Desktop flashing icons loop problem.

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  1. Posts : 88
    1: Windows 10 Pro (64bit), 2: Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
       11 Sep 2016 #1

    Desktop flashing icons loop problem.

    I've been away for a couple weeks and started up my desktop with Win 10 Pro 64 a couple days ago. No problems until yesterday afternoon when it rebooted by itself as it sometimes does when left idling. I figure it's auto updating since we can't choose when we can't choose "Download but let me choose when to install" option from Win 7. What it's doing now after a reboot or startup after shutdown is it will logon normally and get the the desktop. Once at the desktop, my icons show but after about 15 seconds they all flash off then again. None will run either by double clicking and r-clicking doesn't show the pull-down, although it may be in the process of running the command, they all flash and the attempt is lost. L-clicking the Start button will list the Start Menu but only Power and Apps provide their pull-downs. The apps in Apps or the Start Menu won't run. The Power menu options do function. R-clicking the Start button does nothing.

    I thought to run SFC from the Elevated Command Prompt but I can't open it from the Start Menu or the desktop icon. Also reverting to a System Restore point prior to when this started my work. Is there a way to open these in Safe Mode and if so how? Any other suggestions for a simple fix? Does anyone know what's going on with this issue ?

    Thank you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    11 Sep 2016 #2

    Hi, you may have some deeper problem as you seem to be finding your PC restart as often as seems to be.
    Please look at your update history... Settings, Updates... Update History and see if the number of updates and date correlate at all with your unexpected restarts.

    You have Win 10 Pro, so set Active Hours (Settings, Updates, Change Active hours) to define a period when a restart cannot occur.
    (You can also download and run 'Don't sleep' and let it block restarts).

    You can try a restore point if you have one prior to the date this started happening.
    Windows key + X, click System, click System Protection, Click System Restore and follow the options to find a suitable restore point.

    If you can't get there that way, then do SHIFT + click restart (e.g. from the login screen) and navigate the options to System Restore. (If unsure about that, look at the appropriate Tutorial in the Tutorial section, or do a general search)

    Your range of problems suggests you should do an in-place upgrade repair install.
    Precede it with this in case sthg has happened to your file system:

    From an admin command prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.
    Make sure the result is clear or fixed- else do not proceed.
    Post back the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    How do I see the results of a CHKDSK that ran on boot? - Ask Leo!

    An In-place upgrade repair install will fix many things, but not those where the settings are not changed by the procedure.

    For this you need an installation medium with the same base build as you have installed, and x64 if you have a 64 bits OS, else x86 (32 bits).

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade - Windows 10 Forums
    - this includes a link from which you can obtain Windows 10 iso file (" download a Windows 10 ISO"), or create a bootable medium.

    I would recommend creating the bootable medium, as this can be used
    - for any future in-place upgrade repair install
    - to boot from and use its recovery options should Windows become unbootable.
    - to clean install Windows

    This will refresh Windows, after the manner of a Windows installation.
    - all/most associations will be unchanged
    - all your programs will be left installed
    - no personal data should be affected
    - you will lose any custom fonts
    - you will lose any customised system icons
    - you may need to re-establish your Wi-Fi connection
    - you will need to redo Windows updates subsequent to the build you have used for the repair install
    - Windows.old will be created
    - system restore will be turned off- you should turn it on again and I recommend you manually schedule a daily restore point.
    - you will need to redo any language downloads including the display language if you changed that)
    - inactive title bar colouring (if used) will be reset to default
    - if Qttabbar is installed, you need to re-enable it in explorer (Options, check Qttabbar)
    This is one of the better features of Win10: as each major build comes out, that's your updated reference build, and as updates are mostly cumulative, there will be few to do.

    Before you perform this major repair procedure, do create a disk image.

    Please consider using disk imaging regularly. It's a brilliant way to
    - preserve your system (and your sanity)
    - back up your data
    - restore your system to a previously working state in a relatively short time

    Recommended: Macrium Reflect (free/commercial) + boot disk/device + large enough external storage medium.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 88
    1: Windows 10 Pro (64bit), 2: Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
    Thread Starter
       12 Sep 2016 #3

    Thanks Dalchina. Your are the only one who's replied after many hours. :)

    Well, as you mentioned to do and I was thinking to try, I managed to find out if I had any system restore points and was relieved to see I had two with the latest being an automatically created one "Critical Update" two days earlier on the 9th when all was still well. I got to it via boot up as explained here: Advanced Startup Options - Boot to in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums however in my case I got there just the same by pressing F12 during reboot, then Advanced Options>System Restore. I executed the restore and it said it was "Completed Successfully" but the problem remained the same. I took a break from the stress of this for over an hour and I then came back and clicked around the desktop and found things seemed to be back to normal after all and after a few more tests to open apps and R-clicking the Start button, it is operating normally again! The HDD was still accessing continually so my guess is the restore was not yet complete in the background when it said it was initially. That Critical Update was probably the problem, having some bugs.

    I was now able to run sfc /verifyonly, which stated I had some issues still. When I left town on the 28th that last scan showed no issues. I then ran sfc /scannow and it said it could not fix all corrupted files, so I guess it did fix some of them. I could try to run it again and see it it can fix them now, or try to fix them individually or do the repair install. I had a similar problem with Windows 7 and I did the repair install and it worked for me. I will create the repair install disk for Windows 10 today.

