Windows 10: Boot stall/failure Solved

  1.    05 Mar 2017 #1

    Boot stall/failure

    Lenovo P50
    Second monitor
    Anker powered USB hub

    Yesterday, after returning home with the machine, I plugged in the power and assorted USB ports and booted. The machine stalled at the Lenovo splash screen. The drive light flickered not with usual random periodicity but at an apparent, suspicious, steady state. The machine would never get as far as the twirling image indicating, I believe, loading Windows. Powering on/off simply brought the machine to the same condition--as if the machine was never powered off (I held the power button long enough each time to ensure no sleep mode).

    Importantly, no function key was active nor the Lenovo text below the splash saying 'hit Enter for startup options' was responsive.

    I unplugged both the power and the USB dock and the machine successfully booted. I presume the problem was the docking station(?).


    1. Anyone ever had something like this happen to them before because I sure haven't?

    2. I'm thinking about resetting the boot order to USB first (I have a Reflect boot on a flash drive). However, I'm not sure if that would have helped since each time I powered the machine off/on it seemed to skip through the initial black screen and go directly to the splash screen?

    3. I tried falling back to a restore point but MS said I had a significant update 10 days ago, hence no points? I thought that maintaining a restore point prior to their updates was one of the reasons for having points?

    4. If there was a log of what the machine was trying to do and couldn't, where within the event log would it be found?

    5. Any proactive, bright ideas going forward?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,794
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       05 Mar 2017 #2

    Hi Markg2

    You may wish to check out Macrium Reflect as an Imaging tool. Free, reliable and will provide you with a real method to fallback.

    Macrium Reflect - Backup and Restore

    Not sure why this issue just started but I would get the system up and I would shut down hibernation and in turn Windows Fast Startup as a test. If this fixes you can explorer shutting down Fast Start up while leaving hibernation on.

    Open Command prompt (admin)

    powercfg -h off

    To re-enable both, hibernation and Fast Startup, use the word on instead of off in the command above.

    Re question 4. I believe it would be in the system log and it would be time stamped accordingly. (I must not be understanding question, sorry) You could check all logs.

    When shutting down windows, with Fast Startup enabled, if you want a fresh start of Windows, hold the shift key down when you click shutdown.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    06 Mar 2017 #3

    I run Reflect scheduled daily. With the machine in the problem boot state and the keyboard not reacting I could not get to the BIOS to change the boot order to allow the Reflect boot files that I have on a flash drive to intercept the boot process. That's why I was asking whether it made sense going forward to always have the boot order set to USB first?

    I ran the command you suggested. I turned the machine off, on and it again exhibited the same condition at boot. I powered the machine off, unplugged the docking station, powered on and no problem. There is clearly 'something' going on between the docking station or one of its USB connected items and the OS. Since there are 6 filled station ports I'm not looking to process of eliminate given the alternative (for now) of just unplugging the station on boot--UNLESS someone has a bright idea on a quicker way to problem solve the station.


    1. Why is hibernation not listed on power options? I've always turned it off in the past on earlier OS' that clearly had the feature called out. I even searched for hibernation and nothing came back?

    2. I don't get the 'fresh start of Windows'. I thought that whenever you either soft or hard booted the OS the memory was cleared, all registers cleared, etc?

    [EDIT]: I took a shower, life looked brighter and I attacked the 'hub problem'. I shut down the machine, unplugged all USB hub ports from the Anker and powered on successfully. I then followed the same procedure adding a USB hub device one at a time and specifically shutting down the machine not restarting each time. The machine booted successfully each time. At this point, after the few questions above are answered I will likely closeout this thread and chalk up the experience up to 'who in the h**l knows' (or cares if the machine remains non-problematic).

    Last edited by markg2; 06 Mar 2017 at 11:31. Reason: New information
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,794
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       06 Mar 2017 #4

    Just a couple of quick responses.

    1) I think you will find hibernation under sleep in the advance power options.

    2) Here is a tutorial that explains a little about Fast Startup

    Fast Startup - Turn On or Off in Windows 10

    I recommended the powercfg command as it is fast and easy for people to execute.

    Glad your machine is "better". Wish you had found a solid root cause.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Mar 2017 #5

    My cold boot time with Fast Startup off is not significantly quicker than with FS on. I think this mostly has to do with the P50's SSD and to a less extent the chipset/memory.

    Since I have never used hibernate since its introduction, same can only be a potential negative. Plus, now that I've learned I do not get a Fresh Start with a soft boot due to FS, I'm leaving FS off.

    I'm curious why my machine's power option screen does not behave according to your link.

    When I click 'Choose what the power buttons do' then click 'Change settings that are currently unavailable' I do not get the UAV screen (although I'm set to and do for other actions) and I definitely do not get the screen indicated on the link with the FS and hibernate option (Image of screen I do get attached).

    I'm curious why?

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Power.PNG  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,794
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       07 Mar 2017 #6

    Just to clarify as it was clarified to me. If you do a restart you get what I called a fresh start. If you shutdown it uses the Fast Startup. To avoid this you can press shift key and click shutdown.

    Interesting screen shot. I would say normally, however I'm getting to the point where there is no normal, in the screen shot you provided there would be a link to change advance settings. Things like Wireless adapter, Wake timers etc. Maybe it is in the screen before this screen.

    Last question, are you signed in as admin?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    07 Mar 2017 #7

    According to 'netplwiz' there are only two users: Guests and my email which is included in Administrators.

    Actually a moot point since I've turned off Fast Start and hibernation and am good with the setup.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


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