Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Never-ending system corruption

  1. #1

    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1

    Never-ending system corruption


    I am having more and more issues with Windows 8.1. This now reaches the point my computer is almost unusable because the behavior is just too erratic. There are many different issues so I am quite overwhelmed and just don't know what to do.

    • ALL Metro applications stop right after I start them. I cannot use any of them, even the Windows Store. None of the indications I found on forums work. I tried fixing the permissions, ran DSIM commands to fix the component store, tried sfc /scannow, without any improvement. The only thing that works would be to thrash my user account and create a new one. Even temporarily removing files in AppData/Local/Microsoft didn't help.
    • The audio subsystem regularly fails. For no obvious reason, sound stops working and doesn't resume even after a reboot. I have to uninstall and reinstall my audio driver. I am using a USB audio interface, the Fast Track Pro from M-Audio. I downloaded the most recent driver I could find, which is supposed to be compatible with Windows 8 (maybe not 8.1...). I just cannot continue uninstalling/reinstalling the audio driver like this. I know that interface is discontinued, but the hardware still works and the only alternatives available now are Focusrite interfaces that would fail to work under Linux. I don't want to replace my audio interface just because of Windows, and having to get a Linux-incompatible replacement is even more frustrating and unacceptable!
    • Keyboard regularly switches to English while I NEED the Canadian French layout to type accents. The layout is there, activated by default, but the system switches to English on an arbitrary basis. I found an option that seems to detect language and switch, checked it off, that did no effect. Probably yet another program in the background turns it on, similar to what I got last week that was launching Chrome instead of Firefox (now fixed).
    • Games such as Myst IV work for some time, then suddenly require complete reinstallation. There is no obvious reason for Myst IV to just display a blank screen, but this is now what I am obtaining.

    It seems I am experiencing file corruption because I don't spend 45 minutes each time I install something to read the footprints in license agreements and decline if it wants to install malware behind the scenes. This is just too hard to continue using this machine if ANYTHING, even free/open source software, can now install malware behind me. I thought Windows Defender would be enough as a protection tool, but it seems not and I have no idea what to try next. All the tools I found need to run manually, stop working after 30 days, etc. It seems I now have to engage into paying yearly fees tjust to have a working computer and that frustrates me beyond imagination.

    According to some forum posts, many people now seem to rely on system images to compensate unstability. I never had to enter into this before. I just don't know how to proceed efficiently with such tools like CloneZilla that are not UEFI compliant and starts only from CD-ROMs (long startup and requires hiting F8 many many times to get the boot menu from my motherboard and select the CD non-UEFI boot).

    It seems I have issue with both my motherboard AND my Windows 8.1 installation. This is just too much work to get this all fixed. Am i alone with this or are there many other Windows 8.1 setups plagged with so many issues. I will probably have to fall back on Ubuntu and remove any Windows from this machine, because I don't want to downgrade to Windows 7. It is just too painful to use because of low contrast between selected and unselected items (unless I totally disable Aero) and I don't want to reenter into the "Do I upgrade to Windows 10 or stay with Windows 7" dilemma as with Windows XP/Vista a few years ago. This one-good-release over two policy from Microsoft is just a killer for mainstream computer. I don't want to see the days where Apple's Mac will win but it is UPCOMING if Windows is so unstable now.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    Welcome to the forum!

    Run a chkdsk /r from elevated command. Will reboot and take some time to complete and appear to hang at times.

    After that run a sfc /scannow.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Alternatively, (and very time-consuming!) backup thoroughly personal data files, restore the PC to factory settings, update and upgrade to 8.1.1 and see if the problems listed exist or persist. Since the OOBE was pleasant enough then, the update and upgrade of the OS should be also.

    Sometimes when problems pile up, you just have to walk away and start fresh.

    I would also suggest a more patient schedule of installing third-party software. Start with the tried-and-true. It read like your search for and implementation of solutions to problems created more problems.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1

    Unfortunately, I cannot just reset to factory defaults. This is a custom build so there is no factory defaults. I would have to format the hard drive, clean install Windows 8, then spend hours reinstalling drivers, with one system reboot per driver. I probably selected the wrong motherboard, requiring one third-party Asus driver per component, but it is a bit late for addressing that and I have no way to know in advance if a board would work out of the box without tons of drivers or not.

    However, I made some progress. There are two main problems: the Metro apps all failing and the audio issue. The problem with Myst IV was caused by yet another corruption of the M-Audio driver. I had to reinstall it once more and that fixed the issue. It seems each recording session with Live from Ableton (using ASIO to drive the audio interface) breaks the M-Audio driver for non-ASIO stuff. I still have to verify if the problem is a conflict with the Ultranova USB driver (removed the driver) or if it would work with ASIO4ALL instead of M-Audio's ASIO. Otherwise, I guess I will have to fall bck on putting Windows XP on a virtual machine or an old PC and use that for my music station. Quite bad but better than the awful low-contrast Aero theme of Windows 7 not allowing me to distinguish selected from unslected items.

    I found no solution for the Metro issue. I guess I will really have to thrash my user account and start fresh. At least it would be less time consuming that reinstalling from scratch.

    I don't know about the keyboard issues. I disabled the keys (alt-shift, ctrl-shift) switching keyboard layout, so there should be no more accidental switch. If that still happens, I will remove all layouts except Canadian French.

