I originally posted this at:
Ok, for those of you having the issue with the "Black Screen of Death" after the SE logo (game doesn't load the white 'start' page with the FFXIV logo), I've fixed it on my setup. After reading many, many threads of users with this issue I contacted SE and had no useful help given... so I decided to try everything under the sun to get this fixed. I tried changing the NIC binding on my machine, adding the *.square-enix.com site to "trusted sites" in I.E., changing my resolution and texture/shadow settings... all to no avail.
Here's what I did to fix this:
In the FFXIV program directory, I set all of the executeables (.exe's) to "Run As Administrator". In my testing, it is most important to set the ffxivboot.exe and ffxivlogin.exe to "Run as Administrator", but it may be safe to set all of the .exe's in this folder to run this way.
Also, set the ffxivgame.exe application to run in "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)" compatibility mode.
Ever since then, I've been able to run FFXIV in Windowed mode EVERY SINGLE TIME!
I know this was a very irritating issue so I hope this helps!