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Ran into a strange problem with Windows 8 Pro. Last night i installed Windows 8 Pro as an upgrade on a Sony Vaio laptop that had Windows 7 Pro on it. The install seemed to go okay. Then once installed, live tiles seem to work, native/Metro apps will start okay, but pretty soon after going into an app or settings, the screen flashes a few times and we're back to the lock screen. Signing in appears to do a full login. I've tried this with a local account and with a account.

This is someone else's laptop, so we decided to let it breathe, in case the install was still settling in. Well, they say today it's doing the same thing. Open the music app, and within a minute it's back to signon/lock screen. However, they can go to the actual Desktop and run Zune to play music, and it seems happy.

In the past, i've installed retail Windows 8 Pro clean on a homebrew system, as an upgrade on a Dell laptop with a zillion apps and drivers, neither with any problems. Also, i've had the consumer preview and release candidate installed as well, no problems.

Any ideas on what's going on here?

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There's at least one other question on SuperUser that is just like this, and it went unsolved. Can you check your system and application event logs? – Mark Allen Dec 9 '12 at 1:56
Have you tried another user on the same machine? – Guy Thomas Dec 9 '12 at 9:29
While i was researching how to resolve this issue, the user did a "refresh," and so the event log was wiped clean. Good news is that the issue is resolved; bad news is that the "refresh" option wiped out all the installed software (documents remained, and regardless, were backed up beforehand). Thanks for the help Mark and Guy. – bill weaver Dec 11 '12 at 16:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Answering my own question here since we found an answer that might help someone. However, it's not ideal for everyone, so i'll leave it unaccepted for a while.

While i was looking for other answers, the user did a "refresh." This fixed the signout problem.

However, it wiped out all the installed non-Metro software. A casual glance at the "refresh" description can lead you to believe that software will not be removed, but it really means that it will not remove apps downloaded through the Windows Store. I wasn't paying close enough attention to their question about "refresh" and before i knew it the question became "where's all my software??!!"

So, barring another solution (i'm sure there is another, more correct answer), doing a "refresh" is a great solution if you don't have a lot of legacy (or non-Metro) software installed. Your settings and Metro apps are preserved and it does indeed fix the signout problem.

And, following up on a comment to the question, "refresh" also wipes out the event logs.

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