Windows 10: Action Center and Start Menu Continually Fail

  1.    20 Mar 2016 #1

    Action Center and Start Menu Continually Fail

    Device: Surface Pro 4
    OS: Fully Updated Windows 10

    Issue: Action Center and Start Menu continually fail.
    Symptoms: After an unpredictable amount of time, Action Center and Start Menu will not open using multiple prompts. Action Center will not respond to taskbar link or swipe from the right and Start Menu will not respond to task bar click or keyboard button.

    • I have done several SFC scans (the first few found stuff and repaired it and subsequent runs find nothing)
    • I've done the DISM image restore health hocus pocus to no avail.
    • I've executed "Get-AppxPackage | % { Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppxManifest.xml" -verbose }" in an elevated powershell. This works, until it doesn't.

    EDIT: Nothing is working now for troubleshooting. Going to try a restart and see how long until it happens again.

    None of these are permanent solutions. Any ideas as what is causing this and how to stop it from happening?
    Last edited by taward; 20 Mar 2016 at 12:56.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. JohnC's Avatar
    Posts : 3
    Dual Boot 10 Pro v1607 10 Pro rs2 build 14971
       20 Mar 2016 #2

    You could try to refresh the OS. this is from the tutorial forum. Refresh Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    21 Mar 2016 #3

    You might try creating a new user profile to check if you have a corrupt profile first. That's pretty quick.

    Refresh will remove all desktop programs you've installed - you might prefer to try this first:
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade - Windows 10 Forums

    I would be interested if you could comment on the effect you saw of using
    "Get-AppxPackage | % { Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppxManifest.xml" -verbose }" in an elevated powershell.

    Until recently this has broken many universal apps since build 1511 in November; after that they appear with an @ before them in the start menu

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    21 Mar 2016 #4

    @john, thanks for the input. I'm going to try to avoid the scorched earth approach for as long as I can. I do reserve the right to go back to this and say thank you though

    @dalchina I'm not big on the profile creation. I've never been able to reverse this completely. It always leaves behind some unwanted artifact or two.

    I'll try that in-place repair. What are the implications to settings and such?

    As for that voodoo command sequence, results really do vary. I've used it and it works like a charm. There are other times where it hangs and does absolutely nothing. One time, it did exactly what you say and broke every built in "modern" (I don't know what the kids are calling it these days) app. I needed to use a restore point to get everything back in order. That was some time ago but it definitely happened. That's part of why I'm so interested in getting to the bottom of this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    21 Mar 2016 #5

    Hi, thanks. Interesting comment about the Powershell command that used to be a standard fix last year.

    Profile: You should be able to simply delete a profile. Note that if your problem is profile corruption, I doubt that either a refresh or an in-place upgrade repair install will fix that. (Think registry entries).

    Suggestion: use disk imaging to create an image you can restore before you start any fixes. That way if sthg goes wrong, you can simply restore the image, and everything on your disk or partition will be restored.

    Thus you can safely try a new profile or anything else.

    In-place upgrade repair install - my standard text:
    An In-place upgrade repair install will fix many things, but not those where the settings are not changed by the procedure.

    For this you need an installation medium with the same build as you have installed.
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade - Windows 10 Forums
    This will refresh Windows, after the manner of a Windows installation.
    - all/most associations will be unchanged
    - all your programs will be left installed
    - you will lose any custom fonts
    - you will lose any customised system icons
    - you may need to re-establish your Wi-Fi connection
    - you will need to redo Windows updates subsequent to the build you have used for the repair install
    - Windows.old will be created
    - system restore will be turned off- you should turn it on again and I recommend you manually schedule a daily restore point.
    - you will need to redo any language downloads (other than the display language)

    This is one of the better features of Win10: as each major build comes out, that's your updated reference build, and as updates are mostly cumulative, there will be few to do.

    Before you perform this major repair procedure, do create a disk image.

    Please consider using disk imaging regularly. It's a brilliant way to
    - preserve your system (and your sanity)
    - back up your data
    - restore your system to a previously working state in a relatively short time

    Recommended: Macrium Reflect or Aomei Backupper (free) + their boot disk/device + large enough external storage medium.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 Mar 2016 #6

    Cool, thanks. I'll dig around and see what happens and report back. But, what I'm hearing is that no one really know why this is happening and thus can't really recommend any fixes.

    Speaking of which...why are the action center, start menu and cortana so inextricably linked and mysteriously organized? That's what confuses me about this whole thing. I mean, why isn't there just an .exe that runs them (i.e. explorer.exe) There no service or even a rogue .dll to register that causes this. This smells terrible.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    21 Mar 2016 #7

    Hi, you are right in that no one seems to know exactly what happens when things go wrong with Cortana and the Start Menu. Occasionally someone makes a bit of a breakthrough in discovering a more targetted fix, but unless you're a developer, your options are very limited.

    (Another 'fix' some have suggested for the start menu not responding is to restart explorer;
    Solution 2 here is another attempt:
    Start Menu is Not Working in Windows 10 [Fix]

    And then there's the possibility of conflict with sthg you've installed...

    Note that Cortana is easily broken by (e.g.)
    - changes to Privacy settings (e.g. people concerned about trying to stop Win 10 phoning home)
    - attempts to change your display and speech language (which requires several settings to be changed together - messy)

    Never before has it been so necessary to take precautionary steps, and be aware of what not to do.

    Best way to protect yourself:
    - enable system restore (mysteriously disabled by MS by default) and set up a daily scheduled task to create a restore point
    - use disk imaging and update regularly

    My view, FWIW:
    a. This is an immature product, given it's targetting a mass consumer market
    b. MS has made a major change in an attempt to produce a one-size fits all devices and has sacrificed reliability and usability in doing so.
    c. Probably the minority of users are experiencing and reporting bugs/problems, given the market size - but several busy forums like this with some problems occurring repeatedly show there are weaknesses as we know
    d. The Start Menu is an atrocious attempt to mix and match the traditional with the new, using Cortana for its search bar. This is little more than an attempt to reinvent the wheel badly.

    - it fails to represent a hierarchical start menu categorisedin folders and subfolders properly, losing the subfolders. So if you upgrade from Win 8.1 and had a large start menu, many things are not shown, or shown very confusingly. Hence I see Help Help, Help Help .. in a verticl list, where the shortcuts are from subfolders.
    - the left pane cannot be manipulated in the traditional way (the way users expect)
    - the search is a real confusion of elements
    - it can unexpectedly cease to be available

    Classic Shell does everything I need and competently - the only thing missing is tiles.

    Now, that said, I've never seen the start menu fail to appear personally.

    e. Cortana is an attempt to provide multiple functions and take on Siri.
    - search the start menu
    - search your indexed files and folders
    - search settings
    - search the internet (well, interface to your browser)
    - begin to provide 'intelligent' answers to natural language questions
    - provide some humorous responses to questions like 'How old are you?'

    I don't need such over-ambitious confusion, and Windows search has never been very useful to me, and can be confusing.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    21 Mar 2016 #8

    Hehe, tell me how you really feel! :)

    I'll try some of that registry mess later.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    21 Mar 2016 #9

    The repair install using an in-place upgrade, as dalchina mentioned, worked for me on one system with this problem; a second system was fixed by disabling IE in Windows Features. Go figure. It's a problem with no one solution yet. The powershell command doesn't work anymore, and just breaks all the apps.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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