This technical document describes a case of a Windows 10 desktop flashing white every 5 seconds, accompanied by Error ID 1000, Faulting application Explorer. The issue was traced back to a link (shortcut) to a PDF file on the user’s desktop, which was causing a conflict with the PDF application. By creating a new user account and identifying the problematic link, the flashing problem was successfully resolved.
Customer reported an issue with his Windows 10 Desktop, which was displaying a white flashing screen every 5 seconds.
Further investigation using remove support I found the event log indicated Error ID 1000, with the faulting application being File Explorer. The customers ps was located 500km away, which added another layer of difficulty to the problem. The slight delay and response from the remote pc and the screen flashing white every 5 seconds was closing any programs that I open.
Initial Google research revealed two common solutions found on the internet for a similar flashing issue:
- Update display drivers to the latest version.
- Identify and fix any faulty Windows apps.
Fault Finding Process:
I was able to instigate Ctrl-Alt-Delete from my remote pc and open the task manager. From there I was able to use the run command to open msconfig, and control panel applications.
First I tried to restart the pc into Safemode with networking to see if the flashing would still occur using safemode. The flashing still occured and the make it worse the networking part failed and removed my remote access. I had to talk the customer into using Ctrl-Alt-Delete / task manager / msconfig and the boot tab to remove the machine from Safe-Mode so that I again could get remote access.
To tackle the first suggestions, I tried to address the first problem, I attempted to update the display drivers with the latest Radeon drivers as suggested in the published solution. However, the system failed to recognise the published drivers from Radeon, reporting no hardware found. I then downloaded the drivers from Acer, which were installed successfully, but the flashing issue persisted, indicating that the display drivers were not the root cause.
Discover how a persistent desktop flashing problem in Windows 10 was skillfully diagnosed and resolved. A fascinating technical support case study.
Next, I decided to explore other potential causes and tried to find out if the flashing was specific to the user account.
To verify this, I created a new user account with administrative rights and logged in using that account. Surprisingly, the problem was resolved, indicating that the issue was isolated to the old user account.
Further investigation led me to copy the files and folders from the old user account to the new one. However, the flashing problem returned, which indicated that one of the files was triggering the issue. To pinpoint the problematic file, I gradually removed files from the desktop and found that a link (shortcut) to a PDF file was the cause of the flashing screen.
To resolve the issue, I removed the PDF link from both the old and new user accounts’ desktops. This action successfully stopped the screen from flashing on both accounts. It was concluded that the PDF application being used was incompatible with the desktop link, triggering the Error ID 1000 and causing the display to flash.
Through a systematic fault-finding process, the root cause of the desktop flashing issue was identified as a problematic link to a PDF file on the user’s desktop. By creating a new user account and eliminating the link from both accounts, the flashing problem was effectively resolved without making any changes to the PDF application. The successful resolution serves as a valuable reference for similar issues, and the documented process can be employed in future technical support scenarios.