Windows 8 Start Screen and Apps Not Responding

I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro on its release date.  It had been working fine for me until yesterday (11/16/2012).  Suddenly, I can't get the Start screen to respond.  I'm unable to launch apps, access the Charms bar, etc.  By pressing WinKey + D multiple times, I am able to get the Desktop to load.  Once loaded, the Desktop seems OK though I can't access Charms from it either.  

I tried the Apps Troubleshooter from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=271185, but it didn't find any problems.  Also, my screen resolution is above 1024 x 768, my video driver is current (I checked for updates via Device Manager), I do NOT have UAC disabled, and I'm logged into my own account (which is linked to my Microsoft account).  Also, I do not have a 3rd party AV/security product installed, just Defender.

In Event Viewer, I do see repeated errors from Time Broker (listed as TimeBroker.exe or  svchost.exe_TimeBroker).  The error message reads, "The Time Broker service terminated unexpectedly."  That didn't seem to be a problem until yesterday, but I don't know what to do about it.

I would appreciate any suggestions or advice.k

Matt

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Hi Matt,

 

Thank you for posting in the Microsoft Community.

 

Sorry to know that you are facing an issue with Start Screen and Modern UI apps.

It would be helpful if you could reply to this question to assist you further.

Have you made any recent software or hardware changes on the system?

 

Let’s try the following steps and check if it helps.

Step I:

You may try booting in safe mode with networking and check for the issue.  Post the results, so that we help you with further troubleshooting.

a. Right click at the bottom left of the desktop and select Run.
b. Type msconfig and hit enter.
c. Now click the boot tab.
d. Place a check mark on the safe boot option.

e. Choose the type of safe mode by selecting one of the options below the Safe boot check box:

> Network- For safe mode with networking.

f. Click apply and then ok. Restart the computer.

Note: After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to boot to normal startup.
a. Press the ‘Windows + R’ key on the keyboard.
b. In the ‘Run’ windows type ’MSCONFIG’ and click ‘Ok’.
c. On the ‘General’ tab, click the ‘Normal Startup’ option, and then click ‘OK’.
d. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click ‘Restart’.

Step II:

If you are not facing the issue in safe mode with networking, then place the computer in clean boot state and check if it helps.

Follow the steps to perform Clean Boot:

Step 1:

a. Press the ‘Windows + R’ key on the keyboard.

b. In the ‘Run’ windows type ’MSCONFIG’ and click ‘Ok’.

c. Click the ‘Boot’ tab and uncheck ‘Safe Boot’ option.

d. On the ‘General’ tab, click to select the option ‘Selective startup’, and then click to clear the option Load startup items check box.

e. On the ‘Services’ tab, click to select the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ check box, and then click ‘Disable all’.

f. On the ‘StartUp’ tab, click ‘Open Task Manager’. In the Task Manager window under startup tab, right click on each startup item which are enabled and select ‘Disable’.

g. Click ‘OK’, and then click Restart.

 

Step 2: Enable half of the services.
a.
Follow steps 1a and 1b to start the System Configuration utility.
b. Click the Services tab, and then click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
c. Click to select half of the check boxes in the Service list.
d. Click OK, and then click Restart.

 

Step 3: Determine whether the problem returns
If the problem still occurs, repeat step 1 and step 2. In step 2, click to clear half of the check boxes that you originally selected in the Service list.
If the problem does not occur, repeat step 1 and step 2. In step 2, select only half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Service list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
If only one service is selected in the Service list, and you still experience the problem, the selected service causes the problem. Go to step 6. If no service causes this problem, go to step 4.

 

Step 4: Enable half of the Startup items.
If no startup item causes this problem, a Microsoft service most likely causes the problem. To determine which Microsoft service may be causing the problem, repeat step 1 and step 2 without selecting the Hide all Microsoft services check box in either step.

 

Step 5: Determine whether the problem returns.
If the problem still occurs, repeat step 1 and step 4. In step 4, click to clear half of the check boxes that you originally selected in the Startup Item list.
If the problem does not occur, repeat step 1 and step 4. In step 4, select only half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Startup Item list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
If only one startup item is selected in the Startup Item list, and you still experience the problem, the startup item that is selected in the list is the service that is causing the problem. Go to step 6.
If no startup item causes this problem, a Microsoft service most likely causes the problem. To determine which Microsoft service may be causing the problem, repeat step 1 and step 2 without selecting the Hide all Microsoft services check box in either step.

 

Step 6: Resolve the problem.
Once you determine that the startup item or the service that is causing the problem, contact the program manufacturer to determine whether the problem can be resolved. Or, run the System Configuration utility, and then click to clear the check box for the problem item.

 

Step 7:

Note: After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to boot to normal startup.

a. Press the ‘Windows + R’ key on the keyboard.

b. In the ‘Run’ windows type ’MSCONFIG’ and click ‘Ok’.

c. On the ‘General’ tab, click the ‘Normal Startup’ option, and then click ‘OK’.

d. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click ‘Restart.

