back to article If your Start menu or apps are freezing up on Windows, Microsoft has a suggestion

Microsoft has offered a workaround of sorts for Windows 10 and 11 users who've noticed their Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and that some applications won't open or work correctly. Unlike previous headaches with the Start menu and similar features, the latest problems are not caused by bad operating system patches but …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge

    Sadly not sad and happily happy

    No, it's not install Fedora Linux, sadly

    No need to be sadly sad... I already installed Fedora many moons ago and started at fc1. This machine has been dist-upgrading ever since f21 and now at f36 (yes, yes, will advance soon).

    So, sadly for you, maybe, I'm very happy and have not seen icons vanishing, menus go on strike or freezing windows. My Xindows are always nicely tempered and are, apparently, climatically stable.

  2. David 132 Silver badge

    Wait, what?

    FTFA: According to Barco, ClickShare's maker, when the app begins to read the Outlook Calendar, the Start menu may ignore mouse clicks, the Windows key may not work, and the desktop Search feature may ignore mouse clicks on the Search button as well as the Windows+S key.

    What the heck does the Start menu have to do with Outlook?

    That is classic Microsoft right there. Tight integration between things that really, really don't need to be integrated, to the point of ridiculous failure modes like this.

    What next - if you have a floral-themed wallpaper, Notepad will refuse to open?

    1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      "... when the app begins to read the Outlook Calendar ..."

      Oh, that's nice, now you can have data syphoning torch-light apps also on your Windows machine.

      Why does an app that allows screen-sharing need to know the contents of the Outlook Calendar?

      For improving their service, I guess; but who knows.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Wait, what?

        It's meeting software, so generating and sharing calendar events and joining meetings from them would be useful.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wait, what?

          We use Clickshare at work. We have a USB dongle "hockey puck" on the conference room table. You plug the puck into your laptop, it installs drivers (if needed) and eventually a ring on the puck lights up solid red. Then you push the button on the puck, the ring turns white, and your display is replicated to the conference room TV via wireless connection. Works fairly well.

          Maybe they have other products that do more elaborate meeting planning, but I've never seen or used them, and we've apparently had this issue show up at work (IT sent around instructions for a workaround earler this week).

          1. badflorist Silver badge

            Re: Wait, what?

            I'd like to point out that if it worked right and there was no spying, then still, this design model is the reason Microsoft software is ever slower.

      2. Fluffy Cactus

        Re: Wait, what?

        With Windows 8, I bought a new Win 8 Laptop, and within a day I brought it back for a full refund, because of zero explanations or instructions. Terrible!

        Stuck with Win 7 until MSFT killed it.

        With Windows 10, I got so annoyed by the Start Menu requiring me to type the name of an application, that I went and routinely put sublimely old-fashioned Short-cuts for every often used Executable.

        Result: I don't use the Start Menu at all. And for searching I use a 3rd party search system, which finds stuff that Microsoft Search is not allowed to find.

        Yes, I would have started to use Linux, but there are too many applications that work only on Windows.

    2. logicalextreme Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      If you find the wallpaper that stops Excel from opening, please send it to me.

      1. Dimmer Bronze badge

        Re: Wait, what?

        If you find the wallpaper the blocks telemetry, please post.

        1. mhoulden

          Re: Wait, what?

          I remember the Active Desktop they introduced with Internet Explorer 4. Very early way of enabling it.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      Just came to say the exact same thing. There are a load of side effects due to collusion that is really rather sickening, especially given the obvious house of cards approach to error handling...

    4. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      My IT career dates back to MS-DOS 6.1 and Windows 3.1 and I am dismayed beyond belief that these sorts of shenanigans still afflict the Microsoft experience. Which probably explains why I've run various derivatives of Debian for the last decade.

    5. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?


      Seriously, all this tight integration bullshit is simply to make everything ping up in 0.2 sec in stead of 0.4 sec 'cos some bunch of "power users" said they couldn't wait that long as they're so fricking important they need everything right here, right now!

    6. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      Probably it is related to all the "Click to run" stuff that Office appears to use instead of a traditional shortcut pointing to an executable.

    7. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      for a small fee, I can provide you all with a script that will make a screen shot of the desktop, set it up as the wall paper, then hide all icons...

