Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears


  1. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears


    I installed Windows 10 version 1903 on 9/13/2019. Since then, I have experienced the following behavior. Within five or so minutes of system startup, the screen goes black for a couple of seconds, then the desktop reappears. This always happens twice in a row, a few seconds apart. Never more than twice, and never less. I thought nothing of it until today.

    I have an Epson USB printer which I used today for the first time since 9/13/2019. Normally, the printer icon shows in the notification area, regardless of whether the printer is on or off. But today, I noticed that the icon was missing from the notification area. After restarting the PC, the icon reappeared, and I was able to make a print. But then the screen blinked, and after the desktop reappeared, the printer icon had disappeared!

    If I go to Printers & Scanners and try to access the printer properties, I get this error:
    Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears-permission-error.png

    But even worse, if I try to access Device Manager, I get a similar error:
    Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears-untitled-picture-2.png

    I tried disabling Malwarebytes and restarting (as suggested in a post somewhere), but it had no effect.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 35,522
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Hi,

    1. Please have a look at your Reliability History and look for a possible sequence of crash reports. Explore the red X's and post screenshots.

    2. Please perform a clean boot (Tutorial or Google if unsure how).
    Do you see the same crash?

    3. Are you using Open Shell/Classic Shell?

    4. What is the model of the printer and the version of its driver- is that the latest?

    5. If you uninstall the printer and boot normally, do you experience the same crash?


    That the printer icon has disappeared may be a consequence of explorer crashing and the icon not being regenerated. That used to happen but in my experience is much less common now.

    What is your exact windows build? Sadly it's not a forum requirement so we have to keep asking.
    Win key + r, winver
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    1. Please have a look at your Reliability History and look for a possible sequence of crash reports. Explore the red X's and post screenshots.
    Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears-reliability-monitor.jpg

    Almost all of the application failures are for the AMD User Experience Program Master. I should probably turn it off.

    dalchina said:
    2. Please perform a clean boot (Tutorial or Google if unsure how).
    Do you see the same crash?
    I have not tried this yet, but I will.

    dalchina said:
    3. Are you using Open Shell/Classic Shell?
    No to both questions. However I am running an application called Fences 3.0 that allows me to organize my desktop icons. I am running version 3.0.9, which is the latest version. EDIT: I disabled Fences and restarted the PC. The "blink" still occurs after 3-4 minutes.

    dalchina said:
    4. What is the model of the printer and the version of its driver- is that the latest?
    Epson SC P400 printer, driver v6.77. Yes, it is the latest.

    I do not suspect the printer is the problem. As I said in the OP, I almost never use it, so I wouldn't normally notice the missing icon in the notification area. Yesterday, I needed to make a print. But after the desktop "blinked" the printer icon disappeared. But I am also unable to access Device Manager. Doesn't that indicate that the problem is at a much deeper level?

    dalchina said:
    5. If you uninstall the printer and boot normally, do you experience the same crash?
    I haven't tried this yet. I will if you think it's necessary.

    dalchina said:
    That the printer icon has disappeared may be a consequence of explorer crashing and the icon not being regenerated. That used to happen but in my experience is much less common now.
    I don't think File Explorer is crashing. Before posting this reply, I restarted my PC. I launched File Explorer, and checked that the printer icon appeared in the notification area. I watched the screen. At 4 minutes, the desktop blinked. Afterward, File Explorer had NOT disappeared (would it disappear if it crashed?) and the printer icon was gone. And I can't access Device Manager.

    dalchina said:
    What is your exact windows build? Sadly it's not a forum requirement so we have to keep asking.
    Win key + r, winver
    Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, OS build 18362.356
    Last edited by perkinw; 25 Sep 2019 at 16:51.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 35,522
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    Hi, history:
    I installed Windows 10 version 1903 on 9/13/2019.
    - was this an upgrade- if so, from what?
    - or a clean install?

    Will be worth trying a clean boot, as the blinking might be related to startups- although 5 mins is relatively long.

    That time might suggest a sceduled task.

    However, you also have indications of permissions issues. Can you think of anything unusual that might have led to that?

