Frame lost after a full screen app is closed

My SDL app is running in fullscreen.
It launches a couple other programs in Windows XP when the user selects to do so.
All is well when launching an app, I made my SDL application wait until the
called application closes.

The problem is when I close the called application and my SDL app kicks back
into gear, the screen gets lost.

All I can see is the console output screen. I have to alt-tab twice to get the
SDL application to appear again.

I tried reseting the screen to non-fullscreen before the launch and set it back
to full when the app closed. But this still doesn’t work.

Anyone else experience this problem?