  3. ChoHag Silver badge

    > Microsoft is pointing the finger of blame in the general direction of app makers

    Your start menu, your operating system, your fault. Don't write code which can be hijacked by third parties.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Not even hijacked, just used. They are APIs which are public and documented after all, although documented wrongly because using them causes these problems.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        "Not even hijacked, just used"

        If you inspect a runtime call trace of any current application you'll immediately see what a magnificent turgid mess it is. Calls to all sorts of things all over the place, invoking gazillions of modules that seem at first sight to have nothing to do with the primary application. This is the outcome of evolved software as opposed to formally designed applications, and it's been with us for ages (remember "DLL hell"?).

        If we want reliable, stable applications we have to return to proper software engineering, but that effectively means retraining not only the entire application developer community, but all those who create the tools as well (and probably to a great extent rewriting those tools from scratch).

        I'm not holding my breath for this to happen.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: "Not even hijacked, just used"

          This is all a consequence of the "Hose the mud at the barn wall and see what sticks" school of applications development. Otherwise known as "Rapid Application Development". Developers have to always use "the latest", testing time is restricted and the need to keep changing stuff to justify your jobs is paramount.

          Ongoing attempts to push this mindset into the embedded space haven't been too successful (IoT is the primary pain point here). To proper software engineers embedded programmers are just a bunch of hacks stuck in obsolete technologies, continually behind the times and so on (....ask me how I know....). But the fact of life is that embedded products have to work and when they don't the consequences can be a lot more dire than just freezing a menu or not responding to a command. The simple fact of life is that software just doesn't wear out -- interfaces may be subject to attack by criminals, vandals or the merely curious but overall if a system is doing something then it will continue to do it until the hardware falls apart. Applications, on the other hand, are expected to fail, its thought that restarting them or their system is just the price you pay for all those new features (that nobody uses).

          1. david 12 Silver badge

            Re: "Not even hijacked, just used"

            This is all a consequence of the "Hose the mud at the barn wall and see what sticks" school of applications development

            It's a consequence of MS building convoluted anti-virus self-protection into Office.

            When you 'connect to outlook', It starts by running the Office installer. The Office installer checks that Office is installed correctly, and that all the executable and library elements of Office match their known signatures, and that the registry is correct, and that registry permissions are correct. And corrects any changes it sees. Only then does the installer actually try to connect you to Outlook.

            So there is the fundamental problem: the Office installer has f-d up.

            The next problem is that the start menu is full of active content. Once the active content is f-d up, the start menu is f-d as well.

        2. JassMan

          Re: "Not even hijacked, just used"

          That's the problem when you get ChatGPT to write your software for you. The manager can't tell it from software written by a human so unless it is subjected to peer review, it is just GIGO.

          Oh wait, didn't MS stop reviewers from doing pre-release testing?

          1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

            Re: "Not even hijacked, just used"

            MS replaced them with ChatGPT alpha 0.1, they still have to upgrade to a supported version

        3. Nugry Horace

          Re: "Not even hijacked, just used"

          I had to deal with a support call for an application I maintain, where it was apparently hanging when the user closed it. Cause: Some module loaded by the system-provided open file dialog trying to access a network resource and sitting there spinning. No change I could have made that would fix it, short of writing my own open file dialog instead of relying on the system one.

          1. david 12 Silver badge

            Re: "Not even hijacked, just used"

            Yes, the dialog that displays files and folders hangs when it can't display files and folders, and yes, when there is a problem it is normally a network timeout that it is waiting for.

            I'd say that it's been a problem since Win2K, except that I remember the same problem character-mode systems with NE1000 and NE2000 network cards.

  4. ITS Retired

    Microsoft seems to prefer that you would only use Microsoft apps. 3rd party apps might work too well compared to similar Microsoft software, so they have to fix that problem somehow. /s

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      Microsoft seems to prefer that you would only use Microsoft apps.

      Didn't they get in trouble for that a long time ago?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Microsoft seems to prefer that you would only use Microsoft apps.

        Evidently not, since they didn't change their behaviour.

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      "so they have to fix that problem somehow.'

      Usually by purchasing, rebranding & still managing to make a right # of things.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "damaged registry keys"

    Ah, the Registry. Created to appease rights holders and integrate DRM into Windows (I'm sure the user base was really clamoring for that). An abomination of an excuse that goes up to and includes allowing miscreants to camouflage their malware.

    Too bad Borkzilla didn't stick with config files, ain't it ?

    It's been since Windows 95 that we've been lugging this so-called database around, and Borkzilla still hasn't found a way to ensure that its contents don't get screwed up. And when they do, you're good for reinstalling from scratch - even today.

    Why don't we have an official verification tool ? How can a key possibly get "damaged" ? Why doesn't Windows automatically detect that and correct the issue by isolating the key ?

