Windows boots to a black screen just before the log in screen and hangs for about a minute.



My windows laptop will not start correctly. I turns on and for about a 1min the screen goes blank then it allows me to long in. After i log in the top of my screen fixers and then goes back to normal. what is the issue and how can i fix it. thank you


Question Info

Last updated March 15, 2018 Views 923 Applies to:

If you are using an old computer, there are some things you should take into account if you are upgrading to Windows 7 – System Requirements. Doing a house cleaning in the operating system might not necessarily be enough to speed up that old computer. Instead a hardware upgrade of components might just be what you need to achieve better performance. The first three things that come to mind are Memory, Processor and Storage. These three components can add a dramatic improvement to your computers performance. One of the great things about running Windows 7 is the memory foot print is about the same as Windows Vista and its more efficient because of a lot of complex low level changes the Windows Team made to the operating system with how it loads programs, services and devices. Anyway, if you do upgrade to Windows 7, here are few things you can do to speed things up even more.

Preparing Disk cleanup

Disk Cleanup – This is always a favorite place to start, because it list many of the common locations where old unused files that are often not needed any more are stored. To find Disk Cleanup, click Start, type: Disk Cleanup. Alternatively, you can find it under Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools. When Disk Cleanup is started, you are prompted to select the drive on which you would like to do the cleanup. In this case, its the operating system drive where Windows 7 is installed, usually C:\. If you are running Windows 7 in a dual boot configuration with another operating system, click in the list box and select the drive on which it is installed. Click OK.

Disk Cleanup dialog

An initialization wizard will scan you hard disk to check for areas of the system you will be able to run the clean up on. After the scanning is complete, the Disk Cleanup dialog appears. This window provides a list of areas of the system you can clean up safely. The most common locations are Temporary files, Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin to name a few. Other not so common locations include the Thumbnail Cache which stores previews of your images allowing you load them faster when you open the Pictures Library or Windows Live Photo Gallery. This I do not recommend you delete for obvious purposes. Lets dig a little deeper. Disk Cleanup provides a list of areas where you can free up disk space and gain additional speed in some cases.

Location/Type Description Safe to Delete
Downloaded Program Files Downloaded Program Files are ActiveX controls and Java applets downloaded automatically from the Internet when you view certain pages. They are temporarily stored in the Downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk. YES
Temporary Internet Files The Temporary Internet Files folder contains webpages stored on your hard disk for quick viewing. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact. Personally, I suggest you keep this if you are on a slow connection and need the basic elements of web pages you often visit to load faster. Keep It
Offline Webpages Offline pages are webpages that are stored on your computer so you can view them without being connected to the Internet. If you delete these pages now, you can still view your favorites offline later by synchronizing them. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact. I also recommend you leave this alone since you might be on a slow connection and need quick access to a webpage with some specific content. Keep It
Recycle Bin The Recycle Bin contains files you have deleted from your computer. These files are not permanently removed until you empty the Recycle Bin. Sometimes you might inadvertently delete a file that you didn’t intend to delete permanently, so before you empty the contents of the Recycle Bin, do a thorough check before. YES
Temporary files Programs sometimes store temporary information in the TEMP folder. Before a program closes., it usually deletes this information. You can safely delete files that have not been modified in over a week. You can view the contents of the temp directory and see if there is anything in there you might need. Open the Run Command (Windows key + R), type in %temp% > hit OK. Sometimes program installers for common applets are stored there that you can use to reinstall such as Adobe Flash for instance if you don’t want to redownload it every time. YES
Thumbnails Windows keeps a copy of all your picture, video, and document thumbnails so they can be displayed quickly when you open a folder. If you delete these thumbnails, they will be automatically recreated as needed. I don’t see any problems deleting it if its gonna be recreated, but deleting it sometimes can correct problems with previews of photos and videos. YES
Debug Dump Files When your computer experiences a system hang because of a poorly written application or device driver, Windows intelligently creates a log of what happened. This log can be used along with other logs such as System error memory dump files to help diagnose the problem when sent to Microsoft or the developer for review. Keep It
System error memory dump files Similar to the Debug Dump files, memory error dumps happen when poorly written drivers or applications crash. It is very handy for utilities built into Windows such as Troubleshooters which help in diagnosing problems that occur in Windows. Keep It

