4

Long Story Short. Creators update broke my start menu. I tried to fix it, see below and failed. Attempting to run the OOBE killed windows. I pulled the SSD from my PC and copied files that I wanted to keep and then returned it to my dead PC. I then loaded Windows boot media and deleted all the partitions on the SSD. Installed Win 10. Start menu works (small yay!). Win 10 immediately wants to update - it updates to creators update. Once again the start menu stops working. I attempt a repair windows... fail. Back to where I started immediately prior to deleting the SSD.

The rest of the story:

My PC finished updating to Win 10 creators update: 1703 15063.483 and now I am unable to:

  • activate the Windows Key via the keyboard or left clicking the desktop icon
  • get a right click menu for any icon in the task bar
  • run Microsoft Edge (no great loss there)
  • run Windows defender
  • click on hyperlinks in some applications

TL;DR:

I am running Win10 Pro on a Dell Optiplex 9020. Based on information that I have found in various forums I have tried the following without success:

  • PowerShell: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
  • PowerShell: net user newUserName newUserPW /add
  • PowerShell: sfc /scannow
  • Hardware: different keyboard
  • Hardware: unplugged x3 displays at PC (I'm normally running 4 displays)
  • WindowsUpdate: checked for and installed additional updates
  • Other PC: I have a 2nd PC (an old clunker used as a file server) with the same update and all seems to work well on it

The new user profile that I created has the same problem and I have rebooted the PC many times using the following command to disable hibernation: powercfg /h off. I have also reviewed these posts, which are basically the same problem but (annoyingly) none of the solutions work for me:

It seems like I'm running out of options before having to reinstall Windows - dreading that thought :-( I have applications that will be very difficult to re-install.

Appreciate any insights, thanks :-)

Edit1: I have now also tried system restore which apparently rolled back to 'yesterday' but made no difference. I subsequently booted into safe mode with networking. Whilst in safe mode the Win button works as expected, both with the mouse and keyboard. Rebooting normally and the issue reappears. Drivers?

Edit2: Stumbled across the Microsoft Start Menu Trouble shooting tool and found that, apart from only running from cmd prompt / powershell as admin, that it reports the following:

Required applications are not installed correctly. Not fixed "Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost" and "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana" applications need to be installed correctly.

This led me to an an article Windows 10 start up menu how to reinstall ShellExperienceHost, Cortana? which purports to be a way of reinstalling said applications. But it does NOT work for me. I feel like I am getting closer!

One user (@Vlad Schnakovszki) seems to have similar issues as reported here: Windows 10 ShellExperienceHost crashes but links to a tool with a rather dubious name: http://www.tweaking.com/content/page/windows_repair_all_in_one.html

I'm not sure I've been through enough pain yet to put my faith in tweaking.com :-/

Edit3: Tried to run the Start Menu Repair tool in safe mode, that does not work because the 2 services in question can't start in safe mode. Have also tried shutting down (hibernate disabled) then unplugging the PC then pressing the power button until it exhausts all the residual power from the MB - and rebooting (another fail). Currently looking here https://www.kapilarya.com/fix-microsoft-windows-shellexperiencehost-and-microsoft-windows-cortana-applications-need-to-be-installed-correctly-windows-10 and it seems promising in that system went from reparable to healthy

Powershell output...

 PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> sfc /scannow

Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> ^C
PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Repair-WindowsImage -Online -CheckHealth


Path             :
Online           : False
ImageHealthState : Healthy
RestartNeeded    : False



PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Repair-WindowsImage -Online -ScanHealth


Path             :
Online           : False
ImageHealthState : Repairable
RestartNeeded    : False



PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth


Path             :
Online           : False
ImageHealthState : Healthy
RestartNeeded    : False



PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Repair-WindowsImage -Online -ScanHealth


Path             :
Online           : False
ImageHealthState : Healthy
RestartNeeded    : False

Edit4: Still not working. After reboot running Powershell: Repair-WindowsImage -Online -ScanHealth to see if the system still seems healthy (see edit3 report went from Repairable to Healthy after running Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth. Latest scan after a reboot suggests that the system is still healthy but the start button still does not work and Start Menu Repair tool is still unable to fix the issue. I guess I am 1 step closer to tweaking.com

Edit5: Downloaded the tweaking program via Major Geeks. Ran the fixes multiple times in 'Safe Mode with Networking' (but to no avail, at least not for the Start Menu issue). Then ran tweaking while logged in as Admin in normal mode; again multiple times. Start Menu is still not working.

