Cortana process is missing, no search available Solved

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  1. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Version 1607 Build 14393.105
       07 Sep 2016 #1

    Cortana process is missing, no search available

    After restart, there is no change. I have no way to search. I don't know where to start troubleshooting. Before, the Cortana process could not be killed. It would come back when you did it. Now it is gone.

    What do I do? I do not want to be ignorant. I tried contacting support, but you may as well leave them alone. The guy (I'm live chatting with him now) knows less than I do, and I'm only 16 years old!

    I know, I'm just a young fella, but please show me what to do.

    Thank you.
    Derek Zehr
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Sep 2016 #2

    Hi, Did you know:
    Cortana just combines Windows search (indexed only) and web search, and you can search Settings and the start menu from there too.
    It's a flashy interface combining things Windows has done for years. Some experienced users here simply don't bother with it (for good reason).

    So meanwhile, you can (hopefully):
    search the internet using a browser
    search your file system using file explorer

    Best way to search your file system: a 3rd party tool like
    Everything (v1.4b) - much faster than explorer but won't do content search (which Windows search can do for text files).

    Oh, if you open Settings, you can search there too without Cortana.

    Did Cortana previously work and did you do sthg to stop it (sounds like you did from what you say). If so, what was that?
    What happened before it stopped working?
    1. I did xyz and then...
    2. x happened and then...

    Do you have any useful system restore points you could use?
    That could be the easiest option.

    Check cortana is enabled:
    Cortana - Enable or Disable in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    Try the instructions here
    Apps - Reinstall and Re-register in Windows 8 and 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    See Section 2, Cortana, following the instructions at the start of the section.

    Screenshots often really help if you need to explain sthg.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Version 1607 Build 14393.105
    Thread Starter
       07 Sep 2016 #3

    I do not necessarily like Cortana as the new search, but it works fairly reliably (when it works) to quickly open programs. (Hit Win key, type first few letters, hit Enter. Not quite as good as keyboard shortcuts, but almost.)

    Anyway, as for doing anything that caused the problem... I wish I knew. Recently the other PC in this office had a hard drive failure, and our IT support guy was restoring the data from backup onto this PC so we could access the files. I am suspicious that something happened amidst that process. But I wasn't around when somebody installed Teamviewer for the IT man, who installed another program, and such like, and it was since then that the search isn't working.

    One glitch I see is that when I click the Start button, there is a 1 second delay until the menu appears. Consistently.
    The process that was called Cortana ( I wish I knew which exe that was) is gone completely, but there are other search related processes there.Attachment 100378
    (Maybe I don't know how to attach pictures?)

    What do you mean by useful system restore points? (Shows my ignorance.)
    Cortana is enabled. (Once I get any search working I want to disable that. Thanks.)
    I ran that Powershell line, no change.

    Oh boy, the joy of computer trouble....
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Sep 2016 #4

    Hi, sorry can't see your attachment. If you click 'Go advanced' you can see how to manage attachments. It's a bit odd first time round.
    If you just want to include a screenshot, use the icon to the left of the video icon above your text - tooltip = Insert Image.

    Can you search in file explorer? (search field top right). If you search in, say Documents or Music, assuming you've something in one of those, is it quick?

    Please can you post a screenshot of what you have when you press Windows key + S. (should launch Cortana).
    You'll need to use PrtSc for that to capture the whole desktop, then paste that into, say, Paint and save it.
    You may have to try a couple of times to get that to work.

    System Restore
    Press Windows key + X, click Control Panel, System, System Protection. Look at the drives listed. Are any shown as 'On'?

    If so, click System restore, Choose a restore point, next and post a screenshot of that window (list of restore points).

    Windows Search
    Open Settings, type troubleshooting, click troubleshooting and in the search box of the window that appears type

    Hopefully a search troubleshooting link appears- click it and post the result.

    Open an elevated (admin) comand prompt
    Windows key + X, click Command prompt (admin)
    SFC /Scannow <return>
    and wait for this to complete.
    Post the result.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Version 1607 Build 14393.105
    Thread Starter
       08 Sep 2016 #5

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Search processes.JPG 
Views:	1 
Size:	52.3 KB 
ID:	100496Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture1.JPG 
Views:	8 
Size:	45.9 KB 
ID:	100500
    Hi, the attached pictures I clipped yesterday. Today only the one selected in the screenshot is running.

    I would post a screenshot of what happens when I press Windows key + S, click the Cortana icon, or anything of the like. Only nothing happens. Searching in file explorer works well.

    The only restore point there is from last Wednesday, and I don't think Search was broken before the weekend. Also we have since installed critical programs that I would rather not delete.

    One troubleshooting link appears for Search and Indexing. It finds nothing, but asks me to type in me problem. It looks for common problems but turns up nothing.

    Lastly, I tried the Command Prompt scan. See second attachment.

