Thursday, August 16, 2012

Windows 7 Stuck On Welcome Screen

If when you start your computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008, the log on process hangs up at the Welcome screen with the blue swirl continuing indefinitely, then read on, I will show you how to solve this problem. There are many reasons that may lead to the unpleasant situation of you computer freezing on the Welcome screem, but the most probable reason is a third party software and/or service that runs with Windows. In my case it was my antivirus software, maybe an update messed it up.

So in order to solve the problem, you should find the problematic software first. Restart your computer and keep pressing F8 until you get to the Windows 7 Advance Boot Options screen. Then select one of the "Safe Mode" options and press Enter. On the log in screen enter your password and Windows will start in safe mode (i.e. it starts with only the most important drivers and services loaded). Here's how I found the problem and fixed it, the procedure should fix your problem, too:

  1. Click the Start menu, enter "msconfig" and hit Enter
  2. On the General tab click Selective Startup
  3. Clear the Load Startup items check box
  4. Click the Services tab, click Hide All Microsoft Services to select it and then click the Disable All button
  5. Click OK and restart your computer

Start you computer normally and login. If it logins sucessfully, then you can run msconfig, turn on the services one by one and click on OK and restart after turning on each service to find the one that causes the issue. When you find it, go back to Safe Mode to turn it off and reinstall the problematic third party software. If when you reinstall the software the problem occurs again then uninstall this software for good and try using one of its alternatives.

When you have removed or reinstalled the problematic software and the issue is solved you can restore you computer to start as usual by doing the following:

  1. Click the Start menu, enter "msconfig" and hit Enter
  2. On the General tab click Normal Startup
  3. Click OK and restart your computer

If you have done all the steps above and your computer still freezes on the Welcome screen you can try one more thing. Insert the Windows 7 installation DVD (or flash drive) and boot from it. When you get to the install screen, select Repair your computer as on the image below:

A dialog window with different repair options will open. Try applying the Startup Repair option first as it is a tool that can fix certain system problems that might prevent Windows from starting. This tool scans your machine for any potential problems and then tries to fix them so your computer can start correctly.

If the Startup Repair tool doesn't help you either, try the other options. If nothing works, you should apply the last possible solution - a clean Windows install. Please, note that if even this doesn't help, then you computer most probably has a hardware issue and you should take it to a service center for diagnosis and repair.

17 comments:

  1. Any idea how to fix this problem on windows 8, as it apparently doesn't have an F8 for safe mode?

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  2. It's much harder to get into Safe Mode in Windows 8. To do so, when you are at the password prompt hold the Shift key and select Restart. When Windows 8 restarts select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings and click Restart. This will allow you to boot in Safe Mode on the next Windows 8 restart.

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  3. i did these steps but i still have the same problem

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    1. Hi, Sara Sharif. I have added some more tips to the article that may help you. Give them a try, I hope they fix your problem, too.

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  4. i did 1st step and its working thanks btw

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  5. is there any side effect if i do in normal mode??

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    1. Hi, I'm glad the article has helped you. However, I wasn't able to understand your question - what do you mean by "if i do in normal mode"?

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  6. When I try to enable two AVG services, they uncheck themselves after I hit the "apply" button. When I try again it does the same thing. It won't let me check these two fields. What could that be?

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  7. After doing some searching through Google, I found that AVG 2013 is causing computers to hang at the welcome screen. This is probably why I could not re-check those two instances of AVG listed under the startup services. I have since uninstalled the program completely and I'm now searching for a replacement anti-virus app. Thanks for writing this article, it was very helpful. :)

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    1. I'm glad I have helped. I'm not surprised the issue was caused by an antivirus software. They tend to be a bit problematic these days. In my case, the free version of Avast Antivirus was causing the "stuck on the welcome screen problem" and when I uninstalled it in Safe Mode, the issue was solved. I switched to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and haven't had any problems ever since.

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  8. That's exactly the same replacement program I just installed....lol. It's supposed to be really good though, I researched it. Thanks again Pavel. :)

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    1. Avast is indeed one of the best free antivirus solutions available, but then one day it caused the "stuck on the welcome screen problem" to me, too. I then temporarily switched to MSE with the intent to install Avast again when they fix the problem. I'm pretty sure that they already did, but I simply liked how lightweight and unobtrusive (no ads at all) MSE is, so I decided to stay with it. It's a great solution for Genuine Windows owners.

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    2. I came here because after I installed Avast I became stuck on the windows screen. So...not fixed yet! Thanks for your advice, it's the best I found.

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    3. ooohhh,,, it was a long while ago when i really can't use my laptop because it always stucks on welcome screen whenever i turn it on. I found your article here, i only press F8 and it works?! Now i can use it again..wonderful! I hope it's truly done. Thanks a lot!

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  9. Pavel, thank you, I was about to reformat. Haven't follow everything as yet, but thanks for reminding me to do the "check from first steps" instead of redoing everything ...

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