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Suspect Registration problem.

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by Edjec, Sep 20, 2008.

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  1. Edjec

    Edjec Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    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 Intel P4 3Ghz/4GB

    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 ½ 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.

    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.

    TIA

    Ed McDermott
     
  2. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I am assuming the pc was running ok before this? Did you do any hardware or software updates before this happened?
     
  3. Edjec

    Edjec Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your response,

    Yes, everything was fine prior to this (about 5 days ago). I routinely run jv16 Powertools 2008 to keep things clean in the registry and use Revo uninstaller to take out the garbage, so it is possible that I mistakenly deleted a registration key. However, I don't recall if I ran either of these programs immediately prior to this issue or not. I'm usually pretty careful with either and haven't noticed any system entries listed, but who knows? I think the key is that explorer is not running at the system level and that indicates to me that there is a registration problem, so there is a good chance that the above did happen.

    As a side note: I have been having problems with the video driver from ATI for the 2600-XT AGP They (ATI) have been updating the PCI-e version, but not being very diligent with the AGP updates. Email to them has not been answered (probably my last ATI card). The system does a hard lock-up when viewing videos such as news reports or YouTube. I have removed all video drivers, installed updates, rolled-back, etc., with no solution to that issue. The video lock-up problem has been an issue since I installed the new card several months ago. I am absolutely certain that the two issues are not connected.

    Do you know of any source that details typical Explorer registration entries that I could check or would it be feasible to to do a search for Explorer entries on my laptop and compare that to the registry on the desktop system?

    I appreciate any assistance you can provide.

    Ed
     
  4. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Can you log into safe mode ( tap F8 continuously after pressing power button until you see entry.)
     
  5. Edjec

    Edjec Thread Starter

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    Hi Rich,

    Oh yes, have done that many times. The result is exactly the same - no desktop or task bar and right click not functioning. I must run Task Manager to access system and programs. I used F8 to run the boot log selection.

    Ed
     
  6. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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  7. Edjec

    Edjec Thread Starter

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    Chkdsk /r complete. 0 errors found.

    Ed
     
  8. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Then the only thing left is XP Repair. I would bet at this point the reg cleaners ripped gaping holes in the registry which is why we recommend you never use them.
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
    You will have to do any added service packs for Windows and Windows Updates afterwards is all.
     
  9. Edjec

    Edjec Thread Starter

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    I've read through link and don't see any reference to Vista. Will the same procedure work with Vista?

    Ed
     
  10. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    OOps...boot to Vista dvd and run repair from the first screen.
     
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