Edit6: Attempted proposed solution by cybernard but to no avail (see comments below). Start Menu is still not working.

Edit7: Found a thread explaining a similar issue with MS Edge not working after Creators Update: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/apps_windows_10-msedge/edge-not-running-on-creators-update/cb57b694-3664-4265-af24-e6c03c81687c Attempted the solution (delete everything including folder here: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe in safe mode, run get-appXPackage... command in PS while logged in normally) and restarted but Start Menu is still not working.

Edit8: Found a thread providing a solution for MS Edge not working: https://www.kapilarya.com/fix-windows-store-cache-may-be-damaged-in-windows-10 Despite that I have the exact same issue as addressed by the article (Windows Store cache may be damaged Not fixed) still no luck for me. It's looking more and more like a wait and hope OR windows in place update?

Edit9: 'Partially' following the advise of @cybernard I deleted what I could from C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\ and then ran: PS C:\windows\system32\sysprep>.\sysprep /generalize /oobe, (in Safe Mode) here is the resulting log file:

2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ========================================================
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ===          Beginning of a new sysprep run          ===
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ========================================================
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f004d] SYSPRP The time is now 2017-07-20 14:15:27
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f004e] SYSPRP Initialized SysPrep log at C:\windows\system32\sysprep\Panther
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f0054] SYSPRP ValidatePrivileges:User has required privileges to sysprep machine
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f007e] SYSPRP FCreateTagFile:Tag file C:\windows\system32\sysprep\Sysprep_succeeded.tag does not already exist, no need to delete anything
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f005f] SYSPRP ParseCommands:Found supported command line option 'GENERALIZE'
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f005f] SYSPRP ParseCommands:Found supported command line option 'OOBE'
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f00d7] SYSPRP WinMain:Pre-validing 'cleanup' internal providers.
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:Running platform actions specified in action file for phase 3
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f00ba] SYSPRP SysprepSession::CreateSession: Successfully created instance with mount path C:, action file C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\ActionFiles\Cleanup.xml, and mode <null>
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSession::Validate: Beginning action execution from C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\ActionFiles\Cleanup.xml
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetStringValue: Getting REG_SZ value SysprepMode under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetValue: Getting value SysprepMode under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Warning               SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetValue: Error from RegQueryValueEx on value SysprepMode under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep; dwRet = 0x2
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSession::CreateXPathForSelection: Sysprep mode in registry is <null>
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetStringValue: Getting REG_SZ value PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetValue: Getting value PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSession::CreateXPathForSelection: Processor architecture in registry is AMD64
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f0080] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Found 'Sysprep_Clean_Validate_Opk' in C:\Windows\System32\spopk.dll; executing it
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP spopk.dll:: Sysprep will run on an upgraded OS.
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f0081] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Successfully executed 'Sysprep_Clean_Validate_Opk' from C:\Windows\System32\spopk.dll without error
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f00d7] SYSPRP WinMain:Pre-validing 'generalize' internal providers.
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:Running platform actions specified in action file for phase 1
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f00ba] SYSPRP SysprepSession::CreateSession: Successfully created instance with mount path C:, action file C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\ActionFiles\Generalize.xml, and mode <null>
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSession::Validate: Beginning action execution from C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\ActionFiles\Generalize.xml
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetStringValue: Getting REG_SZ value SysprepMode under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetValue: Getting value SysprepMode under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Warning               SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetValue: Error from RegQueryValueEx on value SysprepMode under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep; dwRet = 0x2
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSession::CreateXPathForSelection: Sysprep mode in registry is <null>
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetStringValue: Getting REG_SZ value PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP ActionPlatform::GetValue: Getting value PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE under key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSession::CreateXPathForSelection: Processor architecture in registry is AMD64
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f0080] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Found 'ValidateBitLockerState' in C:\Windows\System32\BdeSysprep.dll; executing it
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f0081] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Successfully executed 'ValidateBitLockerState' from C:\Windows\System32\BdeSysprep.dll without error
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info       [0x0f0080] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Found 'SysprepGeneralizeValidate' in C:\Windows\System32\AppxSysprep.dll; executing it
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Info                  SYSPRP Entering SysprepGeneralizeValidate (Appx) - validating whether all apps are also provisioned.

