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Critical Error with Windows 10, Start Menu and Cortana

Critical Error with Windows 10, Start Menu and Cortana

I started to get a critical error with Windows 10, Start Menu and Cortana.

For anyone working from home, getting critical computer errors can really upset your schedule and your productivity. Here I talk about the solutions that worked for me with this particular critical error.

After I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, all was well for about a month. I was using a new laptop which came with Windows 8.1 along with McAfee Antivirus which was free for the first month. I have being using Avast Antivirus for a number of years on my old laptop and the antivirus license was still valid for another year and a half, so I wanted to use that. I installed Avast Antivirus on my new laptop, got the Avast license installed and was ready to go. I then uninstalled the McAfee Antivirus software a day or two before it was due to expire.

All was well for a while

Critical error with Windows 10, Start Menu and Cortana - Cortana

All was well for a while then I started to get a critical error with Windows 10 when I was trying to log into my account. During the log in process, it would report a critical error with start menu and Cortana and that the system would attempt to fix it on the next log in. It only gave me one real option, to try to log in again. Talk about an endless loop.

A not so good way to fix it that is not recommended

The way I ‘fixed it’ was to turn the computer off and let my finger stay on the power off button until it was really powered off. This approach is not recommended and is a final last step. The pc on the next boot up would appear to be working however some of the functionally was a ‘bit off’. I was having issues with Edge (Microsoft’s new internet browser that is replacing Internet Explorer), sometimes it would work in the expected manner and other times it would not. It was slow and not reliable.

Online research

I did an amount of online research and it appeared that Windows 10 and Avast Anti-Virus do not play well together for some reason. Avast was getting a lot of ‘blame’ for the problem. For me, I do not care if the problem is with Avast or with Microsoft, I just expect both those companies to sort out the problem between them, so that I can enjoy using my computer.

Non runner ‘solution’

The solution offered time and time again online was to uninstall Avast. That was not a runner for me, so I kept doing online research.

Anyway I gradually found a technical hint which appeared promising, so I tried it over the last weekend. Since I done this, my pc has behaved a lot better and a lot faster. So fingers crossed….

Sharing what so far is working for me

I am sharing this approach with you in the hope that if you have this problem, that this approach will also work for you. Please note, I am not in a position to provide personal support to you. If the following works, let me know by providing feedback below. That way, other readers of this article would be better placed to determine if they should also try this approach.

If you sorted out the problem yourself with an alternative solution, let me know by providing feedback below. That way other people reading this may find that your solution helped them.

One cure: Getting critical error with Windows 10, Start Menu and Cortana

  • Press [ctrl] [alt] and [del] at the same time to bring up the Task Manager.
  • Click File.
  • Run New Task.
  • Enter msconfig
  • Click run with admin privileges prompt.
  • Go to the boot section.
  • Click on Safeboot and Network.
  • Click on OK to restart.
  • After restart:
  • Repeat the process above, unclick Safeboot in msconfig
  • The Network option within Safeboot is automatically unselected.
  • Restart again.
  • This approach worked for me and I hope that it works for you.

If you need technical help, you will need to go to your Windows 10 provider for that help. After all, that is why they are there. 🙂

Another approach if you are using Avast, is to drop it, but you need an alternative Antivirus in place

Also another approach is to use the Windows Defender software than comes with Windows 10 as your anti virus solution. You would need to do more research yourself to determine if this approach is ok for you. For the moment, I have decided that as my Avast antivirus subscription does not expire for another 18 months or so, that I want to continue using them. I have been using Avast antivirus software for years now and am familiar with them. In 18 months or thereabouts, I will do research to determine what I will do.


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