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Computer freezes at login or welcome screen

   I have a Dell Studio 17 with Vista, IE8 and Norton 360. While starting my computer it hangs up either at the log in screen (cursor won't move to allow me to put in my password) or (if I start up in Safe Mode and am able to put in my password) at the welcome screen.  I suspect the problem might be that one of my start-up programs isn't functioning properly. However, I've been told that a virus might have been able to "sneak in" even though I am using Norton 360 in good working order. Is this possible?  Thanks in advance>


Kudos1 Stats

Re: Computer freezes at login or welcome screen

Could you confirm the version of N360 you have -- it's under Help-Support / About in the format nn.nn.nn.nnn 

Have you ever used the Startup controller in VISTA -- msconfig -- to check what is being started up when you start booting up to Windows? It's simple to do and there's even a basic setting on it only to start the absolutely essential stuff so you can see if there is anything there.

We can also recommend scanning the computer with a free utility you can download from a reputable website and that can sometimes detect and remove malware that has snuck past the defenses --some come in riding on the back of something you are asking for.

Run one or both successively of these two malware cleaner-uppers:



I'm assuming of course that you can effectively and safely access the internet if necessary on a different computer.

Download and install the free versions since they do all you need by running on command, not in the background. Be careful that you do chose the free versions. Don't be alarmed when you click on the Free Download button on either of those sites if they take you to another website and you get a warning from Windows that you have been moved. They use a range of "mirror" sites to spread the downloading. You may need to click on a bar at the top of your browser and OK the download.

After installing from the downloaded file, update them to the latest definitions and run them in turn.

Both have a good reputation for cleaning up.

If by any chance they refuse to install or won't run after installing because malware is preventing them you can sometimes defeat the malware by changing the name of the exe file to anything except its real title!

Please let us know how you get on or if you are not comfortable with anything and have some questions.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Computer freezes at login or welcome screen

Apart from what Hugh has suggested above, I would suggest to try Norton Bootable Recovery Tool. Boot using the Recovery tool, and then run a scan. Check if it detects any threats.




Re: Computer freezes at login or welcome screen

Thanks Hugh and Yogesh,

   I just received my computer back from my tech friend.  To answer Hugh's question about my version of Norton 360, it is version 5.  Don't know beyond that, but I do manually update at least weekly, so my version must be pretty up to date

   My tech followed Hugh's directions and found nothing amiss (in terms of malware, etc), except for routine minor cookies. He did say, though, that he thought Norton 360 was causing my computer to freeze up while in login mode. He said something (which I didn't  understand) about Norton "really getting into Windows". He said that this is why some people don't like Norton (although I have been a happy customer for several years).

   In any event, my computer seems to be working fine, although a few things look a little different.  This experience leaves me with two questions:

   1.  How can I prevent Norton from causing my computer to freeze up during login (assuming, of course, that Norton was the culprit here).

   2. Since the tech uninstalled and reinstalled Norton 360, my logins are now gone (those green "things" that enter your username and password to login pages such as this one). I regularly used the Norton backup feature and hope they would be there.  How can I transfer that login information from backup to my new install of Norton 360?

  Thanks again!


Re: Computer freezes at login or welcome screen

I'll let someone else deal with recovering the log in data -- a pity the techie didn't use the export function in Identity Safe to save them say to a thumbdrive to reimport. Uninstall usually asks "do you want to save data" but if he reformatted rather than just removed N360 that would not have helped.

Since you now say the computer is working fine (with Norton 360 I assume) I suspect a corrupt installation previously dealt with by the reinstall.

The techies remark about going deep into windows is correct is true but it's also true of all the major security software which is why Norton and other houses offer their own special removal tool to remove all the bits that a normal uninstall does not. If the security software does not get down there then malware will ....

But he may also have been thinking of much earlier versions like 2008 which could drag windows to a standstill by using all the resources -- this is more than rectified now and is getting better every year ... so far.

I hope you are OK as soon as you get your data back.


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