I have an HP desktop and just recently went to login when my screen froze. I hit Ctrl Alt Del and it said something like logon error etc so I rebooted but the same thing happened again. I ran Malwarebytes in safe-mode (which works fine) and rebooted again and still nothing. I restored to a previous point but that didn't help either and now when I login in, it goes straight to the black screen with a movable cursor and when I hit Ctrl Alt Del it still gives the error. The full message is:

Failure to display security and shut down options. The logon process was unable to display security and logon options when CTRL+ALT+DELETE was pressed. If the operating system does not respond, press ESC or restart the computer by using the power switch.

  • there may be corruption of files in OS...
    – Venk
    Mar 21, 2013 at 6:38

2 Answers 2


Type netsh socks reset in safe mode's command prompt. I just had the same issue and fixed it with that command. I don't know what caused it though.


You might run "sfc /scannow" in safe mode. That's the 'system file checker', it should be able to find any files that have been corrupted.

Also you might try installing Microsoft's Security Essentials (it's free!) from (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download). My dad had malware bytes installed on his computer by a 3rd party, and it didn't detect the adware that had taken over his browser and desktop -- but installed MSE, and it discovered it on the 1st scan.

As a last resort, you might try an "inplace" upgrade by putting in your windows-install CD and doing an "upgrade" to the same version you already have (i.e. professional -> professional, home->home...etc). This will re-install the original files and proceed to do download updates.

It also could be a hardware related issue -- like I can reproduce such symptoms if I saturate my 10Gb network connection -- the OS get sluggish and has problems bringing up the login screen -- it will eventually (usually), but if too many interrupts are coming in or something is running which slows down your computer, it can cause such symptoms.

A good utility to see what is running on your system (and kill it if necessary, is "Process Hacker" on "Sourceforge". Much better than task manager or "Process Explorer" from the sysinternals-microsoft site. When Process Explorer couldn't kill or delete the "adware" process that had infected my dad's computer, Process Hacker was able to override it's protections and allow it's removal. You can download it from http://processhacker.sourceforge.net/ .

Good luck!.

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