Background: Windows is a series of computer operating systems distributed by Microsoft Corporation. The first ever release of Windows was called "BYTE Magazine Build", complied circa May 1983. After the 5th developer release of Windows published on October 31, 1984, "Windows 1.0" was commissioned as an Alpha release on February 1, 1985 and then the full version launched to the public on November 20th.

Note: The music and/or sounds on these screens are the sounds played by the computer at some point during the system login, and are not heard on the screens themselves. The usage dates are determined by the release date of the system, up to the date that all support to the OS is discontinued.

1st Screen (November 30, 1984-1989 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])


Nicknames: Versions 1.01-1.03: "8-Bit Microsoft Logo" Versions 1.04-2.11: "8-Bit MS Pac-Man"

Screen: On a blue background, we see two segmented copies of the then-current Microsoft logo at the top of the screen, blending together to form one whole logo. After they blend, text appears below the logo that reads "Microsoft Windows, Version 1.01."in white At the bottom of the screen is a copyright notice.


  • On the beta and premiere versions of Windows, the "Version 1.01" text is replaced with "Beta Release" on the beta, and "Premiere Edition" on the premiere release.
  • Versions 1.02 and 1.03 have their names listed on their respective operating systems.
  • Later Variant: As of December 9, 1987, the Microsoft logo is replaced by its succeeding logo (used from 1987-2012). Used since Versions 1.04 and 2.01 until 2.11.
  • Starting with Windows 2.x, "/386" is seen next to the word "Windows" (though some 2.0x versions didn't have anything next to "Windows"). With versions 2.1 and 2.11, "/286" is also seen next to "Windows".

FX/SFX: The Microsoft logo forming.

Cheesy Factor: Although this doesn't hold up to today's standards, you have to remember that this was made in the 1980s, which was before any kind of rendering or photo-manipulation software.

Music/Sounds: None.


  • Versions 1.01-2.11: Extremely rare. Found only on computers running the original 2 versions of the Windows operating system.
  • Beta/Premiere Versions: Ultra rare and nearly long gone. While originally only in the hands of people given the operating systems by Microsoft to test out, copies have since leaked to the beta community dedicated to these kinds of operating systems.

Scare Factor: None.

2nd Screen (May 12, 1990-1991 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])


Screen: On a blue-violet (or sometimes, dark blue) background, we see the "Pac-Man" Microsoft logo, on the top of the screen, in a lighter shade of the background color. In the center, we see the following:

Windows™ Version 3.0

On the bottom, we see a copyright notice.


  • On computers running Windows MPC, "Version 3.0" is replaced with "graphical environment with Multimedia Extensions 1.0", and below that we see the MPC logo, which consists of a square. Inside the square is an "M" (bearing a resemblance to the Miramax wordmark) with a spinning disc (CD) below it. Right next to it is "PC". Below the trademark is "Multimedia PC". To make room, the text and logomarks have been shifted up a little.
  • On Windows 3.1 Beta Release 2, a large white box is seen with the text "BETA RELEASE 2". Below it, "THIS PRODUCT IS A PRE-RELEASE VERSION AND MAY BE USED ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE MICROSOFT WINDOWS NON-DICLOSURE AGREEMENT". Yes, the text was put out in all-caps.

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: Same as above but from the early 1990s.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare. Only on computers running Windows 3.0, Windows MPC 1.0, or early Windows 3.1 beta releases.

Scare Factor: None to minimal. The sudden appearance of the screen can startle a few people waiting on a black screen.

3rd Screen (April 6, 1992-Q3 1994 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])


Nicknames: "Windows Flag", "Classic Windows Flag", "TADA!"

Screen: We see a turquoise rectangle in the center of the screen. Inside the turquoise rectangle, the then-current Windows logo could be seen (consisting of 4 quarters, red, green, blue and yellow in a "flying" black window pane.)Underneath of that are the words "MICROSOFT WINDOWS" in a serif font. Underneath of that, in a smaller serif font, are the words "Version 3.1". At the bottom of the rectangle is a copyright notice. Then we see a gray log in screen


  • The final beta release of Windows 3.1 contains a small white rectangle with the text "Final Beta Release" in it, which is placed in between "Version 3.1" and the copyright notice.
  • On Windows 3.2 Chinese, the version number is changed to '3.2' and there's Chinese characters under it.
  • On Version 3.11, it's says "Version 3.11" under the 'Windows' text.
  • On portable touchscreen devices (not so portable at the time), "FOR PEN COMPUTING" is added into the logo; somewhat like this: "FOR" is tilted 90 degrees counterclockwise, "PEN" is right next to "FOR". Below that is "COMPUTING", and below all that is "Version 1.0". Everything else is as is.
  • On preliminary developer releases, "PRELIMINARY RELEASE FOR DEVELOPERS" is seen in an Army font, covering up "Version 3.1". The rectangle is also light gray.
  • On business computers, "Microsoft" is tilted 90 degrees counterclockwise, "WINDOWS" is much more stretched, and "FOR WORKGROUPS" is seen below the logo. The rest is as is.
  • On Windows NT 3.1, the rectangle is light gray and the text is carved in the rectangle. "NT" is added next to "WINDOWS".

Beta releases of Windows NT 3.1 contained the text "BETA - " (pretty much the same thing as "Preliminary Release for Developers"). Following it would be the beta release month and year (October 1992, March 1993).

  • Server operating systems contained "ADVANCED SERVER" below the text.

On a beta version of Windows NT Advanced Server 3.5, the logo changed to a white flag with the Windows logo in it.

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: The music sounds cheap and unfitting. Also, the Windows logo in the Windows NT Advanced Server 3.5 beta looks ugly and the motion blur effect (to make it look like a person was waving the flag) makes it look even worse.


  • Startup: A "TA-DAAA" sound effect used by the system, called "tada.wav".
  • Shutdown: Descending chimes, another sound effect used by the system, called "chimes.wav".

Music/Sounds Variant: Windows for Workgroups Version 3.11 uses "chimes.wav" for both the startup and shutdown.

Availability: Very rare. Only on computers running on Windows 3.1, 3.11, or NT 3.1.

Scare Factor: None to low. The sound can startle a few.

4th Screen (July 1993-January 1995)


Nicknames: "Windows Flag II", "Classic Windows Flag II", "Dancing Windows Flag", "TADA! II" "Cheesy Dancing Windows Flag"

Screen: On a black background, we see the text "CHICAGO", in a bold font, with shining light next to the "G". Above it is "Microsoft", in purple above CHICAGO and below it is the release type (preliminary, beta, Chinese beta, Test Release) and date (July/August/November 1993, January/May/September/October 1994, January 1995). Dancing around the logo is the Windows logo, colorized in the same pattern as the Windows logo would usually go (blue, yellow, green, red) in each move.


  • Sometimes, the release tag only contains the date of the release.
  • During setup, the release tag is replaced with "Please wait while Setup updates your configuration files. This may take a few minutes."
  • Later Variant: As of September 1994, the "CHICAGO" text is replaced with "Windows 95". The texture of the text is a cloud background.

FX/SFX: The logo dancing around and changing color...

Cheesy Factor: ...which can make some people think about why that's even there. Also, it seems that the sunlight image in the Chicago variant is not transparent. You can tell by seeing the Windows logo dance around and hitting the light.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 3rd screen.

Availability: Ultra rare. Originally only in the hands of people given the operating system by Microsoft to test out, but copies have leaked to the beta community.

Scare Factor: None to minimal. The "dancing" Windows logo may surprise you the moment you see it.

5th Screen (September 21, 1994-December 31, 2001)

Nicknames: "Windows Flag III", "Classic Windows Flag III", "3D Windows Flag", "TADA! III"

Window3 5NT

Screen: On a white background, we see the flag logo in CGI. Underneath, in a narrow serif font, is "Microsoft WINDOWS NT". At the bottom is written, in the same font, "Version 3.5".

Variant: On computers running Windows NT 3.51, the background is a shady pale green, and the bottom now says "Version 3.51".

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: Still very basic. The 3D Windows logo looks cool though.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 3rd and 4th screens.

Availability: Very rare. Only on computers running on Windows NT Workstation 3.5 or 3.51.

Scare Factor: Minimal.

6th Screen (August 15, 1995-November 26, 1997 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])

Nicknames: "Windows Flag IV", "Classic Windows Flag IV", "Cloudy With A Chance Of Windows", "TADA! IV"


Screen: On a cloudy sky background, we see the flag logo (which has a hint of clouds inside) from the previous screen (the first pane colored orange).Underneath the flag are the words "Microsoft Windows 95," with "Microsoft" being smaller, thinner, and white, and to the upper-left of "Windows", which is in a large, bold, black, sans-serif font. Next to "Windows", about the same font size, but as thin as "Microsoft," and white, is "95." Then we see a teal green log in screen


  • On the first couple of months of the screen's use, the logo had a slightly different design (with the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th block in the first segmented column being in the same color as the window pane next to them).
  • Earlier versions had a gray rectangle under the logo with a small Windows logo in the left corner. The April Test Release would give it a gray gradient.
  • Starting with the May Test Release, the gray rectangle was removed, the Windows logo was made smaller, and the name below it was made slightly bigger.
  • Some variants have the then-current Microsoft logo in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • There is a variant where, in addition to the Microsoft logo, the words "Microsoft Internet Explorer" are underneath the Windows 95 logo.
  • When Microsoft Plus is installed on Windows 95, the words "Microsoft Plus!" is seen under the name with "PLus!" arranged in the same way as seen on the box and in the software itself.
  • Whenever shutting down or restarting, the Windows logo is replaced by "Please wait while your computer shuts down."
  • On Japanese NEC computers, the Windows logo is more two-dimensional and saturated, and there's no shadow. The blue NEC logo is seen on the top-left corner.

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: Unlike the first three screens, which were made before rendering or photo-editing, this screen doesn't have that excuse. Sure, the music is an improvement, but is animation a little too much to ask?


  • Original Version:
  • Startup: An ethereal synth theme with two synth chimes, followed by four beeps, and a synth pad that was composed by ambient musician Brian Eno.
  • Shutdown: The same "tada.wav" sound from Windows 3.1.
  • Microsoft Plus Systems:
  • For All:
  • Default:
  • Startup: Same as original.
  • Shutdown: Same as original.
  • More Windows/Windows 95:
  • Startup: Same as default.
  • Shutdown: A very muffled organ/synth tune.
  • Baseball:
  • Startup: An organ theme that is very fitting with the theme. This is actually the first half of the "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" song with a fadeout at the end.
  • Shutdown: A crowd cheering.
  • Dangerous Creatures:
  • Startup: A very fitting jungle-esque tune, complete with nature sounds, a wolf howling, and timpani beats.
  • Shutdown: Same as startup.
  • Inside Your Computer:
  • Startup: A synth-piano tune.
  • Shutdown: Sounds similar to a computer having a technical failure.
  • Jungle:
  • Startup: Nature sounds.
  • Shutdown: A hard-to-describe; muffled sound effect. Maybe thunder?
  • Jungle (Desktop Theme):
  • Startup: Maybe a sound of an ape.
  • Shutdown: A cub growling.
  • Leonardo da Vinci:
  • Startup: A 3-note harpsichord tune.
  • Shutdown: Same as startup.
  • Musica:
  • Startup: A 6-note xylophone ditty. Would actually be fitting for a TV vanity card.
  • Shutdown: A descending 4-note guitar tune.
  • Mystery:
  • Startup: Thunder and rain sounds, a crow cawing, and a portion of the default Windows 95 startup sound.
  • Shutdown: Wind sounds.
  • Nature:
  • Startup: What you'd expect from a beach; the sounds of seagulls and the shore.
  • Shutdown: Crickets chirping.
  • Robotz:
  • Startup: A synth pad.
  • Shutdown: A 2-note synth drone.
  • Science:
  • Startup: A zapping sound.
  • Shutdown: An intentionally weird sound.
  • Space:
  • Startup: Digital beeps.
  • Shutdown: An even more synthesized whoosh.
  • Sports:
  • Startup: A crowd roaring with a trumpet playing in the background.
  • Shutdown: Might be a car passing by.
  • The 60's USA:
  • Startup: A reverse piano tune with a man counting down: "3, 2, 1".
  • Shutdown: An electric guitar note.
  • The Golden Era:
  • Startup: A sound similar to a gong.
  • Shutdown: It's all jumbled up and difficult to describe, Maybe a sound of a gunshot.
  • Travel:
  • Startup: A man shouting "All aboard!" (oddly cut off making us only hear "board"), then the sound of a train's whistle blowing.
  • Shutdown: A train chugging its way through tracks.
  • Underwater:
  • Startup: Dolphins, and water sounds.
  • Shutdown: More water sounds, but rather deeper.
  • Utopia:
  • Startup: A 5-note xylophone tune with a synth in the background.
  • Shutdown: A fast synth-piano tune and the sound of a child laughing, all in reverse.
  • For Kids:
  • Bugs:
  • Startup: Crickets chirping.
  • Shutdown: TBA
  • Horses:

Startup: A horse neighing. Shutdown: A horse running away.

  • Messy Room:

Startup: A falling sound (a tone descending in pitch), then an explosion. Shutdown: A door creaking then slamming shut.

  • RE-Man:
  • Startup: A synth raising in volume, with helicopter blades in the background. A child says, "Oh, look!". Another one says "RE-Man!". Other children gasp in awe. Then another synth plays, this time with a noise that sounds like reverberated water drops.
  • Shutdown: The second synth from the startup, with the sound of a police siren.


  • Startup: An electric guitar note being held while descending in pitch.
  • Shutdown: A horn.
  • Tree House:
  • Startup: Maybe a sound of a Bluejay combined with crickets chirping.
  • Shutdown: Maybe thunder.

Music/Sounds Variant: Earlier versions have the same sounds as the 3rd, 4th, and 5th screens. Starting with the April Test Release (build 480), the normal sounds above were used.

Availability: Rare. Only found on computers running Windows 95.

Scare Factor: None for the default sounds. Though it can range from none to low for the Plus! sounds, but none for the most part. This is a favorite of many.

7th Screen (July 31, 1996-July 11, 2006)

Nicknames: "Windows Flag V", "Classic Windows Flag V", "Nighttime Windows"

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Screen: Just the Windows logo with "Microsoft Windows NT 4.0" below it on a starry blue-white gradient background. Then we see the same teal green screen.

FX/SFX: None.


  • Startup: A "soaring" synth/uplifting piano sounder throughout, combined with synth chimes and a flourish at the end.
  • Shutdown: Same as the startup sound, but in reverse.

Availability: Rare. Seen on computers running Windows NT 4.0, which were not a popular operating system from Windows.

Scare Factor: Minimal to low. The music suddenly becoming more tense might startle a younger/daydreaming/dark-room situated viewer.

8th Screen (June 23, 1998-May 5, 1999 [end of production], July 11, 2006 [discontinued])


Nicknames: "Windows Flag VI", "Classic Windows Flag VI", "Cloudy With A Chance Of Windows II"

Screen: Same concept as the 6th screen, but the sky background is different and the Windows logo has more of a 3D depth to it, plus a white glow. The white "95" is changed to a black "98". "Microsoft" is also black now. Then we see the same teal green screen


  • The second edition added the text "Second Edition" below the Windows 98 logo.

When Microsoft Plus is installed on Windows 98, "98" is in two different colors ("9" is colored green, and "8" is orange) and "PLus!" (arranged the same as seen on the box, in the software itself, and the Windows 95 "Plus" variant) is seen above "98".

  • When the computer is shutting down or restarting, it shows any of the above variants with the words below the name saying "Windows is shutting down."
  • When Windows 98 is first installed, it shows the logo with the words under it saying "Getting ready to run Windows for the first time."

FX/SFX: Same as the 6th screen.

Cheesy Factor: Same as the 6th screen.


  • Original Version:
  • Startup: A single, continuous synth crescendo that was composed by Ken Kato.
  • Shutdown:
  • Beta 3: Three synth chime notes, followed by a synth pad.
  • First and Second Editions: None by default, but when enabled it's the same as the 3rd beta, but raised in pitch and shortened.
  • Microsoft Plus! Systems:
  • Default:
  • Startup: Same as original.
  • Shutdown: Same as original.
  • More Windows/Windows 98:
  • Startup: Same as default.
  • Shutdown: Same as Windows 95 Plus!.
  • Windows 98 (high color):
  • Startup: Same as default.
  • Shutdown: The Beta 3 shutdown.
  • Windows Default:
  • Startup: Same as default.
  • Shutdown: A synthesized rendition of the Windows 3.1 "tada.wav" startup.
  • Architecture:
  • Startup: Echoing clicking sounds, followed by a piano tune and a synth. The atmosphere is like that of a factory.
  • Shutdown: A re-rendition of the startup, but shorter and without the piano tune.
  • Corbis Photography:
  • Startup: The sound of an old flash camera starting up, followed by camera shutter sounds. A synth follows.
  • Shutdown: A camera shutting down.
  • Cityscape:
  • Startup: Walking, with digital synths and beeping, as well as a 3-note synth.
  • Shutdown: The same digital beeping and synth, as well as muffled failure sounds.
  • Cathy:
  • Startup: A 2-note synth.
  • Shutdown: A slowed down version of the startup.
  • Doonesbury:
  • Startup: Maybe a loud synth note combined with a crowd cheering.
  • Shutdown: A cartoonish fail sound (a descending noise).
  • Fashion:
  • Startup: A jazz tune.
  • Shutdown: A different jazz tune.
  • Falling Leaves:
  • Startup: A synth, followed by birds chirping.
  • Shutdown: Another synth, this time with crickets chirping.
  • Fox Trot:
  • Startup: TBA
  • Shutdown: TBA
  • Garfield:
  • Startup: TBA
  • Shutdown: TBA
  • Geometry:
  • Startup: Very odd space sounds.
  • Shutdown: Fast synth sounds similar to a trance song.
  • Jazz:
  • Startup: You guessed it, a jazz tune!
  • Shutdown: Another jazz tune this time with a piano ditty.
  • Photodisc:
  • Startup: TBA. Would be interesting to hear this in a movie logo.
  • Shutdown: A soft organ synth tune.
  • Peanuts:
  • Startup: A portion of "Linus and Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi.
  • Shutdown: Another portion of "Linus and Lucy".
  • Rock n' Roll:
  • Startup: A guitar riff, which grows into your average Rock n' Roll tune.
  • Shutdown: Another rock tune.
  • Science Fiction:
  • Startup: A fanfare.
  • Shutdown: A descending synth, resembling the THX Deep Note more and more as it progresses until it suddenly becomes an explosion and 2 synth whooshes with rumbling in the background.
  • World Traveller:
  • Startup: A sitar tune.
  • Shutdown: A slower sitar tune, followed by a synth.

Availability: Rare. Only found on computers running Windows 98.

Scare Factor: None for the default sounds. Though it can range from none to medium for the Plus! sounds, but none for the most part. This is a peaceful startup screen, this was also a favourite of many.

9th Screen (February 17, 2000-September 13, 2005 [end of production], July 13, 2010 [discontinued]) Nicknames: "Windows Flag VII", "Classic Windows Flag VII", "The Squares", "The Progress Bar"


Screen: On a white background, four squares are layered over each other in the same pane colors (orange, blue, green and yellow). On top of the top square is the 1990s Windows flag logo from the previous operating systems. Below the squares are the words "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional," arranged much like the fourth and fifth screens, with "Professional" on the bottom. Below this is the text "Built on NT Technology." At the top-right corner of the screen is the then-current Microsoft logo. At the very bottom of the screen, there is a gray bar, with the words "Starting up..." and a progress-style bar, and beneath that is a copyright notice. Then we see a screen which changed from teal green to clear sky blue

Variant: When shutting down, we see a grey box with t

FX/SFX: The scrolling of the progress bar.

Cheesy Factor: Although there is some animation this time, it's only the progress bar.


  • Startup: A quiet piano arpeggio, followed by some horn and string tones .
  • Shutdown: A horn and string theme based off the startup sound.

Availability: Uncommon. Seen on Windows 2000, which is not supported anymore--however, you can still easily access it.

Scare Factor: None. It's another favorite of many.

10th Screen (September 14, 2000-December 31, 2003 [end of production], July 11, 2006 [discontinued])


Nicknames: "Windows Flag VIII", "Classic Windows Flag VIII", "The Squares II"

Screen: Similar to the 6th and 9th screen, and except there is no progress bar, and the "Windows 2000" is changed to "Windows ME" with the full name of "ME" ("Millennium Edition") stacked word by word under "ME". The panes are now green, blue and orange. Then we see a clear sky blue screen.

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: Same as the 6th and 8th screens.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 9th screen.

Availability: Rare. Seen on Windows ME (Millennium Edition), which is a bit hard to find due to Windows XP being much more common.

Scare Factor: None.

11th Screen (October 25, 2001-April 14, 2009 [end of production], April 8, 2014 [discontinued])


Nicknames: "Windows Flag IX", "New Windows Flag", "The Progress Bar II"

Screen: On a black background, we see the then-current Windows flag logo (which has been redesigned to have only the colored "panes"), below which is the Windows XP logo. Below that is a blue progress bar (a la the 9th screen). In the bottom-left corner is a copyright notice, and on the bottom-right is the then-current Microsoft logo.


  • On computers running Windows XP Professional, the word "Professional" is added underneath the XP logo.
  • On some computers running Windows XP Home Edition, the word "Home Edition" is added under the XP logo. The progress bar is green.
  • On computers running the 64-bit version of Windows XP, either the word "64-Bit Edition" or "x64 Edition" is added under the XP logo.
  • On Windows Server 2003, the name was changed to its appropriate title. The progress bar is gray.
  • When Windows XP is first installed, the normal logo is seen with the progress bar replaced with the words "Please wait..."

FX/SFX: The scrolling of the progress bar.

Cheesy Factor: Again, the only animation is the progress bar, but this time around, there's no music in the screen itself.


  • Original Version:
  • Startup:
  • XP: Startup: A five-note piano tune with a rising string section at the end.
  • Shutdown: A four-note piano tune with similar strings, based off the startup sound.
  • Microsoft Plus! Sounds:
  • Default:
  • Startup: Same as original.
  • Shutdown: Same as original.
  • Aquarium:
  • Startup: An ascending xylophone/synth tune, with a synth note held in.
  • Shutdown: Water sounds and clicking.
  • Da Vinci:
  • Startup: A 3-note harp tune.
  • Shutdown: A 5-note harpsichord tune.
  • Nature:
  • Startup: Bugs, with a bird chirping.
  • Shutdown: Crickets chirping and a wolf howling.
  • Space:
  • Startup: A 3-note trumpet theme, followed by a deep bass synth note. May remind some of "A Space Odyssey: 2001".
  • Shutdown: Melodic electronic warbling.

Availability: Common, due to the fact that until August 2012, Windows XP was the most commonly used operating system. Even though support ended in April 2014, it's still pretty easy to find. Also seen in Windows Server 2003 and the last few Windows Whistler betas. It can still be seen on computers running Windows Embedded 2009, as some kiosks in retail stores and banks still contain the OS. Support for the embedded OS is to be fully discontinued on April 9, 2019.

Scare Factor: None. The music used in the startup is a favorite of many, to the point in which it became an Internet sensation.

12th Screen (January 30, 2007- )

Nicknames: "Windows Flag X", "New Windows Flag II", "Windows Orb", "The Flashing Orb"Windows Vista Splash Screen

Screen: On a black background, a light blue orb with the then-current Windows flag logo quickly fades in. Then, the edges of the "panes" begin to glow, until the glow reaches outside of the orb and stops at corners, forming a square shape.

FX/SFX: The flashing.

Cheesy Factor: Luckily, there is animation. However, it is very basic.


  • Startup: Four high pitched synth chimes, followed by a mellow synth pad.
  • Shutdown: A synth chime note.

Availability: Rare, due to Windows Vista rapidly losing usage following the release of Windows 7, as well as it not being used as much as other versions of Windows to begin with.

Scare Factor: Low. The glowing, along with the music, may startle you the first time you see it. None for those who are used to it.

13th Screen (October 27, 2009- )

Nicknames: "Windows Flag XI", "New Windows Flag III", "The Orbs"

Windows 7/Vista from Sonic SouthScreen:On a black background, we see the words "Starting Windows" and a copyright notice. Suddenly, four colored orbs appear and move around a bit until they form the "panes" of the then-current Windows logo. The edges of the panes glow for a little bit.


  • If the computer is resuming from a previous session, the text will say "Resuming Windows".
  • When a system running Windows 7 in the middle of an update, after a few seconds "Starting Windows" changes to "Applying update operation {{{1}}} of {{{2}}} (filename.filetype)", wherein {{{1}}} is the number of the active update, whereas {{{2}}} is the total amount of updates to the system.

FX/SFX: The orbs and flashing. Impressive animation for a startup graphic. It's an improvement over the previous screens as well.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 12th screen.

Availability: Very common, due to Windows 7 being the most commonly used operating system.

Scare Factor: None.

14th Screen (October 26, 2012- )

Nicknames: "The Loading Circle", "Where's The Flag?"

Screen: On a black background, we see the word "Windows" fade in from black. Near the bottom of the screen, dots are going around in a circle.

Variant: On some computers, the computer manufacturer's logo (i.e. MSI, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard etc.) replaces the text "Windows".

FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The dots going in a circle. Quite simple and basic.

Music/Sounds: No startup sound by default (if enabled it's the same as the 12th and 13th screens, as is the shutdown).

Availability: Common. Can be found on any computer running Windows 8 or 8.1.

Scare Factor: None.

15th Screen (July 29, 2015-)

Nicknames: "Windows Flag XII", "The Loading Circle II", "The Simple Flag"

Screen: On a black background, we see the current Windows logo (a much simpler version of the Windows flag). Below that is the loading animation used in the previous screen.

Variant: On some computers, the computer manufacturer's logo (i.e. MSI, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard etc.) replaces the Windows logo.

FX/SFX: Same as before.

Music/Sounds: A click for the startup (or none at all), same as the 12th/13th screens for the shutdown.

Availability: Common. Seen on newer PCs running Windows 10.

Scare Factor: None