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Windows 7: Black screen with cursor immediately following Windows logo

29 Aug 2015   #1
AndyR25

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Black screen with cursor immediately following Windows logo

This isn't exactly a BSOD problem, but it's a Windows failure nonetheless. It has progressively been getting worse for months.

On my ThinkPad laptop, I have been getting startup failures lately (past 3 months or so out of the laptop's 3-year life). Everything is normal up until the "Starting Windows" page with the shimmering, four-color logo. However, after this disappears and *before* the logon screen, the computer gets stuck at the black screen with the mouse cursor (but no text of any kind, and no spinning blue "thinking" circle next to the cursor). The only way to get out of this is to do a hard shutdown and reboot. The startup process NEVER gets frozen *after* the login screen, even though there is also a black screen with a cursor at this point, and Windows works normally at all other times.

At the beginning it would happen once every 1-2 weeks or so, always on the first boot of the day, and never during a restart, always when booting "from scratch". Furthermore, after powering down, Windows would boot normally on the second try, or occasionally on the third try.

As time went on, it got to the point where sometimes I could not get into Windows unless I performed a System Restore from within Safe Mode. Windows has always been able to start in Safe Mode. It did not matter what restore point I chose, or if any programs or updates had been installed since the restore point--just the mere fact of having System Restore run seemed to fix the problem. Just booting into Safe Mode and then shutting down "cleanly", without running System Restore, did NOT work.

Within the last week or so it has gotten much worse. Now on nearly every startup--including restarts--I get this problem and have to run System Restore to get to the login screen outside Safe Mode. Yes, this means that after restoring to a certain point, then browsing the web or typing documents for a few hours, then shutting down, I would have to restore to that same point *again* for it to work!

Today, after installing a bunch of desperately needed updates, it got even worse--the next time I booted the machine, even System Restore failed to fix the problem, because the restore process would be interrupted every time by stalling at a black screen. While in Safe Mode I read on this forum about the driver verifier, and ran that--this required a reboot, and this time it started up fine!

So to summarize, Windows hangs on startup between the Windows logo and the login screen, and has progressively been doing this more often. The only solution is to "poke" Windows enough by restarting in different random ways until I find a way that it works. Soon I know it will become so corrupted that I won't be able to start it outside Safe Mode at all.

Any help would be appreciated...

I should mention that the battery HAS lost more than half of its capacity. However, this problem is NOT circumvented by removing the battery and starting up with the computer plugged in--therefore I know that the problem isn't a critically low battery. I also occasionally get "Fan Error" messages immediately on powering up the machine--however these are much rarer than the above.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Aug 2015   #2
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hmm, do you have Windows Update set to auto-update? Or perhaps some other program is auto-updating while System Restore reverted back that particular update. System Restore can show you which programs are being affected, maybe it can give a clue. You may need to check the restore before last (the one you used to restore to before today's updates).

Also in Safe Mode, open cmd:
Code:
sfc /scannow
If corruption is found:
Code:
findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log >"%userprofile%\desktop\sfcdetails.txt"
Attach the sfcdetails.txt here - Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2015   #3
AndyR25

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

First to correct some possible misunderstandings:
Neither Windows Update nor System Restore are the cause of my problem. At the beginning, when just rebooting used to fix this problem, I never ran System Restore at all, and in fact if anything the problem happened LESS often when restarting after updates, since it was a restart and not a "fresh boot".

Furthermore, it is not that I always am reverting to the same restore point every time System Restore temporarily fixes the problem. I revert to the latest restore point, usually at most a few days prior to the date I am invoking the restore (and since I've been having the problem for many weeks, these restore points are LONG after the problem started occasionally occurring--and also different from each other). In the one instance so far when reverting to the most recent restore point did NOT work, reverting to an earlier point didn't either. So it's not that I'm reverting to a point several months ago before this started happening--yet it still somehow manages to keep the problem at bay long enough to make it through one start-up cycle (though often not more!)

Also, there are new problems since I posted my original post. The startup problem is happening a BIT less frequently now, but Windows is lagging badly all the time now, whereas before yesterday there were no "symptoms" after startup. I also once got an actual BSOD, saying that a driver called "pxroqpog.sys" had been caught trying to corrupt the system.

I had already done a virus scan with AVG in safe mode several times in the course of these issues, but I tried downloading a specific anti-rootkit program called GMER to see if it would pick up anything (since the lagging and instability together made me think of this). However, when I try to run GMER, it invariably causes the BSOD with the "pxroqpog.sys" driver error. Since it happened once before I had even downloaded GMER, never mind running it, I know this weird pxroqpog.sys is not part of GMER's own scanner, though I can't find any references to it online, which suggests that it might be a randomly named file (like virus scanners tend to do with their EXEs). The upside of this was that, with a means of predictably causing the BSOD, I was able to save a dump file, which I can upload if it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2015   #4
AndyR25

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

In the meantime, I have done the sfc scanning thing, and I have attached the logfile. I have also included the dump from the BSOD.

Also I realized I didn't answer your question about update settings. I have Windows set to prompt me before installation.sfcdetails.txtDriver BSOD dump.zip


My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #5
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

There are some corruption there, 2 are false corruption warnings. No action needed.

Few are IE related, referenced by KB3065822
tspkg.mof - KB3057154
wow64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-HTMLRendering.ptxml - KB3074886

Try uninstalling these updates and see if it will improve the situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #6
AndyR25

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I'll try--though I never use IE as a browser and don't know why any of its components would be loading during startup. Isn't the kernel/drivers the only thing running prior to login?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #7
AndyR25

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Tried rolling back the updates, and if anything it made things worse.

After deleting all three in Control Panel, of course I needed to restart for the changes to take effect. The first phase of the configuration--the one that takes place during shutdown--succeeded. However, during the following startup, the process again got stuck right after the Windows logo, i.e. before the second phase of configuration could start.

I did a hard shutdown and then tried to boot into Safe Mode. This time the "Configuring updates" screen managed to come up, but it was quickly followed by a message "Failure configuring updates... Reverting changes". This seemed to succeed, but was AGAIN followed by the startup process getting stuck. It was only after a second hard shutdown and startup in Safe Mode that I managed to get to the login screen.

It is possible that if I had a way to make the restart happen by default into Safe Mode, I could avoid the hang and the update configuration would succeed without more stuff getting corrupted. However, I don't know.

Do you have any clue what this mysterious driver could be that has caused the BSOD several times??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #8
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Follow Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Posting Instructions
Make sure the zip file includes the dmp file/s. If not, configure a small memory dump - Dump Files - Configure Windows to Create on BSOD and wait/trigger another BSOD. then re-run the "Dm log collector" and attach the new report.

Did you try a clean startup yet? Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
Also scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free just in case, enable rootkit scanning too (Settings - Detection and Protection).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #9
AndyR25

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

As stated in a prior post, I did collect a dump file once I figured out how to reproducibly trigger the BSOD. I attached it above along with the results from the sfc scan, but you might have missed it since the board software attached them as links that kind of merged into one. I called it "Driver BSOD dump.zip".

I tried running Malwarebytes (the free version) yesterday, after GMER failed due to the driver issue. Malwarebytes only found a few PUPs--all of them toolbars that I had long since uninstalled from my browser, or never installed in the first place. No malware was found.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #10
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I did see that attachment Dm log collector collects much more than the dmp files, it may help the person analyzing them. (I am not experienced in that analysis)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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