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Q: Windows XP: Font Settings for Welcome Screen ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Windows XP: Font Settings for Welcome Screen
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: bkft-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 16 Jul 2004 21:44 PDT
Expires: 28 Jul 2004 16:49 PDT
Question ID: 375261
I have a strange problem with Windows XP.  I've tried Google searches,
the Microsoft knowledge base, and the "Experts Exchange" IT web site
with no luck.  I'm not optimistic, but I figure I'd ask the pros at
Google Answers to see if they can find an answer.

Here's my question/problem.  When I reboot my computer, the Windows XP
"Welcome Screen" shows up in a slightly wrong font.  Perhaps it's
boldface, or slightly too large, but it's not the default.  It causes
the text in the lower right corner to word wrap wrong because of the
extra size.

Now, if I login to any user on the system, and log out again, the
problem goes away (the Welcome screen fonts are then normal).  But,
every time I reboot, the initial Welcome screen has the wrong font.

(1) Where are these font settings stored?
(2) Why is the font correct after a login/logout cycle, but not after reboot.

I'm going to price this question at $75, because I spent days
reinstalling Windows XP from scratch for a friend to fix a bevy of
problems, and now this is the only thing seemingly interfering with
perfection.  All I found so far are tips for how to enable font
smoothing on the Welcome page.

Note: I'm really looking for answers to (1) and (2) above, not
recommendations to roll-back software or to reinstall or to run system
scans.  I'm looking to understand where these Welcome screen font
settings are kept, and what's different about reboot vs. login/logout.

Crossing my fingers!

Request for Question Clarification by tisme-ga on 17 Jul 2004 12:22 PDT
Hello bkft,

Try using this tool to fix your welcome screen:

You could also try using this program and changing your
login screen completely, then reverting to the default.

Also, try going into the control panel, administrative tools, event
viewer and let me know what errors (if any) are listed after this

All the best, 


Clarification of Question by bkft-ga on 20 Jul 2004 19:45 PDT

Thanks for the suggestions, but no luck...

(1) The fix_xp_login tool did not seem to be the solution.  I ran the
tool, and it said:

Default Gina in use.
DLL in use: MSGINA.DLL (standard).

The Repair button was grayed out.  So, I believe my GINA settings are
normal, and not the problem.

(2) As far as the second suggestion, I don't want to load a custom
replacement logon screen, I just want the Windows XP login fonts to be

(3) I don't see any related warnings or errors in the event logs.

Request for Question Clarification by tisme-ga on 20 Jul 2004 20:49 PDT
What video card are you using? My next recommended step would be to
download the latest driver for your video card.

Can you check if this happens in safe mode? (Press F8 while your
computer is starting up and enter Safe Mode to try reproducing this).

I would also like you to try raising the resolution a bit (unlikely to
work, but easy to do).

One theory is that it could be the video card drivers loading after
you login and you?re your video card software corrects the issue when
you log back out.

Next we can try this: 
1. Click on Start and then click Run.
2. Type msconfig and click OK.
3. Go to the Startup tab and disable everything related to your video
card. (if you have an ATI card, turn off anything ATI related)
4. Do the same for services, turn off anything related to your video card. 
5. Click on OK and restart your computer to see if there is a difference. 

If it is your video card software fixing the problem, then the problem
should still exist after you log off.

If there is no change at all, do the exact same thing except this time
use a Diagnostic Startup to see if there is any change in the
situation. (Check to see if the problem still fixes itself when you
log off). You could also try a Selective Startup with all checkmarks
turned off. (Again, check to see if the problem still fixes itself
when you log off).

The best theory is that the drivers are not completely loading until
you login (perhaps bad driver design). Or perhaps the drivers are not
properly installed. If you can tell me what video card you have, I can
look into that avenue some more, or attempt to track down a known
problem with your video card.

Also do you know if there are any video card related options in your
BIOS that you could play with? Do you know what motherboard your
computer has and what the BIOS version is?

I look forward to hearing back from you soon!


Clarification of Question by bkft-ga on 21 Jul 2004 01:01 PDT

I spent a few hours trying to get answers to all of your questions. 
I'm not at all an expert in any of this, so let me apologize if I
flubbed somethimg up, or misunderstood your intentions.  I hope my
answers make some sense...

(1) Video Card --- My Video Card is an ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder 9000. 
It was originally bundled with a Dell Dimension 8300 PC, but I had to
reinstall the OS.  The video card was running off display driver  I think this driver might have been updated by Windows
Update.  Just in case that was the problem, I went to ATI, and
upgraded to the latest software (  The problem still

(2) Monitor --- In case it matters, I'm using a Dell 2000FP
"UltraSharp" LCD display with a DVI interface.  I couldn't find a more
recent driver on the website than the driver I currently have

(3) PC --- I don't really know much about PC hardware and chipsets. 
The system is a fairly new Dell Dimension 8300 PC, 2.8 GHz Pentium 4,
using BIOS A05.

(4) Resolution Experiments --- You asked me to try different screen
resolutions, to see if that changed the problem.  None did.  I
originally was using 1280x1024.  But 800x600, 1024x768, and 1600x1200
all showed the same problem: "bold faced" font at reboot, but normal
font after logout.  The fonts all looked to be sized appropriately for
the resolutions, but the face was still wrong until reboot.

(5) Safe Mode Experiment --- You asked me to boot in safe mode, and
see if the problem still existed.  No, in safe mode, it seems that the
font came up correct after reboot, and was still correct after logout.
 However, the screen was in VGA resolution.  I don't know if the same
correct behavior would continue in a higehr resolution.

