Category Archives: Troubleshooting

Build 22631.1900 Shows 13 Spurious Reclaimables

Here’s an odd an ind interesting situation. After applying the CU that took the PC to the most current Beta Channel build, it reported an astounding 16 packages amenable to cleanup. After running DISM …/startcomponentcleanup, that selfsame PC running Build 22631.1900 shows 13 spurious reclaimables.

Why do I claim those reclaimable packages are spurious? Because running and re-running the same DISM command (which normally removes them all):

(a) reports successful completion
(b) leaves the number of reclaimable packages unchanged (13)

I’ve seen this happen on some Insider Previews in the past, as far back as Windows 8.x. But never with such a high number of packages — indeed, it’s “lucky 13.” WTF?!

If Build 22631.1900 Shows 13 Spurious Reclaimables, Then?

I’ve reported this situation to Feedback Hub along with screencaps to show what DISM reports. But otherwise, there’s not much a mere user — even an Insider MVP like myself — can do about this kind of problem. If the machine were showing signs of instability, odd behavior, or reduced performance I’d try an in-place repair install. I’d follow that up with a clean install if such problems persisted.

But since this seems to be purely an artifact from inside DISM that doesn’t affect the machine’s overall behavior or capability, I’ll leave it alone for the time being. If MS responds to my feedback, I’ll take whatever advice they dispense. Otherwise, I’ll wait for the next Beta Channel release with hopes that such an upgrade will clear this strange and weirdly high count of non-existent reclaimable packages.

Stay tuned: I’ll report back in after the next CU or new Build. I’m betting this problem will disappear once the “next thing” gets installed. We’ll see!

Minor Build Number Goes to 1906 (June 23)

Yesterday, CU KB5027311 got applied, as did an Update Stack Package. No change to the reclaimables count, nor did a cleanup attempt with /startcomponentcleanup have any effect. I’m guessing this won’t change until the next major version increments through an upgrade of some kind. Let’s see…


File Explorer Restart Fixes Start Menu

I don’t know what I — or Windows itself — did. But I do know for sure that when I logged into my production PC this morning, Start Menu search was broken. I could type anything I wanted into the search bar. But each search came up empty. I could still navigate to apps alphabetically, so I knew something odd or interesting was up. Fortunately, among its many other good qualities, a File Explorer restart fixes Start Menu, too.

How File Explorer Restart Fixes Start Menu

The lead-in graphic shows how it’s done. Fire up Task Manager (I like to use the CTRL-Shift-Esc shortcut, but you can right-click on the Taskbar to get at it through a pop-up menu, too). Find Windows Explorer (I still think of it by its older name as in the title for this blog post), right-click, and select “Restart” from the pop-up menu.

As the term indicates, this basically kills the runtime environment for Windows/File Explorer, which includes the Start Menu, the taskbar, and other stuff, as well as any and all open Explorer windows. All this gets restarted afresh. And when that happens, the new and pristine runtime usually works as it should.

Case in point this morning: my broken Start Menu search function started working again. I cheerfully confess I simply wanted to play Solitaire. But typing “Sol” into the search box did nothing for me. The fix took less than 10 seconds to complete, though. And when it was done it was back to “Windows business as usual.”

Good! That’s just what I wanted… Keep this in your hat: it’s sure to come in handy someday here in Windows-World.


Windows 10 COM Surrogate Errors Continue

Hmmmm. About 18 months ago, I blogged about a source of regular crashes on my Windows 10 production PC. Entitled “Chronic COM Surrogate Windows 10 Failures” it goes into possible causes of and fixes for APPCRASH errors relates to the Windows COM Surrogate. As you can see in the Reliability Monitor output at the head of this story, my Windows 10 COM Surrogate errors continue, sometimes multiple times in a day. Sigh.

If Windows 10 COM Surrogate Errors Continue, Then…?

I’ve already tried all of the fixes described in the earlier item and the errors continue. My current error history goes back to May 6, and the COM Surrogate error is mentioned in over half the total error reports involved (5 of 7 items). As I look around online, I see I’m not alone in this situation. It also shows up on most, but not all, of my Windows 11 PCs (of which I currently have 11 at my fingertips).

This feels more like a “feature” even if it is manifestly an “APPCRASH” event. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to impact system stability, reliability or performance. Sometimes, things like this just pop up in Windows. This one is interesting and mildly vexing, but overall doesn’t seem to impair the user experience.

Feedback Hub Search Results

As I search Feedback Hub on some combination of COM Surrogate, APPCRASH, MoAppHang, and so forth, I see that PowerToys sometimes enters the picture, sometimes not. The nature of the error appears to depend on whether it emerges from an app (usually on the PowerToys components) or an executable (usually DllHost.exe).

But it looks like this issue hasn’t gone away since I dug into it a while back. And based on its common presence on Windows 10 and 11 PCs alike (across production, preview, beta, dev and canary channels as well) it looks like something more constant than intermittent. While I hope MS does fix it sometime (sooner would be better than later), I guess I can live with it while they’re searching for the right “round tuit.”


Winget Zip Support Is Uncertain Right Now

I have to laugh, because that beats crying. Upon reading about built-in support for ZIP files added to winget v1.4.0.1071, I had to try it (note: it works in some Preview 1.5.1081 installs as well). I ran into issues on various PCs,owing to a missing dependency item. You can see what that error looks like in the lead-in graphic. It worked on some of my PCs but not all of them. Hence I say: Winget Zip support is uncertain right now. It works in some cases, in others it doesn’t.

Exploring Winget Zip Support Is Uncertain Right Now

If you look at the winget output in the lead-in figure, you’ll see the problem isn’t really with the unZIP process. That completes OK as the output line “Successfully extracted archive…” indicates. It blows up after that as it attempts to use the extracted files to drive actual installation. I’ve reported this to team lead Demitrius Nelson, and he suspects some additional framework package is needed. Seems likely given that “dependency missing” is explicitly cited in the last line of the error message.

I did succeed on a few of my systems whereas several others failed with the error message shown above. Here’s how success looks:

Winget Zip Support Is Uncertain Right

When things work, it simply installs from the (temporarily) unzipped archive’s contents. Good-oh!

The Store Version Works Around the Issue

If you don’t want to wait for MS to fix this particular — and quite minor — gotcha, download and install the MS Store version instead. I already know that works just fine because I blogged about it last Thursday: Exploring Windows 11 Dev Home. As a member of the “I have to see it working” club, I’m glad I tried winget to take an alternate install path this morning. That gave me the opportunity to report an interesting gotcha to the dev team. And indeed I got a response back within minutes when I reported my findings to them.

Further, I’m pleased to report that I just tried the MS Store technique on one of my affected PCs, and it worked. The Preview version of Dev Home is now running on that machine. Good stuff!

Note Added June 5 Late Afternoon: Fixed?

I reported the issue this morning and got an immediate response with an explanation and a workaround. Just now, I successfully installed DevHome on two more PCs, with no issues. My sample size is waaaaaaaaay too small for me to say “Fixed” But I can say that perhaps it has been addressed. Thus, fixed? No further direct from the WinGet team means I cany guess, but my guess is — I hope — a good one.



Windows 10 Dual Progress Bars Mystery

Back in November 2017, I posted the item shown in the lead-in graphic to Windows I get two progress bars when running DISM ... /StartComponentCleanup on my Windows 10 PCs. The thread is interesting to read, and offers a good explanation in item#4 for what’s happening: a spurious line feed somewhere in the DISM routines that handle this task. Just this morning, I noticed that this Windows 10 dual progress bars mystery persists to this day. But I’ve figured out more…

More Data for Windows 10 Dual Progress Bars Mystery

This doesn’t happen every time I run DISM ... /StartComponentCleanup on my Windows 10 PCs. It happens only if I’ve just applied a Cumulative Update to that machine, and I haven’t rebooted the machine a second time after the post-update reboot. And, in fact, I just replicated this very same issue on one of my Windows 11 22H2 PCs as well in those same circumstances.

I’m still wondering about why this happens. I take it as ongoing proof that problems do make themselves visible in Windows (10 and 11) occasionally. Ditto for the observation that some glitches are more important than others.

This particular glitch, while interesting, is benign. It’s just a hiccup in the DISM output. Everything works as it’s supposed to, except for the dual progress bars (or appearance thereof if my TenForums informant is correct about the “spurious linefeed” theory). But here is the error in Windows 11 as well. Note: the build number shown, 22621, identifies this OS as Windows 11 22H2 even though the “Major” OS version reads “10.”

