Fighting the Shell

Today was a really bad-hair-day! After installing some updates last night, my main (and beloved!) dev-machine was just refusing to startup. I would get the logon-screen and then enter my credentials. That would pretty much sum it up – nothing more was going on!

So I ran through all stages … astonishment, disbelieve and finally denial! But even this last resort didn’t provide any help.

OK – so I tried the safe-mode of Windows XP – just to realize the user experience was just as bad.

So after a couple of hours of disbelive and denial I finally got back on my feet …

… even though I would only see my nice pitch-black-desktop-wallpaper I could at least still fire up the task-manager. So I started regedit and browsed the registry. Maybe there is a key like DeactivateStartup. And there it was: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon would have a string called shell – which was in my case empty!

Go ahead, m-a-k-e m-y d-a-y!

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