In addition to these common locations, Windows will also store information related to Error reporting and solution checking, leave these for diagnosis that can help resolve issues with applications or devices. Also, if you do an upgrade from Windows Vista or clean install, Windows 7 might store information related to servicing which are logs used to assist the installation of the operating system. Once you have checked these locations for clean up, click the OK button and these locations will be cleaned out.

A folder you might be familiar with is the Windows.old, in a future article I will be taking a closer look at this directory. Its basically a backup of your old installation of Windows, which you can use to reinstall Windows if you decide to return to your previous installation. Also, its used as a last resort in case you didn’t backup your files and need to recover personal files and settings. The Windows.old folder can use up a considerable amount of your hard disk space and reduce the systems performance. Its normally stored at the root of your hard disk where Windows 7 is installed. Before you delete it, make sure you check through the directories and ensure that everything migrated successfully to Windows 7.

System Restore – The Windows Team has added some nice enhancements to Windows 7′s System Restore feature, allowing you to keep a larger collection of System Restore Points in addition to storing them in your System Images of Windows 7. A friend had recently upgraded to Windows 7 and he asked me why he was low on hard disk space. He had a 320 GB drive and only had about 70 GBs of free disk space left after doing a disk cleanup. It was then I discovered that System Protection had been configured to use about 200 GBs of  disk space to keep System Restore Points.

Configuring System Protection settings

To configure System Protection, click Start, type: System Protection, hit Enter. Under Protection Settings, click the Configure button. A dialog will appear with various settings for configuring Restoration and Disk space usage. Under the Disk space usage tab, you will see the current amount of space in use by System Restore while the Max usage displays the amount allocated. Use the Max usage knob to configure how much disk space you want to allocate to System Protection. In the above screenshot, you will see that I am using 21.05 GBs for Restore Points, while I have allocated 22.36 GBs of disk space for System Protection. You also have the option of deleting all Restore Points which stores System settings and previous versions of files. I suggest you leave this, since you will be able to individually restore changes to files you are working on. So for instance, if you edited an image and would like to restore it to a previous version or original version of the file. 

Performance Information and Tools

Introduced in Windows Vista, it provides a lists of your computer’s Windows Experience Index base score, which indicates the performance and overall capability of your computer’s hardware. If you look under the Task pane in Performance Information and Tools, you will see Tasks where you can make further adjustments to improve the performance of your computer.

Performance Information and Tools options

Visual Effects – Back in November I discussed some of the theming capabilities built into Windows 7. Some of these themes are designed for PC’s with limited capabilities. Microsoft calls these Basic and High Contrast themes. To access them, right click your desktop, click Personalize.

Windows Aero Basic – For computers that cannot support the minimum graphics requirements of Windows Aero Glass. Aero Basic features the standard elements of the Windows 7 interface except for the translucent effects and animations. Instead, areas such as the Taskbar, window borders display a blue/grayish color scheme. Other unavailable features include the inability to choose a Window Color, see and interact with thumbnail previews, Alt-Tab Preview, Flip 3D and Aero Peek.

Windows Classic - First introduced with Windows 95, this experience was the flagship theme for Windows for many years and was replaced by Windows XP’s Luna in 2001 but is still included in Windows for persons who are not quite ready for the changes in Windows 7. Microsoft has made some changes to Windows Classic in Windows 7 where menus are concerned. The standard look and feel still exist, but Microsoft has decided to remove the Standard Classic Menu that was available as an option in both Windows XP and Vista. Personally, I agree with this, since the new Start menu offers so many benefits such as Instant Search, easier access to programs, better control (no cascading/off screen sub menus), ability to search HomeGroups, Public directories and detailed results when presented. The new Start menu also introduces support for features unique to Windows 7 such as Jump List providing access to task and recently accessed files associated with a program.

