Desktop won't launch

Hi everyone, I am new here.

I recently installed Windows 7 on my computer and have been having problems with startup. Specifically, after I log in, it goes to a black screen with a cursor. I can ctrl-alt-delete, go to a task manager and start explorer.exe manually, after which my desktop finally comes up. Yes, it is a acceptable workaround, but I would obviously prefer to have the explorer.exe file launch on its own.

I have tried various things already. Thinking it might be a video problem, one friend suggested I try hitting F5 to refresh the screen during startup. Someone else suggested I turn off the Aero theme since that has apparently been causing some people problems. Someone else told me to try getting a new video driver, but I have a Sony Vaio, about 2 years old, and Sony said they won't support Windows 7. But now that I know that I can get explorer to launch, I am thinking this isn't a video problem at all.

Any ideas? Many thanks!!

One more thing...

I should add that I did run sfc/scannow and a full virus scan.


Same issue

I have had the same problem after upgrading Windows 7 over Vista Home Premium. Spent at least 6 hours on the phone back and forth with Dell tech support and they could not help. Originally it was thought to be a video problem but al the fixes did not work.

When I installed 7, it went fine and worked well for the first few days. Then for a day or two, the desktop would not start then would after shutting down the computer. On Saturday, just the black screen with cursor. Was able to ctl-alt-del to task manager and start desktop by typing explorer.exe. It works fine from that point.

I've run virus checks, reinstalled 7, and done countless adjustments with tech support with no fix. I've checked the support forums and most are specific to Vista issues and not Windows 7. I've looked at the Vista fixes, most of which lead me to the registry, but all of the things that I am told to check for are there (explorer.exe in the shell folders, etc.). Can anyone help with this??


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Why don't you start playing with settings, like resolution, or DPI setting, or anything else that might be relevant.

You should have some Event Viewer messages about Explorer shutting down.

Check Msconfig.exe to see if something starting up might be stopped so you can check.

Try doing a verbose boot using Msconfig.exe boot tab - OS boot information, or a boot log. Maybe something will show up. A base video boot would eliminate the video driver, but leave everything else alone, or so it appears. If that worked maybe it would mean the video driver was the problem.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.