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Blue screen with mouse only responding (NOT BSOD)

Posted on 2011-04-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Computer:  Dell optiplex 960, Win XP SP3 in domain

Problem:  After locking or logging off computer, a short time later (hour perhaps), the machine stops responding (blue screen with mouse only moving on screen).  Example:  User leaves computer for an hour, comes back and machine does not respond (Blue screen (no icons) with mouse able to move.  Hard reboot is the only option.

Steps Taken:  Flashed Bios, System Restore,  MSConfig edited (Win.ini and startup), Scanned for malaware (none found), ran regclean, removed unused profiles, cleanup user's profile, updated NIC driver, recreated user's profile.  My next step is to update video driver.

Any input would be appreciated.
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Question by:Colengmail
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11 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Brian Gee
ID: 35453592
Try running in Safe Mode first to see if something that is starting up (like a service) is causing Explorer to default. If it continues, then you know it's not attributed to a service that is starting in Normal Mode, but if it doesn't, then you know what to start looking for.

Also, try a sfc /scannow as well.
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by:arnold
ID: 35453647
What happens when you hit: ctrl-alt-del?
explorer likely froze and does not wake up.
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Expert Comment

by:hathehariken
ID: 35453663
a bluescreen (or BSOD in short) occurs when a stop error is generated.

as far as my knowledge goes, when there is a stop error in the system, a stack dump will be performed (if configured to do so) and the ram will turn off, and the processor will power down to a low power state, only driving the gfx susbystem in text mode.

i dont think that the system can process data inputs from the mouse after a stop error happens.

check for virus or other malware.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 35455065
I recently had the exact problem on a Systemax server with a Gigabyte motherboard. I performed the same driver and bios upgrades as you did, but I used the manufacter's drivers. Don't trust Dell to have the latest drivers. i've seen where their drivers were a year or two older on their site versus the the component vendor like Intel, Nvidia and others.

That was a week ago and the blue screen has not come back.
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Expert Comment

by:richardsk-octjamaica
ID: 35457202
Really have u guys seen a bluescreen error with the mouse cursor still present onscreen.
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 35457243
The user clearly indicated that it is not a BSOD (note the question heading), the screen reflects that explorer crashed and is not coming back and all the user can see is the Blue Background color and moving mouse. ctrl-alt-del ctrl-shift-escape should bring up the taskmanager from which explorer can be relaunched/restarted.
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Author Comment

by:Colengmail
ID: 35457659
Thanks for the input.  Last week, Ctrl-alt-delete does not bring the machine back, still unresponsive.
I will try the suggestions mentioned and provide an update tomorrow.
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by:richardsk-octjamaica
ID: 35458072
Arnold, I was not responding to the author nor you thus will YOU 'READ' thru the previous comments.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 35458117
I didn't witness the blue screen, but I was told they had no text on the screen (which does not sound like a BSOD),  It has not happened again since I applied the updates.
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Accepted Solution

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richardsk-octjamaica earned 2000 total points
ID: 35461253
Disable screen saver and observe if error occurs, if it does, then disable power saving features such as sleep, hibernate, monitor sleep, etc by setting power settings to NEVER.
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Author Comment

by:Colengmail
ID: 35463875
I checked the user's power options today and her power saving features were set to 15minutes.......I did change the power settings to "NEVER" and will check back with user in the morning.
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