When you log on to the console (desktop), or a terminal server session, the logon screen turns black.

Even though you cannot see what you are typing, if you press all the correct keys, you are successfully logged on, and the display is normal.

NOTE: This behavior can also occur in Safe mode.

This behavior is symptomatic of all the Value Names at HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Colors having a data value of 0 0 0 (Black).

To resolve this behavior, I have scripted DefaultColor.bat.

The syntax for running DefaultColor.bat on a working computer is:

DefaultColor \\ComputerName

Where \\ComputerName is the name of the Windows Server 2003 that exhibits the black screen behavior.

NOTE: DefaultColor.bat uses REG.EXE, built into Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and later, or installed on Windows 2000 from the Support Tools folder of of the Windows 2000 CD-ROM, which must be located in a folder that is in your PATH.

DefaultColor.bat contains:

@echo off
setlocal
if \{%1\}==\{\} goto err
set comp=%1
set comp=%comp:"=%
set comp=%comp:\=%
set comp=\\%comp%
@echo on
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ActiveBorder" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ActiveTitle" /T REG_SZ /F /D "10 36 106"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "AppWorkSpace" /T REG_SZ /F /D "128 128 128"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "Background" /T REG_SZ /F /D "102 111 116"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonAlternateFace" /T REG_SZ /F /D "181 181 181"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonDkShadow" /T REG_SZ /F /D "64 64 64"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonFace" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonHilight" /T REG_SZ /F /D "255 255 255"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonLight" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonShadow" /T REG_SZ /F /D "128 128 128"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "ButtonText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "0 0 0"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "GradientActiveTitle" /T REG_SZ /F /D "166 202 240"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "GradientInactiveTitle" /T REG_SZ /F /D "192 192 192"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "GrayText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "128 128 128"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "Hilight" /T REG_SZ /F /D "10 36 106"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "HilightText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "255 255 255"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "HotTrackingColor" /T REG_SZ /F /D "0 0 128"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "InactiveBorder" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "InactiveTitle" /T REG_SZ /F /D "128 128 128"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "InactiveTitleText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "InfoText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "0 0 0"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "InfoWindow" /T REG_SZ /F /D "255 255 225"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "Menu" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "MenuText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "0 0 0"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "Scrollbar" /T REG_SZ /F /D "212 208 200"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "TitleText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "255 255 255"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "Window" /T REG_SZ /F /D "255 255 255"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "WindowFrame" /T REG_SZ /F /D "0 0 0"
REG ADD "%Comp%\HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors" /V "WindowText" /T REG_SZ /F /D "0 0 0"
@echo off
endlocal
goto :EOF
:err
@echo Syntax: DefaultColor \\ComputerName
endlocal
The following table shows the default colors (the text color under Value name), and lists the RGB ( Red Green Blue)  values for the .Default user ( HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Colors in Windows Server 2003:

Value name Value data
ActiveBorder 212 208 200
ActiveTitle 10 36 106
AppWorkSpace 128 128 128
Background 102 111 116
ButtonAlternateFace    181 181 181
ButtonDkShadow 64 64 64
ButtonFace 212 208 200
ButtonHilight 255 255 255
ButtonLight 212 208 200
ButtonShadow 128 128 128
ButtonText 0 0 0
GradientActiveTitle 166 202 240
GradientInactiveTitle 192 192 192
GrayText 128 128 128
Hilight 10 36 106
HilightText 255 255 255
HotTrackingColor 0 0 128
InactiveBorder 212 208 200
InactiveTitle 128 128 128
InactiveTitleText 212 208 200
InfoText 0 0 0
InfoWindow 255 255 225
Menu 212 208 200
MenuText 0 0 0
Scrollbar 212 208 200
TitleText 255 255 255
Window 255 255 255
WindowFrame 0 0 0
WindowText 0 0 0