High Contrast themes - If you have difficulty reading or viewing your screen, Windows has for years included high-contrast color schemes that heightens the color contrast of some text and images on your computer, making those items more distinct and easier to identify.

Indexing Options

Indexing Options – Instant Search makes it quick and easy to find personal files and folders you commonly use. To improve the performance of your search experience, make sure the Index is not set to search the entire computer, searching areas such as System and Program Files directory can greatly slow down the performance of your searches and provide less reliable results. You can instead add folders you often search or store files.

Power Settings – In December, we talked about some of the energy efficiency improvements built into Windows 7 that allow you be more productive on the go and also provide better performance in certain scenarios.

Windows 7 extends battery life for your mobile PC, helping you be productive longer while still getting great performance. Power-saving enhancements include increasing the idle time for the processor, automatically dimming the display, and more power-efficient playback for DVDs. With Windows 7, you’re also kept better-informed about battery status.

Get Idle and Stay Idle Longer. An idle processor reduces battery life. Windows 7 reduces background activities and supports the trigger-starting of system services, so your computer’s processor can be in an idle state more often.

Adaptive Display Brightness. The display on a typical mobile PC consumes more battery power than any other part of the computer. Windows 7 automatically reduces display brightness after a period of inactivity, much like cell phones do today. And Windows 7 intelligently adapts to your activity. For example, if the screen dims after 30 seconds and you immediately move the mouse to brighten
the display, Windows 7 will wait 60 seconds before dimming the display again. Learn more here

Startup Performance

We install a lot of applications on our computers. Sometimes, those applications will place special files in areas of the operating system such as the Startup Folder to make launching the application faster. Sometimes a program might even create a special Service that prepares itself when Windows is starting up. If you have a lot of these types of programs installed, some of them can have a adverse effect on your systems performance. To resolve this, you can simply launch the Microsoft Configuration Utility (msconfig). MSCONFIG provides a host of options for managing how your computer starts up and also for diagnostic purposes when your system might not start properly. To launch MSCONFIG, click Start, type: msconfig.exe, hit Enter on your keyboard, or click msconfig.exe result in the Start menu.


System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG)

When msconfig is displayed on your screen, you will see the main interface, General (tab), which manages how your computer starts. The main tab we need to go to is Startup. At this tab, we will see a list of items that startup with the system when Windows is loading. Now, there are some programs in here that are essential, but some might not be needed when the computer starts, check out the following table of some of the applications I have that load programs during start up and the ones I have unchecked:

