1.    24 Mar 2017 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 pro

    Start button + Windows Taskbar Icons Not working on ALL ACCOUNTS


    Hello, I have quite a doozer for anyone willing to help me out... I consider myself very tech savvy but I'm out of ideas.

    I am getting the classic issue of not being able to use the start button and windows taskbar icons.

    Symptom: Clicking start icon (or pressing windows key) does nothing. Taskbar windows icons (ex: time, wifi, battery, sound) does nothing. Right-clicking on these icons work.

    While the right-clicking works, this is insanely annoying. I have to open every program using a search program (Ex: Everything), and logging off/shut down/etc requires using ctrl+alt+del to access the button. This is slowly driving me mad.

    Preface (Yes there's a preface!): In original account A (administrator account), the search wasn't working. So I made a new account (Account B) after giving up and moved all my files there, including files in AppData. Stated symptoms did not exist then.
    A day ago, suddenly, the symptoms started. I have no idea why. I searched many forums for possible solutions and tried most of the common ones:

    1. sfc /scannow -> Nothing found
    2. Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth -> Successfully run but didn't change anything
    3. Powershell: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"} -> Did not change anything

    At this point I activated the original "Administrator" account that all win10 installs come with and tried that.... to be surprised Start menu+taskbar icons don't work there either!
    I thought about making another administrator account as a test. I went to settings where I make a new account... except that clicking "Add someone else to this PC" doesn't do anything..... similar to how clicking the windows button doesn't do anything... hmmmm.... I had to make it by accessing the local group settings and manually making a new user under the Administrators group. The test account still has the symptom.

    I did some more searching and tried out deleting the TileDataLayer folder, which didn't work. I even went to a different laptop with a working windows 10 install, and got its TileDataLayer folder and copied it to my problem install. It didn't work. [This process was a bit finicky as I had to keep stopping the associated service, but I think it worked correctly]

    As a final try I went to safe mode.... I was pretty amazed to find out it was problematic there too!

    I have a lot of files and programs and I strongly would prefer not having to start from a fresh install (maybe even that won't work...?). Switching from Account A to B took half a day. Starting from a fresh install will probably take longer....

    Is there anything I can try? Or do I have to start fresh... while sobbing? Any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    24 Mar 2017 #2
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5,851
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro

    First welcome to the Forum. If you have a copy of your install media being a DVD of Flash Drive , you can try an in place upgrade install which is explained here:

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    The entire process will take about 30 minutes. Good luck.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    24 Mar 2017 #3
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Josey Wales View Post
    First welcome to the Forum. If you have a copy of your install media being a DVD of Flash Drive , you can try an in place upgrade install which is explained here:
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
    The entire process will take about 30 minutes. Good luck.
    Unfortunately, I don't have a DVD or flash drive, as the laptop came with win10 installed. I do have the ESD files from my other laptop. If I copy that over and use that.... would it work? I can look into using it.

    Edit: Never mind, it looks like an offline installer for windows updates instead, which won't help me. I'm talking about this by the way... First screenshot is the files, second is the setup run. There are instructions to create a win 10 install USB. Could I use that without any issues with licensing?
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    24 Mar 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 879
    Windows 10 Home

    The ESD (Electronic Software Delivery) files ARE the Windows install media IF you are logged into Windows, which you are. So, YES you CAN use it to do an In-Place Upgrade/Repair. Place the ESD folder on your desktop or C drive and double-click setup.exe to run, which will overwrite Win10 and replace any corrupted files/settings. I would, in the screenshot you show, click "Not right now' and install updates later via Windows Update AFTER you've verified that the OS is working properly. Good Luck
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    24 Mar 2017 #5
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter

    I see, I will keep that in mind next time. This time I used a USB to install it... Will report back.

    By the way, I remembered when this problem started. I actually deleted the original problem account A, and then these problems started. So I'm fairly sure it's some missing files.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    24 Mar 2017 #6
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter

    It worked! This is great. Thank you both so much for saving hours of my time!

    Is there any way to find out what the process may have deleted or uninstalled? Or does it simply modify system files and settings? I see a Windows.old folder in C:\. Is this safe to delete?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    25 Mar 2017 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 879
    Windows 10 Home

    "Is there any way to find out what the process may have deleted or uninstalled? "
    I wouldn't waste my time. Now, if it happens again right after a program install or driver or Windows Update, you've got it more narrowed down. If you took my advice to save time and delay Windows Updates, now is the time to install the latest ones.

    "I see a Windows.old folder in C:\. Is this safe to delete?"

    This contains the files needed for you to revert back to prev installation, in case there are problems with the new one. I would leave it, so you can test system for a few days, before getting rid of it.
    It will delete itself during a normal system cleanup, if not used within 10-30 days depending which Win10 you have. Yes, it's a huge folder but if you're near your hard drive space limit and the system is working, as expected, you can easily delete it manually by following this tutorial -
    Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 10

    PS- if you're happy that your issue is solved, mark the thread as such, so others with the same issue can more easily find a solution in Win10 Forums Search. Thanks and have a great weekend.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    25 Mar 2017 #8
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek View Post
    This contains the files needed for you to revert back to prev installation, in case there are problems with the new one. I would leave it, so you can test system for a few days, before getting rid of it.
    It will delete itself during a normal system cleanup, if not used within 10-30 days depending which Win10 you have.
    That is what I suspected, but I thought I would ask. I am tight on space right now... but I won't take my chances this time. Thanks again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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