't seem to find any information anywhere on this thing happening.

Thanks for your help,
Theano
Swiper's Avatar
Member with 1,160 posts.
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Experience: Wile E. Coyote ( Super Genius )
03-Aug-2004, 10:10 PM #4
Some video card drivers have other service/process that starts up with Windows.

START, RUN
type in MSCONFIG
press OK, or hit ENTER key
click on STARTUP tab, see what is running ( post all the information here if unsure )
click on Services tab, put in check mark at bottom to ' hide all MS services ' see what 'other' service is running at startup. ( post the information here if unsure )
Theano's Avatar
Theano Theano is offline
Junior Member with 5 posts.
THREAD STARTER
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Experience: Advanced
05-Aug-2004, 11:39 AM #5
thanks, here is the list
Thanks. Here are the items I don't recognize:

From the Startup tab:

SM1BG C\WINDOWS\SM1BG.EXE
doctapi C\WINDOWs\Cursors\doctapi.exe
-blank line with a checked checkbox next to it- [???]
RemoveCpl RemoveCpl.exe
bcmwltry bcmwltry.exe

all Location: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, along with some things that are ok (like CD burner & Touchpad). (I don't know what that "Location" means, I can't find such a folder on my computer or the registry.)

From the Services tab:
ScsiAccess [unknown] (seems not a bad thing on the face of it, but I'm not sure whether it should be there)

As for the black problem, it has gone away! I somehow don't think it was reinstalling the video driver that did it; I think that was a coincidence. What I do get once in awhile is that weird noise (it's not really a pop/click or a boing/spring, more like a "door shutting" or "paper shuffling" noise. I don't find it in the Sounds control panel). That noise used to accompany the turning black phenomenon, but now no more turning black.

Thanks for helping me unravel this...
Theano
Swiper's Avatar
Member with 1,160 posts.
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Experience: Wile E. Coyote ( Super Genius )
05-Aug-2004, 06:39 PM #6
well, uncheck them all
see what happens

don't sound like stuff that should normally startup
good luck
Theano's Avatar
Theano Theano is offline
Junior Member with 5 posts.
THREAD STARTER
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Experience: Advanced
06-Aug-2004, 02:53 AM #7
What is doctapi.exe?

I unchecked the things above, then restarted. (It turned out bcmwltry was my wireless connection, so turned that back on.) I thought I forgot to uncheck doctapi.exe, because it was checked again. I unchecked it and restarted... blast, it was back! I CANNOT keep it unchecked, when I restart it is checked again.

Under command next to doctapi.exe, it said Windows/Cursors/doctapi.exe so I went there and looked. The Cursors folder just has cursors, 1-2 kb files with date 2001, except... doctapi.exe, filesize 511 kb, date 7/31/04, and ipatcod.ini, size 275 kb, date 5/14/04. (The .ini is only gibberish in Notepad.) I tried renaming both files and as soon as I did so, another one of the original name and size was created. I could not delete them.

In Task Manager, doctapi.exe shows under Processes, taking up about 10,000 kb. When I try to end it, it appears again. I cannot end it.

In my original problem, when everything would go black and I had to restart, I often had to force quit doctapi.exe first.

This had led me to wonder what was doctapi anyway, so I conducted a web search even before I contacted you. I couldn't find anything at all under "doctapi." There seems to be a "DocT API," which is harmless. "Doc tapi" seems to be something in Indonesian.

Whatever doctapi.exe is, I resent not being able to end it, delete it, or get it out of my startup. It seems to have shown up fairly recently and I would like to be rid of it.

Any ideas?

PS - the black problem is not happening at all anymore.

Thanks!
Theano
Theano's Avatar
Theano Theano is offline
Junior Member with 5 posts.
THREAD STARTER
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Experience: Advanced
07-Aug-2004, 02:20 PM #8
I think the problem is resolved. I restarted in Safe Mode, renamed the doctapi.exe and ipatcod.ini files away, was able to uncheck doctapi.exe in Startup, and now it is finally gone away.

That ini file continually updated. I think something was capturing my keystrokes. It is so mysterious to me that I was able to find NOTHING about this.

Thanks for your help,
Theano
As Seen On

BBC, Reader's Digest, PC Magazine, Today Show, Money Magazine
WELCOME TO TECH SUPPORT GUY!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.


(clock)
THIS THREAD HAS EXPIRED.
Are you having the same problem? We have volunteers ready to answer your question, but first you'll have to join for free. Need help getting started? Check out our Welcome Guide.

Search Tech Support Guy

Find the solution to your
computer problem!




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


WELCOME
You Are Using: Server ID
Trusted Website Back to the Top ↑