Program Description Check or Uncheck
Kmaestro (x64) This program is associated with my sound card, so I will keep it of course. Yours will be listed under a different name, for instance Creative Audio products might be listed as Creative or diagent. Check
Microsoft Security Essentials This is my security program of choice, yours might be different, you can easily identify your security software under the Manufacturer column, Symantec, Microsoft, McAfee, Kaspersky, ESET or a number of others. Check
Microsoft Windows Operating System This item loads commands associated with essential areas of the system such as Program Files and Windows Directories, definitely keep these checked. Check
Microsoft Encarta Dictionary If you have Microsoft Encarta installed, it also installs a program called Encarta dictionary. I use it a lot to make sure I spell words correctly. If you don’t use it often, then you can uncheck it. Uncheck
Logitech A manufacturer of various input devices such as Mice, Keyboard, video cams and Game controls, this is often associated with an input device of some kind, definitely leave it. Check
Quicktime Apple Computers multimedia software for viewing and listening different types of content such as movie trailers, its rarely used, but usually comes bundled with other popular software from Apple such as iTunes Uncheck
Bluetooth software This is often used by devices such as cell phones to transfer files and some wireless input devices such as keyboards and mice to communicate with the system. Check
Adobe Acrobat Used for viewing Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF), this program is not something you are regularly doing I am sure and having it checked does not necessarily add any convenience to viewing PDF’s any faster. Uncheck
NERO Home Aheads popular program used for burning content to optical disks, Nero Home is just a quick way to access certain aspects of the program. Personally, its pointless, you could easily at a Shortcut to the Taskbar. Uncheck
iTunes iTunes is a very popular jukebox software created by Apple Inc. In addition to being a music player, its used with the ubiquitous iPod, one of which I own. Personally, the faster this program starts up, the better for me. If you don’t own a iPod or iPhone, having it checked for start up does not add any significant benefit unless you are using it as your default music player and you have a large library. Depends
Yahoo! Messenger Popular instant messaging, I rarely use it, but even if I have to, storing it in your Notification Area and startup items is just using up precious CPU cycles and memory, definitely remove it. If you do use it, simply pin it to your Taskbar. Uncheck
Daemon Tools I use this program to mount .ISO files which are virtual disk images of programs that are offered in that format. So instead of installing from a physical DVD or CD I just point to the .ISO file of that program and it shows up like a regular disk in the Computer environment. This is not a program used by the average PC user, even if you are not the the average PC user, having it in your start up is not gonna load those .ISO files any faster. Uncheck
Windows Live Family Safety Installed as a part of the innovative suite of products and free services – Windows Live Essentials, it provides parents with thorough parental control capabilities that go beyond what is included in Windows 7′s Parent Controls, allowing you to keep track of your child’s online activities. If you are a parent who shares a PC with a child and already utilize Windows 7 Parental Controls, then definitely keep this checked. Depends
Groove Included as a part of the Microsoft Office Enterprise and Ultimate edition suites, Groove is used for collaboration with colleagues, team work and brain storming. If you are not involved in such activities, then you can certainly uncheck it. Uncheck
Java(TM) Platform SE 6 U12 Developed by SUN Microsystems, Java is a popular applet used by many applications on the Internet or desktop. Certain programs require that Java is installed before they can work. Having it as a Start up item I personally notice does not add any significant benefit except alert you to new versions of the applet. Uncheck
RealPlayer An alternative media player juke box, I use it to download videos from the Internet. Having it as a start up item is unnecessary. RealPlayer has a tendency to pop up annoying notifications too. Uncheck
VMware Workstation I use this program to manage virtual instances of other operating systems. This program simply enables quick access to the VMware interface. I don’t have it checked and the program continues to function just fine. Uncheck
OneNote Another Microsoft Office family program, it is used for note taking, organization and management of information. Its also a handy application if you use a Tablet PC or computer with inking support. If you are in need of those capabilities, I would leave this unchecked. I use it to gather snippets of information I come across on the Internet or need to take a note of. So even though I don’t own a Tablet, OneNote still comes in handy. Depends

There is my list, of course yours will vary because of the hundreds of millions of configurations that exist and the millions of applications available for Windows. If you are unsure about a program, do a search on the Internet about it before unchecking. Keep a small inventory of the programs you are using, look in the notification area of the Windows Taskbar to see what is displayed. Hover the mouse pointer over the icon, which will display a balloon about that program. Also, do a backup before unchecking anything. If you do get confused, the Startup tab displays a button near the bottom of the window called Restore Startup Programs…, which will restore the startup items to their default configuration.

Other things you can do to keep your system running tick tock include making sure Windows, your applications and Security programs are updated. Uninstall applications you are not using anymore (click Start, type: Programs and Features, hit Enter. Right click a Column, click More.. > Under Details check the ‘Last Used On’ box > click OK. This will give you a clear idea of which programs are regularly used and which programs are not. You can also move files such as videos and pictures that are not in use to a secondary storage medium such as an external hard disk or DVDs. Windows 7 includes the ability to remove bundled components that you are not using from the Turn Windows features on or off component, to learn more check out the following article here

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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