 

Step III:

If the issue persists, you may try performing a system restore prior to a point before you were experiencing the issue.

Note: When you perform System Restore to restore the computer to previous state, programs and updates you installed are removed.

a. Press Win + R and type in rstrui.exe and press enter.
b. Click next and Select a restore point prior to the issue and click on Next.

c. Click on Finish to perform the restore.

 

If you need further assistance, please reply and we will be happy to help you.

10 people were helped by this reply

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Thanks for your message.

I have not made any changes to my system.  The problem began however after the following Windows Updates were installed:  KB2761226, KB2737084, KB2729462, and KB2727528.  I have tried uninstalling those updates, but it didn't resolve the issue.

Regarding your steps for testing.  I have already tried that as it was suggested on several other posts.  It didn't work.  Even with all non-Microsoft services and startup items disabled, I still had the problem.


One other note.  I have two user accounts.  My main user account (which is an Admin account) is linked to a Microsoft account.  That account is the one with the problem.  If I login with my second account (which is a local account), it works fine.  I would like to try reverting my main user account back to a local account, but I haven't been able to do that because I can't get to the Change PC Settings screen while logged in with that account.  Is there another (like from the command line) to revert to a local account?


Matt

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Matt et All,

I'm having the same problem and as of today. I had an update to restart for and this seems to be the result. It seems as if the svchost.exe is a parent for explorer.exe. I have the 32 bit and 64 bit versions running at home and only the 64 bit is affected, if that helps. 

I really need to get this figured out, so I'll be watching this thread. 

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Ok, I restarted in safe mode at minimal settings and was able to operate. I think that with the network turned off, the system did not try to log into my WIndows LIve account. I have a restore point from the 15th that I'm going to try and revert to. From there, I plan on turning off WIndows Updates since I think the last two updates is what caused this. I'll keep you posted as to my results.

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All right, I'm back working. The two updates I have are KB2769165 and KB2770917. 165 is a digital signature update... so maybe it's the digital signature for the MS server that my account authenticates to since that seems to be what the problem was. In any event, I rolled back to before those two updates hit and everything's working again.  I guess I'll wait to run updates for a few weeks to see what happens. I'll also check this thread to see if anyone else has more details. Hope this helps.

 

~ Ben

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I am in the same boat.  After an update in the last 2 or 3 days, My UI has stopped responding after a very short time.  The mouse moves, but the buttons do not highlight.  I can tap the Windows key and it will flip back and forth, and I can get the UI working again for only a very short time.. a matter of seconds.  Most of my apps are stuck with 'installing'.  It acts as if there's a mem leak or something stopped. I have many entries as well that svchost_TimeBroker has stopped.  I tried a refresh of my system, and Windows 8 unkindly moved all of C drive apps/progs to windows.old.  More time to fix things.  Meanwhile, if I get to my desktop, it will generally work as long as I am in a program, IE or explorer, or installed games that still exist after the refresh.  Please fix this asap, apparently there was a buggy update.  I have run the UI troubleshooter, relogged from local account to active and back to local, ensured the computer time is correct, and ran the update troubleshooter, all to no avail.

 

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Yes, same problem here. Applied the 13 Nov updates ( KB2769034, KB2769165 and KB2770917) on 15 Nov. Got the unresponsive problem, as mentioned above, suddenly on the 18 Nov. Between these 3 days, I did not make any software or hardware changes. There was an AVG Antivirus update between but doubt that's the problem. I had to reinstall windows 8 pro, after which, I applied the rest of the prior updates except for those 3 mentioned above. Will be keeping an eye on this thread.

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I also got this behavior a while after I installed the updates that is mention in this thread.
(Only thing I installed after the Windows Updates was some 'Metro' Apps. )

I reverted to the restore point prior to the updates and everything worked again. I then did a Windows Update again and install all the same updates again. (To check If I could recreate the problem) But this time I did not get any problem. Rebooted a couple of time of times to verify that the problem did not come back. 
I then created a manual restore point so I can revert to this state again if the issue comes back.

Guess the update in combination with somethings else triggers this problem. Problem are what the "else" part is. So far (2days) the problem has not returned.


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Hi MattMinyard,

Did you happen to install any of the other updates mentioned later in this thread?  In particular KB2769034, KB2769165 and KB2770917?

Are you able to possible perform a System Restore to go back to before they were installed?

Please take a look at the following:

To restore your PC using System Restore
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
    Enter Recovery in the search box, tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Recovery.

  2. Tap or click Open System Restore, and follow the prompts.

From the article here.

Please let us know.

Thanks!

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my machine will not go to the desktop win+d or to the run prompt win+r or via mouse commands. Alt tab brings up the window and I can get MS config to run but the screen will not make that window active if I select it via alt-tab.  so now how to I get this machine into safe mode.

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Last updated January 12, 2020 Views 84,091 Applies to: