Article ID: 126031 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q126031
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you build from the development environment in Visual C++, the screen repeatedly flashes to a blank text-mode screen with no text on it. A text cursor may show up if you move the mouse while the blank screen is showing. The screen returns to Visual C++ and then blanks out again. The blanking occurs at least twice but possibly more times during the entire build process.
The default settings for the Command Prompt on Microsoft Windows Vista (32-Bit), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP (32-Bit), Microsoft Windows Server 2000, Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows 95 are set to full screen.
Note This issue does not appear on Microsoft Windows XP (64-Bit), Windows Vista (64-Bit), or Microsoft Windows 2008.
Depending on whether you are on Windows Vista (32-Bit), Windows Server 2003, Windows XP (32-Bit), Windows Server 2000, Windows NT, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, or Windows 95, the resolution process is different:
For Visual C++ versions earlier than 8.0On Windows NT, Windows Server 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003, Visual C++ repeatedly invokes a background process called Vcspawn.exe for each command-line tool executed by the development environment. Tools such as Cl.exe, Link.exe, and Bscmake.exe run in the Vcspawn.exe environment, which is a 32-bit console application.
Usually Vcspawn.exe is invoked as a hidden window and you never see it. However, if the setting for Vcspawn.exe is in "full screen" mode, the screen switches to text mode each time Vcspawn.exe is invoked. No text is actually sent to the Vcspawn screen, so the screen appears blank.
On Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me, Vcspawn.exe is affected by the presence of the _Default.pif and the settings of the Conagent.exe file. If a _Default.pif is in the path, its properties will be used for all invoked console applications. Often, a _Default.pif is left over from a previous Windows 3.1 or 3.11 installation. Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me do not create one during installation. If _Default.pif is not present, Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me use the properties of Conagent.exe.
For Visual C++ 8.0 and Visual C++ 9.0VCSpawn.exe is not present in these versions.
On Windows NT, Windows Server 2000, Windows XP (32-Bit), or Windows Server 2003Use one of the following two procedures to correct the problem:
Steps to reset default configuration of all command promptsOn Windows NT:
Steps to reset configuration for just Vcspawn.exe by using Regedt32 in Visual C++ versions that are earlier than Visual C++ 8.0Use the following process to add a registry entry so only Vcspawn's settings are not "full screen."
Steps to reset configuration for just Vcspawn.exe without using Regedt32 in Visual C++ versions that are earlier than Visual C++ 8.0If you are unfamiliar with the system registry and do not want to reset the default configurations for the Command Prompt, use the following procedure to reset the settings for Vcspawn. This procedure adds the same registry entry.
NOTE: if you have a fast machine, you may have trouble performing some of the following steps and you need a larger project. Therefore, if you have a fast machine, use one of the previous methods to work around the problem.
If you are compiling a large project, you can switch tasks and see the minimized Vcspawn.exe icon. Resetting the attributes of this icon will reset the attributes of Vcspawn.
On Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me:Use one of the following procedures to correct the problem.
Steps to reset configuration of _Default.pif
Steps to reset configuration of Conagent.exe
Article ID: 126031 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 5.0
Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.