(6) ATI Startup/Service Disabling Experiments --- You asked me to use
msconfig to disable just the startup of ATI-related software, to see
if this was causing the "login/logout" fix.  I could only identify
three programs that were obviously related to ATI: "Ati HotKey Poller"
in Services, "ATI Smart" in Services, and "atiptaxx" in Startup. 
Turning these off made no difference.  Logout still fixed the fonts
after reboot.

(7) Diagnostic Mode Startup --- You asked me to boot in diagnostic
mode.  This made no difference.  The font was broken after reboot, but
fixed after logout.

(8) Selective Startup With Full Disabling --- You asked me to boot
with all services/startup apps unchecked.  This made no difference. 
The font was broken after reboot, but fixed after logout.

(9) WIN.INI Question --- I did notice one small thing I thought odd in
msconfig.  Under the WIN.INI tab, there was a section called
"[MSUCE]".  I don't know what this is.  I noticed there was a "Font="
setting.  My font setting was set to "SpongeFont SquareType", which is
a SpongeBob font downloaded for the kids.  I thought it strange that
this font would have ended up in a Windows system file.  Google
searches seem to show this setting normally set to Arial.  I changed
WIN.INI to set the font back to Arial, but it didn't make a
difference.  Can you explain what these settings are for, and if this
is possibly a clue, or a red herring?  (This font is installed on
other computers at my house that don't manifest the problem, BTW).

(10) Summary --- So, at this point, we only know that safe mode
eliminated the problem, but did so at a very low resolution.  The
other experiments did not affect the problem.  What would you suggest
is next?

I hope some of this is useful & comprehensible...

Request for Question Clarification by theta-ga on 21 Jul 2004 12:45 PDT
Hi bkft-ga,
 Have you tried changing your system's font smoothing settings to see
if that solves your problem? The setting can be found in:
  Control Panel > Display Properties > "Appearance" tab > "Effects" button
  Select the "Use the following methods to smooth the edges of screen fonts" 

There are three font smoothing methods available to you:
    1. None (Unselect the option. Reboot to see if problem is solved)
    2. Standard (Select from drop down list. Reboot)
    3. ClearType (Recommended for LCD monitors. Select and reboot)

Try out all the three options and see if they affect your problem in any way.

Request for Question Clarification by tisme-ga on 22 Jul 2004 21:57 PDT
I am communicating with Microsoft to see if they have any ideas. I
will respond as soon as I come up with some new things to try. Your
response was great and should help me narrow this down.


Request for Question Clarification by tisme-ga on 26 Jul 2004 21:43 PDT
Here is the response that I received from Microsoft:


I have checked the Welcome Screen and found the following sentences: 

"After you log on, you can add or change accounts. Just go to Control
Panel and click User Accounts."

Please check your Welcome screen and let me know if you see the same sentences. 

If you have a digital camera, please also take a picture of your
Welcome Screen, and then send it to me for research. (tisme: Could you
upload a picture somewhere on the internet and let me know where to
access it so that they could see what it looks like?)

Based on my experience, this behavior may occur when there is a
hardware issue with the video card. When we start the laptop, the
video card may not be fully initialized and may not display the words
correctly. After we log on, the video card works properly.

Please keep me updated if you have any other findings. I appreciate
your time and effort on this issue. If anything is unclear, please
don't hesitate to let me know and I will be glad to help. I look
forward to hearing from you.

Clarification of Question by bkft-ga on 28 Jul 2004 16:48 PDT
Hi tisme,

I ended up buying the $100 product support option from Microsoft, and
have been working with their customer support folks.  Here's what I've
found out so far:

* Somehow, the registry settings for my fonts were screwed up, showing
two entries for many fonts, with the font filenames capitalized
differently.  This seemed to cause some programs to misbehave.

* Removing the duplicate font entries removed the boldfaced font.

* It looks like there may still be a slight problem with respect to
the underlining/mouse-over highlighting of the text on the lower left,
but we're trying to track that down.

* We still don't completely understand the login/logout and safe mode
dynamics.  I'm guessing some default font settings got cached
somewhere after the font registry was corrected.  I'm going to go
through the font settings with Microsoft to see if we can track that

At this point, I'm leaning away from video card or driver issues,
though it may still prove to be the case in the end.

Thanks for taking a stab at this.  I'm going to cancel out this question for now.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Windows XP: Font Settings for Welcome Screen
From: sparky2002b-ga on 21 Jul 2004 10:54 PDT
If safe-mode eliminated the problem, then it's a software thing. Get
Advanced Start-Up Cop and disable the start-up of anything that looks
Subject: Re: Windows XP: Font Settings for Welcome Screen
From: magrello-ga on 21 Jul 2004 14:09 PDT

Let's try this ::

(1) Where are these font settings stored?

    Depends, The fonts (or configuration) that each user will use is
stored in your profile. The Windows do that by this way, so each user
will have your personalized view and configuration.
    The initial configuration is stored in Default User profile. I
believe that the configuration is erroneus in that profile. You can
overwrite that configuration or try to change it in registry. What you

Option a: 
         Do everything in this article ::
See :: HOW TO: Create a Custom Default User Profile;en-us;319974

Option b:
         Change manually the font on registry. Go to Run >> Regedit >>
Go to key HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop, and change (if
you don't know what to do go to other user and see the diference, the
key of another user it's the long key with number right down of that
key (something like HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1066036182-657851496-1267956476-4422)

(2) Why is the font correct after a login/logout cycle, but not after reboot.

       When you log after reboot the "enviroment" loaded is of the
Default User, before you login/logout some "parts" of that enviroment
remains, making that diference. You can see that if you change de
default user wallpaper. It will be loaded in startup, but after you
logon, the background will be the actual user's wallpaper.

If the option a) or b) doesn't work, see the steps and tell me.

Good Luck,
See you,


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