    Almost three decades now, and Borkzilla still can't answer those questions. And we still have to cope with the fallout.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "damaged registry keys"

      It takes quite a lot of mental gymnastics to draw a line from what is nothing more than a configuration and settings database to DRM, which is utter nonsense, really. The fact that there are DRM systems for Linux and mac OS, both which use config files compared to a central registry, already disproves your theories.

      Storing OS configurations in a database isn't something new or limited to Windows (for example, IBM's UNIX variant AIX uses something similar), and it seems over the long-term even Linux is slowly moving towards that approach. Which makes sense, as having a central OS-wide config repository is a much cleaner solution than the mess of individual config files which all are in different formats (although I'm sure it will rile up the greybeards which already got a stroke from systemd).

      Just because something sucks in Windows doesn't mean the concept is bad, it often just means Microsoft's specific implementation is crap.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "damaged registry keys"

        mac OS, both which use config files compared to a central registry

        Actually, MacOS kind of does both..

      2. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: "damaged registry keys"

        "Just because something sucks in Windows doesn't mean the concept is bad"

        However, this one is. A single non fault tolerant global repository for config required by the OS and all applications in order to run properly creates a single point of failure that will (unfailingly) eventually fail, not least because parts of it are necessarily frequently rewritten (in the MS case, every time you log off).

        Admittedly MS have made the problem even worse -- by mixing data types arbitrarily, making keys and values cryptic and documenting the whole thing poorly, but the basic principle is fundamentally flawed regardless.

        1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: "damaged registry keys"


          With an extra side-order of how the heck do you migrate settings between installations or selectively back up/restore settings.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: "damaged registry keys"

            The same way you migrate settings in /etc. It's quite easy if the software involved bothers to handle the old data correctly and nigh-on impossible if not.

            1. Dante Alighieri

              Re: "damaged registry keys"

              etckeeper helps?

              home user and would genuinely like to know

            2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: "damaged registry keys"

              Only when you have tools like Putty, which uses the Registry to store it's config, but you're running on a system where you can't run the registry editor because of policy settings, you lose all your settings when you're switched to a new system!

              There's lots of tutorials around about extracting the putty config, none of which work if you can't use the registry editor.

          2. Fluffy Cactus

            Re: "damaged registry keys"

            I see that several people start their opinion, rant, praise, etc. by writing ' This! '

            Now, could you please explain what you mean by writing ' This! '

            It really is unclear. It doesn't point out what in particular you are pointing at.

            If I just said ' That! ' , you would be equally left in the dark.

            So, explain ' This! '

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: "damaged registry keys"

          Individual keys in the registry are no more of a single non-fault-tolerant point of failure than any of the files in /etc.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: "damaged registry keys"

            Except (as already pointed out) with plain old files in /etc you can do things like version control - etckeeper for example.

            Then you can check the history trivially (ok, what changed *this* time?), add comments when you actually know why and what made a change, so on ans so forth.

            All with the same VC tools you know and love.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "damaged registry keys"

            Except if one particularly super-important extra-essential software thingie makes the whole Windows Registry unusable. Which happens. And yes, thingie is a technical term for any engineered item

            for which the responsible people refuse to publish explanations, repair hints, user-enabling instructions.

            Hence in such cases, a distributed system of keeping this data (meaning: existing locally within specific known or knowable sub-directories) would enable a good software writer to reconstruct the

            whole Windows directory, with a user initiated utility that acts according to the users instructions. Meaning, the user could point and choose and click on for example "Word & Excel & Outlook or Powerpoint, and on Intuit Tax, on this and that browser, on this and that Sales module, and on this Quickbooks, or that Payroll application, and have the Windows Registry rebuilt from scratch, just to

            be able to keep going. Why doesn't Microsoft get that concept?

            Lets look at other systems that keep going despite being damaged: The A-10 Warthog plane, able to land with half a wing missing. Other warplanes, with self-healing jet-fuel tanks. Heavy trucks,

            either in the military, or in the mining field.. they have compartmentalized tires (tyres for the british), so that one shot or big puncture does not deflate the whole tire.

            Even the most short-sighted reader will know enough about the importance of their reading glasses, and they WILL KEEP A SPARE PAIR of glasses at hand.

            Microsoft never gets that! They seem to be purposely obtuse, blinded by the $$$, careless and uncaring, without an iota of pride in their workmanship. They could do a whole lot better, but they simply

            don't want to.

