TL;DR : My computer won’t go beyond the welcome screen in Windows 7, but it will boot properly. i removed a memory card from the memory slot to finally solve the issue
Here I am continuing with my lame series of posts. Why? Because I don’t know it might save some one (mostly myself) a lot of time in the future. Possibly.
Anyway, I use WindowsS 7 Enterprise on my work computer and I left for lunch leaving the machine without the charge plug on. Not surprisingly, it was dead by the time I came back. I plugged it in and switched it on. The regular McAfee pre-boot log in screen appeared, where I logged in effortlessly. I am waiting on the windows welcome screen and I am waiting and I go get a mug of coffee. I come back and the screen is still there. Nothing is happening at all. My PC is not hung as such, the caps lock key is responding and the hard drive lights are also blinking. Let me try opening the task manager. Nope, no response. Okay, I don’t have all the time in the world. Let me be a brute and just hard reset. That should solve it, right? Nope. Still the same. Okay, can I log in to safe mode? Yes. But what good is that, except to probably enable remote desktop. Hmm, let’s try that. Whoa, so if I try to access it via remote desktop, it works perfectly fine. That’s odd. Time for giving up and going to the tech cafe and taking help from someone who does troubleshooting for a living (side effects of studying economics, you can’t ignore law of comparative advantage). They spend a couple of hours trying all sorts of things (restarting the explorer, restarting some Microsoft services, etc.) Nope, nothing worked.
And then the AHA moment. There was a SanDisk memory card in the slot. The culprit. Remove that and everything worked fine. Very weird because such things should ideally affect at boot time and the machine was booting properly. I had more pressing matters to attend to, like AlphaBlending in Windows and hence I am resorting to archiving the solution and no further analysis.