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Windows 7: Getting "Preparing Security Options"

11 May 2016   #1
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 
Getting "Preparing Security Options"

I have been trying to solve a problem for the last four weeks and am out of ideas. Having got a virus, I decided to run a system image I created a week after I got my Samsung S3511 Laptop in 2011. I’m running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Service Pack 1, with Microsoft Office 2007 and McAfee Total Protection for anti-virus. I have successfully used this system image before so I knew it would work.

After gradually re-building the computer which included an overnight of Windows updates, installing IE11, Chrome and Windows Livemail, I began to experience a problem whereby the computer would slow to the extent of being unusable and the mouse would freeze. Hitting Alt, Ctrl Delete would, when the computer bounced back into life, show “preparing security options” on the blue Microsoft welcome/logging off screen.

I’ve read practically every post on the net about this and the problem is that there is no clear view on what is causing this; some posters think it’s a virus, others think it relates to a possible hardware problem, a conflict with Malwarebytes or a virus of explorer.exe.

What I’ve tried so far:

Microsoft’s advice on this is to run scannow which I’ve done– no issues. MS also suggest running checkdisk, I’ve done this three times now.The first time it stated problems with “Unable to locate the file name attribute of index entry” however, it fixed those.It also corrected errors in the Volume Bitmap.I ran checkdisk another two times and both times is said there were no problems.I also performed a disc clean up.

I had downloaded Malwarebytes at the beginning of there-build and scanned half a dozen times – no issues. I’ve also run McAfee half a dozen times – no issues.I’ve let McAfee scan my windows files on the C drive – no issues.

I uninstalled Malwarebytes as I thought there may be a security conflict but it has not resolved the problem.

I’ve looked at logs in the event viewer to try and track down anything suspicious but can’t find anything obvious.

A tech person I spoke to suggested I ensure that windows is activated/ authenticated as sometimes it needs to be re-activated after running a system image. However, it is authenticated so this is not an issue.

When the problem of “preparing security options” does not occur, my computer is quick and responsive, moving effortlessly between applications so my feeling is that this isn’t a hardware problem. For instance, last Sunday, I spent about six hours on the computer and during all this time, it behaved perfectly!But logged on the following day and“preparing security options” occurred twice.After it had cleared, the computer behaved well.

For added info, I did not install Windows telemetry updates or any updates for upgrading to Windows 10. I don’t believe “preparing security options”relates only to Windows 7 as I’ve seen posts saying this is happening with versions 8 and 10.

Having been trying to solve this for the last four weeks,including a couple of times where I’d taken two steps backwards but managed to save the situation with restore points (including in safemode) I’m reluctant to mess around with the computer too much now as when the problem doesn’t occur it functions well. However, it is still frustrating and I’d like to get it sorted.

Do any forum users have any further suggestions as to what I can try next or any clear consensus as to what is the cause?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
14 May 2016   #2
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

I have been monitoring my computer over the last several days and the problem of 'preparing security options' seems to occur within the first 10 minutes or so of starting up the computer.

Does anyone have anything suggestions as to what I can do to try and resolve this, or is everyone in the dark as much as I am?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2016   #3
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi LevelBest,
How many user profiles do you have.

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 May 2016   #4
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Hi Roy

Thank you so much for responding.

I've not come across the term user profile, but I'm wondering if it is similar to a user account? In either case, no one but myself has access to the computer?

I've been on the computer for the morning but will log off now and re-check tomorrow for any advice.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2016   #5
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi levelbest,
follow the instructions below, then can you copy/paste yours

  1. type >> regedit << in the Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\(expand it)
yours should be like mine.

Roy


Attached Thumbnails
Getting &quot;Preparing Security Options&quot;-regpro.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2016   #6
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Hello Roy

I've put the registry screenshot below. It seems look like yours.


Attached Thumbnails
Getting &quot;Preparing Security Options&quot;-capture-registry-gif.gif  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2016   #7
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi LB,
in the 1 5 21 section what are the last 4 digits 1000 or 1002
1000 is the admin 1002 is a user, ill post the right hand side block details of BOTH
compare and change as required.



Roy


Attached Thumbnails
Getting &quot;Preparing Security Options&quot;-reg1000.png   Getting &quot;Preparing Security Options&quot;-reg1002.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2016   #8
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Hi Roy

I hope this is the info you need.......


Attached Thumbnails
Getting &quot;Preparing Security Options&quot;-capture-registry-2.gif   Getting &quot;Preparing Security Options&quot;-capture-registry-3.gif  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2016   #9
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi LevelBest,
please amend the values for
refcount to 1
state 100 (256)

the same as mine

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2016   #10
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Hi Roy

Can I double check what you mean? I’ve not ever entered into registry territory and am a little nervous.
The line on yours that states Ref Count which ends with 01 (1) and on mine ends with an 08 (8) – do I change both the long figure that ends with 08 and the bracketed (08)? Or does changing the long number automatically update the number in brackets?

Secondly, on yours on the state line which ends with 100 (256) and mine says 000 (0), you want me to change those numbers?

Thirdly, can I reverse this via a restore point if something goes wrong or would I need to go back into the registry and manually change it?

Many thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Getting "Preparing Security Options"




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