        3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

          Re: "damaged registry keys"

          Good point.

          Now pardon me while I revise my systemd.conf file.

        4. david 12 Silver badge

          Re: "damaged registry keys"

          A single non fault tolerant global repository

          I take it that you don't remember the Savings and Loans Crisis of the 1980s.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "damaged registry keys"

        All PC's use pretty much the same ACPI tables at a much lower level, for power management and for exposing the ports/hardware to the OS.

        And why, running MacOS on a standard PC is possible, with a few modifications of the underlying ACPI tables to match the ACPI tables of a real Mac, and injecting them before MacOS boots.

      4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: "damaged registry keys"

        Actually, AIX does both as well.

        When the IBM developers tried moving more and more into the ODM during the development of AIX3.1 (the release co-incident with the availability of the first POWER system, the various RS/6000 models), traditional UNIX users inside IBM started pushing back, so many things remained as config files (like inetd.conf, inittab, resolv.conf netsvc.conf, and I could go on). You could even select for some things like network configuration between the ODM and BSD style configuration scripts.

        In addition, the ODM is rather less like a database, and rather more like a stanza driven series of flat files, wrapped up in a mildly binary file format (try looking at an ODM file using something like od or cat -vt, and you will see).

        But one mayor difference is there is absolutly no concept of a user section in the ODM. It's all system related stuff, and none of the GUIs available for AIX touch the ODM.

        (One mildly interesting fact is that originally in AIX 3.1 there was an ODM editor called odme. It was found that too many customers would hack around in the ODM using this tool, and would damage the system configuration such that the system would not boot. The adopted solution? remove odme!)

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: "damaged registry keys"

      The registry is the Windows equivalent of a filesystem designed for the /etc tree. It was needed because the only other option was FAT. I've developing for Windows since before the registry existed and never suffered a problem that I'd blame on how MS implemented the storage mechanism.

      What people chooose to store in it, and how well documented that is, and the number of third parties who think it is OK to read, guess and occasionally even modify, that data is a separate matter. The FOSS world presumably has fewer problems here because it can address the more egregious violations by fixing the offending code.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: "damaged registry keys"

        > The registry is the Windows equivalent of a filesystem designed for the /etc tree.

        Funny, I don't see anything inside /etc that needs a special kind of file system. Care to give us an example of what you are referring to? There are loads of soft and/or hard links under /etc but the Registry doesn't provide any mechanism to duplicate those (most certainly not in the days when the Registry was invented)

        > It was needed because the only other option was FAT.

        How does the Registry do anything there that FAT can't? Well, aside from having keys that are random hex strings way longer than 8.3?

        Were you thinking of the way that volatile values within the Registry change to reflect what is going on in the system, like how loaded it is? But that would be the equivalent of the /proc filesystem - 'cos Linux keeps things like that separate from config data - and those values weren't in the first Registry either.

        Or were you thinking of the way you're supposed to keep volatile program settings, like the last window positions or the last ten files opened, in your app's portion of the Registry? Isn't that the sort of thing you'd have in the User's home directory?

        So far, we've got the Registry being /etc, /proc, ~/.* and I'm sure others can point out what I've missed (some stuff that belongs under /var in all likelihood). Rather a mess.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: "damaged registry keys"

          Transactions and ACLs, to name but two.

          The Registry is just a transactional database with built-in access controls and automatic redirects.

          Eg you can't read or write another user's keys without raising to admin status, and applications get given the version of information that they can actually use, given their bitness and security status.

          - a 32bit application cannot load a 64bit DLL, and a user cannot load something installed as admin-only etc.

          Linux filesystems had these features a very long time before Windows got NTFS.

          It was created because COM and OLE require a central repository with those features, and FAT cannot do that.

          The problems are that applications often leave crap lying around after they're uninstalled, and sometimes write bogus values that other processes rely upon.

          Those problems are exactly the same regardless of whether it's done using a pile of INI files in well-known locations, or a database.

          In fact, it's arguably easier to clean up a transactional database because it "knows" who made what change when.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: "damaged registry keys"

            Oh yes, and of course there are many cases where multiple processes need to be able to read and write different sections of the same config file at the same time.

            The most obvious example is when the user wants to edit the config file while the process(es) that use it are running. Whether in a low-level editor or a GUI, whether wimp or curses.

            1. that one in the corner Silver badge

              Re: "damaged registry keys"

              > It was needed because the only other option was FAT. I've developing for Windows since before the registry existed

              None of your examples relate to the situation when the Registry was created, back in Windows 3 days when, as you pointed out, FAT was all that was available.

