I have a Windows 7 Enterprise x86 machine that is exhibiting some strange problems.

After some inactivity (it varies how long it takes), when I come back to my computer, both of my monitors are black. The monitors are on, with a black display. Moving the mouse and pressing keys on the keyboard do not work. This happens at least once a day.

When I first encountered the issue, I performed a hard shutdown and restarted the computer. About 10% of the time when I did this, the resolutions on my monitors were messed up. The native resolution on the primary monitor is 1600x900, and the native on my secondary is 1440x900. None of the widescreen resolutions would be present in the display properties. I had 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024.

As a workaround to this issue, I've found that if I plug in my secondary monitor as the primary monitor, and leave the secondary unplugged, then Windows will start in 1024x768 on the secondary. Then, I can use Windows 7's "Detect" feature and it finds the 1440x900 resolution, and sets it. Then I have to connect the primary monitor to the secondary port and set it as the primary. Then I can switch the two cables, putting the primary into the primary, the secondary into the secondary. Then use the "Detect" feature again, and it finds the correct resolutions.

Some time after performing the above, I discovered that when the screens were blanked, I could simply press "Control+Alt+Delete", type in my password, and everything comes up fine - except my mouse cursor. All applications and features work as intended, except there is no mouse cursor (the mouse actually works though...). I have the "Show location of pointer when I press CTRL key" option selected, so I can press CTRL and use my mouse as normal - but I have no actual cursor. When the computer is in this state, UAC is also not functional. Whenever a UAC prompt appears, the screens go black (the original symptoms) and I have to press Escape to exit UAC.

Because of the above symptoms (the UAC black screen thing, etc) I beleive winlogon.exe may be the culprit. However, I have no idea how to fix it. I am unable to restart winlogon.exe due to the problems I am having with winlogon.exe (the UAC black screen)

Looking for any ideas....

More information

  • Windows 7 x86 Enterprise
  • Domain environment (I have a secondary account with administrator rights)
  • Dell Optiplex 960
  • Cannot perform "optional" windows updates due to an activation issue (I am testing a windows 7 image, and an activation infrastructure has not been created yet. However, this issue was happening before I was unable to perform windows update, and windows was up to date at the time
  • Updated video card driver (as an attempt to fixing the resolution issue)
  • Disabled all power saving options

Please let me know what else you need to help me solve this issue!

Thanks in advance,


  • What do you mean by "Disabled all power saving options"? Also, did you try to disable UAC? – harrymc Jan 3 '11 at 15:59
  • I cannot disable UAC due to GPOs. Hard drives turn off "Never", Sleep "Never", Hibernate "Never", Display turns off "Never" – Mike Christiansen Jan 3 '11 at 16:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.