2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error                 SYSPRP Package Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller_1.0.10332.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe was installed for a user, but not provisioned for all users. This package will not function properly in the sysprep image.

2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error                 SYSPRP Failed to remove apps for the current user: 0x80073cf2.

2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error                 SYSPRP Exit code of RemoveAllApps thread was 0x3cf2.

2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error      [0x0f0082] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Failure occurred while executing 'SysprepGeneralizeValidate' from C:\Windows\System32\AppxSysprep.dll; dwRet = 0x3cf2
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error                 SYSPRP SysprepSession::Validate: Error in validating actions from C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\ActionFiles\Generalize.xml; dwRet = 0x3cf2
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error                 SYSPRP RunPlatformActions:Failed while validating SysprepSession actions; dwRet = 0x3cf2
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error      [0x0f0070] SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:An error occurred while running registry sysprep DLLs, halting sysprep execution. dwRet = 0x3cf2
2017-07-20 14:15:27, Error      [0x0f00d8] SYSPRP WinMain:Hit failure while pre-validate sysprep generalize internal providers; hr = 0x80073cf2
2017-07-20 14:17:21, Info       [0x0f0052] SYSPRP Shutting down SysPrep log
2017-07-20 14:17:21, Info       [0x0f004d] SYSPRP The time is now 2017-07-20 14:17:21

Edit10: After finally deleting the files specified I was able to get the OOBE to run. BAD - PC won't boot. Now I have a problem as described here: Can't Reset PC with Win10 & No BIOS Access (except I have BIOS access). Windows recovery is stuck in a loop always returning to a Hello there Let's get a few basic things out of the way. After seeing this screen a few times my heart sank. I have started to follow the advice here: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki/windows_10-performance/troubleshooting-windows-8-and-10-failure-to-start/bcf8503c-1b39-4827-9734-a64fef725d0f?tm=1461970966687 specifically running these commands:

  • Bootrec /Fixboot
  • Bootrec /Fixmbr
  • Bootsect /nt60 all /MBR

But I feel I might just be wasting time now. Time to pull the HDD, back it up and format for a fresh install. Thanks for playing!

  • Are you using the pc physically ore do you remote into it? And does it happen for all users? I have a similar situation on one of our machines here. We only remote into it, but it does not create a profile which I think is the reason things aren't working. It gives a weird error when right-clicking the desktop and choose personalise. The staps others recommend are similar to what you have attempted. – LPChip Jul 19 '17 at 6:55
  • Thanks. The broken PC is accessed physically. The other PC which was updated at the same time and has the same OS build is accessed via RDP. – SlowLearner Jul 19 '17 at 8:25
  • @LPChip also, yes this appears to be an issue for all users. I also changed my microsoft sign-in to a local account, that did not make any difference either. The other things I did: refer to Edit: notes added to end of question. Thanks, SL – SlowLearner Jul 19 '17 at 10:04
  • the new startmenu sucks as hell, use StartisBack++ to get the Win7 one back. – magicandre1981 Jul 19 '17 at 15:17
  • @magicandre1981 I hear you, but I kind of resent having to shell out a couple of extra dollars every time M$ breaks something with their updates, it is quite infuriating – SlowLearner Jul 19 '17 at 22:43
2

Thank you to everyone that chimed in to help, especially cybernard.

I did several more tests trying to resolve this issue and ultimately started pulling out hardware. It turned out that functionality returned after removing a Nvidia NVS-310 dual display port graphics card.

Rest of the story:

Unfortunately I have completely wiped my original OS and now face the challenge of reinstalling all the software I use on a daily basis.

For what it's worth I installed a fresh version of Win10 from a USB that was a few months old. I thought it would be a good idea to disable updates and run the repair tool from Tweaking.com - surprisingly this crippled my system in the same way as Win 10 update did. I checked the update status and there were none - update history was empty. So... it was something on the PC OR the USB.

