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Q. Why Can't I Boot Into Windows 10 Without My Machines Stalling Out?

Q. Why Can't I Boot Into Windows 10 Without My Machines Stalling Out?

Q.  I decided to upgrade to Windows 10 before the free offer expired. The upgrade went surprisingly well; my system cold-boots a bit slower than it did with Win7, but it now shuts down quickly.

However, when I reboot/warm-restart, it seems to shut down — I get a black screen and no drive activity. It sits like that for a little over a minute, and it then starts up.

Googling this problem shows a lot of posts, but none of the solutions (mostly setting timeouts in the Registry) worked. Any ideas?

A. Clearly, something is causing a brief hang on restart.

It sounds to me as if a driver, or the hardware subsystem it controls, is having trouble shutting down. Windows gives the shutdown command and the system components comply — except for some deep-seated element that’s very slow to respond.

It’s not exactly a crash because the gears are still turning, albeit extremely slowly. Meanwhile, you’re left staring at a blank screen for a while.

When the internal logjam clears, the boot resumes normally.

Because the only obvious symptom is a blank screen, start by looking at the video subsystem. Perhaps the video driver (possibly left over from Win7) is unable to respond properly to the Win10 shutdown/wakeup commands. Driver glitches after upgrading to Win10 are, alas, quite common.

Visit the PC’s, mainboard’s, and/or video-board manufacturer’s support sites and install or reinstall the latest drivers for your hardware. Use Win10-specific drivers, if available.

Next, check your video subsystem’s wake/sleep power-control settings in Power Options and Device Manager. Using the information in the following articles, you can resolve almost any type of power-control issues. Sometimes, though, you’ll have to dig deeper.

Windows’ built-in Reliability Monitor might be able to help. It tracks and displays information on every crash, hang, and hiccup generated by Windows, installed drivers, and applications.


Editor's note: We feature an abridged Q&A from Fred Langa's LANGALIST, a column available exclusively to paid subscribers of the Windows Secrets newsletter,. What you see here is just a small sampling of what Langa's writing for the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.

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