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Windows 10 black screen on boot, only Command Prompt opens

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Typing explorer.exe and hitting enter will usually get you into Windows. Be aware that this is usually caused by malware replacing code in the registry. You’ll need to deal with the malware to reduce the chances of infection again.

I’d suggest running sfc /scannow at an elevated command prompt to see if it will fix the issue.

  • Download Autoruns – extract it to a known location
  • On 64-bit machines run Autoruns64.exe as admin by right clicking and selecting “Run as administrator” and clicking Yes
  • In Filter: type cmd.exe – un-check/un-tick any entries it finds listed as cmd.exe – then restart

Other possible fix, needs to be run from an elevated command prompt

reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon" /v "Shell" /t REG_SZ /d "explorer.exe" /f

Or you can open the registry editor (press Start and type regedit) and check the registry location HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon for a key called ‘Shell’. For people experiencing this problem the key is there and it has a value of %comspec%. For people with healthy systems, that key isn’t there. So simply delete the key and reboot!

There is also a ‘Shell’ key here HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and this needs to be there with a value of explorer.exe.

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