Windows 10: Cortana Issues Solved

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  1.    09 Apr 2016 #1

    Cortana Issues


    I upgraded my Surface Pro to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1. Ever since then I have had issues with Cortana. I seem to solve them and then Microsoft releases another forced update and it gets all flaky again. Right now, I can say "Hey, Cortana" and it will hear me and show "listening" with all the letters flying by. But it can't hear my request and then tells me something is wrong. No kidding. Since I still have the ISO of Windows 8.1 on here there are no system restore points. That is what I would do first. Strangely, I have a Dell two in one that came with Windows 10 and I had to fight to get Cortana to work on there too but now it seems stable. I would surely appreciate any tips or fixes. Even if they're only temporary and have to be done over and over. I doubt I can be the only person having this problem. Thanks in advance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    10 Apr 2016 #2

    Hi, other than the speech recognition problem, does Cortana respond properly to things you type?

    Note that System Restore is off by default in Win 10. Strange. If you want to use it, turn it on. Personally I also have a daily scheduled task to run a script to create a restore point as these are typically not now created for Windows updates.

    The best- and recommended way to prevent disaster, save time and preserve your PC, data and your sanity is to use disk imaging routinely - e.g. Macrium Reflect (free) + its boot medium + external storage for image backups.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    10 Apr 2016 #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi, other than the speech recognition problem, does Cortana respond properly to things you type?

    Note that System Restore is off by default in Win 10. Strange. If you want to use it, turn it on. Personally I also have a daily scheduled task to run a script to create a restore point as these are typically not now created for Windows updates.

    The best- and recommended way to prevent disaster, save time and preserve your PC, data and your sanity is to use disk imaging routinely - e.g. Macrium Reflect (free) + its boot medium + external storage for image backups.

    Thanks for the response. I did discover system restore was turned off and turned it on. But there is no point in making a restore point when it isn't working right. I was messing around with the sound settings and disabled the device's microphone. Big mistake. I thought I could easily just enable it again but I really have no idea how now. It's gone from the control panel. All I have is sound through the jack. I probably shouldn't be trying to fix this on my own but none of the fixes I've tried from googling this problem have worked. And it strange that Cortana could hear "Hey Cortana" but nothing else. Before I disabled it the microphone was working properly and it said the driver was up to date. So now if someone could tell me where I enable the device's microphone again that would be helpful at this point. Thanks again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 4,765
    windows 10 Home threshold2
       10 Apr 2016 #4

    To kstuebing,
    Instead of trying this and that and perhaps risking further damage to the system, I would suggest that you do a Repair Install.
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    If you find the tutorial a bit complex, have a look at the method I myself use.........................

    Use the Tech Bench link to download your edition of Windows 10. Make sure you also select the same language and bit version your computer is now using.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...brrWLRbagYCa0w

    scroll down to Select Edition > click the pointer at the right and select your edition of Windows 10 > click Confirm.
    Click the pointer and select Language > make sure you pick the same language the computer is now running > click Confirm
    Select the bit version, 32 or 64-bit. Make sure you select the same bit version as the computer is now running.
    At the bottom, click the pointer next to Save > click Save As > navigate to a folder of your choice > click the chosen folder > click Save
    The iso will start downloading to your chosen folder.
    When it is done, go to that folder > open the folder > right click at the iso file > click Mount > click Setup.exe
    Installation will begin.
    It will allow you to keep you files, settings and apps.
    No product key is required.
    Activation will be automatic.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    10 Apr 2016 #5

    davidhk said: View Post
    To kstuebing,
    Instead of trying this and that and perhaps risking further damage to the system, I would suggest that you do a Repair Install.
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    If you find the tutorial a bit complex, have a look at the method I myself use.........................

    Use the Tech Bench link to download your edition of Windows 10. Make sure you also select the same language and bit version your computer is now using.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...brrWLRbagYCa0w

    scroll down to Select Edition > click the pointer at the right and select your edition of Windows 10 > click Confirm.
    Click the pointer and select Language > make sure you pick the same language the computer is now running > click Confirm
    Select the bit version, 32 or 64-bit. Make sure you select the same bit version as the computer is now running.
    At the bottom, click the pointer next to Save > click Save As > navigate to a folder of your choice > click the chosen folder > click Save
    The iso will start downloading to your chosen folder.
    When it is done, go to that folder > open the folder > right click at the iso file > click Mount > click Setup.exe
    Installation will begin.
    It will allow you to keep you files, settings and apps.
    No product key is required.
    Activation will be automatic.
    Thanks for the info!! Sounds like exactly what I need. Can I put it on a jump drive? Or does that create problems. The SSD on the Surface is not huge and I've already got the old version of Windows 8.1 on there so I can roll back. I've been tempted. And will I have to reinstall all the updates that have occurred since I upgraded? I also have a data cap with my ISP. Thanks again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    10 Apr 2016 #6

    Hi, below are my notes on that. Rather a big sledgehammer as it's a reinstall of Windows effectively.

