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unable to retrieve display

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Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

unable to retrieve display

Here's a strange problem I have got.
I was changing the display on my 2nd PC to another configuration (using 'display 'in 'control panel') yesterday when the screen went to 'icons ' only !
I cannot now therefore get the previous screen back because I can't see the lists of displays ,  or anything other  than icons-- no text!
anyone any ideas how to get back?
Obviously I cant see 'control panel' or 'system restore' now.
cheers
22 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

you should be able to see control panel and restore from the "Start" button
or right click on screen and select properties
community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Thanks for your nice try....but , as I said,...I cannot see any text.......only icons and when I click on them all I get is a blank(ish) screen...only icons to be seen again!
when I right click the screen all I get is an 'empty box' with no text.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,767
Thanks: 1,603
Fixes: 19
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Can you re-boot into "safe mode" ?
community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Tried that...No...it boots up to the same problem...
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Can you create a shortcut icon to rstrui.exe then copy the icon onto the faulty unit and use that (this is the system restore)
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Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

I think that even if I was able to get to system restore using your suggestion, I would not be able to SEE the system restore page and make any restore requests.......
thanks anyway
Please keep coming with any suggestions...I have to go now ...duty calls!.......but I will be back later.....
cheers
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Have you tried a repair install using your Windows disk
community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

I was hoping to leave that to the last resort, Jim.
but if all else fails, that is what I intend to do.
Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

First choice would be a roll back using the windows disk.
If you have to do a normal repair install then there may be a problem if you have installed SP3 (link1)
A full repair install (link2) using a SP2 disk won't work and you will need to slipstream SP3 onto it. Having done that you may be OK if you haven't got an old OEM license as these aren't accepted as valid by a SP3 install.
link1
link2
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

All you have done is set the color wrong so you are getting black text on a black screen (or what ever color you have) So you can see the icons as they are different colors. Its a fun game as I did it last week on a repair pc.
Do you have another users account? If you do its simple you login as another users and the display is ok as its kept just in your profile. You then create a new user logon as the new user and copy your setting over. (if you get that far I will tell you how to do it)
Second option change your monitor brightness and contrast you maybe able to brighten it enough to just make out the text.
Option 3
Download Multires from http://www.entechtaiwan.net/util/multires.shtm
Its a command line util to change display which may get you around it.
4th option I have written a prog to change the theme back to default which should do it for you download from http://www.janwright.co.uk/changetheme.rar
Just run it and it will set the theme back to xp with default colors you can run it via cmd line or click on it. Its just a matter or getting to it put it on a usb stick on its own so you can guess/ cmd line?
For those interested it uses Autoit3 from http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/ and the source is
IF @OSVersion <> "WIN_XP" THEN
  MsgBox(0,"Error","You must be running Windows XP to run this utility")
  Exit
ENDIF
Dim $var1 = '"' & @WindowsDir & '\'
;launch control panel applet to change desktop theme
Run(@ComSpec & " /c " & 'rundll32.exe Shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl desk,@Themes /Action:OpenTheme /File:' & $var1 & 'resources\themes\windows classic.theme"', "", @SW_HIDE)
;wait for Disply Properties window to open, timeout after 3 sec
WinWait("Display Properties", "",3)
;send Enter to open applet
Send("{ENTER}")
;Exit application
Exit
community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Hi ALL
Thank you for your inputs
however, the problem still remains that I cannot see anything on the monitor except icons, which means that I cannot see where to click or whatever in order to comply with your suggestions. Angry
I am now going to re-install  the O/S...
first problem with that is how do I format the HD  Sad
cheers
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

First a few question.
A)what did you change to get in this condition
Bhave you just got  plain background
C) have you tried right click and drag under the icons?  if the test is the same colour as the background, it will change when you drag over it making it temporarily visible.
D) would a screen shot from another machine be of help so that you know what the icons are.

A system restore doesnt reqire a HD reformat.
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Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: unable to retrieve display

Thanks for your further input
A. I went to 'Display' to change the background, but whatever I clicked on (don't know which) it caused the loss of substance and only icons remained.
B. The background is black.
C. tried your test without anything showing up on the screen!
D. I have tried a screen shot from my No.1 PC but the EXACT spot where I need to click is impossible to find.
If I could get a System Restore then that would be the answer of course.
My reference to re-formatting the HD was to prepare it for yet another re-install of XP (it is better to re-install on a blank, re-formatted  HD  but I may have to forego that if I can't format it.)
Thanks anyway.