              By the time we had a multiuser OS, with preemptive multitasking, we also had NTFS which provides the access control, file locking etc that FAT lacks.

              > It was created because COM and OLE require a central repository with those features, and FAT cannot do that.

              OLE needed a central repository - but, again, at the time FAT was the only filesystem available, said repository didn't require the extra features.

              64 bit DLLs? When FAT was the only option?

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Re: "damaged registry keys"

                Perhaps Windows 3.1 could have used a config file and hoped no process ever failed to write the whole thing back when it changed something, or ever gave control back while writing the file.

                "Hoping" every application would play nice and be bug-free was already known to be a bad idea, and of course Windows NT was about to release, which did all those things and could be installed on FAT

                Though perhaps I should have said that a 16bit application wants the 16bit edition, not the 32bit.

          2. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: "damaged registry keys"

            > In fact, it's arguably easier to clean up a transactional database because it "knows" who made what change when.

            Ok, leaving aside the "when FAT was all that available" discussion and looking at the here and now: can you point me at the place I can find the transaction list for the Registry that'll let me see it knows "who made what change when"?

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: "damaged registry keys"

              That is how the "rollback" thing is (supposed to) work.

              The Windows registry implementation has many bugs and features left on the "future" pile for far too many years, but the core concept is better than scattering multiple arbitrarily formatted config files around the filesystem.

              Does this service use JSON, INI, XML, YAML or...?

              1. Fluffy Cactus

                Re: "damaged registry keys"

                And here I thought that the extension ' *.reg ' was the agreed upon format for anything to be written to the Windows Registry. I must be dreaming again.

    3. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: "damaged registry keys"

      Why doesn't Windows automatically detect that and correct the issue by isolating the key ?

      That's what Windows does, and that's what has created this problem.

    4. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: "damaged registry keys"

      > Created to appease rights holders and integrate DRM into Windows

      Not really.

      The Registry came about because object linking and embedding (OLE) *needs* to have a central repository: if you've embedded a Visio image inside a Word document then Word has to know where to find Visio and how to invoke it in order to let you edit the diagram in situ. Forcing the use of an API to add keys for new OLE components was sensible - you just know that without it every third-party component would just copy its own file over, instead of appending their settings to a global file.

      The rot started in immediately, when someone decided that INI files needed to be got rid off (presumably because you can write comments in a plain text INI file and doing that just made it all too easy for the User to understand).

      Then it became possible to really complexify[1] things up: along comes NT and once you really have a multi-user OS where "logging in" does actually do something, you can't just treat it sensibly and store it in a directory under the User's home directory, because it has syatem-wide as well as personal INI settings. So now we get Registry Hives (so-called because of the unbearable itching feeling you get in the brain from trying to follow this mess). Ha ha, you thought you could back up all your config by saving just one file! Don't dream of restoring!

      And look, we can even subvert the entire idea of having it be just a repository of (fairly stable) config items by putting in "active" data! Want to profile your system? Just read these Registry values! What, you thought you could dump the Registry, run that installer, dump again and use the diff to find out what keys the installer changed? Oh, you silly naive User, we'll never tell you what keys do what.

      [1] What, complexify doesn't get underlined in red? It is in the dictionary? Good grief.

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: "damaged registry keys"

        The rot started in immediately, when someone decided that INI files needed to be got rid off (presumably because you can write comments in a plain text INI file and doing that just made it all too easy for the User to understand).

        Barf. I can remember spending weeks trying to work out broken unix config files. Active Directory is full of GUIDs (used for OLE/COM), but the simple config stuff was simple, and having it all in the one place with a GUI search tool actually made it much easier for beginner users.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "damaged registry keys"

      I could think of a number of ways to make the register 'repairable':

      1) An automatic backup of the registry before each time the registry is changed by something or someone.

      I don't know how often the windows registry is changed during normal operations, but I figure if the backup is compressed, there should be room for the last 100, 200, maybe 300 statuses of it.

      That way one could go back to the version/status of 'WHEN IT STILL WORKED'.

      ( Aside: I sure miss a piece of smart software called GOBACK, which essentially was an 'ongoing instant backup & record of every file change, file lock, permissions change, access to registry, etc.'

      It worked so well that it got bought out by SYMANTEC, and soon after that it was basically destroyed by Symantec. Sort of the same experience as with NORTON ANTIVIRUS, which went bad after

      SYMANTEC bought it. Merely anecdotal evidence. Never mind.)

      2) Another option would be (or would have been) to have every program write a backup of 'all their windows registry data' to some backup directory within its own directory structure, something called

      WINREGBAC or similar.

      THEN, whenever something crazy happened to the Windows Registry, by design, by crash dummy attacks, by bad write, bad read, unusable sector rock-pile, one could rebuild the Windows Registry

      with a utility that asks you to choose, item by item, which WINREGBAC of which program should be included in the rebuild.

      Surely Microsoft would want to co-operate and provide a "skeleton Windows registry file with all the MSFT essential items in there" so that one could be back in business within half an hour. Because

      taking three days of re-installing 30 to 50 different programs, and the related data, is a complete waste of time. Wouldn't auntie Microsoft and uncle Saytan Nutella want to please their customers?

      3) Yes, by now you realize that these ideas came to me under the influence of several legally available and/or prescription drugs, which cause me to dream only REASONABLY HAPPY thoughts.

      You can still tell me how wrong I am, and why I am wrong. No problem, without errors, there is no progress, and I haven't always been wrong.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....


    Quote: "'re good for reinstalling from scratch..."

    Yup....absolutely on the money!! I bought a newish "refurbished" workstation this week. WIN10 would not run unless I registered an "M$ Account"......No! No! No!.... Fedora 37 got installed, wiping out M$ for good!

    .....more folk should be "installing from scratch".........but not installing M$!

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      Re: It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....

      To be fair, installing Windows doesn't mean you need to let it touch metal. Modern VM software is more than capable of keeping it ensconced in a dreamworld with all the imaginary goodies it's black heart desires while you freeze it and go back to doing real work.

    2. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....

      W10 will run (and install) without an MS account, although they don't make the options for this obvious.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....

        For the uninitiated - Don't connect it it to a network during the install & promise faithfully to create an MS account some point.... after some event..... some time even later.

        1. bikernutz

          Re: It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....

          And as a bonus you can set it as a metered connection before it starts getting things before it has even completed installing. Also you can install shutup10 or sledgehammer etc. before it ever gets online then too.

        2. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....

          With the Pro version you don't need to do that - there is a (non-obvious!) option ton create a local account anyway.

      2. bikernutz

        Re: It Took One Hour To Solve A Similar Problem....

        I have used Rufus for creating bootable usb pens for Windows installs for a while now. When I updated my Rufus recently it now seems to have the option to specify a user to create automatically during installation. It seemed to work as did other options I asked it to use via Rufus. Including the options to disable that allowed Win 11 (as a test) to install on unsupported hardware as a win2go.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: W10 will run (and install) without an MS account

        Very true...

        But I was called into my neighbours house last weekend. Their W10-No MS account system had just had the latest non-O365 MS Office installed.

        The neighbour wanted to enable auto-save. Old versions saved to local storage but the new one insists on using your MS account login before it can be enabled.

        And so the game of cat and mouse goes on.

        The Office install was nuked and an old version installed. For what they want even that is a huge overkill but... they are happy.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: W10 will run (and install) without an MS account

          The autosave slider in the title bar of the 365 apps (and Office 2021) only works with files save on Sharepoint / Onedrive. Typical MS tactic!

  7. man_iii

    Replace with ClassicShell

    I gotta say that I have been a massive fan of Stardock Windows BLinds and LiteStep and now ClassicShell on Winblows platforms. Rainmeter is another wonderful panacea against some of the bloatware that is explorer.exe Make sure to get Sysinternals tools and Powertoys.

    Personally I run GeckoLinux on my experimental systems and Fedora37 that has been dist-upgraded since f32 days.

    Sad is the day when corporates decide that they think that they know best and force all employees to run this malware ransomware riddled garbage that is WinDOze.

    1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Re: Replace with ClassicShell

      >>Sad is the day when corporates decide that they think that they know best

      It might not be best, but it is, in many cases, the path of least resistance.

      Generally M$ Windows et. al. is installed because "that's what everyone knows" and, when IT support teams have been pared back to the bare minimum, there aren't enough bodies to do the hand-holding for pathetic mahogany row types who can't work their non-Microsoft kit (worker drones tend to just get on and do the work regardless of OS - they don't have time to muck about breaking things)

      /edit: multiple typos and speeling miskates

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Replace with ClassicShell

      ClassicShell is now OpenShell (ClassicShell was orphaned Dec 2017)

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Replace with ClassicShell

        At this moment in time there is one downvote against this comment, despite it being an easily verifiable simple statement of fact.

