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LB-ID

Windows 10 boots to black screen if ESET is installed

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I've been using ESET NOD32 for several years without incident, but a few months ago encountered an issue that when I would startup my laptop, it would do so to a blank, black screen.  After a lot of troubleshooting and research, the one thing that kept coming up was that this could be caused by antivirus.  About a week ago the problem got to the point where my machine was unusable, even with repeated reboots and a full restore from backup, nothing could advance me past that black screen.

As a last resort, I booted into safe mode w/ networking, downloaded the ESET uninstall utility, and went through the somewhat laborious process of removing NOD32 from my machine.  Instantly upon reboot, all was well, and I've since been using Windows Defender with no issues.  I doubt I'm the only person who has experienced this, so wanted to document the issue here in hopes that it will spur a solution for others in the future.  For myself, I'm not sure I could go back to using it even if assured that the black screen issue was corrected.  I had not realized just how much the NOD32 program was degrading the performance of my machine, it would be difficult to go back to the slow, halting situation in which I had previously been.

If it would be helpful, I would be happy to post system details as well.  If nothing else I will watch with interest to see if this is addressed, as it will impact our organizational decision on using ESET products in the future.

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I would start off by gathering logs with ESET Log Collector and checking a SysInspector log if another security software or 3rd party driver possibly clashing with ESET is installed. What OS do you use? If Windows 10, do you use the last October 2018 Update (RS4)?

Please post ELC logs so that we can check them out.

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Good day Marcos, thank you for your response.  Yes, I'm running Windows 10.  To be precise, Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit, version 1803, build 17134.523.

I've attached a current dump from the log collector for your reference, although I don't know how helpful it will be since I've had to remove NOD32 antivirus.  For your reference, I have also attached the log file from removing that application, in case it might be useful to you.  I can save you some time and let you know that there was no other 3rd-party security software installed, and all drivers are those provided with the laptop...I have not installed any custom drivers.  NOD32 functioned fine for about a year and a half, it was about 4-5 months ago that I first started noticing the black screens on login.  So far as I could surmise the machine was still functioning normally other than the display.  

ELC_logs.zip

~ESETUninstaller.log

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For what it is worth, extended black screen at Win boot time is usually due to corrupted graphics driver files. The problem seems to be more pronounced on Win 10.

Don't see how Eset would have any impact on graphics driver loading/initializing.

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I would tend to agree sir, I found this all to be very strange.  Among many other troubleshooting steps I did was to reinstall/update graphics drivers.  This made no difference at all, I was only able to use my system again after uninstalling the antivirus.

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Hi @LB-ID,

When you had the black screen on boot , were you able to bring up task manager by pressing ctrl-alt-del and selecting task manager to see if anything was consuming large amounts of cpu cycles , on either the "details" or "processes" tab within task manager ??

You could also check this when your NOD32 is "not" installed and see if there is anything that looks suspicious beforehand.

If it's something thats just happened in the past few months then it would suggest that there is something else causing the issue and not your Antivirus , even although removing it seems to remedy the problem.

A (bad)device driver update during windows update could trigger such a behaviour, and would fit most with your timeline of it "worked then suddenly didn't".

 

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Good day, most of the time I was indeed able to bring up the task manager.  I went through the typical process of looking for CPU hogs, as well as restarting explorer.exe.  Everything I saw in TM looked standard, and restarting explorer.exe did not have any effect.  

The suspicions about a video driver are valid, and that's where my own investigations began.  None of my efforts, which included clean uninstall, reinstall of default drivers, and eventually upgrading to the latest version, had any effect on the situation.  

My machine is a pretty typical one, a Dell Latitude E7470 that's about 2.5 years old now.  It has an Intel HD Graphics 520 video system, nothing crazy, and I can't remember the last time I had any issues with their drivers.  

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I suggest that you configure Windows to generate complete memory dumps and enable manual trigger of a crash as per https://support.eset.com/kb380.

When the issue occurs, trigger a manual crash so that a complete memory dump is generated. Then raise a ticked for your local customer care and provide them with the dump and ELC logs for perusal.

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As this is my work machine, I don't have a great desire to turn it into a testing bed.  If I'm able to do so, I will update here.

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2 hours ago, LB-ID said:

It has an Intel HD Graphics 520 video system

Always helps to post as much relevant information as possible.

Appears the 1803 update caused all kinds of issues with older Intel graphics chipsets. Below are a few references, You can Google search for others.  Why the problem manifests for you using Eset still remains a mystery. Appears that disabling HVCI - memory integrity protection worked for some:

https://forums.intel.com/s/question/0D50P0000490RqtSAE/intel-hd-graphics-error-after-windows-10-1803?language=en_US

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/azure/en-US/d889c4a0-7aff-49ba-9b73-7b9e2ad5d8b7/intel-hd-graphics-driver-error-after-update-to-1803?forum=win10itprogeneral

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On 2/15/2019 at 1:18 PM, itman said:

Always helps to post as much relevant information as possible.

 

On 2/14/2019 at 11:55 AM, LB-ID said:

If it would be helpful, I would be happy to post system details as well.  

I offered to post system details in my initial post sir, I did not include a bunch of system info as I did not know what was pertinent and did not want to spam the thread.  In the future, I will just attach a system info dump in anticipation of requests.

For any who are curious, not long after my original post Dell posted an extensive round of driver updates on their site, replacing the ones from just a few months earlier in Oct-Dec.  After updating chipset and graphics drivers without incident, I gave NOD32 antivirus another try.  It's been almost two weeks now without further incident, so I would say that it was indeed a driver issue.  The fact that Dell did such a rapid update indicates to me that I was likely not the only person having difficulties.

Thank you again to those who took the time to reply.

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