    Would you recommend this? How to perform a repair upgrade using the Windows 10 ISO file - Microsoft Community
    Would this for sure not disturb installed apps?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    09 Sep 2016 #6

    Yes, you're on the right track. Whilst there can be reasons for SFC not being able to fix things from its backup store, given your symptoms, an in-place upgrade repair is what I'd do personally.

    There is a DISM command that is used to download new system files, and which is often suggested as the next stage, but doesn't always work. So I think you may as well go for the in-place upgrade repair install.

    Make sure:
    - you've made no changes to the install path environmental variable %programfiles% or used the Location tab to change the location of e.g. Documents.
    - you have the same base build and language version of your Win 10 iso or bootable medium as originally used.

    Here are my notes borne of experience:
    Precede it with this in case sthg has happened to your file system:

    From an admin command prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.
    Make sure the result is clear or fixed.
    Post back the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    How do I see the results of a CHKDSK that ran on boot? - Ask Leo!

    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 base build as you have installed, and x64 if you have a 64 bits OS, else x86 (32 bits).

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade - Windows 10 Forums
    - this includes a link from which you can obtain Windows 10 iso file (" download a Windows 10 ISO"), or create a bootable medium.

    I would recommend creating the bootable medium, as this can be used
    - for any future in-place upgrade repair install
    - to boot from and use its recovery options should Windows become unbootable.
    - to clean install Windows

    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 including the display language if you changed that)
    - inactive title bar colouring (if used) will be reset to default
    - if Qttabbar is installed, you need to re-enable it in explorer (Options, check Qttabbar)
    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 (free/commercial) + boot disk/device + large enough external storage medium.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Version 1607 Build 14393.105
    Thread Starter
       09 Sep 2016 #7

    Thank you for your reply. I will get to this next week as I have more time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Version 1607 Build 14393.105
    Thread Starter
       12 Sep 2016 #8

    More details about disk imaging?

    I would like further details on disk imaging.
    How much chance is there that something will go wrong, that I will want a disk image to recover?
    Do you mean to image the entire disk? Copy it onto another drive? What about if some files need permission, will Macrium Reflect be able to access those? I have another program (FreeFileSync) that works well for mirroring, but it cannot access some of the files. The program does not show me a list of the files that are blocked, but I know it can access files in C:\Windows. But I don't know if it's all of them.
    The best place I have to put this is on a server, on the other side of an Elmo modem, so it will take awhile. I want to get it started, if it's needed and I can figure it out. Please excuse my obvious ignorance...

    I talked too fast, without trying more options. I did not know that right-clicking a program and using "Run as Admin" gives you more permissions. No end to learning the works of Windows.
    Alright, so what is so special about Macrium Reflect? I downloaded it, and see that it is very developed, and has many handy features, but all I need to do is make a just-in-case copy before doing major work. As for imaging it regularly, maybe that's a little overkill, although smart. Where would you recommend doing the image? On a second hard drive?

    Also, how do you mirror files that are in use? To image the complete disk, some files are in use, and you cannot copy files that the system is using... ???
    Last edited by Derek Zehr; 12 Sep 2016 at 19:00. Reason: Found an solution to one problem myself.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    13 Sep 2016 #9

    There are numerous imaging programs. I've used 4 or 5 over the years. Experience of a number of people here who have done the same shows Macrium works reliably, when another didn't. Although it doesn't have such a simple GUI as some, reliability, features and support win. As such, from experience it is preferred.

    I've come across several bugs with Aomei Backupper which I'd used for a while, and when I came to Win 10 I wasn't at all sure it was imaging the partition set related to Win 10, and couldn't even successfully create its backup medium now.

    All that said, ultimately it's much more important to be doing disk imaging routinely than not, and if you have a solution that works for you and you feel comfortable with- excellent.

    What will imaging protect you from or allow you to recover from that backing up files won't?
    First when you have a problem, you can quickly restore your PC to a previous working state in a short time without technical help.

    Second - what sort of situations:
    - ransomware - your PC is encrypted and they want 500 bitcoins
    - unbootable PC
    - drive failure- you can restore to a new drive
    - some problem you can't resolve- bad update, bad driver
    - user error - you've messed sthg up badly
    - can avoid a clean install and reinstalling all your programs and configuring your PC which can take days.
    - other things I can't think of right now!

    This means you often don't have to struggle for days with a problem - you have a second chance.

    Images are compressed copies of your disks and partitions.
    The first image might be 50% of the used space- subsequent incremental images (changes) to update the image are much smallerand faster.

    If you have an SSD and use a USB3 disk as your external backup to store the images, creating your first Win 10 image will probably take < 12-15 mins.

    Naturally like any backup you store your backup off-line in a separate location.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Version 1607 Build 14393.105
    Thread Starter
       14 Sep 2016 #10

    Elmo modems in our complicated network setup limit the network transfer speed (including internet speed) to ~5 Mb/s. The disk image process is working away, started 34 hours ago, and currently 78% finished.... The hard drive has about 142 GB. Does it make sense that it is taking that long? It is set to compress "Medium", the recommended level.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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