Windows 10 Dual Progress Bars Mystery.Win11I love a good mystery. I hope someday to see this fixed, though…


Weird Windows 10 Winget Timeout Error

OK, I’m mystified by this one. Running through the usual update checks this morning, I noticed Winget was taking longer than usual to complete on my Windows 11 PCs. And when I checked my production PC, I got the weird Windows 10 Winget timeout error you see in the lead-in graphic. In fact, I ran it twice and got the same error both times. So I jumped over to my sole remaining other Windows 10 PC. While it also took longer than usual to complete, it did so successfully. What gives?

Weird Windows 10 Winget Timeout Error Is Opaque

What’s interesting — to me, anyway — is that I can’t find any useful information on how to fix this error. My most productive search string is “winget upgrade timeout.” Even so, I don’t see anything useful about this error nor how to fix it. Ditto for a search on “winget upgrade failed when searching source.” Interesting!

I just ran it again on the production PC and got some output (the manifest progress bar showed, then went blank, and the timeout error popped up again). I suspect some issue involving communication with the MS Store is also involved because “msstore” is identified as the source. That said, I access the Store app and update there without difficulty (though it, too, took longer than usual).

I just filed a Feedback Hub item. I’ll be interested to see if this gets a response. And that’s how things go in Windows-World sometimes. Stay tuned: this one might fix itself…

Note Added Early Afternoon

After noodling about on this for a bit, I found a PowerShell script at GitHub to install Winget afresh. I ran it, it reported success. But there’s no change to the timeout error. Resolution may have to come from elsewhere. We’ll see…

Note Added April 23 AM

OK then: winget is working once again, on all machines. As Pink Floyd once put it: It was apparently just “A Momentary Lapse of Reason.” Glad to have things working again. Wish I knew why they broke in the first place. But these things happen, here in Windows-World.


Intel DSA Repair Lets Scan Complete

This morning, I read about a new Intel graphics driver over at Neowin. With 6  or more PCs likely to need an update, I starting using the Intel Driver & Support Assistant (DSA) to check things out. On one of my two Lenovo ThinkPad X380 Yoga PCs (8th gen Intel CPUs, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD), the spinning balls for the system scan kept spinning … and spinning … and spinning … In looking for a way to fix things, I turned to an Intel Support note. That led me indirectly to learn that an Intel DSA repair lets scan complete.

How Intel DSA Repair Lets Scan Complete

I followed Intel’s advice to uninstall, then reinstall, the DSA app. Along the way, the installer offered a “Repair Installation” option( via Revo Uninstaller). “Hmmmm,” I thought to myself “Why not try this option first and see if it helps?” I did, after which the system informed me a reboot was needed to complete the process.

So I did that, too. And when the PC rebooted the next time around, the DSA system scan completed nearly instantly. After watching it grind for nearly two minutes earlier this morning, that came as a great relief. As irony would have it, DSA did NOT find new graphics drivers for me to install on that PC, either. Here’s what it told me instead:

Intel DSA Repair Lets Scan Complete.scan-complete

Despite Neowin’s alert, DSA finds no need for a new graphics driver.

The Installer Will Show “Repair” When Available

This did remind me that many application installers include a “Repair installation” option as part of the installer’s bag of tricks. This time, repair was in the bag — and thankfully, it worked. Problem solved. And the old “remove & replace” operation proves its value yet again as a strategy for fixing application and update issues, but with an interesting twist. Cheers!

Impatient? Direct Driver Link for

If you don’t want to wait for Intel to bring you these drivers via DSA (it’s now early afternoon on release day and they’re still not showing up there), you can grab them from the Intel Drivers & Software downloads page: Intel 6th-10th Gen Processor Graphics — Windows. As for me and my curiosity, I’m content to wait for now…


Bye Bye Seagate STL1000LM014

Yesterday, I was bopping along and working away. Somewhere after lunch I noticed my D: drive had gone missing. I’ve been working feverishly to try to resuscitate that volume, but it ain’t coming back. Good thing I back it up frequently. I just restored the folders I care about most from that backup (and know where to find more, if I need them). So now, it’s time to say: Bye bye Seagate STL1000LM014.

Impacts from Bye Bye Seagate ST1000LM014

A bit of surprise and upset was my first reaction. But then, I looked at the manufacture date: 2014. Hmmm … let’s see … that’s 8-9 years ago. So, actually, not too surprising. I spent a couple of hours trying to recover the drive. But it won’t read in Windows for more than a minute or two before it falls over and throws a “failed USB device” error. So, I’m retiring this drive from service. I wasn’t able to recover its contents or restore it to working condition using Disk Management, MiniTool Partition Wizard, or SeaTools. That means it’s time for it to go.

It’s already been replaced with a different 2.5″ drive. It was mounted in a pop-out drive cage, which made it easy to remove the dead drive and drop in a live replacement. This time around, I’m going with a Seagate ST2000LX001FireCuda 2TB model, manufactured in 2020 or thereabouts. It should last for a while yet (at least 5 more years if the previous iteration is any guide). I think I’ll be OK.

Thank God for Good Backup!

I’m so glad I made the old D: drive part of my daily backup routine. I didn’t lose more than a day’s work. Now, I have to clean up the backup definition and make sure I’m still covered when the next drive fails. As they often say here in Windows-World: it’s always something!


Flaky Switch Prompts Mouse Hunt

I can tell the end is near — for my Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500, that is. In this case, a flaky switch prompts mouse hunt for a replacement. What’s going on? Sometimes, when I click the mouse nothing happens. Sometimes, when I want to left-click once, it clicks twice — and even more annoyingly, vice-versa. Alas, this means the left-side contact switch is starting to fail. I’ve ridden enough meese into the dirt to recognize that this device is at end-of-life.

When Flaky Switch Prompts Mouse Hunt, Amazon Calls…

I have to laugh. It’s going to cost me a whole whopping US$12 to replace this unit. I always buy two, in fact, so I’ll have a spare if something goes wrong with the primary. I blush to confess, therefore, that when the previous primary went south and I fired up the secondary — the one I’m using now — I neglected to order an immediate replacement. That’s why I need to order two today. Just ordered!

I’m a great believer in keeping spares around — for everything. Indeed, if this current mouse dies before its replacement shows up, I’ve got a couple of Bluetooth meese (and corresponding USB3 dongles for my desktop) that I can use in the meantime. Ditto for network interfaces, removable storage, GbE cables and switches, keyboards and more. In my experience the only spare you really, really need is the one you forgot to order when the predecessor failed.

So far, things here at Chez Tittel are OK. As a Prime member, Amazon will get me both replacements tomorrow. I’m not worried. But it’s always good to stay on top of these things.


Note Added March 30 (Morning)

Amazon came through last night after I’d left home for my Wednesday evening pool league. The Boss left them sitting out on the kitchen island for me, so I saw them as soon as I walked into the house. It’s hard to overstate the satisfaction that near-instant gratification of one’s technology needs can deliver. I’ve already got one installed on my production PC. And now I have a ready spare as well. Good-oh!


Enduring Konyead NVMe USB4 Drive Mystery

Wow! I’m really stumped. I’ve got a Konyead M.2 NVMe drive enclosure that works on only one computer right now. For a long time, I was unable to eject the drive safely. But after backing off the write caching setting for quick removal, and resetting the drive letter from F: to X:, I can now do that. But even so, if I then unplug the drive and plug it into another PC it’s unrecognizable. This enduring Konyead NVMe USB4 drive mystery is driving me nuts!

Showing Enduring Konyead NVMe USB4 Drive Mystery…

When I plug the Konyead into any compatible USB port on another PC (USB3.1 via Type A connector, or USB4 via USB-C connector) it won’t come up. If I go into Disk Management, it immediately throws an error message that says the drive must be initialized. Options offered are MBR and GPT. Choose either one, and the right-hand error box pops up citing a “fatal device hardware error.” Yet, the drive works fine on my Lenovo X1 Extreme (8th gen Intel CPU). What gives?

I’ve tried fixing it with MiniTool Partition Wizard, too. It shows me the device, but also shows it at zero length. Thus, it’s unable to access the raw disk data to find the partitions (and related tables ) that I know are on the drive.

I’ve checked the Crucial SSD’s firmware and driver: both pass the tests from Crucial Storage Executive (the maker’s diagnostic/mgmt tool for this drive). This mystery remains opaque to me. I’m galled that the device works in one PC, but not in others: what’s the point of a removable drive in those circumstances?

Next Steps…

I’ve not been able to find anything about this kind of problem via online searching. I’ll reach out to Crucial’s tech support operation and see if they’ve ever heard of anything like this before. Konyead is impenetrable: shows the NVMe enclosure, but all text is in Chinese, and the page for my device won’t come up. They do have a contact page, though, so I suppose I should give it a whirl.

Stay tuned. I won’t quit bulldogging this, but I’m afraid I’m up against what might be an intractable language and culture barrier. We’ll see.