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Windows 7: Cannot get into Windows desktop. Stuck on black screen, DWM.exe crash

3 Days Ago   #1
Andarthiel

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 
Cannot get into Windows desktop. Stuck on black screen, DWM.exe crash

I am having problem where I am unable to even get to the desktop. It started after I used Autoruns tool to remove iCloud and a few other unnecessary apps from running during startup (nothing system related).
I can get to the login screen but once I enter my password, it takes an extremely long time to process everything. Eventually after about 1 hour it gets to a black screen and I get an error message saying DWM.exe has crashed. I've tried waiting even longer but it just gets stuck there. I've even tried pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, sometimes it works but sometimes I get the error message saying unable to open security options. When I can get those options, I can open up task manager but it's very slow to respond and pushing the Services button does nothing and neither does trying to close explorer.exe(or restart it via new task) does nothing.
I can't even get into Safe Mode as it automatically restarts itself once it reaches a certain part of the safe mode logon process.
I even tried running Startup Recovery but the automatic tool can't fix the problem and I don't have any Systen Restore points to go back to
My Windows version is Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1
Are there any suggestions on how to fix this without reinstalling Windows or formatting my system HDD?
I suspect it could be a malware/virus but I can't even get to the desktop to run any antivirus/diagnostics.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
3 Days Ago   #2
FreeBooter

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Please boot your computer with Windows Setup Media and from Windows Recovery Environment start the Command Prompt.

Please type below command into Command Prompt and press Enter key.

The following command scans integrity of all protected Windows system files and repairs files with problems when possible.

Code:
Sfc  /Scannow   /OFFBOOTDIR=D:\   /OFFWINDIR=D:\Windows
Please replace partition letter D: with Windows installed partition letter. When computer boots into Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) environment the drive letter assign to Windows partition may not be C: drive letter because Windows 7, 8 , 8.1 and 10 creates a separate system partition when it's installed from scratch. The system partition contains boot files WinRE assigns the system partition the C: drive letter and the Windows installed partition will be assign any other drive letter usually D: drive letter is assign to Windows installed partition. The Bcdedit /enum | find "osdevice" command can be use to find out the drive letter of the Windows installed partition the output of the Bcdedit command is similar to this osdevice partition=D:. The drive letter after partition= is the drive letter of the Windows partition.




If SFC command wont resolve the issue Windows Vista/ 7/8/8.1 keep a regular backup of the registry handy in case you need to overwrite a corrupted registry. By default, the RegIdleBackup task runs every 10 days, so that’s as far back as you would lose if you replaced the current registry with the automatically backed-up files. You can find the backed-up registry files in \Windows\System32\config\RegBack folder.


Please boot your computer with Windows Setup Media and from Windows Recovery Environment start the Command Prompt.

Please type below command into Command Prompt and press Enter key.

Code:
 Dir C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack
Above command will list files stored within RegBack folder and there file size, make sure files are not zero size if they are do not follow below instructions.



Please replace partition letter C: with Windows installed partition letter. When computer boots into Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) environment the drive letter assign to Windows partition may not be C: drive letter because Windows 7, 8 , 8.1 and 10 creates a separate system partition when it's installed from scratch. The system partition contains boot files WinRE assigns the system partition the C: drive letter and the Windows installed partition will be assign any other drive letter usually D: drive letter is assign to Windows installed partition. The Bcdedit /enum | find "osdevice" command can be use to find out the drive letter of the Windows installed partition the output of the Bcdedit command is similar to this osdevice partition=D:. The drive letter after partition= is the drive letter of the Windows partition.

Please type below commands into Command Prompt and for each command you have typed press Enter key.



Code:
Replace C:\Windows\System32\Config\RegBack\*     C:\Windows\System32\Config
As files are replaced, the Command Prompt displays their filenames on the screen.

This procedure assumes that Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10 is installed to the C:\ partition. Make sure to replace C:\ drive letter to the appropriate Windows OS installed partition drive letter if it is a different location.


Above commands renames the registry files at their existing location, and then copies the registry files from the RegBack folder to the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Days Ago   #3
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If the already suggested sfc scan doesn't work:

Use boot media to look in your windows partition windows\system32\config\regback folder

If that has hive backups, then rename the existing hives in windows\system32\config folder to software.bok, system.bok, etc

Then copy the backup hives from windows\system32\config\regback into windows\system32\config

Boot media:
win7x86:
17514x86.iso
win7x64:
17514x64v15.iso
win10x64:
183x64.iso

Extract the iso to usb stick using usb7ice, or rufus, or similar
Usb7ice.zip

THen boot from the usb stick.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

3 Days Ago   #4
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Regback folder on your windows partition should look something like this - the files with no extensions are the hives.

In this picture there are backup hives of DEFAULT, SAM, SECURITY,SOFTWARE and SYSTEM dated 5/11/19. ( you can ignore any log and ms-regtrans files)

I usually don't bother replacing the sam and security hives.

Cannot get into Windows desktop. Stuck on black screen, DWM.exe crash-regback.jpg

Even if you have no shadow copies (and therefore no restore points), you have probably got hive backups.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Cannot get into Windows desktop. Stuck on black screen, DWM.exe crash




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