    You suggested to create the Macrium book disk. I use AOMEI Backupper v3.5. With it I can create their Windows PE (Preboot Executable Environment) to disk. They say it "can replace the traditional system boot media and enable multiple computers to load the micro-system on networks for system maintenance." Is this another name for the same thing? Are these "boot disks" or "rescue disks", all doing the same thing? And can these repair install and boot disks be used in different PCs other then the one that they were created with - as long as they have the same OS?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    12 Sep 2016 #4

    Hi, I've used Aomei for quite a while, but have come across a number of problems and bugs I have the pro version). I also find their very obscure and unhelpful error messages - sometimes in very bad 'English' annoying - a simple example is that even if you simply haven't plugged in the backup drive - or it's there on the wrong drive letter - the program doesn't tell you that. And it actually appears to start doing the backup then generates an error msg.

    And when I came to Win 10, I couldn't work out whether it could select the set of partitions related to Windows when creating a System Backup.

    Currently, I can't even create its boot disk- their program stops creation at 99%, and the disk doesn't work. I've also tried creating the ISO from the program and burning that.

    So I now use Macrium.

    There's a big problem if you only configure their Preboot Executable Environment. Can you imagine what it is?

    Say your hard disk is corrupt or unbootable - so you can't access that- which is on the hard disk. You'd need a bootable medium - either to restore an image or to restore images to a new disk.

    As to the boot disk itself, you will probably find these are created as either UEFI compatible or MBR compatible (non-UEFI).
    So the boot disk has to match that aspect. That's all.

    It comes down to this. Try to be prepared for your worst nightmare. A full reasonably current backup you can restore using a boot medium that works.

    Note that images can be used even in moving to a new PC.
    a. by 'Redeploy' - where the whole system image is put onto the hard disk of a new PC, and drivers updated appropriately (not avalilable in Macrium free)
    b. using a Laplink program and the image. Here the OS is clean installed, the Lapling program installed, and this processes the image effectively transferring programs and settings to the new PC.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 88
    1: Windows 10 Pro (64bit), 2: Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
    Thread Starter
       12 Sep 2016 #5

    I was sold on the new backup feature of cloning several years ago and bought BounceBack which was an "award winning" program and highly rated for its unique cloning feature. I found it to be a headache and they had a major upgrade which didn't help. Fortunately, I never had a cause to need it but it was a waste of money. I started backing up with AOMEI a few years ago when I heard about it being the first free app with cloning. I thought cloning worked like BounceBack was supposed to but later learned cloning is really best for swapping out an old HDD with a new one, although if the clone is in a partition it can be used to restore a corrupted HDD back to new but only current to the date of the creation of the clone. So, it seems I'm back to restoring via backup images as the most efficient way to do a full recovery if the images are created often.

    Someone else there recommended Macrium Free to me and it seems the forum likes it. I just read reviews and go with what I think is best. Any opinion about COMODO Backup? You've pretty much convinced me AOMEI isn't one to count on.

    I followed the link you provided and just now the iso file for Windows 10 repair install completed the download. The link states "Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade " but I'm not sure about the "in-Place Upgrade" part. I downloaded from, Windows 10, English, 64 bit. It say it's good for Home or Pro and I have Pro. What I'm no sure of is the "In-Place Upgrade" I didn't see that listed. Does that mean if I do the repair install it will also upgrade to the latest version?

    In the past I've always burned recovery files to disk, which have worked but are slow. I can see how switching to a USB thumbdrive may be better if I can also include the boot disk files, instructions, and license keys in the same thumbdrive. Is this correct? If so this may be easier to travel with and have as insurance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    13 Sep 2016 #6

    Hi, to do an in-place upgrade repair the iso or whatever you are using must be the same basic build as your installed Windows.

    For this you need an installation medium with the same base build as you have installed, and x64 if you have a 64 bits OS, else x86 (32 bits).

    You won't see an option for 'in-place upgrade...' if that's what you're looking for. Doing that is the procedure using that material as above.

    If you were instead, say, to be running 1511, and starting setup.exe from a mounted iso for 1607, you would be upgrading.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 88
    1: Windows 10 Pro (64bit), 2: Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
    Thread Starter
       13 Sep 2016 #7

    Thanks for the clarification.

    1- Are "rescue" and "recovery" boot disks the same thing?
    2- If a rescue or recovery disk is created with a specific program, such as Macrium, will the the same disks still work in systems without that program installed?
    3- Is this forum given any incentive by Macrium to promote their software?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    13 Sep 2016 #8

    1. It depends what you're referring to. Different programs/authors use different terms. To be precise, Windows Backup and Recovery (Windows 7) uses 'System repair disc' which this tutorial refers to:
    Recovery Drive - Create in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    2. Boot disks provide features. If the boot disk is compatible with the boot configuration of your PC (MBR/UEFI) then it will provide those features - provided it is also applicable to the installed OS where the boot disk relates to an installed OS.

    3. Everyone here is a volunteer. Note Macrium (free) is the one most often mentioned.. no ££££s. You could ask whether the forum exists to promote Windows, I suppose.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9. Posts : 88
    1: Windows 10 Pro (64bit), 2: Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
    Thread Starter
       14 Sep 2016 #9

    Bad news ... while working normally, my building experienced a momentary power failure and although my battery backup kicked in fine, I lost internet connection. So I thought it would be easier just to reboot and after that my system went back to my original problem. The System Restore points previously listed were still there and I tried them but they all failed. So I have to do the repair install now and am using my backup PC to create the iso disk. Although I'm pretty confident my OS selection of Windows 10 Pro, English, 64 bit is correct, I'm not 100% sure if I chose English or International English before and the instructions state if I don't get that right I will lose everything. Is there a way to double check what my OS specs are has via the boot menu?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    14 Sep 2016 #10

    How to check the base language of Windows?

    registry - Find out the language windows was installed as - Stack Overflow

    To view the registry you will need a boot disk with an appropriate registry editor.

    If the build of your OS doesn't match that used for the repair install, you will get a message, just not an obviously meaningful one. (!)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

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