    In the long run, a tool preventing the installation of known malware would be valuable. I am always running into problems requiring some third party tool or another and cannot read all the license agreements in the hope to find out that this tool would install malware or not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    I am having more and more issues with Windows 8.1. This now reaches the point my computer is almost unusable because the behavior is just too erratic.
    Understand your frustration -- as I have been going through much the same for the last few days. Got to be so bad, that I would have to do a complete restore of my system every other day, or it would become so unstable as to refuse to boot the next day.

    My guess is that was due to the rash of "bad" Windows updates recently -- as the system has been rock stable ever since I installed Win8 in the early days and later upgraded to Win8.1.

    My "solution" was to do a clean install. While it took a short while to do that, it actually took nearly three days to do all the app reinstallations and customization. The main reason it took so long is that, after a handful of actions, I did a complete image backup using Macrium Reflect. That way, if one of the installs or customizations went badly, I could get back to a working system in 5 minutes or less. Over all, I made seven image backups.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 73
    windows 7 home premium 64bit

    I see some have issues. I'm still running on a 2010 win7 -> win8 -> win8.1 setup. I keep it cleaned up, crap cleaner, malwarebytes, and panda AV. Its been rock solid. I cant help think there may be some flaky hardware involved. I question why some seem to have issues?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Yellow Belly
    Posts : 178
    Windows 8.1 with Bing x64

    I would start again and get the computer set up how you want it then use Macrium Reflect Free to make some images that you can resort to at times like this. I have a had a quite painless cyber-life since 2009 using it. I'm sure there's quite a few people here that can help you get that imaging and restoration process learned. Any time you had virtually any problem you can be sorted in half an hour or so. Imaging is the only solution you need.

    There is nothing worse than learning to fix something you don't want to when you just want to use it. Restoring an image is the shortest and most consistent path to long-term peace of mind. All you need is an external hard drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Posts : 1
    windows 8.1

    I'm no pro nor am I a computer whiz. I do however feel your pain. Most of my problems stem from Windows 8.1 especially after updates. I have since stopped auto updates which is probably not a good thing to do, but have increasing problems after each update.
    I bought a touchscreen last December and had troubles with the wifi adapter from the beginning. I had to connect to the internet every time I turned on the machine or when it came of out SLEEP. Had that fixed and 8.1 stopped recognizing my Dell all-in-one. Finally I took it to work where I do all my printing now. Next my wifi started limiting internet connection. I have to disconnect and then reconnect. This went on for a while until I found a fix. As soon as Windows updated the problem is back and the solution I used before doesn't work this time. Now after the latest update, Windows won't come out of hibernation. I set Windows to never SLEEP but discovered that when I manually put it in sleep mode it would recover..... until two nights ago. Now it won't wake again and I have to manually shut off the computer and then back on again. (by unplugging)
    The charms bar was very confusing when I first bought the computer and there was no written manual on how to use them. I'm thankful that I've learned about apps from my iPhone. It's very difficult to find downloads and pictures on 8.1. I chalk it up to being a old fart with limited patience and knowledge.
    I'm leaning towards a MAC, after owning a Windows product since 1999, I've lost all patience..... and don't get me started about tech support. Those people must be working on 30 or 40 different problems at one time as they ask me completely off the wall questions about my problem. I find out more things from searching YouTube.
    I started with Windows 98 and think that while trying to be competitive with MAC, Microsoft has made Windows more and more difficult to use as the new products are introduced. Sorry for the rant and Thanks Bill.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 23
    Windows 8.1

    I would not even want to take a guess at what is causing this issue with Metro or your computer without the specs.

    Motherboard Model?
    HDD? AHCI enabled etc
    Video Card?

    If you can provide detailed specs / drivers etc, I might take a guess. You use the term Mainstream computer - is this an off the shelf system and if so what manufacturer and model?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Posts : 209
    Windows 8.1 (HOME not Pro) 64bit

    We've all had our share of windows problems sure, and while I do know/think that microsoft is full of idiots that need to simplify, there is positive aspects as well..

    I noticed throughout this forum is 100's of posts with "i have a problem this that".. when the problems have most always been from crappy companies with pre-installed windows.. the other same crap I see all the time is people keep trying to update from windows 8 to 8.1 or etc.. thats just not going to work smoothly ever.. so stop trying and just get the iso of full 8.1.

    anyway point of this is always start clean and fresh.. then install what you know.. and you will know what is on your computer.. keep it simple..

    I also have a crappy computer company filled crapware laptop that I totally cleaned and fresh installed Windows 8.1 and guess what.. I"m now finally problem-free.. i have installed a samsung 840 EVO SSD and am using my t.v. right now as my screen...

    i am not experiencing problems/slow-downs/ random blue screens...

    **EDIT** and by the way, I have also installed windows 8.1 and had to download 81-100 updates from windows update before and i still didn't get all these problems people talk about in general here.. (of course i only installed/downloaded 20 at a time, not the full 81 updates in 1 download..)

    and of course i have had my share of problems but it has always been something i changed,installed..

    so it can be done. (windows problem free) but you need to be very specific with what hardware you buy.

    i guess this doesn't help for the common consumer.. but they will have to research and really know what they are getting when buying a computer.. i've seen it 1000 times.. and still seeing it.. people buying machines with all kinds of problems..

    well let me help spread the word.. Start with ASUS computers.. but to each his own..

    its probably hardware issues.. windows 8.1 works if you keep it simple. but god knows the programs people are trying to use today.. and it's normal but be ready for the latest cheap/lazy programming of today.. the standards have changed, and they have been lowered to the ground.. so don't expect anything to really work until you have version/update 20 of whatever it is you are using..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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