When Windows 7 Won’t Go Past the Welcome Screen

windows7-wel-screen-brokenWhen it comes to computers, you never know what will happen from day to day.   One minute it’s working fine, the next it stops. I’ve been fixing computer issues for over 25 years, and it never ceases to amaze (and frustrate) me when a  computer stops working for really no good reason.  I spent a good majority  this past  Saturday fixing such an issue.  It turns out it was a corrupted driver issue with Windows 7 Ultimate, which I still don’t know why or how it happened.   It just did! But I was able to resolve this problem in several steps.  Hopefully this will help you if it happens to you:

Since I had to reboot the computer by turning it off (hard boot is never recommended but sometimes the only option) the computer reboot  with the option to go into  SAFE MODE.  I booted into SAFE MODE, and once into Desktop, I rebooted again and selected  NORMAL MODE. The computer stopped at the WELCOME SCREEN and wouldn’t go any further.  Again,  I had to turn it off then back on again, selected SAFE MODE again to get to the desktop.
Since it became obvious Windows wouldn’t boot in NORMAL MODE, chances are it is a driver issue.   (Note: If you can’t boot in SAVE MODE, then this article is of little help.  Go to the bottom of this article and read last paragraph.)

My first option was to try and restore to an earlier point. I selected a restore point from several days earlier, did the restore, but didn’t resolve the issue.  At this point if you are going to try to fix your computer, be sure you BACK UP ANY DOCUMENTS, PICTURES,
AND OTHER FILES before doing anything else. I use a Cloud Service which backs up my files on a daily basis, and has been a life saver especially when I had a non-recoverable hard drive crash.

On to my next option.  Please note that applying any of my suggestions below are at your own risk and you assume all responsibility for the outcome 🙂

Once on my desktop in SAFE MODE, I selected START (bottom left), and typed in MSCONFIG.  Your SYSTEM CONFIGURATION panel should pop up.  At this screen, select the STARTUP tab and select ‘disable all’.  Then go to SERVICES tab, tick the ‘HIDE ALL MICROSOFT SERVICES’,  and select ‘Disable All’.  Click OK and reboot your computer when prompted.

If it is a driver issue, hopefully you should be able to reboot in NORMAL MODE. If you are successful and get to your desktop, you will notice many of the programs that automatically loaded before aren’t present such as your security program, printer, etc.  This is because we disabled them. But since you were able to access your desktop in normal mode,  we can assume one of these programs is  causing the problem.

You will need to go to the SYSTEM CONFIGURATION panel again (get there by typing in MSCONFIG as before), and start re-enabling programs in your STARTUP tab.  Try just a few, click OK and reboot. Keep doing this until you get to the point were you have
re-enabled all of your programs, just doing a few at a time.   NOTE: You’ll want to do your security program, printer, and any other programs that you use all the time first. If you do all of them at the same time, then it will be very difficult to determine which one is causing issues. Through this exercise, you should be able to find out which one was the issue.   In my case, it ended up being Google Chrome browser.  I uninstall it and reinstalled and everything is working fine again.

Also, I had to go back into the SERVICE tab and retick my security and cloud storage programs.  After re enabling your programs,  check your security program, printer and any other important programs to make sure they are working properly.

If it didn’t work?

Of course, if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing, then don’t do it! I’ve been doing computer troubleshooting for over 25 years and probably thousands of times.  But I wanted to offer this option since it’s fairly simple and if you feel comfortable with it, then give  it a try.

If this doesn’t work, your next option might be to hire a professional since other issues could include virus or malware, more deeply rooted software issues requiring special utilities and diagnostics/testing, bad motherboard, memory, hard drive, power supply, or something else.  I’m available in the Lewis Center, OH area if you want to contact me.  Email me at info@unicomsvcs.com with your name, phone number and short overview of problem and I’ll get back to you asap.  Or access my website unicomsvcs.com

Article written and graphics created by Bruce Kullberg, Owner, Kullberg Designs and Unicom Services.  

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