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Windows 7: Help.Black screen before Login Menu. Minor annoyance but needs fixing.

21 Mar 2017   #1
Mugsy

Win7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Help.Black screen before Login Menu. Minor annoyance but needs fixing.

(And before you ask, yes, I scoured Google. Plenty of hits, but different problem.)

When I start Windows, I get this black screen showing nothing but the mouse pointer for exactly 81 seconds before the Login Menu appears. Not a huge problem, just very annoying.

I can log in just fine after that. The problem does NOT occur when I start up in Safe Mode, and I've tried disabling all Startup Apps & Services using Msconfig but the problem remained.

In my experience, when something like this happens, it's because Windows is looking for something but can't find it, like an app or another computer on the network.

The Event Viewer logs are no help. How can I figure out what's causing the delay? Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Mar 2017   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Mugsy now I am assuming you have tried these?
SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
Disk Check < if necessary include the /f switch and if this does not make any improvement then just run this switch instead /r in the command line as per Option2
Run these in safe mode and the sfc often best run for two to three runs you can leave out the /r switch in ckdsk if you feel it not necessary

Have you also checked the temps on the machine?? particularly the GPU??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2017   #3
Mugsy

Win7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Icit. Yes. Been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt.

Finally gave up and restored the 8 month old backup after trying to fix things today took a nasty turn for the worse.

The backup has a few issues being so old, but nothing major (I think.) Thx.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Mar 2017   #4
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok well if there is something you get stuck on post back
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2017   #5
Mugsy

Win7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Oops.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL View Post
Ok well if there is something you get stuck on post back
Crud, sorry Icit. Replied to wrong post. This new problem is the RESULT of restoring the backup (after an agonizing two months trying to fix another problem that refused explanation).

An SFC scan finds nothing wrong. Temps are fine. Disk checks are clean.

The HDD activity light shows minimal activty during the "blackout" period, so it's not like the computer is furiously doing anything to account for the pause. And the pause is always 81 seconds long. Even if I disable every startup app/service, the length of the pause doesn't change.

I've seen similar "black screen" pauses when the computer can't find something, like a missing app or a missing computer on the network, but neither of those appears to be the case this time.

Or at least I think that's the case now. Not sure how to figure out what the computer is doing during that pause.

Thx.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2017   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok well going back to post #1 and the difference in safe and "normal" mode is maybe another hint being that some software (or whatever) is loading before the system is up and running.

Now this could be possibly your AV for example though I should think the system should boot before it is loaded up. Now I am thinking maybe it is a malware issue or a RAM one. The 81 second pause is in itself odd.

Now I would do if it were my machine be running this http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk you need to make a bootable disk or stick I prefer a disk but the choice is yours, set the BIOS to boot from that particualr source and let it run the scan. It runs in a non Windows environment and will check just about everything on the machine. Doesn't take long and I think a worth while try.

The next is to run a memtest - much longer as you may know but see this ditty of mine.
Now to make absolutely we are on the same page the memtest linked here is the only*one we recommend and it MUST be run for at least 8 passes or you may as well not bother. It is rather lengthy and best left for a downtime for that machine - overnight is good. Having said that you can stop the test if errors show up while you are around and then it is a matter of tracking down the bad stick of RAM.* RAM - Test with Memtest86+
(This is pretyped to save time)

I am suggesting this in the event it is the RAM stopping the loading of Windows as it should but the first suggestion would be my choice to go first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #7
Mugsy

Win7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL View Post
Ok well going back to post #1 and the difference in safe and "normal" mode is maybe another hint being that some software (or whatever) is loading before the system is up and running.

Now this could be possibly your AV for example though I should think the system should boot before it is loaded up. Now I am thinking maybe it is a malware issue or a RAM one. The 81 second pause is in itself odd.

...

The next is to run a memtest
Thanks. I downloaded the Kaspersky Rescue Disk and burned it to an eraseable CD. I started a scan of my C: drive but it's going to take 2 hours to complete so I'll have to let it run though later.

I have Ubuntu on another partition and "Memtest86+" is on the menu, so I can run that later as well (though I suspect my ram is fine. None of the stability issues you'd expect from bad ram.)

I typically run a pretty clean machine, and the Backup I restored was operating flawlessly 8 months ago, but there have been a few changes since then... most significantly, the upgraded Internet service but maybe some other hardware & software changes are at fault.

Since this "pause" is a Windows "preload" event and doesn't happen going into Safe Mode, I'm suspecting either a device driver or Windows is looking for a network connection that has since changed.

Figuring that out is the challenge. I'm going to try temporarilyy disabling a few key Device Drivers to see if the pause goes away. Before I restored this backup, I couldn't soft Shutdown/Reboot without disabling my video or TV tuner cards (or the motherboard controllers for those slots), so I'll start there.

I'll let you know what happens. Thx.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #8
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

as a way of trying to nail this down further try rebooting with ethernet unplugged, all onboard devices disabled in bios, and no usb devices attached (if that's possible, for instance if you have a ps2 keyboard and mouse handy..), and/or with radeon card removed and using onboard graphics. Hopefully after a few boots of trial and error you'll be able to narrow this down. Also check your non-MS services in start > run > startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #9
Mugsy

Win7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
as a way of trying to nail this down further try rebooting with ethernet unplugged, all onboard devices disabled...
Thanks for the reply.

First, I tried disabling all startup Services/Apps using "msconfig", but it made no difference. Same 81 second pause.

Next, I switched my video card to use the stock SVGA driver and disabled the TV tuner (I didn't unplug them because that would be a huge pain and if it were an "electronic" issue, it would affect Safe Mode too.) That didn't help either.

I unplugged my Ethernet and the only new USB devices added since the original backup was created. No change.

I just wish there was a way to SEE what the computer is trying to do during that gap.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #10
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hmm well if you decide to run the memtest let us know because it may well be the RAM is slow loading at the boot process.

Now it may seem odd but down the track we might have to check out the PSU - often overlooked a source of problems. It may well be the power is ot coming through quite as smoothly as it did or should do. Just as by the by can you check out the caps on the board please just look for any that are bulging or actually leaking. Now there are some that are often hidden away under the CPU cooler so it may take some ingenuity to see them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help.Black screen before Login Menu. Minor annoyance but needs fixing.




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