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Windows 7 Black Screen

Posted on 2014-04-04
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Last Modified: 2014-04-09
After windows 7 users sign into their PCs they will get a screen that is black or dark with only the cursor that shows.  It will sit there indefinitely.  The user can do a CTL-ALT-DEL and go the task manager.  If we kill the run once processes or the explorer.exe process (then manually re-launch this one) the PC will finish going on into Windows no problems.  It will remain fine until they reboot again.
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Question by:gwlanks
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12 Comments
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
nick2253 earned 572 total points
ID: 39978689
Is this all (or most) users in your network?  If that's the case, then something is probably wrong with either the drivers (if all the computers are the same) or the software you are running at bootup.

Try booting in safe mode.  That would tell you if the problem is with Windows itself or the software/drivers installed on the computer.
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:helpfinder
helpfinder earned 572 total points
ID: 39978708
try to check your Registry (regedit from Start>Run).
Look for this
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
on the right pane there should be a SHELL string and value in that string should be explorer.exe
Check it is you have it like this (and nothing else)

Would be wise to backup registry before any change is made

if this starts to happening suddenly, it could be job of some malware of other kind of infections. try to scan your computer with some antivirus, also download and install Malwarebytes or SuperAntiSpyware. You can also make bootable CD/USB Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 and make a AV scan when system in not booted up
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Author Comment

by:gwlanks
ID: 39978737
That value is set.  Would it be a start up application that needs to be disabled?
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:nick2253
nick2253 earned 572 total points
ID: 39978744
Before you start disabling and changing things, try booting in safe mode.  If it works in safe mode, then we can be reasonably sure there's a program/driver that causing problems.  If it doesn't work in safe mode, it's probably not a program/driver, and instead an issue with Windows.

If it's the latter, try running "sfc /scannow"  This will attempt a repair of the core files in Windows.
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:helpfinder
helpfinder earned 572 total points
ID: 39978761
I am almost sure you will solve the problem also by putting a script which will start explorer.exe process under Startup items - but that´s just solving sympthoms not a cause.

you can try to run also sfc /scannow command to check driver consistency (plus that AV/malware scan I mentioned above)
0
 
LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 284 total points
ID: 39979365
autoruns from sysinternals can be your friend here.
Autoruns for Windows - http://goo.gl/qVB4I
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Merete
Merete earned 284 total points
ID: 39979775
Try a start-up repair if a system restore is not successful.
Restart the computer
Press F8 key  a few times and select Repair
 then in the System Recovery Options select Startup Repair.
Startup Repair: frequently asked questions
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/startup-repair-faq#1TC=windows-7
Startup Repair
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/startup-repair
0
 
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Learnctx
Learnctx earned 288 total points
ID: 39984750
I usually see this with software like Avast AV which has some rubbish update the black screens the OS on boot. Terminating the runonce process fixes it and so does terminating the updater executable. Try running autoruns and/or process explorer from sysinternals while it's happening to get an idea of the cause. Check autoruns for any runonce entries. Check process explorer for the launch options. If you don't know how to use these tools check out How To Geek, they've just run a guide on using these tools.

http://www.howtogeek.com/school/sysinternals-pro/lesson1/
0
 

Author Comment

by:gwlanks
ID: 39989548
I think we have figured out our problem is associated with a new anti-virus network software that has been rolled out.  Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions and feedback.
0
 

Author Comment

by:gwlanks
ID: 39989559
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for gwlanks's comment #a39989548

for the following reason:

The problem was our software it appears.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:gwlanks
ID: 39989560
All great solution possibilities.
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39990450
Thankyou!  gwlanks
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