Decided that perhaps the SSD had died so I found a painfully slow 5400 HDD and loaded windows onto that. Same problem - conclusion: not the SSD.

From there I created a new Win 10 install USB which was based on Build 1703.0 - on the fresh install everything worked, after update PC is crippled again. That's when I turned to hardware.

I pulled half the ram, the extra graphics card, and an extra PCIe NIC - Win 10 works (well, lets not get carried away - start menu was back). A thorough process of trial and error eventually proved that the issue was somehow related to the graphics card.

  • I've ~65 PC's here with the 'start menu' problem when logging onto Windows Domain with 'Creators Update' installed. Various hardware and GPU's, so it can't be Hardware. All fine on a Workgroup with local admin accounts. Build 1703 (Creators) does something when adding a new user, there's something within the default profile (created pre 1703) which 'breaks' it. My current thinking is replacing/repairing the Default profile used. If that doesn't work it's going to be a couple of weeks of reinstalling W10 pre-CU (various hardware so can't use sysprep & images). – HaydnWVN Aug 4 '17 at 15:39
  • @haydnwvn I tried creating a new user profile but that didn't work for me. Suggest you make a recovery image for at least 1 (all ?) PCs before going too much further.... I wish I had! – SlowLearner Aug 4 '17 at 21:13
  • We think we have narrowed our issue down to a particular configuration. From W10 installs (pre-AU) we've changed lots of privacy settings and have Cortana pretty much disabled (through control panel/settings changes nothing 'hacky'). The Creators update then installs and Cortana is 'broken' (when creating a new profile joining a Domain), stopping the UI from fully loading. Fresh installing W10 with CU fixes it, rolling back to AU fixes it, refreshing fixes it. Stupid problem in the first place! CU obviously wasn't well tested, we can't be the only people moving from Workgroup to a Domain! – HaydnWVN Aug 7 '17 at 14:36
1

Here is where you need to be looking: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\apprepository and within here is the damaged file StateRepository-Machine.srd

You can install a second of copy of windows in a virtual machine like virutal box and get a new copy from there.

Is it possible, but difficult to use portable apps SQLiteBrowser to open the database file. You might be able to figure out what is wrong and fix it, but maybe not.

Try this delete or rename these files. StateRepository-Machine.srd StateRepository-Deployment.srd

sysprep /generalize /oobe

wait......... Reboot

Windows will go through a bunch of motions including redetecting your drivers and more, but it should generate new files.

  • Thanks - willing to give that a try but I have hit an access restriction, I only have Read & Execute permission. Dir is owned by TrustedInstaller - not sure how to get in. I can't seem to change the permissions :( – SlowLearner Jul 20 '17 at 0:01
  • Ok... I can see the files now... – SlowLearner Jul 20 '17 at 0:07
  • Ok - here is what I did: renamed the old StateRepository-Machine.srd (5MB) file and moved to desktop. Copied same file from my other PC (7.2MB) and pasted in place of the original. That did not make any difference so I then attempted to run the PS commands to reinstall Cortana & ExperienceHost but Cortana failed because experience host was in use. Replacing the StateRepository-Machine.srd file does not seem to have had any adverse affect. – SlowLearner Jul 20 '17 at 0:25
  • You need to Take Ownership of the folder. Windows maybe holding the file "in use". You may need to boot off the windows DVD and goto the command prompt to change it there. Also a reboot is required. Additionally you can replace the other file StateRepository-Deployment.srd – cybernard Jul 20 '17 at 0:36
  • Thanks for your help, I did take ownership on both PCs and successfully renamed both StateRepository-Machine.srd and StateRepository-Machine.srd then moved them to another folder before replacing both with the corresponding files from the good PC. I have rebooted and still don't have a Start Menu. Sorry, it does not seem to work for me. – SlowLearner Jul 20 '17 at 1:19
0

For the start menu issue...

run this as admin.

rmdir C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache /s /q

Login with a new user account.

  • Appreciate that this might have been something to try.... BUT it would not have helped... please refer to the solution which clearly states this was a hardware issue (which persisted even on a fresh install of Win10). – SlowLearner Sep 22 '17 at 10:11

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