Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Need to load Task Manager before Start menu will open


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Zeromus-X

Zeromus-X

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:16 PM

Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

We've now had three different Windows XP systems come in here for this problem so I wanted to see if anyone else was seeing this. It has happened with both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Media Center (based off Professional) systems. Two were Dells, one was a custom built one.

After installing a fresh copy of Windows and loading drivers, everything works fine. After doing the first batch of available Windows updates, the system reboots, but you cannot click anything on the Start menu, taskbar, etc. If you hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and open the task manager (either automatically as in XP Home, or by clicking Task Manager on the screen that comes up with MCE/Pro), you can then close the task manager, and everything runs appropriately. It doesn't matter how long the system sits there, this continues to happen until you go through that process.

I assumed we had a bad Windows image here at first, but after it started doing it with a whole different version, now I'm skeptical of one of the updates, and wanted to see if anyone was experiencing something similar.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 James Litten

James Litten

    Ԁǝǝ˥q


  • BC Advisor
  • 1,946 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:04:16 PM

Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:08 PM

Hi

A few questions :)

Are they being brought to you with this problem or is it a problem that you are having with installs that you do?

Are you using the same mouse for all of these installs?
When I do installs for customers, I use an old mouse and keyboard on my bench (my KVM caused problems once so I stopped using it for this).

Where are you getting the copy of XP from and what updates are you referring to? Is it when you update to SP3 or something else?

James

#3 Zeromus-X

Zeromus-X
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:16 PM

Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:23 PM

Hello, these are fresh installs on our bench on these systems. Typically the customers were infected with some kind of virus/malware that compromised the system to the point where they didn't feel comfortable simply cleaning it and rather decided on a complete reformat.

Three different sources for Windows have been used. One was the recovery partition on the computer, which had XP Home SP1. One was via a Dell Windows XP MCE restore DVD. A third was from an ISO which we downloaded via our MSDN subscription a good time ago. We are using our own bench keyboards and mice and are not using a KVM. We also had lots of problems with our KVM setup and switched it out about a year ago. It is possible that we are using the same mouse for each install but it's not likely since we have about 30 mice to grab from.

Typically, my techs who have been working on these types of repairs (wipe and reinstall with no data to back up) are entry level, so they have been installing XP via the discs I mentioned and then going to Microsoft Update to do the available updates. On the one that I was monitoring it worked great immediately after setup and after installing the drivers, but after the first batch of updates (111 of them to be exact), it exhibited the exact same problem as the others.

I have not been able to pinpoint this to a single common cause aside from running the Windows updates on the systems. I have gone as far as to hook a new, tested hard drive to the system and do a fresh install using their media, and the same thing happens. If I use a SP3 disc to begin with which has been slipstreamed with all updates, the computer appears to function fine.

It makes no sense. There has to be a common link between these and for the life of me I can't find it. I'm going to start looking at chipsets and seeing if there's a rogue chipset update coming in with the Windows updates that they're running or something, I just haven't had a chance yet.

#4 James Litten

James Litten

    Ԁǝǝ˥q


  • BC Advisor
  • 1,946 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:04:16 PM

Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

Okay, I see what level you're seeing this at now :)

You already did everything I would suggest, including a slipstreamed install with SP3 (which seems to get you past this issue).

At this point all I can suggest is to see if someone else reports this problem somewhere.

I'll be sure to post here if I come across anymore info about this.

Does it happen for every subsequent boot or just the first time after the updates and then doesn't happen anymore?

James

#5 James Litten

James Litten

    Ԁǝǝ˥q


  • BC Advisor
  • 1,946 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:04:16 PM

Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:09 PM

If you haven't tried this...

Next time it happens, instead of Task Manager try using the key combination

WindowsKey e
To open Windows Explorer

Does that fix it?

or
WindowsKey r
to open a Run window
see if it fixes it
if not type
notepad
into the run window and click OK to run Notepad
does that fix it?

Trying to see if it is specific to something Task Manager does or if it is a general problem with the Windows shell (explorer.exe).

James

#6 Zeromus-X

Zeromus-X
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:16 PM

Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:07 PM

Pressing Windows-R brings up the Run box as normal, but you can't actually click on it to do anything; it's almost like it's shaded out into the background. If you hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, Task Manager will come up, but it will also look faded out. If you click on it once, it'll direct focus to the window, and then click on the X to close it, and you can now access the Run box, Start menu, etc.

Makes no sense at all.

There's nothing running in Task Manager that I notice using up any real CPU usage; this particular system has Trend Titanium Antivirus, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, and Ad-Aware (the latter two not being paid subscriptions, so they're not memory resident), but I can't place the blame on any of those in particular since it was doing it on a fresh install on another computer after its updates.

#7 James Litten

James Litten

    Ԁǝǝ˥q


  • BC Advisor
  • 1,946 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:04:16 PM

Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:37 PM

Does it happen for every subsequent boot or just the first time after the updates and then doesn't happen anymore after you fix it once?

If it is permanently fixed after the first time, that would likely point to a registry value being set when you run Task Manager that allows the Windows shell to work properly after that. You might be able to track that down by installing something to track registry changes before doing the updates, then fixing the problem afterwards by starting Task Manager and looking to see what value(s) might have been changed/added at the moment that you fixed it.

James

#8 Zeromus-X

Zeromus-X
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:16 PM

Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:08 PM

Hmm... that's a thought.

It's every time after the first batch of updates we do, on these particular systems. The odd thing is, I've done plenty of reinstalls today just trying to duplicate the problem, and I can't do it for the life of me. I've got two techs who were working the day that these ones came in so I think it's time to drill them to see what the heck they did. Maybe one of them has an infected flash drive and they're using it to install IE8 or something. I'd like to think that a problem this major would be all over the place by now.

If I do discover what the culprit is, I'll post back. I'll see if I can track any registry key changes, too.

One other thing about it; if there's more than one user, I can't even click on a user to log into Windows. But if I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and bring up the manual user entry box, and then Cancel back to the user logon screen, I can click on any of them and log right in.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users