Stuck on "Welcome" screen & system restore - why only one point?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by eharris, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm running Win7 Pro x64, which is a fresh install upgrade from WinXP Pro x32, installed during the first weekend in November, just a few weeks ago. I've included more detailed specs in my user profile, though I don't think my questions are spec-dependent.

    I just had the strangest problem. I turned my computer back on (from a full shutdown), entered my password, and saw the "welcome" screen... for about fifteen minutes, until I gave up and rebooted. The screen didn't freeze, as the blue circle kept rotating.

    I rebooted multiple times trying various things in Safe Mode (which loaded fine) to get my system to boot normally. Nothing worked, and the Event Viewer showed no errors during the failed startups. I've done the virus scan thing, the malware scan thing, etc (not that either was likely, given my usage patterns and history). I turned off all startup apps (but not services) in msconfig, etc. Nothing worked short of a System Restore, but more frustratingly, nothing gave me any insight into what was wrong. No error messages, no error log, nothing.

    If this happens again, how do I troubleshoot? Is there a way to get a more verbose welcome screen so that I can see what Windows is trying to do?

    Then there's System Restore.. in XP, I'd commonly see quite a few restore points, but when I went to use System Restore, there was one restore point available, and it was from early this afternoon, about 4 hours prior. I'm not sure what prompted that restore point, since when I asked Win7 to tell me what programs would be affected, its answers was "none of them!"

    It's certainly feasible that this system restore point from only 4 hours prior would not have solved the problem. Thankfully it did, but for future potential problems, how to I control Win7's System Restore behavior? Saving only a single restore point does not seem like such a good idea.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
     
  2. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,818
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Hi,
    if it does happen again try booting from your install disk and hitting the repair button..
    The system restore point was made automatically and is under scheduled tasks. You can go into this if you wish and up the frequency or just remember to make more yourself...
     
  3. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    That would've been my next step, had the system restore failed.
    I know I've installed apps that have offered to make a system restore point, and I've told them to do so. Where are those system restore points? Also, in looking at the task scheduler, I see that a restore point should be created with every system startup (there's also a daily at midnight entry, but I don't leave the computer up 24/7). I've certainly restarted the system quite a few times in the 2 weeks I've had Win7 installed. Where are those restore points? It seems that something is causing Windows to only keep the most recent restore point, but I don't see any place to define retention rules.

    Incidentally, I did see and select the "Show more restore points" checkbox, but there was still only the most recent restore point.
     
  4. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found the "System Protection" settings (or re-found, since I had been there before), which let me specify the amount of space used for System Restore - I had it set at 5% for the C drive, which is 3.75GB. Only 773.95MB is in use, so old restore points aren't being deleted because of the space constraints I set. Still nothing there about how many restore points to keep, though.
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    Lets bet back to your original problem. If a system boots and runs in safe mode and not normal windows, then you probably have some type of driver problem. While you are in safe mode, disable all devices you do not need, and possibly set the msconfig.exe file to boot in low resolution. It that allows a normal boot then you can go back and start enabling devices.

    I have see a windows graphics driver (and you probably got an Nvidia update), sound drivers, and maybe other things. Unplug any USB devices you do not need.

    Then try a re-boot. If you want to watch the drivers loading, check the OS boot information under the boot tab, which is where you can also set a base video boot.
     
    eharris and (deleted member) like this.
  6. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    That would make sense, but there have been no driver changes since the system last booted successfully. As far as I can tell, the system restore point I applied shouldn't have actually DONE anything, since it was from only 4-5 hours prior to this problem occuring. I had made no configuration changes in that time. I'd answered a few emails, done some web surfing, and maybe played some Fallout 3 (can't remember if I was playing FO3 before or after the 1:35PM restore point). That's it. The only USB devices connected at the time were my mouse and keyboard.
    Ah, thanks, I hadn't seen that setting in msconfig. If this happens again, I'll flip that option on so I can see where it's hanging up.
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    So you checked the Windows update history and there are no Nvidia updates installed?
     
  8. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a control freak, so I've never let Windows Update download or install things without asking me first. :) I've also had and seen problems with allowing Windows Update to install hardware drivers in various versions of Windows. I've heard that Windows 7 isn't as bad about that, but I still prefer to get drivers from manufacturers' websites and install them myself. The only thing I allow to update itself without prompting is my A/V software, and even for that, I have it prompt me for program updates, only allowing it to auto-install definitions updates.

    So yes, I can say with absolute certainty that no new drivers were installed today.
     
  9. daggers3

    daggers3 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi guys, just joined as I'm having a similar issue and I'm a bit of a noob. I'm running my laptop on an external monitor as my ccfl lamp went out and after putting windows in "Sleep" mode, I went to turn it back on and nothing. It will run fine and display in Safe Mode, but when I try to boot Windows normally it will show the black windows loading sequence then it goes for the welcome screen and the monitor goes blank... power button flashes as if there is no input. I can hear it load the welcome screen with the chimes and all but obviously something went t*ts up and I'm clueless as to what.

