Windows 10: Start/Notification/Cortana/Search Stop Working Solved

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  1.    08 Feb 2016 #1

    Start/Notification/Cortana/Search Stop Working


    Hi All,
    I've got a system here which is acting up and I'm looking for ideas of how to resolve. Specs are:

    Windows 10 Home (upgraded from W8.1)
    i7-3632 8GB RAM 64bit
    Inspiron 17R5720 laptop

    Here's the problem: Everything works fine upon boot, but then, something happens over time, and things stop working.

    Start left-click not working/Start right-click works
    Notification left-click not working/Notification right-click menu shows, but open action center doesn't work
    Quick Launch opens and works
    All icons pinned to the taskbar work including File Explorer
    Cortana and search not working - can't type in box
    Speaker icon left-click does not work, right-click does

    This is all intermittent, and resolved with a reboot.

    Something sets it off to stop working - perhaps the screensaver/lockscreen?

    Fast Startup is off, hybernate off as well.

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated. TIA.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    08 Feb 2016 #2

    Hi, I'll assume all is sound e.g. chkdsk, SFC show no problems.

    Have you tried a clean boot to see if the symptoms recur?
    And if so, Safe Mode?

    I.e. start to identify potential conflicts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    08 Feb 2016 #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi, I'll assume all is sound e.g. chkdsk, SFC show no problems.

    Have you tried a clean boot to see if the symptoms recur?
    And if so, Safe Mode?

    I.e. start to identify potential conflicts.
    Yes, SFC is all clear. HDD health is good (per Passmark), although I have not run CHKDSK on it. Have not tried the clean boot approach. May give that a try next. Since I have seen this on a couple computers, I thought perhaps it was a known bug of which I was unaware. Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    09 Feb 2016 #4

    . maybe one is 'known' - somewhere- and I'm sure you've seen a lot of similar-ish posts.. what puzzles me here is it's not a 'hard' fault.
    "Everything works fine upon boot, but then, something happens over time, and things stop working."

    Found some parallel symptoms (works after restart)
    start menu/task bar/sound stops working [Solved] - windows 10 - Windows 10
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/taskbar-start-menu-and-built-in-apps-randomly-stop/06ee5586-5363-4cc6-a3c4-ff3eb7ea1227

    (received standard responses, no solution)

    End of the day you may just as well go for it and try a repair upgrade install - you lose nothing but time, and system restore is turned off, any customised system icons lost, and you have to redo 2 or 3 Windows updates...

    It would be good to know WHY the start menu, taskbar, Cortana... seem so vulnerable.. threads don't seem to offer a technical solution as you know... hmmm.. maybe this only happens on upgrades, for example...?
    Last edited by dalchina; 09 Feb 2016 at 14:47.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Word Man's Avatar
    Posts : 1,177
    Windows 10 Home
       09 Feb 2016 #5

    Hi, simrick.

    Looks like there are a number of driver updates possible for this laptop at Dell support - has that been gone through?
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/...ivers/advanced (note dropdown to "change OS")
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    09 Feb 2016 #6

    dalchina said: View Post
    . maybe one is 'known' - somewhere- and I'm sure you've seen a lot of similar-ish posts.. what puzzles me here is it's not a 'hard' fault.
    "Everything works fine upon boot, but then, something happens over time, and things stop working."

    Found some parallel symptoms (works after restart)
    start menu/task bar/sound stops working [Solved] - windows 10 - Windows 10
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/taskbar-start-menu-and-built-in-apps-randomly-stop/06ee5586-5363-4cc6-a3c4-ff3eb7ea1227

    (received standard responses, no solution)

    End of the day you may just as well go for it and try a repair upgrade install - you lose nothing but time, and system restore is turned off, any customised system icons lost, and you have to redo 2 or 3 Windows updates...

    It would be good to know WHY the start menu, taskbar, Cortana... seem so vulnerable.. threads don't seem to offer a technical solution as you know... hmmm.. maybe this only happens on upgrades, for example...?
    Hi.
    I agree - would be good to know WHY this is happening...can't seem to find a definitive answer on that. I know this has been a problem in the past (since August last year), and the Powershell re-register approach doesn't work anymore (just breaks everything).

    I have since done a (partial) clean boot, and let him run the computer for a day and a half, including reboots, and it appears that the problem has not resurfaced (yet!), so next on the list is slowly adding everything back in to try and identify the culprit. Unfortunately, he leaves now for a couple of weeks, and I won't be able to further troubleshoot until he returns.

    But I will be sure and post here if we come up with a solution! And if not, an in-place repair install is my only other solution, because we've done everything else. Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    09 Feb 2016 #7

    Word Man said: View Post
    Hi, simrick.

    Looks like there are a number of driver updates possible for this laptop at Dell support - has that been gone through?
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/...ivers/advanced (note dropdown to "change OS")
    Hi. Yes, oh my gosh, I have tried that, and then also found more updates going through Device Manager>Update Drivers. That was my first thought. Then I started removing all bloatware. Then I started removing all unnecessary software. I even removed "necessary software" to see if that helped (McAfee>Defender)....no difference.

    The clean boot (well, mostly clean boot), has been showing some hope - 1-1/2 days without incident. Unfortunately, as I mention in the above post, I have to sit it out on the sidelines now for a couple of weeks. So, will be reporting back then.

    I have read that some shells from older programs don't play nice with W10, and I am thinking this might be a clue.

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Feb 2016 #8

    simrick said: View Post

    I have read that some shells from older programs don't play nice with W10, and I am thinking this might be a clue.

    Thanks.
    Hi, if you still have the same problem after a clean boot, you have two further basic options:
    1. Safe Mode (which eliminates most extraneous drivers)
    2. In normal mode (and clean boot if you prefer), try Shellexview (free); hide all MS extensions, then disable the rest and check for symptoms.

    That's all about identifying conflicts.
    If it's an OS or some registry problem, an in-place upgrade repair install may help.

    If you can't identify a conflict and that doesn't help, and you have no disk image prior to the problem starting (hint- everyone should use 3rd party disk imaging routinely.. it saves so much time, frustration, preserves your system and your peace of mind whilst providing a full backup and fast recovery without tech assistance.. it's a clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    10 Feb 2016 #9

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi, if you still have the same problem after a clean boot, you have two further basic options:
    1. Safe Mode (which eliminates most extraneous drivers)
    2. In normal mode (and clean boot if you prefer), try Shellexview (free); hide all MS extensions, then disable the rest and check for symptoms.

    That's all about identifying conflicts.
    If it's an OS or some registry problem, an in-place upgrade repair install may help.

    If you can't identify a conflict and that doesn't help, and you have no disk image prior to the problem starting (hint- everyone should use 3rd party disk imaging routinely.. it saves so much time, frustration, preserves your system and your peace of mind whilst providing a full backup and fast recovery without tech assistance.. it's a clean install.
    Thanks dalchina. Shellexview sounds like a plan.
    Wonder if you still have the links to the threads referenced in your post above? They both just lead to Tomshardware... and I've read that the powershell app re-register now just borks everything (whereas before it used to resolve). Thanks very much!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    10 Feb 2016 #10

    I'm not recommending those approaches.. I merely cited them as examples of others whose similar problems were not resolved.. FYI only.
    As far as I know the Powershell commands remain broken.. until someone's brave enough to try after an MS update...

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...4-ff3eb7ea1227


    - Odd, I just cut 'n pasted that from the post.

    Do work thru the steps in sequence, don't try all at once, just logically in the hope of identifying a conflict.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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