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Old 23rd August 2011   #1
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C:\windows\systems32\cmd.exe black screen during startup


Hi all, new at this forum. Fair warning, I am a beginner (or hardly at that) when it comes to computers.

I have a Thinkpad t43 that has treated me well. I always update it when I can with the latest softwares and drivers (through ThinkVantage System Update). Since I am not tech savvy, I just followed the instructions and downloaded all the "critical" and "recommended" softwares/drivers that it tells me to and I just leave it be.

Well I recently did that and now during start up (turning on computer), I get a black screen (dos) that says "c:\windows\system32.cmd.exe". Everything loads ok, however, 2 dos screens with the name c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe pops up for about a few secods and disappears. This happens every time the computer is turned on.

Is this a virus? Malware? Spyware? I have McAfee Security Suite. I checked for viruses with normal AND Safe Mode and found nothing.

Should I worry? I don't mind those things popping up IF they are suppose to.

Thanks,
NovaGrrl aka Katrina

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Old 23rd August 2011   #2
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Welcome to WindowsBBS

I wouldn't worry about them. Sounds fairly common.

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Old 23rd August 2011   #3
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Hi NovaGrrl, Welcome to Windowsbbs!

As Steve stated it sounds fairly normal and I wouldn't be too concerned with the issue. Since you have Windows XP do you have Service Pack 3 installed? If you are not sure click Start< Right click My Computer and click properties. Let me know what service pack is installed.

I ask this because after SP3 is installed, when you reboot the system you do get one or two cmd windows opening but it does this only one time.

Also please enter your System Details. It helps us in answering your questions.

Note: A common error is to forget to show your System Details in your profile:

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To have your system specifications displayed in your profile, you have to click the link Edit Options, and under Thread Display Options< System Specifications select Yes from the drop-down menu.
Make sure to do the above when entering your System Details, thanks.

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Old 21st September 2011   #4
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Hi NovaGrrl,

It may well be "normal" ,but if it were me, I would investigate it.
There is no reason to show CMD windows on startup.
Either the command is improperly coded or it maybe something that you don't want to start.
Legitimate commands ,that don't require user input should be (and usually are) coded to hide
this window, either with the "hide" function or "off-screen" function.
Both result in the same thing - no show of the CMD window.

If you want to pursue this, start with a simple one
Start Menu > All Programs > Startup and look what's in there.
You could also use the programs mentioned in this link (Windows Defender or AutoRuns)
How to Manage Startup Programs in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/Startup.htm

A simple utility is StartupCPL http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

You can also do it via msconfig ,but I'm afraid it may get too complicated
for your liking

Pete E.

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Old 29th October 2011   #5
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Hello;
I've been a member awhile, but am rarely on, and new at posting or asking questions. I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but I have the same phenomenon as NovaGrrl and am so interested to see that someone else has this issue, and hoping to learn how to resolve it.

Have wiped the HD and reinstalled XP and all Service Packs and security updates several times, not lately though. I just live with it. The black cmd screen still flashes at every startup, rarely long enough to read it. Sometimes it says C:\windows\systems32\cmd.exe. Other times it says windows can't find system 32, but everything loads fine. Other times, it's just a run screen with a blinking cmd line which flashes for less than a second.

It seems fishy. Have wondered if this is malware but nothing I have can detect it, if it is.

I did as Digger suggested above, and looked in startup menu under "all programs." In "startup" I found "run_startmenu". Wondering if that is the culprit, but won't dare touch anything, as I don't know enough; only enough to get into trouble.

Has this issue been resolved for NovaGrrl? If so, what was done?

If you'd like me to start my own thread on this topic, I would be glad to do so. (and sorry for the hijack, NovaGrrl and admins, if I did that. Have read the posting rules and FAQs; it's unclear about what to do if you have the same issue as someone else).

Thank you.

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Old 29th October 2011   #6
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Hi musiclover57. Normally its best to start a new thrad even if you have a similar problem. That way the members that are trying to help the original poster won't have to deal with two different users.

That being said if CMD is opening on every startup then it is definitely not normal. Download and run Autoruns from here. After you download the zipped folder on your desktop, right click the zipped folder and click Extract All. After the folder has been extracted open the regular folder. Run the autoruns.exe program. Once the program is open click on the Logon Tab and see if you can find any startup entries that look suspicious.

If you find any strange entries simply uncheck the checkbox for that particular entry and then reboot the computer and see if the issue goes away.

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Old 29th October 2011   #7
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Thank you, Evan, for helping me learn the ropes of posting. Will do as you suggest, and if still having the problem, will open a new thread. Thanks so much.

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Old 29th October 2011   #8
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Your Welcome.

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Old 29th October 2011   #9
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Hi musiclover57,

Personally I see no harm in posting a very much related question,especially since
NovaGrrl hasn't responded so far.(But that's up to the moderators)

The way to deal with this, is like I suggested , to use StarupCPL or AutoRuns (as
also Evan Omo suggested.
Under the Login tab of AutoRuns you should see the entry for that and the full path. (under Image Path column)
Take a note of that.
What you should see is the command window ( c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe )
and what it executes , like name.bat or name.vbs.
Go to the location of that file ,r-click and open with Notepad.

You will see exactly what is being executed by "cmd".(and the .bat file)
If you don't know what it means ,post it here.
In fact ,it would be interesting for others, to see what the mysterious command is.

Pete E.

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Old 29th October 2011   #10
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Hello DiggerP (Pete E);
I would like to start another thread to continue this conversation; should I start that in this same section or another?

Last night, I went on in safe mode, loaded Autoruns as administrator, went to logon tab, and in 'startup', unchecked the run_startmenu there. the only other thing there now is microsoft office. For the first time in 1 1/2 years, there was NO black screen today when I started up! Woo hoo! Thank you!

But, just for curiosity and after reading your post this morning, I went back to try to find the path (even typed it without \autoruns disabled\ in it) and couldn't; it appears to not be there... But... this leads to a few other questions, hence wanting to start another thread. Because whoever or whatever put that there, it's disabled by Autoruns, but I'm not sure if it's gone or simply hiding elsewhere. And, should I remove it completely with Autoruns? I'd like to wait and see how my computer works for several days, because there have been some glitches this morning in how things shut down. Oh - and I can't re-enable run_startmenu to follow its path. I find that interesting.

Thanks so much for your help.

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Old 29th October 2011   #11
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Quote:
I would like to start another thread to continue this conversation; should I start that in this same section or another?
You can start a new thread in the same section.

Quote:
Last night, I went on in safe mode, loaded Autoruns as administrator, went to logon tab, and in 'startup', unchecked the run_startmenu there. the only other thing there now is microsoft office. For the first time in 1 1/2 years, there was NO black screen today when I started up! Woo hoo! Thank you!
Thats good to know.

Quote:
And, should I remove it completely with Autoruns?
Leave the entry disabled for a few days and if your computer is running fine you can go ahead and remove the entry.

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