    Based on what I've read I should try a system restore? then if that doesn't work disable all non-essential drivers to isolate the culprit?

    I haven't had any updates for a few days and the only thing running previous to sleep mode was Opera. No USB devices connected either... ughh frustrated.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.... fyi I'm running Win 7 x32
     
  10. daggers3

    daggers3 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    UPDATE: I'm happy to say that I had a system restore point from only a few days ago and this seems to have done the trick. Before I did that I checked the display drivers and verified that the version was the most recent release, from Toshiba for Windows 7. I'm still not quite sure what caused the problem but will avoid hibernate and sleep modes like the plague from now on!

    Thanks for having this forum...
     
  11. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, this just happened again, and once again, it was for no reason, and once again, there was only one Restore point available (even though, last time I looked, there were a whole bunch of restore points, as if all but the most recent was deleted when this problem manifested itself). Oddly, the restore point listed was from 12/14, and looking in the Task Scheduler, which has a SystemRestore task scheduled to happen daily, I can see that the system restore point was last successfully run last evening, 12/16, at about 6PM. Somehow, along with this problem occurring, multiple restore points were deleted, including the most recent ones, leaving only one from 5PM on the 14th.

    This time, I used the F8 restore menu, and ran the "last known-good configuration" and it booted up fine, using a configuration that's NEWER than the most recent restore point. Once the problem was fixed, I looked at the System Restore list, and there are two entries now, one from the 14th, and one from 25 minutes ago, after the "last known-good" reboot.

    What gives? Why has Windows 7 Pro twice decided not to boot up with NO errors logged, and with most of my system restore points missing?
     
  12. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,818
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Have you tried increasing the size of the sys' restore folder? See screenshot although that wouldn't explain about the error logs..
    Have you ran the file checker?
    In case you haven't right click on command prompt and run as admin' then type:
    sfc /scannow
    Hit enter...
    If it finds anything it will attempt a repair.
     
  13. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    The system restore size for the C drive is already set to be ridiculously large - 10% of the drive. Obviously, that's not the problem, as I've seen other instances where quite a few restore points are available. Somehow they were deleted shortly before this problem occurred each time (or perhaps as part of the problem).

    I just ran the file checker you referenced, and it returned "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations."
     
  14. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,818
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Hmm..have you been using a Registry cleaner?
     
  15. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I haven't run a registry cleaner on this system.
     
  16. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,818
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Ok just had to ask, sorry... :)
    What does the event viewer actually say?
     
  17. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    The event viewer shows NO errors at the time of the stuck welcome screen. It does show a critical error when I get tired of waiting and reboot the system, and that error is "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."

    If I start up in safe mode during trouble shooting, I also get a whole slew of error-level errors for services that aren't loaded (because they're not loaded in safe mode). But again, no errors at that level during the failed attempt to log in, either. No warnings during the problem, either.

    If I go to the system log, I see nothing out of the ordinary leading up to the reboot, other than the fact that it stops. The first time this happened, I waited 10+ minutes before giving up and rebooting. This time, I was less patient, so I see a ~2.5 minute gap after the last entry (a Service Control Manager entry: "The Google Update Service (gupdate) service entered the running state.") and the first entry of the reboot ("Kernel-General"). On my second attempt yesterday, I apparently waited over four minutes after the last thing stopped running to reboot. On that occurrence, teh last entry was a Service Control Manager entry saying "The Encrypting File System (EFS) service entered the running state."

    In other words, it doesn't appear to be stopping at the same point each time, since last night's log shows two different services marking the stopping points.

    I've attached a cropped screen capture of the system log, with the last entry before the second reboot highlighted:
     
  18. eharris

    eharris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is getting frustrating. This problem has only happened four times so far, but the most recent two were today (with the second time being just a few days ago, as indicated above). It seems to be getting more frequent. It happened this morning when I turned my computer on for the first time, and just now, after I updated a piece of software (Stardock Fences, which I had just installed a few minutes before, successfully rebooting after the initial install). Upon getting it to successfully boot, it appears that the app update stuck, so that apparently wasn't the cause of the problem.

    All three times when I've tried it, the "last known-good configuration" launches just fine, and doesn't appear to change anything about my setup. However, I can't help but fear that if this problem continues to worsen, that solution may at some point stop working.

    I also tried telling Windows to show me the boot information in msconfig, but upon turning it on, I realized that it will do me no good whatsoever, because it only gives verbose information while the OS is loading. This problem happens while my profile is loading, after I've put my password in. It gets to the password screen just fine, and then freezes on the welcome screen (or pseudo-freezes, since the spinning blue circle keeps spinning).
     
  19. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,818
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Hi erik,
    I've just been looking over the thread again to see if anything was missed but no... To be honest, if I was you, I would have done a reformat ages ago. I think that something has become corrupted and it's just going to be easier to start anew.
    I'd use something like 'killdisk' to really clean your drive (sometimes called 'zeroing') and then change your boot order to CD/DVD first and start again.
     

Share This Page

Loading...