Windows 10: Black Screen After Locking, Also With Random Explorer.exe Crashes

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  1.    12 Jan 2018 #1

    Black Screen After Locking, Also With Random Explorer.exe Crashes


    Hi guys,

    I've searched for many months for solutions to my problems, but I find SIMILAR complaints, though none the same.

    So with the Fall Creator's Update (was it in October?), my explorer.exe would crash randomly. It would then not reopen. No keyboard shortcuts would work except for CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to bring up Task Manager, but even that would freeze everytime before it could render / list any of the processes. After a couple of times, this too would not respond from keyboard shortcuts. Only the cursor is visible and moveable. Programs already running run as if nothing has happened. No taskbar. Only solution is to hard-reset.

    I tried system restore, which would then say system restore failed. But at the same time, this system restore would stop this random explorer crash (or at least make it so rare that I can't remember when it happened before the update). I know the restore "worked" because this is the second time I've let the upload take place and had the crashes and had to system restore.

    The reason why I was doing the update was because my Windows Spotlight broke for I don't know what reason (just stopped working) and since then it has been broken. It refuses to switch to Spotlight and remains on Picture in the personalisation settings. From what I can remember, it happened after the Fall Creators Update.

    Now the Lock Screen going black is completely irrelevant to the updates. It happens at completely random times, with the last time it happening with heavy RAM use (but most of the times with same usage nothing happens, so it is random). It's simple - I have to get up, I lock the system with CTRL+L and when I come back, the lock screen has completely disappeared. It's the same black screen as aforementioned with the explorer crash. Programs are running. Cursor is working. But nothing from explorer is present. No lock screen, no password box, no buttons, nothing. Only thing I can do is reset.

    The result of this is loss of data and significant damage to my drive. I really want this to end as it has been plaguing me since I first got Windows 10 on my laptop. I got a new PC, fresh install, STILL HAPPENING.

    The only thing I can think of is Classic Start Menu that I have always used since Win 8. But I cannot find anybody with Classic Start Menu who has these issues.

    Please help out. I'm completely at my wit's end. I've done all the SFC and DISM commands and they have, as always, been useless. As for Spotlight, I've tried going into the Assets folders, deleting the files there, the settings and all that. Nothing. Other than Classic Shell, I can think of perhaps adding the IPs to block telemetry/auto windows updates which could have blocked Spotlight, but I removed those IPs from the hosts file and STILL everything is the same. Plus, as mentioned before, all these crashes have happened pre-tweaking anyway.

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 1,015
    Windows 10 Professional
       12 Jan 2018 #2

    Right after an explorer.exe crash, hard reset your computer. Then once the computer starts up, open Event Viewer. Look at the Windows Logs. There's 5 categories there. Try looking at the System category first, and look for anything that you think may be related to explorer.exe. The most recent logs are on top. You can paste that info here. If you can't find anything there, look at the Application or Security categories. Hopefully the reason why explorer.exe crashes would be logged in there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    12 Jan 2018 #3

    Can you please check and let us know if File Explorer crashes from Safe Mode.

    In Windows 10, the lock screen background does not display if you disable the Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing setting in This PC > Properties > Advanced system settings > Performance settings > Visual Effects.

    Windows Spotlight features requires an active internet connection to show new wallpaper on the lock screen. Otherwise, it won’t be able to grab the image from the repository. So make sure that you are connected to the Internet and firewall not blocking Windows Spotlight.

    You may want to reset Windows Spotlight preferences and settings and see if that helps.

    Before you begin, create a system restore point first.

    Open Settings panel by pressing Win+I and go to Personalization > Lock Screen. Under the Background option, choose Picture and set a picture as default lock screen background.

    Next, navigate to the following folder,


    Code:
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_<characters>\Settings

    You will have to first unhide all hidden folders in Windows.

    Now, here in this folder, you will see two files called roaming.lock and settigns.dat. Delete both of them.

    Open the Lock Screen personalization settings and set Windows Spotlight as the default lock screen background.

    If this does not help, you want to proceed to the next step.

    Open an administrator Powershell windows, type the following and hit Enter:

    Code:
    Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager -allusers | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode}

    After executing above command check your lock screen to see issue resolved.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    13 Jan 2018 #4

    pepanee said: View Post
    Right after an explorer.exe crash, hard reset your computer. Then once the computer starts up, open Event Viewer. Look at the Windows Logs ...
    Hi pepanee, I tried that whenever it happened but all it would say was that explorer crashed, no reasons or linked apps. It's even worse with the lock-screen case, where nothing is logged.

    FreeBooter said: View Post
    Can you please check and let us know if File Explorer crashes from Safe Mode. ...
    Hi FreeBooter. Safe Mode is almost a dead-end because a) There's no set pattern to reproducing the crashes, other than a very ambiguous "keep running PC for a few days". I've also tried the rest of your suggestions multiple times and they did nothing, although this time it did give me an error in PowerShell:

    Code:
    Add-AppxPackage : Deployment failed with HRESULT: 0x80073CF6, Package could not be registered.
    An internal error occurred with error 0x80070005. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=235160 for help
    diagnosing app deployment issues.
    NOTE: For additional information, look for [ActivityId] ca14188e-8b7c-0000-7fb6-16ca7c8bd301 in the Event Log or use
    the command line Get-AppxLog -ActivityID ca14188e-8b7c-0000-7fb6-16ca7c8bd301
    At line:1 char:79
    + ...  | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmani ...
    +                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        + CategoryInfo          : WriteError: (C:\Windows\Syst...ppxmanifest.xml:String) [Add-AppxPackage], IOException
        + FullyQualifiedErrorId : DeploymentError,Microsoft.Windows.Appx.PackageManager.Commands.AddAppxPackageCommand
    Problem is, there's no entry for error code 0x80070005 on MS's site.

