ok you suspect it to be the vide card yes ? i dont lol
you say there is still a picture but basicly explorer.exe wont load, so you have your desktop sitting there but no, icons / start menu bar yes ? thats a problem with explorer.exe
you say you can access it in safe mode, well go into safe mode and scan whateva you have, windows defender / anti virus / ad aware / ccleaner.
once you have done that, click start / run and type "msconfig" (without the quotes or this in the brackets
ok now click on the startup tab and trust me here disable all.
ok / apply that and reboot into normal mode, if that works and you notice something is missing in your startup, e.g msn messenger etc, goto msconfig and tick the little box again,
if that doesnt work do you have an XP disc ???? i would do a system repair,
ive come across this problem twice, once was a problem with explorer.exe and i had to repair windows XP.
and the second time it was alot of viruses. had to take there hardrive out of there comp bring it to my house, bung it in my computer boot mine into safe mood and scan the hardrive as a storage device.
if you have an XP disc and need a hand repairing post here and ill make a guide.
ha ha ha jus seen you say it appears black, and not the desktop, never mind jus do what i said anyway.