    Could I suggest you try speech recognition, but not with Cortana, with, say, something simple like Wordpad. Separate the issues. Yours isn't a typical 'Cortana is broken' problem along with either/or the start menu and taskbar icons or apps not responding.

    Noted your issue with your tablet mike- I've not used one, so will avoid comment.

    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.
    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 including the display language if you changed that)

    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.

    Recommendation:
    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


  7. Posts : 4,765
    windows 10 Home threshold2
       10 Apr 2016 #7

    kstuebing said: View Post
    Thanks for the info!! Sounds like exactly what I need. Can I put it on a jump drive? Or does that create problems. The SSD on the Surface is not huge and I've already got the old version of Windows 8.1 on there so I can roll back. I've been tempted. And will I have to reinstall all the updates that have occurred since I upgraded? I also have a data cap with my ISP. Thanks again.
    RE : Can I put it on a jump drive?
    If you want to.
    My method does not require that step.
    Suggest you do as I posted. If installation is successful and activated, and if Cortana is back in business, you can then burn the iso to a jump drive, then delete the iso file to save disk space.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Apr 2016 #8

    davidhk said: View Post
    To kstuebing,
    Instead of trying this and that and perhaps risking further damage to the system, I would suggest that you do a Repair Install.
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    If you find the tutorial a bit complex, have a look at the method I myself use.........................

    Use the Tech Bench link to download your edition of Windows 10. Make sure you also select the same language and bit version your computer is now using.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...brrWLRbagYCa0w

    scroll down to Select Edition > click the pointer at the right and select your edition of Windows 10 > click Confirm.
    Click the pointer and select Language > make sure you pick the same language the computer is now running > click Confirm
    Select the bit version, 32 or 64-bit. Make sure you select the same bit version as the computer is now running.
    At the bottom, click the pointer next to Save > click Save As > navigate to a folder of your choice > click the chosen folder > click Save
    The iso will start downloading to your chosen folder.
    When it is done, go to that folder > open the folder > right click at the iso file > click Mount > click Setup.exe
    Installation will begin.
    It will allow you to keep you files, settings and apps.
    No product key is required.
    Activation will be automatic.
    I think this fix is major too for one program. I did get the driver back for the on board microphone by rolling the audio driver back and then updating it again as there was an update for it. I can live without Cortana. It just bothers me that it doesn't work. It should work. Everything that is part of the OS should work correctly.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    10 Apr 2016 #9

    I'd agree..
    Have you tried this yet as my post above?

    Could I suggest you try speech recognition, but not with Cortana, with, say, something simple like Wordpad. Separate the issues. Yours isn't a typical 'Cortana is broken' problem along with either/or the start menu and taskbar icons or apps not responding (for which an in-place repair would be appropriate)

    You can try turning off enhancements, which Cortana sometimes reports it doesn't like:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Snap 2016-04-10 at 17.58.47.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	32.6 KB 
ID:	74138

    Have you checked the actual level (no. of bars) - rt click volume icon, Recording devices, try using your microphone. Click Microphone, Properties and from the tabs you will find a boost you can apply.

    Many people struggle with low levels with analogue headsets.

    So I find
    a. Cortana responds to Hey Cortana, then hardly at all.
    b. I can't complete the voice training.
    c. Only the bottom bar of the level indicator moves even with 20db boost.

    With the level a bit better: if you have 'Hey Cortana' set - seems yuou have to say 'Hey Cortana' before each thing you ask- or use the keyboard e.g.
    Last edited by dalchina; 10 Apr 2016 at 13:49.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    10 Apr 2016 #10

    dalchina said: View Post
    I'd agree..
    Have you tried this yet as my post above?

    Could I suggest you try speech recognition, but not with Cortana, with, say, something simple like Wordpad. Separate the issues. Yours isn't a typical 'Cortana is broken' problem along with either/or the start menu and taskbar icons or apps not responding (for which an in-place repair would be appropriate)

    You can try turning off enhancements, which Cortana sometimes reports it doesn't like:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Snap 2016-04-10 at 17.58.47.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	32.6 KB 
ID:	74138
    I did do the speech recognition set up. It worked with Notepad. I've got Cortana semi working. She will open programs. But if I say "Can you hear me?"...nada. Thinking and then a list of things I can do. Also this is really weird. I have no notebook. It keeps telling me to connect to the internet. I just wish there was a Cortana repair program. I did try the sound enhancement thing too. I found that one googling this. Thanks for all your help, everyone. I'm stymied right now.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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