    Please try some basic routine checks now we know it's not explorer crashing and given the other symptoms.

    a. Please check your disk.
    Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) gives the best instant analysis on its GUI I know.
    Else HD Tune (free) Health and Error scan tabs.

    b. If ok please run
    chkdsk c: /scan
    from an admin command or Powershell prompt and report the summary result.

    c. If ok, please likewise run
    SFC /SCANNOW
    and report the summary result.

    If all is well, you say you can't open Device Manager - permissions issues.

    Please run Tweaking.com's free cautious repair tool:
    Tweaking.com - Windows Repair Free/Pro
    Try repairs 1,2,3 (permissions)

    Note that some users have reported specific problems - e.g. certain programs not working- with update
    KB4515384
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Here's something interesting I discovered: If I open Printer Settings (from the printer icon, before it disappears) and I keep the printer settings window open, I can access my printer even after the printer icon disappears from the notification area. So at least I have a workaround.

    dalchina said:
    - was this an upgrade- if so, from what?
    - or a clean install?
    It was an upgrade
    Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears-windows-update-history.jpg

    A clean install was done in July (KB4507453 = Version 1903, OS Build 18362.239)

    According to my notes, I first noticed the blinking desktop and missing printer icon the day after the most recent Windows upgrade (9/13/2019). The first time the blinking occurred, the desktop icons did not reappear spontaneously. I think I may have checked Desktop -> View -> Show Desktop icons. Since then, desktop icons always reappear after the "blinks."

    dalchina said:
    Will be worth trying a clean boot, as the blinking might be related to startups- although 5 mins is relatively long. That time might suggest a scheduled task.
    I read the Clean Boot tutorial. Parts 1 and 3 are straightforward, but I wouldn't know how to approach the troubleshooting (Part 2) for a permissions problem. The troubleshooting steps in the tutorial are for programs that won't install or won't run. In my case, do I find the service or startup task that's causing the blinking?

    Incidentally, the blink occurs in about 3 minutes after restart, not 5. During those three minutes, I see many signs of startup activity, e.g., desktop icons flickering, icons populating the notification area one-by-one, the wait cursor going on and off, etc.. So startup still happening. For what it's worth, here are my startup tasks:
    Attachment 248936


    dalchina said:
    However, you also have indications of permissions issues. Can you think of anything unusual that might have led to that?
    I can't think of anything. I'm a Windows 10 newbie, and I never play with permissions. I don't understand them well enough.

    dalchina said:
    a. Please check your disk.
    Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) gives the best instant analysis on its GUI I know.
    Else HD Tune (free) Health and Error scan tabs.
    The OS is on a new 512 GB Samsung SSD which was installed in July at the time of clean OS install. CrystalDiskInfo says everything is good. Does Hard Disk Sentinal offer an advantage over CrystalDiskInfo? If so, I will try it.

    User profiles are on two WD Black HDD's (RAID configuration), which were also installed at the same time as the SSD. Both HDD's passed DLGDIAG.

    dalchina said:
    b. If ok please run
    chkdsk c: /scan
    from an admin command or Powershell prompt and report the summary result.
    Desktop blinks a few minutes after startup, then printer disappears-chkdsk.jpg

    dalchina said:
    c. If ok, please likewise run
    SFC /SCANNOW
    and report the summary result.
    I read the tutorial but have not done it yet.

    dalchina said:
    If all is well, you say you can't open Device Manager - permissions issues.

    Please run Tweaking.com's free cautious repair tool:
    Tweaking.com - Windows Repair Free/Pro
    Try repairs 1,2,3 (permissions)
    Have not done yet.

    dalchina said:
    Note that some users have reported specific problems - e.g. certain programs not working- with update
    KB4515384
    Yes, but I didn't see any permissions problems.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I discovered the source of the problem. The Adobe Creative Cloud desktop application runs automatically at startup. If it needs to update itself, it proceeds to do so without asking permission. At the end of the update, it kills explorer.exe as part of its normal processing. I have been told that it does this to avoid the user having to reboot. Anyway, because of a bug in the update process, the update has been failing, which means that it once again tries to update itself at the next reboot. And the next. And the next.... Killing explorer.exe is causing the problems I described in the OP.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 35,522
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #7

    Thanks for letting us know. Adobe seems a repeated cause of reports...
      My Computers


 

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