        Lots of posts, here and elsewhere on el Reg, have a single inexplicable downvote.

        Is this evidence of bizarre bot activity, or are there some kind of obscure lolz to be had?


        1. Dante Alighieri

          Re: Replace with ClassicShell

          Ok since you ask, for this one time in this one circumstance, I couldn't......resist.

          Sorry :(

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Replace with ClassicShell

            Upvoted. Once.


            1. el_oscuro

              Re: Replace with ClassicShell

              I tried to upvote and downvote once - and it doen't work for some reason.

              1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

                Re: Replace with ClassicShell

                you need to find the proper option in your configuration file, or in the registry, depending on your OS.

                it is called "dieOptiondieSienichtankreuzensolltenumnichtdieZerstörungderWebsitezuverursachen" (case sensitive, encoded in UTF-16 LE BOM), the values expected are in hieroglyphs and listed in the hidden chamber of the Great Pyramid

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another anti-competitive move?

    I recall the days when Windows was apparently "incompatible" with a certain 3rd part variant of MS-DOS and it was later found that Microsoft deliberately made Windows fail on competing products to make them look incompatible. Are they back to accusing third parrties who just happen to have competing products that they caused the problems? I don't use any Microsoft products anymore so I may have this wrong, but I do recall this as it took years to prove it.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Another anti-competitive move?

      MS-DOS 6.22 was, by the standards of these things, really good. The syntax might have been arcane, but with sufficient experimentation I could get CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to load crucial device drivers *and* allow enough RAM for (say) Lotus 123 to run.

      Windows 3.x worked rather better on DR-DOS. Especially if you were connected to a Netware server, as everyone was.

      Both DOS programs and Windows 3.0 (and its programs) worked *massively" better on OS/2 than on MS-DOS, so long as you had enough RAM. By which I mean 4 megabytes. Yes, I know that it was a lot at the time.

      Microsoft responded by "integrating" DOS into Windows 95. DOS 7 was actually rather good, but you couldn't have either (a) DOS 7 by itself, or (b) Windows 95 bootstrapped off anything else.

      That was the end of any kind of competitive system software eco-system in the PC space.

      Until Linux.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Search

    "At the heart of the issue, users not only find the Start menu unresponsive, but Windows Search and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps don't work properly either."

    Does this mean they've fixed Windows Search in Win 11 so it actually works, but this problem breaks it, or do they mean that Windows Search still doesn't work and this actually makes it worse?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows Search

      Windows Search, if anything, is even worse under Windows 11, as it combines searches with 'suggestions' and opens Edge browser, that then sits in the task manager as a background task resource hog even when you've closed all the windows.

      Void Tools Everything Search, is the way to go for search under Windows. It's embarrassing how good this product is, compared the utterly useless MS Search offering, and best of all it's free.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Windows Search

      Does this mean they've fixed Windows Search



  10. TVU Silver badge

    "More investigation has shown that the ClickShare App triggers a bug in the Microsoft Office API (MAPI)"

    ^ The fault there lies 100% with Microsoft then for not addressing the inherent bugs in a timely manner.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      ClickShare is using MAPI? so it is programmed in VB6?

  11. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and some applications won't open or work

    Nearly thirty years after its introduction, the makers of the world's most widely used PC operating system are still regularly messing up, or allowing to be messed up, a simple feature whose sole purpose is to run an executable file. A quite spectacular achievement.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and some applications won't open or work

      It's not an "operating system" any longer, it's a data collection and sales system with some operating system features that may work occasionally.

    2. naive

      Re: Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and some applications won't open or work

      Recently had a subpar windows experience too. In my new Windows 11 desktop one HDD and one SSD were present transferred from my 2014 laptop running windows 10.

      First Windows 11 marked the HDD as broken, a few weeks ago Windows 11 froze, refused to boot until I had removed the old SSD.

      Except it feels sort of weird that Windows 11 starts dismissing hardware that worked without a glitch with Windows 10, it is beyond believe Windows 11 leaves the consumer with an eternal running circle when a SSD starts having read errors, it was not a boot device.

      They do not even have the code to recognize a failing device during boot and inform the user what is happening, no better leave him with a turning circle.

      Booting from a windows 10 USB delivered the same result, it didn't boot because of desperately trying to read a broken SSD until the Sun explodes.

      It seems nobody ever at MS looked at Linux, where this would not be an issue.

