Why is Windows XP freezin at the welcome screen?

null April 19, 2011
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I’ve been having a recurring problem with Windows XP Professional freezing at the welcome screen after a fresh install.

I am able to format the hard drive and install Windows successfully and it is operational for about 2 days. During that time I install and update drivers for KB/mouse, MB (using on board graphics), printer, and install MS Office. I am not doing anything else except letting the Windows updates download and install. Then when I restart the computer it is frozen at the welcome screen.

I have the same issue with Safe Mode, so I’m unable to enter there either. I’ve tried installing on 2 different HDs and 2 different motherboards and am experiencing the same issues (5 times now). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  1. ShagUSP
    April 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for all the replies. As it turns out it looks like it may have been caused by a failing (or failed) data drive. I unplugged the drive and windows started without problems. I plugged the drive back in and on restart windows loaded but froze within a couple minutes. Unplugged the drive again and all is well. Does this sound like a feasable cause?

    • Tina
      April 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks for the response! A failing hard drive would have been my first guess had you not added that you tried different hard drives. I didn't think of a third attached drive. So yes, I would consider that a likely cause.

  2. Bruce Epper
    April 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    When you do a fresh install of XP, follow these steps:
    - disconnect computer from internet and any internal networks
    - the only external connections you want at this point are keyboard, mouse & monitor
    - do XP base install
    - if original install does not have SP3 integrated, install that now
    - install latest drivers for all base hardware. Do not install drivers for external equipment (printers, scanners, etc.; they should not even be connected yet.)
    - connect to internet and keep running Windows Update until there are no more critical updates (at a minimum)
    - after all these have completed, disconnect from any networks again and reboot the machine one more time and note the time.
    - once machine has stabilized and is mostly idling, open up the System Log in the Event Viewer and look for any entries after the last reboot that are not simply informational entries. You really need to make sure that all of these (with the possible exception of w32time errors) are corrected before proceeding.
    - once the errors are corrected, connect remaining equipment and install the latest drivers for those devices and any associated software you may want for them. If rebooting is required for the driver installation, make sure you check the Event Logs again to make sure everything is working properly.
    - after all of this is working correctly, go ahead and install any remaining software and associated updates (MS Office, etc.).

    If following this procedure does not change your results, boot into safe mode with logging and it will display the drivers as they are being loaded. The last one to appear on the list before it freezes is the most likely culprit and may lead to to whatever device or driver is causing the issue.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Hello, have you tried doing the following?

    -- Use the following combo Ctrl + Alt + Delete
    -- click on shutdown
    -- select log Off
    -- log back in and you should be good to go
    -- this is just a temporary fix

    The Plug and Play service has been known to cause this kind of problem, try disabling it and maybe it works for you

    -- click on start
    -- run
    -- msconfig
    -- on menu select services tab
    -- find and uncheck Plug and Play service
    -- restart computer

    Have you checked your RAM? Have you upgraded your RAM recently? Most times, if it freezes on safemode too, it is due to driver problems.

  4. Anonymous
    April 20, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Is your windows xp cd original? or you burned it your self?

    Instal a new graphic card driver and see if this does help you.

  5. Tina
    April 20, 2011 at 5:27 am

    So once this happens you can not log in at all until you re-install? And you already tried different hard drives, so it doesn't sound like it could be a failing hardware issue.

    Did you try the recovery mode with your installation disk?

    Actually, Microsoft Support has listed a similar problem. Is this close enough?

    Please check it out and let us know if anything helps.

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