Windows Vista Boots to a Black Screen with only the Mouse Cursor

Windows Vista Boots to a Black Screen with only the Mouse Cursor

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Upon startup, Windows Vista Boots to a Black Screen with only the Mouse Cursor


This is most likely due to the Remote Procedure Call service (rpcss) running under the LocalSystem account rather than NT Authority\NetworkService account.

To resolve the issue, follow this procedure on the problem machine:

1.    On the affected machine, boot using the Vista Media (i.e. the Vista install DVD or any Vista Media that is bootable will work) and Select “Next”


2.    Then in the bottom left you will see “Repair your Computer


3.    Select Next


4.    Then Select Command Prompt.


5.    At the command prompt, launch regedit.exe and load the SYSTEM hive, following the next steps below.


b)    On the File menu, select Load Hive.


c)    Browse to %WINDIR%\System32\Config Folder (typically C:\Windows\\System32\Config) and select “SYSTEM



d)    Select Open.

e)    In the Load Hive dialog box, type in “MySYSTEM” box for the registry hive that you want to edit.


6.    After the hive is loaded, modify the following key value per the instructions below:
You will need to know what ControlSet the machine is currently running on, this can be determined by going to


and find the “Current” value in the Right hand side. (Example: Current value is 1 then the ControlSet will be ControlSet001)


7.    Navigate to the following key:
Key:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet00X\Services\RpcSs (X is the Number from the Current Key from above)

Double click the value:
Value Name:  ObjectName

Change the value:
Old Value:   LocalSystem
New Value:  NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService



8.    Unload the SYSTEM hive by selecting the key “MySYSTEM” and then select File -> Unload Hive… menu item.



9.    Exit regedit.exe

10.    Restart the system normally


* If you do not have the Vista Boot CD, you can download Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset from this link:

We are still investigating root cause of this issue.  At this time, a 3rd party remote access program is suspected.

Tanner Slayton
Senior Support Engineer
Microsoft Corporation


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  • And what if you have the same black screen and cursor, but the above mentioned is already set to NT Authority\NetworkService.....?? any other options or recommendations?

  • Re-image

  • Just happened to my Acer vista laptop after microsoft update. Lost everything and had to re format and re-install everything.

  • Instructions say to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet00X\Services\RpcSs.  Graphic just below that says to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\MySYSTEM\ControlSet00X\Services\RpcSs.

  • This just happened to my computer after my ISP connected to my machine remotely. I'll try this fix later tonight I hope it works.

  • I already have the value "NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService" - still black screen. I really wonder why there is not a functional fix from MS for this bug...

  • Like the above this did not solve my problem.

  • I also have the same issue, does anyone have an update??

  • I have the same problem - I followed the instructions to the letter, and when it came time to change the value, it was already showing the correct value. The only difference going through this process has made is that now, I still get a black screen, but sometimes even the mouse cursor is missing! It would appear that the explanation given at the top of this posting for the cause of the problem is not the correct diagnosis for why I can't load Vista - even in Safe mode. And when I use the startup repair option on the recovery disk, all I get is a message that no errors or problems were found. Where do we go from here???

  • Tx

  • I put in my Vista Dell cd in an reboot but nothing comes up, it just goes straight to

    Black screen and cursor again... Help!

  • thanks tom working for microsoft, but i still have blakc screen. "object value" was already NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService. Big thanks to Tom and Microsoft!!

  • Hi ,

    This Particular thing Happen Because the Boot virus Diable the explorer.exe .So as to unable that follow three steps .

    1)ctrl alt delete and

    2)in winodws taskmanager click on show process from all user and then press ok .

    3)Now Clik on file new task and Then Enter explorer.exe and hint enter .And then U r screen willl be back .After that plz make sure you scan u r system .So as to kill those virus

  • ... black screen with only mouse cursor showing, would not launch Windows. I did the following:

    1) rebooted in safe mode

    2) restored to a point 2 days before last log in, which was Friday when Windows automatic updates upon shut down occurred

    3) tried to restart

    4) got as far as login screen, then hung on ' Welcome'

    I logged back in using safemode w/networking to get some work done, while :

    launched 'software repair' tool,

    ran Malwarebytes full malware scan (nothing found)  and Avast Antivirus scans .

    5) Shut down, rebooted. It took longer than usual but Windows finally launched normally.

    There's a post out here on the support site that advises making changes to the registry, but I don't feel confident doing that. Does anyone know how/where to find a program that would make registry changes in response to this obvious Windows update problem?

    I've turned off Automatic updates for now.

  • Thanks a million. It just worked for me. The steps with screenshots have simplified the procedure. Thanks a lot !