Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you a
Computer / IT professional?
Join Tek-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Tek-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

I have had to have my HP laptop repaired 2x's in 2 months (HD crashed at Thanksgiving, then the fan took a dump at Cmas).  Since I've gotten it back this last time, When I open my mail programs and IE 8.0, more often than not, opening a new tab in IE is hanging the program, then all other programs AND the PC itself lock up.  I try to Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up the Task Manager, and I've been getting the following error:

(Error box title) Logon Process has failed to create the Security Options dialog Box.

(Error Box Message)  Failure - Security Options

OCCASSIONALLY, I've been seeing an error that appears to be related to my ESET/ENOD anti-virus software stating that it has failed to run or something and when I check it, all looks fine.  I have manually updated my virus database successfully (JUST in case it hadn't updated properly), I've RUN a manual virus scan on the laptop, I ran CCleaner and Defrag on the laptop last night, and I'm still getting this problem.

Does this error sound familiar?  Does this sound like some weird problem related to the hardware repairs I had to have done?  (Obviously, I had to completely rebuild my system after the HD crashed as the data was unrecoverable and a new one was installed - so I barely have much loaded on the laptop right now, and I've been trying to be even more careful than usual with sites I visit, etc.).

P.S.  I'm online right now in Safe Mode with Networking Support JUST to attempt to avoid issues with this locking up, and I desperately need my laptop because I was laid off in August due to downsizing and this is my lifeline to searching for/communicating with people in my job search.


RE: Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

RE: Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Thanks for the links Turkbear...the 1st 2 seem to point to either Symantec Antivirus or Western Digital HD issues.  I PREVIOUSLY had a Western Digital HD but that's what took a dump on my at Thanksgiving, and from the box I got back after the repair, it appears they replaced it with a Hitachi HD.  I'm not using Symantec Antivirus, I'm using ESET, which all worked perfectly before the original HD crashed.  AFTER the HD was replaced, I did notice a decline in processing speed in general, but the bulk of the error problem didn't start until the repair was done on the fan at Cmas.

I'm thinking that I need to start back to the place I had the repairs done, and see what they can do for me, as it's still under the protection plan (even though it's going on 3 years old).  They DID tell me at one point when I took it in for repair at Cmas, that "HP had a few laptops that had issues", but didn't necessarily state it was mine.  I'm going to continue checking back for further updates/suggestions as I cannot be without my laptop another week (each time I've taken it in, it's been AT LEAST a week) while my job search is ongoing.

There was some pre-installed McAfee software that I hadn't activated that I may try to find and disable, also...perhaps that is causing some problems for me.  I did turn off Windows Defender, but not Windows Firewall, as I'd been using Firewall without issue previously.  


RE: Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Did it seem to perform OK in Safe Mode with Networking?  If so have you tried isolating some third party cause of your problem?

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

950093 How to use the System Configuration utility to troubleshoot configuration errors  in Windows Vista

See how many unsigned drivers you have running on your machine.  This article will guide you on the instructions but all you have to do is type sigverif in Start Run.

How to identify unsigned drivers using sigverif utility in Windows Vista

How to Generate a System Health Report in Vista and Windows 7

Create another user and see if they have the same problem as your current user.

How to Use the Memory Diagnostics Tool in Vista


RE: Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Thanks Linney - I'll go through those and give them a try.  So far, I'm back in "normal" mode without incident - for NOW, but we'll see if the laptop goes into sleep mode (that seems to be the most consistent time it starts - after I've woken it up or opened the lid).  If it keeps up, and the above stuff doesn't work, I'm going to call the repair place. I've got some IT/Trouble-shooting skills having worked in the industry for years, but this is all just beyond me, and buying a new system or upgrading to Windows 7 isn't in the cards anytime soon!

RE: Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

The IE/Mail hanging and the Ctrl-Alt-Del not doing what you expect (invoking Task Manager) are separate issues. I think the Vista installation is damaged, probably requiring a repair install or a system restore to a point since Thanksgiving, but before the Christmas fan failure. System Restore help

Ctrl-Alt-Del behaviour is an echo of Vista's NT lineage. Ctrl-Alt-Del was used in NT to bring up the secure logon, since that key combination could not be trapped by some rogue program pretending to be a secure system logon. (Under DOS-based Windows prior to NT, Ctrl-Alt-Del usually merely warm-booted the computer)

The Secure Logon (invoked by Ctrl-Alt-Del) on this machine is showing signs of damage. The error messages indicate that not all the dialogs can be found (i.e. files or paths may be missing).

Secure logon still exists in Vista, although it is usually set up as optional in the default policy settings, I think.

There's a fixit.

One  other way to change settings is:

In the start menu search box type secpol.msc and then go to Local Policies\Security Options.

Find "Interactive Logon: Do not display last user name" and change it to enabled, OK out and reboot and thereafter Ctrl-Alt-Del should bring up the logon dialog, OR  set it to disabled, and the last user should be displayed for logon after standby or at startup.

Another way is the Alternate User Accounts Admin dialog:

If you just have one user and require autologon, without entering a password, in the start menu search box type control userpasswords2, and uncheck the box:

"Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer"

Under the Alternate Tab there is a check box to enable Ctrl-Alt-Del secure logon, which you want unchecked. OK out of the dialogs. Reboot.

If there is still a problem, for instance after returning from standby or after a period of inactivity that activates the screensaver, there are yet another 2 controls - right-click an empty part of the desktop, properties, screensaver, and uncheck "On resume, password protect", then click the Power button under Monitor Power, then the Advanced tab and uncheck "Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby."  OK out of the dialogs. Reboot.

After all this, your machine should never prompt for passwords, and now Ctrl-Alt-Del should just activate Task Manager.


RE: Error Message Trying to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Thanks to everyone who's posted!  I'm saving all these suggestions.  So far, it APPEARS that by simply uninstalling some McAfee Security thing that appears to have been default installed with the Vista software by the repair place after the HD Crash, and de-activating the Windows defender, I'm not having the lock up problems. (I'm also trying to be diligent to shut down IE before stepping away from the computer for longer than 5 minutes or so, kind of a pain, but part of my additional trouble-shooting).

I haven't yet tried to Ctrl+Alt+Del and see if that still hangs - I'm going to try that next just for giggles to see if I only get the error message when the other issue is occuring or all the time.  I DID get the recovery disks from HP directly after the HD crash as I hadn't done a recovery burn upon getting the laptop (Wasn't informed properly on that), so I have those if it does end up being a Vista issue.  My other problem is, I had a Genuine copy of MS Office Enterprise loaded (and I think registered) via the old HD, but when I loaded it on the new HD, I'm getting the "This copy of Office is not genuine" crap. I'm working to fix that issue as well now.  smile  It's never ending!

Thanks again!

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Tek-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Tek-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Tek-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Tek-Tips and talk with other members!

Close Box

Join Tek-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical computer professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Tek-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close