purple screen of horror

last week i started my computer and the first thing i did was to do a customized scan as always. upon returning to my computer after about 5 min i had a purple screen, only the mouse pointer could be seen and moved (purple is my background colour in win8 ). ctrl+alt+del and shut down with help of the power switch dind’t work, also the windows button or alt+tab didn’t work. i had to powershutdown the system by presing the powerbutton for 5 sec. yesterday i did a full scan and the same thing happend. and today again, while performing a customized scan. today i noted that i could change the brightness of the screen with fn+f5/f6 and other fn functions still work, but no chance to return to the desktop or metro. again i had to press the powerbutton for 5 sec and kill the system. in all 3 situations i did the scan soon after starting the computer, and after the forced shutdown and restart the next scan did work fine :frowning: 88) ???

Edit: Let me start with: Before I say “Let me start by saying […]” I would like to recommend that you completely uninstall and then reinstall Comodo Internet Security. You can do this following this guide by Chiron: Comodo Forum

Let me start by saying that I haven’t had this exact issue however I got an idea to try since I have myself gotten to that screen with only the background color and a mouse.

This idea I have will involve installing Comodo Killswitch, Setting Comodo Killswitch to replace your Task Manager and then do a full scan. You can decide here if you are willing to do this and I will also go through how to get back your old Task Manager if you want that.
The reason Comodo KillSwitch is needed is because I have not been able to get Windows 8’s default Task Manager to show when in the same “error” mode that you are in (when you only see background and mouse) however for me Comodo KillSwitch have always showed up.

Before we start, I want you to do a scan until you get to the background color screen and mouse only, here I want you to press CTRL + ALT + DEL.
If you do get to the screen where you can choose “Task Manager” then please continue.
If you do NOT get to the screen where you can choose “Task Manager” then you can disregard the rest of the instructions.

A) Now first of is the installation of Comodo KillSwitch, skip if you already have it installed.

For CIS 6 (if you are using CIS 5.x then let me know and I’ll rewrite this):

  1. Open the Main CIS GUI
  2. Click “Tasks”
  3. Click “Advanced Tasks”
  4. Click “Watch Activity”
  5. Read and accept the terms (if you do accept) and let it download.
  6. If it doesn’t start by it self then click “Watch Activity” again.

B) Setting up Comodo Killswitch to replace the task manager:

  1. If you don’t have the Comodo KillSwitch window open then please open it now, you can do this by following the instructions in “A)”
  2. In Comodo KillSwitch menu bar, navigate to “Options” and expand it.
  3. Tick in “Replace Task Manager”
  4. Close Comodo KillSwitch.
  5. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL
  6. Click “Task Manager”
  7. Confirm that Comodo KillSwitch is starting instead of the normal Windows 8 Task Manager.

C) Performing the test:

  1. Make sure Comodo KillSwitch is NOT running.
  2. Do the scanning as you normally would and wait for the problem to occur.
  3. Do NOT restart your computer, instead press CTRL + ALT + DEL.
  4. Choose “Task Manager”
  5. Comodo KillSwitch should open up, if it doesn’t then no further testing is needed and you can proceed to “D)” if you want to change your Task Manager back.
  6. In Comodo KillSwitch menu, navigate to “Tools”
  7. Choose “Run as Administrator”
  8. Write in “explorer.exe” without the quotation signs.
  9. Press “OK”
  10. If you got your Desktop back then you now have a work around instead of having to restart your computer, and others will have something more to go on, however if you didn’t get back to your desktop then I have no further testing for you and you may proceed to “D)” if you want to change your Task Manager back.

D) Setting your Task Manager back to Windows 8 Default:

  1. Open Comodo KillSwitch.
  2. In Comodo KillSwitch menu, navigate to “Options”
  3. Untick “Replace Task Manager”
  4. Close Comodo KillSwitch.

Hope this helps, if it does work and you get your desktop back, then it’s likely that explorer.exe is killed for some reason, however I also believe a few other things are needed to crash in order to only get the pink background but restarting explorer.exe should kick start the other processes too if I’m not mistaken by my own testing.

thank you for your answer.
i just had made a commodo clean install 2 or 3 weeks ago, and i don’t want to do it again. today the scan was made without that purple screen. when i had the purple screen and a mouse before, ctrl+alt+del din’t work, means no other screen with the taskmanager opened. after all i don’t like to install comodo killswitch. i think its a incompatibility between win 8 and CIS. most likely a win 8 issue, but strange it always happens during CIS scans. sorry, but since i bought a new computer with win 8 i have had so many issues, i never had that much issues in all the years before. i am tired of it. win 8 is a pain in the neck. it’s a shame customers are forced to buy new computers with it. i don’t have the time and money to buy win 7 and loose all my data and install everything again. finally i could afford a new computer and i ended up with win 8 :frowning:

Okay so you can’t reach the ctrl+alt+del page, that’s quite worse than what I had :-\ I’m sorry you are having so many issues with Windows 8. Since you got trough a scan without a purple screen I am hoping that the issue might be gone, but hoping isn’t really worth anything. Unless anyone else can help you with the issue and the issue persists and you can’t stand it anymore, then you should do a complete re-install of CIS using the guide I linked in my previous post.

Personally I haven’t had any issues with KillSwitch and Windows 8, but you seem to have a lot of issues with Windows 8. Perhaps it was incorrectly installed from the manufacturer? Or perhaps it has corrupt essential files? I don’t know if it’s worth anything but you could try running “sfc /scannow” in an elevated CMD (running the CMD as administrator)

so far i installed win 8 again (in fact 3 times) with the “refresh” option. i will try the sfc. the issue with the purple screen does not occur always during CIS scan, but sometimes, every third time or so.

To me this sounds like it may be a bug. Would you mind making a bug report for this in this section of the forum? Be sure to follow the format provided in this post.


hi all,
i run the sfc as admin and it did find some missing or corrupted files which it said to have repaired succesfully. i did a system restart and run a full scan which went fine. i run another customized scan which gave the purple screen of horror. its strange. ??? could it be a issue from the screensaver? i am not 100% sure wheter the scan was still running or not, as this always happens when i am afk. before, during the first scan the screensaver showed corectly… 88)
if it persist and i find time and have more info and be motivated ;D, i might write a bug report :a0

You could, for testing purposes, disable the screensaver and screen timeout.

ok i will do that…
i tested it 2 times with screensaver and screen timeout disabled, so far no purple screen. i will test again tomorrow. maybe its the screensaver or screen timeout togheter wit CIS scan. it always happened when i was afk…

i tested it many times with screensaver or screen timeout, so far no result, as i never had the pink screen. both the screensaver and the screen timeout did not cause the purple screen and worked correctly during CIS scans.

What happened to me could be irrelevant or even coincidental, but I thought I would mention it in case it was neither.

I had an older monitor using D-Sub connectors and the Windows generic monitor drivers.
I replaced the monitor which now uses the DVI-I connectors, but was still using the generic drivers and I had the screen go blank while in use.
No actions could bring the screen back to a usable state without a forced re-boot.
I went to the monitors manufacturers site, updated the monitor drivers which are now brand named digital drivers and have not had the issue ever return again.

Point being, it might be worth checking the monitors manufacturers website for updated drivers.

Kind regards.

hi all,
for many days i had no more crashes to the backgroundscreen. untill today: after starting my computer i did first a customized scan which ended correctly, followed by two full scans wich both gave the purple screen and i had to press the power switch in both cases, as nothing else worked anymore. a third full scan worked correctly. i don’t have any more ideas what it could be, i will try to write a bug report, but as it is occuring not always it is not reproducable. ???

If you are able to determine at what file the scanner stalls then you have a very good starting point for a bug report. But that may not be possible in your situation… :-\

raggansta has already created a bug report. It can be found here.

Thx… :slight_smile: