Microsoft Windows

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Editions by Synthavision, The_Username_15, TrickyMario7654, Paperking99, Logoblin, TheMoonProductions, gameandwatchrocks101, GoAnimateFan199Pro, and others
Photos courtesy of TrickyMario7654, AthenaTheCatGoddess, logoman94, The_Username_15, and TheEriccorpinc

: Windows is a series of computer operating systems distributed by Microsoft Corporation. The first public build launched on November 20th, 1985.

Note: The music and/or sounds on these screens are the sounds played by the computer at some point during the system log in. Most of the sounds 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.

Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0
(May 1, 1985-April 8, 1989 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])
Windows 1.0 Beta Release startup screenWindows 1.0 Premiere Edition startup screenMicrosoft Windows 1.0 Bootup screenWindows 1.02 startup screenWindows 1.03 startup screen
Microsoft Windows 1.04 (1987)Windows/386 2.01 startup screenWindows/386 2.03.06 startup screenWindows 2.03 Startup screenWindows/286 2.1 startup screen
Windows/386 2.1 startup screenWindows/286 2.11 startup screenWindows/386 2.11 startup screen

Codename: "Interface Manager" (1.01-1.04)

: The earliest confirmed build of Windows 1.0 dates back to May 1983 and was the feature of an article in BYTE magazine. Windows 1.0 is the first public version of the Windows line of operating systems (although Windows 1 through 3.1 were graphical shells installed on top of MS-DOS). Unlike future versions, Windows 1.x is the only one not to include overlapping and freely positionable windows on the desktop. Apple's Macintosh, released the previous year, already used overlapping windows. Microsoft decided to use "tiling" (which has made a bit of a comeback since Windows 7) in order to avoid a lawsuit from Apple.

Trivia: The date on this operating system does not go further than 1999. If a user attempts to change the date to the year 2000 or onward, the system will display a three-digit number ranging from 100-199.

  • 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 white 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".
  • On some systems running 1.x, the screen will scroll down as garbled text appears on the blue background and the PC speaker beeps wildly. This may be due to a glitch or just age.

: 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.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds): Usually none. PCs of the time only had the simple internal beeper. However, lots and lots of beeping for the garbled text version.

  • Versions 1.01-2.11: Extremely rare. Found only on computers running the original 2 versions of the Windows operating system.
  • Beta/Premiere Versions: Extinct 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
  • Normal variant: None.
  • 1.x "Glitch": Depends; it can range from low to nightmare. The screen suddenly becoming corrupted can throw more than some off, especially when combined with the beeping sounds. It's somewhat similar to macOS's "Sad Mac", since it can a sign your computer has a critical error, or is damaged.

Windows 3.0
(May 12, 1990-October 20, 1991 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])
Microsoft Windows 3.0 Bootup screenWindows 3.0 /w MPC 1.0 startupWindows 3.1 (Beta, 3.10.26, April 5, 1991)

: None

: The earliest confirmed build of Windows 3.0 dates back to February 22, 1989. Windows 3.0 was the first widely successful build of Windows. It included a significantly revamped interface and technical improvements to make better use of memory management for Intel processors. Unlike Windows 1.0 and 2.0, which had a very limited color palette for colored menus and window boxes with in-application graphics being monochrome (black & white), Windows 3.0 supported up to 256 colors.

: 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:

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 version 3.10.26, the version number is changed to read 3.1.

FX/SFX: None.

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

Startup Sound (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.

Windows 3.1x
Windows 3.1, NT 3.1: (April 6, 1992-October 29, 1994 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])
Windows for Workgroups: (October 1992-December 31, 1993 [end of production], November 1, 2008 [discontinued])
Windows 3.1 Final Beta ReleaseWindows 3.1Microsoft Windows 3.11 - For Workgroups startupMicrosoft Windows 3.2 Chinese startupWindows 3.1 Preliminary ReleaseWindows NT BetaWindows NT 3.1 bootup screenWindows NT Advanced Server 3.1Windows NT Advanced Server 3.5 Beta startup screenWindows For Pen Computing

  • Windows 3.1 - "Janus"
  • Windows for Workgroups
    • 3.1 - "Winball", "Sparta"
    • 3.11 - "Snowball"
  • Windows NT 3.1 - "NT OS/2"

: The earliest beta build of Windows 3.1 dates back to January 1991. Windows 3.1 included improved system stability, expanded support for multimedia, an updated font family (now called "TrueType"), and workgroup networking.

: "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 panels, 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.

  • 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.

: 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 Sound (Music/Sounds):
  • 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".

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

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds) Trivia: In Roblox's early years (2006-2012), every time you'd complete something in a level, collect a badge or use a face changer model, the Windows 3.1 Startup would be heard. Although some games on the website such as Work at a Pizza Place uses Windows XP's "tada.wav".

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.

Microsoft Chicago (early Windows 95 beta builds)
(August 10, 1993-January 13, 1995)

Codename: Same as title ("Chicago")

Unofficial Nickname: "Windows 93"

: Microsoft Chicago is the development codename for Windows 95. This operating system introduced one of the most iconic desktop interface designs, including the introduction of the Start menu (created by Danny Oran), which allows easier access to desktop applications and settings. This UI is still used in current Windows builds.

: "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 a 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 (August/November 1993, January/May/September/October 1994, January 1995). We see the Windows logo dancing around the text, 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: It seems that the sunlight image in the Chicago variant is not transparent. You can tell as the Windows logo hits the light.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds):
  • Startup: The same "tada.wav" sound from Windows 3.1.
  • Shutdown: Same as startup.

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.

Windows NT 3.5x

(September 21, 1994-December 31, 2001)
Windows NT Workstation 3.5 startup screenWindows NT 3.51 courtesy of Sonic S.

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

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.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds): Same as Windows 3.1.

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

Scare Factor: Minimal.

Windows 95
(August 15, 1995-November 26, 1997 [end of production], December 31, 2001 [discontinued])
Windows 95 (Beta - Release) splash screenMicrosoft Windows 95 startup - Final Beta ReleaseWindows 95 - April Test Release splash screenMicrosoft Windows 95 startup - May Test ReleaseWindows 95 - June Test Release splash screenWindows 95 startup screenWindows 95 Bootup screenWindows 95 (Microsoft Plus" variant) splash screenWindows 95 Shutdown

: "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 with the first panel 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."

  • 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 orange text reading: "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.

: None.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds):
  • Original Version:
    • Startup:
      • Before April Test Release (build 445): Same as Microsoft Chicago.
      • April Test Release (build 445) and onward: An ethereal synth theme with two synth chimes, followed by four beeps, and a synth pad, nicknamed "The Mircosoft Sound". Composed by ambient musician Brian Eno.
    • Shutdown: Same as Microsoft Chicago.
  • Microsoft Plus Systems:
    • For All:
      • Default:
        • Startup: Same as original.
        • Shutdown: Same as original.
      • More Windows/Windows 95:
        • Startup: Same as default.
        • Shutdown: A muffled three-note organ/synth tune. The last note is held in longer than the other notes.
      • 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 stock sound of a roaring jaguar (the same one heard in the Debmar Studios logo).
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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: A lower toned cricket chirp.
      • 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.
      • Snowboarding:
        • Startup: An electric guitar note being held while descending in pitch.
        • Shutdown: A horn.
      • Tree House:
        • Startup: Eagle sounds accompanied with a cricket chirp.
        • Shutdown: A door opening.
      • Underwater:
        • Startup: Dolphins, and water sounds.
        • Shutdown: More water sounds, but rather deeper.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds) Trivia: Much of the sounds included on Windows 95 have been implemented in other platforms, embedded systems, software packages, and/or video projects. For example, the Los Angeles Metro kiosks use the same "ding" sound included in Windows 95.

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. Low to high for the Jungle shutdown variant. The unexpected sound may scare a good number of users. But this is a favorite of many.

Windows NT 4.0
(July 31, 1996-July 11, 2006)
Windows NT 4.0 Startup<iframe align="bottom" frameborder="0" height="166" src="" width="222"></iframe>

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

Screen: Just the Windows logo with the first panel being red-orange with the text "Microsoft Windows NT WorkStation 4.0 with Microsoft Internet Explorer" below it on a starry blue-white gradient background. On the upper-right corner of the screen, we see the text "Copyright 1985-2006 Microsoft Corporation" under the then-current Microsoft logo.

FX/SFX: None.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds):
  • 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, but the fact that the shutdown music is the startup music reversed may be considered funny.

Windows 98
(June 23, 1998-May 5, 1999 [end of production], July 11, 2006 [discontinued])
Windows 98 Bootup screenWindows 98 (Microsoft Plus" variant) startup screenMicrosoft Windows 98 (4.10.1619) *Beta 2.1/Microsoft Internet Explorer* (1997)Microsoft Windows 98 (4.10.1681) *Beta 3/Microsoft Internet Explorer* (1998)Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (4.10.2222A) *Distributed by Dell* (c. 2000)Windows 98 ShutdownWindows 98 First Boot

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

Screen: Same concept as Windows 95, 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.

  • 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 blue words below the name saying "Windows is shutting down."
  • During Windows 98 setup, after the first restart there are additional blue words underneath that say "Getting ready to run Windows for the first time." This no longer appears after subsequent startups.
  • On some Dell computers of the era, Dell added the words "Distributed By:" and the Dell logo to the upper left hand corner.
  • The first appearances of this logo were in the Windows 98 beta era. On Beta 2.1 (of which 1619 is the most known build), there is a noticeable red glow behind the left red part of the Windows flag. In addition to this, a segmented line composed of short orange, yellow, and green segments and one long blue segment is seen to the right of the flag. On top of this line, "Beta 2.1" appears. Underneath the Windows 98 text, "Microsoft Internet Explorer" appears just as in Windows 95.Beta 3 (of which 1681 is the most known build) is the same, except without the red glow, the added segmented line having equal segment lengths, and the text changed to read "Beta 3."

: Same as Windows 95.

Cheesy Factor: None for the normal variant. However, on the Dell variant, Dell simply pasted their text and logo onto the raw source of the logo, which is a file called logo.sys. However, logo.sys is stored with a horizontal squish and Dell pasted the normal text onto the squished raw version, so the text and Dell logo looks stretched out when it is displayed normally.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds)
  • Original Version:
    • Startup: A single, continuous synth crescendo that was composed by Microsoft sound engineer Ken Kato.
    • Shutdown:
      • Beta 3: Three synth chime notes, followed by a synth pad that gets slightly louder at the end.
      • 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.
    • Baseball:
      • Startup: An organ theme that is very fitting with the theme.
      • Shutdown: A crowd cheering.
    • 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: An orchestral hit leading into a single chord, ending with the audience clapping.
      • Shutdown: A cartoonist 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: The sound of a car starting up and driving away.
      • Shutdown: A car stopping and powering down.
    • 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.
    • Jungle:
      • Startup: TBA
      • Shutdown: A cub growling.
    • 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, a squeal from an alien creature and 2 synth whooshes with rumbling in the background.
    • Space:
      • Startup: Digital beeps.
      • Shutdown: An even more synthesized whoosh.
    • Underwater:
      • Startup: TBA
      • Shutdown: TBA
    • World Traveller:
      • Startup: A sitar tune.
      • Shutdown: A slower sitar tune, followed by a synth.

: Rare. Only found on computers running Windows 98. The Dell variant is nearly extinct as it appeared only on Dell factory installs of Windows 98.

Scare Factor
: Minimal for the default sounds. The synth crescendo may remind the Deep Note of THX. Though it can range from none to medium for the Plus! sounds, but none for the most part. This is a peaceful startup screen. It is also a favorite of many.

Windows 2000
(February 17, 2000-September 13, 2005 [end of production], July 13, 2010 [discontinued])
Windows 2000 Bootup screen
: "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 panel colors (red-orange,blue, green, and yellow). On top of the top square is the then-current Windows flag logo. 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.

: The scrolling of the progress bar.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds)
  • Startup: A piano arpeggio, followed by some string tones.
  • Shutdown: A 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 to low. The startup music may turn some people off, but It's another favorite of many.

Windows Millennium Edition (ME)
(September 14, 2000-December 31, 2003 [end of production], July 11, 2006 [discontinued])
Windows ME Bootup screen
: "Windows Flag VIII", "Classic Windows Flag VIII", "The Squares II"

Screen: Similar to Windows 2000, 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".

: None.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds)
  • Developer Release until Beta 2 (build 2481): Same as the first and second editions of Windows 98.
  • Beta 3 (build 2513) and onward: Same as Windows 2000.

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
: Same as Windows 2000.

Windows XP, Windows Server 2003
(October 25, 2001-April 14, 2009 [end of production], April 8, 2014 [discontinued])
Windows XP courtesy of Sonic South (SigmaIII)Windows XP Home Edition startup screenWindows XP Professional startup screenWindows XP 64-bit Edition startup screen
Windows XP x64 Edition startup screenWindows Server 2003 startup screen

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

Screens: On a black background, the then-current Windows flag logo (which has been redesigned to have only the colored "panels"the first panel might bered-orangeororange), along with the text below:


fading in. Below that is a blue progress bar (a la Windows 2000). In the bottom-left corner is a copyright notice, and on the bottom-right is the then-current Microsoft logo.

  • Prior to Service Pack 2 of XP, the edition name would appear on the bottom of the XP wordmark (on the Home Edition however, the progress bar would appear green).
  • On computers running the 64-bit version of Windows XP, either the word "64-Bit Edition" (for the Itanium version) or "x64 Edition" (for the AMG64 version) 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..."

: The scrolling of the progress bar.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds)
  • Original Version:
    • Startup: A seven-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
: Minimal to low. The startup and shutdown sounds may turn some people off, but the scare factor is none for most people, as this screen AND the startup and shutdown music are cherished by many logo and non-logo fans, to the point where it became an internet sensation.

Windows Vista
(January 30, 2007-April 10, 2012 [end of production], April 11, 2017 [discontinued])

: "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 with the first panel being orange 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 Sound (Music/Sounds)
  • Startup: Four high pitched synth chimes, followed by a mellow synth pad. It was composed by Robert Fripp, the lead guitarist of the progressive rock band King Crimson.
  • 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. Thisprecedes the logon screen, as the actual boot screen is very similar to the previous one.

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.

Windows 7
(October 27, 2009- )

: "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 "panels" 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.

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

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds)
: Same as Windows Vista.

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

Scare Factor
: None, the animation is very cool, but if you've seen it many times it can get boring.

Windows 8.x, Windows Server 2012
(April 22, 2011- )

Microsoft Windows - CLG Wiki

  • Windows 8.x: "8"
  • Windows Server 2012: "8 Server"

: Windows 8 introduced a major overhaul in the desktop UI, including completely revamping the Start menu.

  • Milestone 3 (build 7989): On a black background, we see a beta fish, with bubbles coming out of its mouth (in a static image). At the bottom of the screen, we see the word "Welcome". Then, we see dots going around in a circle.
  • Developer Preview (build 8102): Same as build 7989, except the beta fish is replaced with the words "Windows Developer Preview", in white. The trademark symbol, an "R" enclosed inside a circle, is seen next to the word "Windows". The word "Welcome" is also omitted.
  • Consumer Preview (build 8250): Same as build 7989, except the beta fish is rendered in a flat bitmap file, itself rendered inside a blue square. Inside the square is a barely-legible "8", resembling Windows 8. The word "Welcome" is also omitted.
  • Release Preview (build 8400): Same as the Developer Preview, except this time "Developer Preview" is omitted.
  • RTM (build 8888): Same as the Release Preview, except the text is replaced with the current Windows logo, colored turquoise.

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

: The dots going in a circle.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds)
  • Startup: None by default, though when enabled it's the same as Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • Shutdown: Same as Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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

Scare Factor
: None.

Windows 10, Windows Server 2016
(July 29, 2015- )
Microsoft Windows - CLG Wiki
Nicknames: "Windows Flag XII", "The Loading Circle II", "The Simple Flag"

Screen: On a black background, we see the Microsoft squares, in white (bearing a resemblance to the Windows flag). Below that is the loading animation used in the previous screen.

  • On some computers, the computer manufacturer's logo (i.e. MSI, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard etc.) replaces the Windows logo.
  • On the Surface Studio all-in-one desktop, the background is colored dark grey.

FX/SFX: Same as before.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds): Same as Windows 8.x.

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

Scare Factor: None.