Win 10 Startup hangs at desktop screen

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  1. Posts : 15
    Win 10 1903, Win 10 1809, XP

    Win 10 Startup hangs at desktop screen

    I recently reinstalled Win 10 completely because of the issue described below. I have only installed a couple of my regularly used applications, and now the same issue has recurred. I think the reinstall was version 1907 but I Can't check that.
    Startup appears to be quite normal until the welcome screen appears. The welcome screen image is blurred. However after a bit longer than normal, the desktop pops up. The desktop is black as it should be and the icons appear as normal. On the left side of the task bar the "Start", "Type here to search" and "Task view" icons are present. On the right side of the task bar the time and notification icons are present. No other shortcuts are visible. I can't remember which shortcuts were pinned to the task bar, (I've been away for three weeks) but at least some of Microsoft's default icons should be there. The mouse pointer is as normal when over the desktop but changes to the revolving blue circle when over the taskbar. None of the shortcuts on the desktop or taskbar react to mouse clicks. Sometimes I can draw a pretty blue rectangle on the desktop part of the screen using the mouse right button.

    I have had (for months maybe more than a year_ a similar issue on my laptop also with Windows 10, but when it occurs, it is fixable by furiously clicking the taskbar. Eventually the screen blinks and everything turns rosy. However with this treatment on the desktop the screen blinks but nothing else happens.

    Ctrl-Alt-Delete brings up the Lock-Switch User-Sign Out-Change a Password-Task Manager-Cancel menu. This appears to respond as it should. I tried clicking the power button on this screen and it offered the usual options including update and restart. I tried this and it appeared to work as it should until, again, it got to the desktop. In task manager I can start Notebook. exe, and I expect other applications if I knew the correct parameters to pass. Also, all the desktop network shares are available on my laptop and I can open desktop files on the laptop.

    It looks as if Windows Explorer is not starting properly but I'm not sure. Task manager shows that it is running.

    Could some kind soul please help. (It would be a bonus if I could fix it on the laptop as well!)
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 846
    Windows 10 LTSC

    Have you tried closing explorer.exe and opening it again? I think this is a user account issue.

    Also, create a new local user account and see if the problem is gone.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 15
    Win 10 1903, Win 10 1809, XP
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for your reply RoasterMen. I tried both of your suggestions but neither had any effect.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 13,950
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    Does it happen if you boot to Safe Mode? (Hold down the Shift key when you click on the Restart button).

    What was the last application you installed before this started happening?
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 7,115
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Use Autoruns to check / disable what is loading when starting Windows. Also set this option in Group Policy for feedback on what is happening when you login.
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 15
    Win 10 1903, Win 10 1809, XP
    Thread Starter

    Thank you Ztruker and Steve C for your replies.
    Booting in safe mode: Did this. Startup was exactly the same as before with blurred welcome image and blue circle over the task bar when loading was complete. However one click on the task bar produced a message box with the caption "Microsoft Windows" and the message "This application is not responding. The programme may respond again if you wait. Do you want to end the process?". 2 button available, "End process" and "Cancel". Clicking "End process" resulted in the desktop being fully functional and as far as I can tell everything that should work did work albeit in safe mode. This was repeatable.
    Last application installed: I think it was my Brother printer but whatever, the desktop issue did not appear straight away.
    Display highly detailed status messages: Tried this and got, well, highly detailed status messages during startup. However they went by so fast I could barely read them. I did not see anything that indicated something was bad.
    Autoruns: I had not heard of this tool. It appears to be extremely powerful and perhaps dangerous. I ran it and then made a big mistake. Instead of disabling a couple of processes, services or drivers and carefully noting which ones I had disabled, I disabled a whole heap of them, based mainly on the principle of whether or not they looked like they were not related to Windows. A reboot and zoot Allors! Everything was sweetness and light! I don't know if it's significant, but the blurry welcome image remains. I then moved to the laptop which as I have said displays the same symptoms but which can be overcome by repeatedly clicking in the taskbar. Using Autoruns I looked for a process, service or driver that was disabled in the desktop but was running in the laptop. The only one I could find was Adobe Type Manager which I disabled but it had no effect.
    I only joined this forum a month or so ago and already it has saved me from suicide due to frustration twice. Thank you TenForums and thank you repliers. I'll leave this open for a bit longer, however, and see what happens on the desktop.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 4,224
    Windows 10

    Sounds like you've got everything but the lock screen blur fixed. Here's a TF tutorial on that very topic: Enable or Disable Acrylic Blur Effect on Sign-in Screen in Windows 10.
    Good work!
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 13,950
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    I recently reinstalled Win 10 completely because of the issue described below.
    How recently did you do this and how did you do this install? Was it a Clean Install, a reset keeping files, or what? Did you follow a tutorial and if so which one? Can you provide a link to it please?

    If I were you, I would start over, doing a clean install: Clean Install Windows 10

    Make sure everything is working, then start installing your programs and printers, testing as you go. This will take awhile but in the long run will probably save you time and frustration.


    Once you have a base install, back it up. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. The best way to do this is to use Macrium Reflect Free to make an image backup to an external hard drive. If you don't have an external hard drive now is a good time to get one as regular backup should be a part of your normal process. You can get a 1TB external hard drive for $60 (less if on sale).
      My Computers

  9. Posts : 15
    Win 10 1903, Win 10 1809, XP
    Thread Starter

    Thank you EdTittel and Ztrucker for your replies.
    Blurry welcome image: I'm not at all sure that I understand the logic of the blurry screen theory but I followed EdTittel's suggestion and now my picture of Wharariki Beach (not far from a house we have in Golden Bay) is crystal clear. I had assumed that it was related to the startup issue because it started at about the same time, but maybe not. None of this answers the question of why the (rude words) do I have to put up with this constant manipulation of my system? As for the well done, thank you EdtTittel but I would not have succeeded without the help of this forum.
    Reinstall: The install was clean. I keep all my data on a separate partition or drives and c: is used only for the operating system and applications. It's weeks ago that I did this, it worked fine for a few days, then we went away for 3 weeks (to the place not far from Wharariki Beach) and when I came back and turned on my desktop, it stopped at desktop screen. I have some very brief notes on the install which say that I tried to install from a 1903 USB stick but couldn't so I installed using the original retail USB stick which would probably be 15something, and then upgraded using the 1903 USB stick. I formatted the C: partition before installing, as I have always done when reinstalling (another rude word) Windows. Your suggestion of starting again is a good one, but what puts me off is the probability that I'll just get the same issue all over again. And it's not like it happens straight away, it's only after I have been lulled into a false sense of success that these things come back to bite me. However I am going to check out Macrium Reflect Free and since I haven't yet replaced much of the software on the latest install, I will probably do as you suggest. Thank you both again.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 1,604
    Win 10 home 20H2 19042.1110

    You might also want to check out Winareo Tweaker app... Win 10 Startup hangs at desktop screen-blur-sign-.png
      My Computers


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