    Also, if I just re-enter the command, the error doesn't come, so ... very strange. Spotlight still not working.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    13 Jan 2018 #5

    You could use your computer if you do a Clean Boot which disables startup programs and services which can cause your problem.

    I would like to have you run a Clean Boot.

    How to perform a Clean Boot.

    Warning: Disabling items in Services or Startup may leave your antivirus disabled until the process is ended. For this reason I would suggest that you perform this process off line.

    Press the keys to open Run, then type msconfig in the search box. This will open System Configuration.

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should enter the password or provide confirmation.

    (1) Click/tap on the General tab.

    (2) Click/tap on the Selective startup option.

    (3) Remove the check mark in the Load startup items check box.



    4. Click on the Services tab.

    5. Place a check mark in the Hide all Microsoft services check box, this will remove the Microsoft Services from the list but will still be running.

    6. Click Disable all, this will remove all of the check marks in the Services list.



    7. Click on Apply then OK



    Click on Restart in the window that opens.

    When the computer is restarted it will boot normally.

    If the problem does not continue after the restart please do the following.

    8. Divide the number of these startup services and programs by two and you place checks in the first half of these, then restart the computer.

    9. If the problem doesn't return in those services and programs remove the checks and place checks in the remaining services and programs and restart the computer.

    10. When you find which half the service or program is in go on to the next step.

    11. The half which has the service causing this problem remove half of the checks as you did previously to see which half has this service. Do the same for the programs. Restart the computer.

    12. If it isn't in the first half of these services and programs, do the same with the last half of the services and programs.

    13. Once you have narrowed it down to the last three or four services and programs remove the checks one at a time till you find the service or program at fault.

    Once you have found the service or program post it in your topic. Do not take any action until I suggest the next step.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    13 Jan 2018 #6

    You can also perform a repair install of Windows 10 by performing an in-place upgrade without losing anything.

    How to Do a Repair Install of Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    14 Jan 2018 #7

    FreeBooter said: View Post
    You can also perform a repair install of Windows 10 by performing an in-place upgrade without losing anything.

    How to Do a Repair Install of Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
    It seems like one of the only things I can do is do a reinstall of Windows. The services are unchanged (i.e. they were the same when everything was working).

    Problem is an in-place upgrade will not preserve user-installed apps. So I'm looking at ways to backup installations. Will a system image do that? From what I know, an image is an exact copy, which means whatever is wrong will also be preserved and therefore nothing will change after restoring from the system image.

    Update: I've used Tweaking tools' Windows Repair Kit and also disabled a WSearch outbound blocking rule in the firewall. Plus, redid the powershell command. So far, it's at least "selected" Spotlight, but it only shows a solid colour background instead of an image. It has also begun showing the detailed info of weather (one of the apps I had added to the lockscreen). So at least there's some progress. If anybody knows the exact IP or range of IP addresses Spotlight uses, that would be really helpful.
    Last edited by sierra117; 15 Jan 2018 at 02:15.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 19,226
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       15 Jan 2018 #8

    sierra117 said: View Post
    Problem is an in-place upgrade will not preserve user-installed apps. So I'm looking at ways to backup installations. Will a system image do that? From what I know, an image is an exact copy, which means whatever is wrong will also be preserved and therefore nothing will change after restoring from the system image.
    An in place upgrade repair should not alter apps.
    See these links to see the difference between in place upgrade repair, reset with save files, clean install.
    Clean Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    Run this log collector and post a zip into the thread for troubleshooting:
    log collector v2-beta06.zip
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    15 Jan 2018 #9

    zbook said: View Post
    An in place upgrade repair should not alter apps.
    See these links to see the difference between in place upgrade repair, reset with save files, clean install.
    Clean Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    Run this log collector and post a zip into the thread for troubleshooting:
    log collector v2-beta06.zip
    Ah, now I see, I was mixing up the line "In Windows 10, this feature no longer preserves user-acquired Windows apps." from refresh pc to in-place upgrade. Seeing as my explorer has been fine since the "botched" system-restore, I'll wait until that happens again to do an in-place upgrade.

    Meanwhile, in a bizarre and baffling turn of events, my Spotlight now works. To begin with, I read THIS topic right here on the forum by member Brink. I ran the .bat file and initially nothing happened. Some members have mentioned a new account has Spotlight working but original account does not. Microsoft's own forums also have some experience members describing how the recent updates broke quite a lot of people's Spotlight (in fact, my brother still has a weird issue as well on his PC). So I gave it a shot - I created a new account. When I attempted to switch user, it immediately worked. I hadn't even logged into the new account.

    So now I'm unsure what it is - is it the delay of having the cloud content synced up and working coinciding with the new account setup? Or did the new account setup reset or reorganise things whereby Spotlight 'fixed' itself (in addition to the resetting I did with Tweaking.com's Windows Repair Tool)? Bizarre! But seems to have worked! I'll see if it works for my brother as well.

    In the meantime, thanks all who suggested and helped out! Appreciate it all!

    I'll report back here if my explorer crashes again in the aforementioned black-screen-inducing pattern and then will probably attempt the in-place upgrade.

    Kind regards
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    15 Jan 2018 #10

    Ah but of course, there's another twist.

    So while the repair tool fixed Spotlight, it broke TPM and BitLocker, whereby I can only unlock a drive by going into BitLocker settings, otherwise if I use the normal method of unlocking a drive (double click), then it says "application not found". So clearly something the repair tool "reset" broke BitLocker. It also confirms that the tool was the real differentiating factor and not any of the other things (batch file or creating a new account).
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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