I'm running windows 10 professional, single user account, on a Dell XPS 15 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, less than 1 year old. Two days ago I noticed very strange, major software problems after a reboot. I can't seem to fix it. I'm actually running insider preview build 16237.rs_prerelease.170701-0549
It's all a bit odd, and I can't pinpoint the problem; it seems to be some primitive service or privilege problem?
Many apps don't launch:
- Word, Settings, Edge, Firefox, many of the new metro panels (add new user, windows update settings), regedit --> clicking on icon gives an hourglass for 2 seconds then nothing. So I have no usable web browser.
- Google chrome: blank window appears, no title or close icon, just white rectangle.
- Picture viewer: 'File system error (-2147219200)' in a dialog box.
- Some programs launch fine - Adobe Acrobat, Notepad, Paint, Explorer, device manager, msconfig (all services are enabled), taskmgr all working.
- Every 10 minutes or so, I get the "ctfmon.exe unknown hard error" message.
ctrl-alt-delete doesn't work
- first time I press it, I get "the sign in process couldn't display security and sign in options when ctrl-alt-delete was pressed. If windows doesn't respond, press esc or use the power switch to restart".
- Subsequent times, the combination does nothing.
- Log off, and shutdown -> black screen with endless hourglass.
- switch user -> black screen with arrow mouse cursor.
- Note I have it set up so there's no login screen, goes straight to desktop.
Can't start in safe mode:
- msconfig shows "safe boot" ticked, but doesn't seem to have any effect.
- I can't get to the logout screen or to the settings, so can't use the other methods of getting to safe mode.
I don't have any bootable media here, but surely there must be a way to get to safe mode without that?
Can't get elevated prompt.
- When running cmd.exe as administrator, the whole screen goes black with hourglass cursor, unresponsive though I can move the mouse. Need to power down.
- In fact running any program as administrator gives the same problem.
- The normal command prompt works though.
Can't update (added after @spike_66 comment)
- Typing "update" in start menu gives "check for Java update", "gpupdate", "WindowsUpdateElevatedInstaller" --> black screen crash when I run that
- "View installed updates" -> hourglass 2 seconds, then nothing happens.
- "Find and fix windows update problems" -> gets stuck at "checking for pending restart"