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12 Windows 10 install issues -- and what to do about them

Woody Leonhard | Oct. 9, 2015
Having trouble installing and setting up Win10? You aren’t alone. Here are a dozen-plus of the most common problems, along with a few solutions.

There’s a lengthy post by Microsoft MVP and Answers Forum moderator Andre Da Costa that steps through the finer points of installing drivers. He shows you how to install drivers the official way -- through Windows Update -- and the semi-official way, through Win10’s Device Manager. Then he drops back a few yards and punts with instructions for using Compatibility Mode.

Da Costa’s advice appeared before the final version of Windows 10 shipped (July 29, RTM build 10240), but the advice there applies to the RTM version. He doesn’t cover the next phase of driver untangling, where you manually uninstall a driver and then prevent Windows 10 from automatically updating it, presumably to a bad (but newer!) driver. I talk about using the wushowhide program and KB 307930 in this post -- which is now up to 200-plus comments.

Unfortunately, wushowhide has to be handled in a very specific way: It can only hide updates that have already been applied and found to be faulty, and you can’t reboot between uninstalling the bad driver and running wushowhide. It’s not a friendly solution.

Start menu isn’t working

Here’s how to fix one of my favorite Windows 10 error messages: “Critical Error/Your Start Menu isn't working. We'll try to fix it the next time you sign in.” You may also see the error, “Critical Error/Start menu and Cortana aren’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in.” The Microsoft Answers forum main thread for this problem is currently up to 73 pages, with 1,195 people chiming in that they’ve had the problem, too.

Short answer: Microsoft still hasn’t figured it out. Microsoft engineer Paul Sey says:

You may be able to temporarily resolve the issue by booting to Safe Mode, and then immediately booting back into normal mode. This workaround may resolve your problem for a while, however the error may return later.

To boot to Safe Mode:

  • Hold the Shift key down while you click Start, Power, Restart.
  • Once you are in the Windows Recovery Environment, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and Restart.
  • When it restarts, you should see a number of options. Press 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with networking.
  • Once you sign into your account in Safe Mode, you’re done. Just restart your PC to return to a normal boot.

If you are running a third-party antivirus software, we recommend uninstalling, then reinstalling the antivirus software, as this may also provide a work-around for this problem. Some customers have reported that adding a new local administrator account has resolved their Critical Error. If that doesn’t work, try removing the original administrator account now that you have a new one created.

 

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