blue screen, but not of death...


i am running vista with xp and have not made any changes to the system. have not had any problems either. primarily use vista, with xp here and there

this past weekend, went into vista, received the login screen, entered the password, and received "Preparing desktop" message. after about one minute, the desktop came up but no wallpaper, no icons, no nothing. just a blue screen (not the blue screen of death, but might as well have been...)

the mouse moves, but there is no start, task bar, no nothing. i can use the CTRL+ALT+DEL and get to the task manager, and that seems to be the only thing that i can get into.

? Any ideas as to what happened, or how to rectify this

thank you,

kala sha
If you right-click the desktop and go to the View option in the drop-down menu, then look at its drop-down menu is "Show Desktop Icons" checked?

Also check that your graphics card has the latest drivers installed.

If you are using the machine as part of a domain try disabling UAC via Start/Control Panel/User Accounts, in Safe Mode if you can.

Here's a link with a patch that may help:


Since you can get Task Manager running, click File, New Task and enter
RSTRUI.EXE This will load System Restore. Restore back to a point before
the problem started.

You should then analyse what may have caused this. Unwise use of registry cleaners can cause things like this for instance.

You may have to update any protection software after a restore.

It can also be caused by malware so scan your machine with the free versions of these two tools and clean anything they find:

**N.B. If it is malware and cleaning it cures the situation, then you had best disable System Restore and reboot because any infection could also have been trapped in your restore or system volume folders.

Once sure you are clear then re-enable System Restore.

Make sure that Windows is totally up to date, also your Java and Flash, uninstall any old versions of those.
Last edited:
blue screen of ...

thanks, i cannot try the first suggestion because there is nothing on the desktop. right clicking gets me nothing, no menu, nada.

i'm not sure how the file would help since i would not be able to access it anywhere...

i'll try the second option tommorrow tomorrow, and let you know how it went.

thank you,
same problem

I've recently encountered the same problem on my girlfriends fairly new (under a year old) ACER ASPIRE laptop. This occurred after installing Windows Vista updates. Rebooted cpu to finalize updates and got crazy 'PXE-E61 errors', and 'no operating system found' errors. So I found a vista 64bit recovery disc online. Got into recovery disc by changing the BIOS boot order settings. Everything was going great. The disc did its thing. Booted up after scanning/fixing errors, but after I logged in under her user name, the 'preparing your desktop' screen appeared followed by the blue screen with only a mouse cursor. And unfortunately she does NOT have the 'create restore point' option enabled. I tried the system restore option from the recovery disc, and then again in task manager as per the method above -- received "Windows cannot find RSTRUI.EXE ." If you have any other ideas/solutions, they would be greatly appreciated.

Cussing and Swearing in London, ON
This is a two-year old thread so it would probably be a better idea to start a brand new thread of your own.
One of my fellow Mods doesn't use Windows System Restore, but he's prepared to reinstall an OS at the drop of a hat.
If you take regular full system backup images, you might be able to use the latest.
If you do neither, then you only have recourse to the Acer restore options included on the OEM recovery partition.
If you end up doing a full "factory reset", you might want to rescue your gf's personal data first, which you can do like this.
When you're back up and running, my personal advice would be to turn on system restore, and set it to use all the available free space. (don't worry, it doesn't stop you using the space, just keeps as many back points as there's currently space for.) That way you'll always be able to back-out any software install or WUD that causes a problem in minutes rather than days.
Last edited:
thanks folks. i did however manage to get into task manager, open explorer, and copy all necessary files onto an external HD. Am taking the route of ADIOSING stupid vista, and going with Windows 7. Thanks for your quick replies.