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Windows 7: Black Screen replaces 'Please Wait' at startup

15 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Black Screen replaces 'Please Wait' at startup

The current status is that a cold start takes about 1 min 45 sec compared to the usual 1 min 25 sec.This is down from 3 minutes after problem began.

A Restart takes anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes.
Both appear to be delayed by a Black screen with mouse pointer (KSOD) which occurs after the Windows splash screen and replaces the ‘Please Wait’ screen and spinner. After the KSOD I will eventually be presented with the logon screen which allows me to logon.

What does work normally:
A log out/log in works normally, almost instantly. Wake from sleep works normally, very quick response.
Once the desktop has loaded everything on the machine works normally, quite snappy with everything I do. I have not noticed any degradation in performance.

On Friday 2/7 I started my laptop from a cold start and after working for a few hours, shut the machine down. Later when I returned, I noticed that that startup was taking longer than normal, approximately 3 minutes and after the Windows splash screen, I was not looking at “Please Wait” with the spinner, but rather a black screen with a mouse cursor (KSOD). After an extended wait, I was finally presented with the normal logon screen and the desktop loaded up normally.

I decided to perform a restart which really surprised me as it took about 3 minutes and most of that time was consumed with the KSOD. But eventually the desktop loaded.

There were no software installations or any manual changes to the laptop between Wednesday and Friday.

After checking a few items I decide to re-image back to Wednesday, 2/5. The re-image went fine however I was faced with the same startup and restart issue, which made no sense since all was working normally on the Wednesday when the image was created.
Below I have listed what I have tried and I welcome any input. This has been consuming me for a week now.

· Re-image back to 2/5 and restarting before Norton Internet Security (NIS) could update.
· Nothing stands out in event viewer.
· Ran chkdsk /f, chkdsk /r
· Tried various Boot time settings within NIS.
· Full scans with NIS, Malwarebytes and Norton Power Eraser.
· Full scans with NIS, Malwarebytes in Safe Mode.
· Clean Boot
· Boot into Safe Mode and then restart.
· Checked Device manager for driver issues.
· Hard reset (No power, battery removed, press and hold power button).
· Update to optional new bios (no critical improvements published).
· Ran Seatools (Seagate HD).
· Ran My Dell by PC Doctor.
· Ran built in Diagnostics from Recovery – full test.
· Ran Startup Repair from Recovery. Ran three separate times with restarts in between.
· Ran sfc /scannow – three minor issues which I have seen before could not be fixed. An internet search seems to indicate this is not uncommon. “Cannot repair member file [l:20{10}]"tcpmon.ini" of Microsoft-Windows-Printing-StandardPortMonitor-TCPMonINI, ….. Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch”
· Activate the Guest account and tried restarting with that account.
· Removed Password from main account.

To save space here, complete computer specs are in my profile. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may be able to provide.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP


Uninstall and Replace the problematic Norton bloatware with Microsoft Security Essentials. Be sure to run the Norton Removal Tool to uninstall your Norton product since such pernicious bloatware is as bad as an infection which requires a special tool to remove.

Confirm in msconfig>Startup and msconfig>Services (after Hiding all MS Services) that nothing is starting with your PC other than your AV.

Install Soluto – Anti-Frustration Software to see a map of what is starting and when.

Enable Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3) to run all rounds of Important and Optional Windows Updates until no more are offered after reboot when you Check for Updates.

Sometimes running a boot-time defrag with Puran Defrag Download will speed startup. Include the full Disk Check option.

Continue with the other Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7

Compare the install you have to the perfect install compiled in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
I would reinstall now if you are still running the factory preinstalled OS which larded with bloatware and duplicate utilties which conflict with better versions built into Win7. Keep only the small OEM Diagnostics partition at the beginning of drive since you know it will boot and run.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thank you, gregrocker for posting such a comprehensive reply.

I will read this carefully and let you know how I progress.

I wonder if you could expand on one point. You mentioned to run ALL Important and Optional Windows Updates along with the drivers. In the past I have read the optional Windows updates to determine if they pertain to my system. Also, I have been obtaining drivers specific to my model from Dell. I was under the impression that some drivers may be customized for a manufacturer and model, and therefore the best place to obtain drivers is from the computer manufacturer's site.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Feb 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


Not necessarily. Win7 is very close to being driver-complete. In Windows 8 the user doesn't even interact with drivers which are all done in the background, using improvements actually deveoped in Win7.

First install all of the Updates including drivers provided by Windows Updates. I use everything except the Bingware since there are needed performance patches that come in under both Important and Optional. Problem updates are less than one in a million.

Only if there are missing drivers or you see performance problems or deficiencies would I import drivers from the Dell website. Many prefer to use the manufacturer's chipset but I see no difference and rarely import it unless there are missing elements in Dev Mgr after all Updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen replaces 'Please Wait' at startup

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