      It is just great these monopolies in our "free" West, they can punch people in the nose, deliver shoddy products, empty their wallets and still make billions.

    3. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and some applications won't open or work

      What do you mean "30 years"?

      I were just a nipper when I first encountered MS-DOS version 2 in (probably) 1982 on an EPSON PC, which had a 5.25" floppy drive. It had no concept of subdirectories. We used it to play games.

      Some of those games had their own ideas about disk formattting.

      That didn't last long.


      1. Howard Sway Silver badge

        Re: Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and some applications won't open or work

        Start menu was introduced in win 95, 28 years ago.

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Start menu is suddenly unresponsive and some applications won't open or work

        That was closer to the end of WWII than it is to today ...

  12. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Ancient Clickshare version

    hmm odd doesn;t affect the ancient version of Clickshare launcher on my machine

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Ancient Clickshare version

      That one doesn't try to access the calendar.

      One does wonder why a virtual graphics adapter requires access to your calendar.

  13. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Their start menu has been ballsed up ever since they integrated apps into the OS. When Windows 10 came out I was regularly fighting with fresh installs that were completely freezing up at the start menu. Now it's rearing it's head again. It really is pathetic how they've gone from bad to reasonably usable to this again after all this time. Making all their important settings into apps has also completely ballsed up professional use of the operating system to get things done. Where you once could have more than one settings window at a time open, now it is a single window nightmare.

    I will give them one thing, apart from having to say no to all the crap they want you to enable like Cortana, at least reinstalling Windows is not as painfully slow as it used to be. One saving grace when you've just given up on diagnosing their shite.

  14. captain veg Silver badge


    "Windows Search and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps don't work properly either"

    This is not news.


  15. Steve B

    And they want AI controlled cars!

    High Salaries, Best programmers, Best marketers and Best Lawyers!

    "triggered a bug" says it all.

    Unfortunately since day one MS have been confused about the concept of bugs.

    Whether it relates back to over confident programmers, who could never make a mistake, or just plain useless programmers is unclear but has always been part of the MS company mission.

    Amazing how they can introduce a bug into their code and then lay the blame on others, also leaving the others to offer workarounds or forcing the customer to remove their non MS products.

    Sounds like another Eu court case in the offing.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: And they want AI controlled cars!

      Yup. That means the last thing a lot of people are going to see before they die is a dancing paperclip.

      I see that you want to deploy the airbags. Would you like help with that? Y/N

  16. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    The Start menu *should* be a load of static links to applications on the local machine. Just viewing these links, even if they use the ClickToRun thing to install and run the application, shouldn't induce any delays. I think MS are overcomplicating things. We don't need live tiles in the Start menu. We don't want any "click to run" software to install itself unless we actually click it to run it. The start menu should *not* include any adverts, even if they are adverts for applications you might be interested in. Adverts for apps should be limited to the App Store.

    The search *is* handy, but that should not cause delays. Apple's Spotlight starts instantly.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Oh, come on, be fair. What's the most used 'place' in Windows? The start menu and/or search. So the ads will be placed where they can do maximum damage.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        > So the ads will be placed where they can do maximum damage.

        As an always-on-top window that follows your mouse pointer around?

        It does have a close button, but, well...

        1. Woza

          Quiet, don't give them any ideas!

  17. Piro Silver badge

    Microsoft needs to go back

    Get the GDI hardware acceleration in XP working with newer drivers (test it yourself, many basic operations are STILL noticeably quicker in 2000 and XP than newer versions)

    Roll back almost all GUI changes to Windows 7

    Remove all telemetry

    Then we can start again from a Known Good Configuration, and do things correctly this time.

    It seems like ever since 8, they've just been kludging kludges on kludges and making things worse and worse.

  18. Chris Tierney

    Clean install, same issue

    Calling BS on this one. Ive the same phantom hangups since I wiped everything and did a clean shove of windows 11. The only 3rd party apps are chrome and steam.

  19. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Bought a Win10 laptop

    strictly to do taxes on. The machine was shut off, no power, and blocked in my router. So a couple of months ago I boot it up to get updates run, and it shit the bed. I'm guessing that's my punishment for not letting it phone home with all my browsing (that never took place) for 6 months.

    After spending 2 months dicking around with it, even going so far as to buy another Win10 computer to make recovery disks with, still it would not restore.

    So today, it became a Linux Mint box. My laptop works again. I'm going to spend the next few weeks learning how to make a virtual win10 out of it because I have a few programs that will only run on Windows, but aside from them I'm done with Redmond.

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