Windows 10: Changing system time completely breaks start menu functionality on CU

Discus and support Changing system time completely breaks start menu functionality on CU in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; This might sound like a weird issue, but I can confirm it's not just me, and an inherent problem in the 1703 installation (at least using the MDSN ISO... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017.

  1. Changing system time completely breaks start menu functionality on CU

    This might sound like a weird issue, but I can confirm it's not just me, and an inherent problem in the 1703 installation (at least using the MDSN ISO with Windows 10 Pro x64 selected.)

    Tried it on my laptop (which I wanted to upgrade from Anniversary to Creator's, and wiped in the process since clean installs are always better) and also in a virtual machine to make sure it wasn't a hardware-specific problem with my laptop. Same behavior in the VM.

    Let me explain how to replicate the problem. If you guys don't believe me I can make a video, but it's pretty simple.

    First setup a Windows 10 machine from scratch. I did it without a network connection so I could turn off the annoying "auto install sponsored apps" garbage, but this shouldn't affect anything really.

    Enter your username, make a password if you want, I left that blank. I turned Cortana off and set all the privacy stuff to NO.

    Once it put me at the desktop, I opened the start menu, and unpinned everything to get rid of the default groups/bloatware.

    Then I pinned two apps to start. Which two don't matter, same behavior with anything.

    So, Windows 10 defaults to Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8) since Microsoft is in California, and unlike earlier versions it doesn't ask you during the OOBE. OK, so I changed it to Eastern time (GMT-5) - and because the clock is now 3 hours AHEAD (hint, my onboard clock was correct when running the installation, so it got "adjusted" to be the wrong time), I changed it back by 3 hours.

    Now, if I try to drag an icon around on the start menu, or even pin something to start or unpin one of those two, it doesn't work. Dragging an icon crashes the start menu (e.g. it just exits, and the icon is back where it started when I reopen it), where pinning does absolutely nothing. Unpinning appears to work, until you reboot in which case it comes back.

    Oddly, this problem doesn't happen if you do the reverse. I tried going from GMT-8 to like GMT-11 and adjusting 3 hours the other way, it didn't crash. It only does it if you go FORWARD timezones. And it also doesn't matter if you use NTP to fix the clock or not, changing it by any means (manual or online) causes the same crash.

    I should point out that it's only changing the clock from inside Windows (even in safe mode!) that does it. I tried livebooting Linux, updating the hardware clock after changing to GMT-5 in Windows, going back to Windows and it was working. BUT... changing the clock even a minute or two causes the crash again, so it's not a real solution because if your hardware clock "drifts" and you use NTP syncing as I normally do, you'll wind up right back in the same spot.

    Some more tests and observations -

    If you create a second profile after changing the timezone/clock, that profile's start menu will work fine. Until you change the clock using *that* profile, then *that* profile's start menu breaks. So another temporary workaround until this is fixed is to make a second dummy profile, fix your clock to the proper timezone (lucky folks actually living in GMT-8 won't have to worry), then use the main again.

    Changing it back to GMT-8 and manually changing the clock forward 3 hours seems to "fix" the start menu crashing.

    Changing the time forward/backwards while it's in GMT-8 seems to not cause the crash (if I recall correctly, I could be wrong about this part)

    So in short, it's only changing the clock TO GMT-5 (I'd imagine any other timezone east of GMT-8 would do the same) then changing your clock that causes a crash.

    I tried installing all of the newest updates from Windows Update to make sure I was up to date. Bug still persists. I thought maybe it was my video drivers or something so I tried this with an absolute fresh install, doing nothing but unpinning the default shortcuts and pinning new ones, and even *that* is enough to trigger the crash.

    So... this is pretty infuriating, and I'm stuck without a computer until this gets fixed. Has anyone else run into this themselves? Can I somehow bring this to Microsoft's attention so they can fix it with the next Patch Tuesday update? "Feedback Hub" or whatever is useless and probably just gets ignored.

    drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017
  2. KitBarnes Win User

    KB3093266 Has Failed to Install On My Computer Twice

    Thank you - I have the same Classic Start Menu modifications and this tip worked perfectly for me.
    KitBarnes, May 31, 2017
  3. HnyBear69 Win User
    Runtimebroker.exe high cpu

    I don't recommend doing this as it breaks certain functionality in Windows 10 and can even break the start menu all together but here are the steps needed to disable it.
    Again I strongly recommend not doing this.

    Right-click on the Start Menu Icon. Go to RUN and type regedit.exe and select OK.

    Find the following entry:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TimeBroker] "Start"=dword:00000003

    Change the 3 to a 4.

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TimeBroker] "Start"=dword:00000004

    4 is Disabled, 3 is Manual and 2 is Automatic startup.

    Before editing, the original value was 3. Set to 4 to disable. Just change the 3 to a 4 through the MODIFY menu selection, exit regedit and reboot your system.
    HnyBear69, May 31, 2017
  4. Kari Win User

    Changing system time completely breaks start menu functionality on CU

    Does not happen to me, cannot replicate your issue.

    Living expat life in Germany, constantly installing Windows in UK & US English as well as in Finnish and Swedish, I have to adjust time zone almost every time I install Windows.

    My time zone is CET UTC+1 (Central European Time, Universal Time plus one hour), currently having daylight saving time CEST UTC+2 (Central European Summer Time, Universal Time plus two hours). Only when installing German Windows do I get time zone correctly, installing for instance UK English Windows time zone defaults to United Kingdom (one hour behind my time), installing US English Windows defaults to EST / EDT (9 hours behind my time). In both of these cases I have to change time zone changing time one hour respectively 9 hours ahead.

    Installing Finnish Windows time zone defaults to Finnish time which is one hour ahead of me, forcing me adjust time one hour back.

    In none of these scenarios will something like what you described never happen. I also tested this now on VM, clean installing US English Windows which defaults to Pacific Time, then changed time zone to East Coast Time, absolutely no issues with Start or anything else.

    For your information, Microsoft is located in Redmond Washington, not in California.
  5. Right... Washington, not California, my bad. Same timezone though.

    OK, so I tested this some more - it actually has nothing to do with timezones, simply changing the clock backwards causes the issue, even if you leave it in pacific time.

    So let's say you install Windows and it has the clock set to 3:00. If you change the time and set it to 2:00, it breaks. If you change it forwards to 4:00, it doesn't break.

    I'm going to test one thing - it's possible simply waiting an hour in the above scenario will fix it and I'm just being impatient. But it's still annoying!

    If you're connected to the Internet when installing, it will attempt to sync your clock to as part of the OOBE. In that case, it shouldn't cause any issues unless you have RTC drift (which does happen, just not usually by more than a few seconds in either direction). But, I've also had a couple test installs where it didn't sync automatically despite being online, so there's that.
    drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017
  6. NavyLCDR New Member
    I set my clock back two hours. No affect at all here. I would create a new user (local with administrator privileges). Sign in to the new user account and see if it does it in that account.
    NavyLCDR, May 31, 2017
  7. OK, I just tested in a brand new VM.

    Installed it with default settings, unpinned the default pins, pinned my own stuff.

    Changed clock backwards 5 minutes, can confirm it breaks.

    Shutdown VM and wait 5 minutes - boot it back up, it works again.

    So I guess the problem does sorta resolve itself, if you just wait until your hardware clock matches the original time it did after finishing the OOBE.

    I suspect it's some sort of "security" feature with the start menu databases, but I'm not sure. Incredibly stupid either way...
    @NavyLCDR, I tried that already. The new account works fine, until you change the clock using that account. LOL
    drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017
  8. Kari Win User

    Changing system time completely breaks start menu functionality on CU

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I install Windows quite often in Finnish (my native language) and then change time zone back one hour, time in my adopted home country Germany is one hour less than in Finland. Yet, the issue you describe has never happened to me.
  9. Did you test a brand new clean install of 1703? What source did you use? I'm using the MSDN ISO.
    drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017
  10. Kari Win User
    When not deploying from my custom install.wim, I always use either MSDN ISO or Windows Insider ISO images, be it a standard clean install or a customization project in Audit Mode, but even my customized Windows images are based on install.wim file in an original Microsoft ISO.
  11. OK, so try this in a VM...

    Don't have a network connection during the initial setup (like I said, if it syncs with NTP before you sign in for the first time, the issue won't happen)

    Otherwise install as normal

    Once you're at the desktop, unpin everything and pin two apps. Confirm you can drag them around, unpin, repin.

    Now turn off "set the clock automatically" and set it backwards. Any amount of time is fine, whether 5 minutes or 5 hours.

    Try again.

    If it doesn't break for you I'll be shocked.

    What it does is if you try to drag the pins around, they just go back to their original position and won't move - unpinning them makes them come right back, and pinning anything new won't work either.

    I'm definitely thinking it's some quirk with the last modified date/time on the start menu database files, it just never seemed to do this before CU...

    Edit: Also, I'm using PRO 64-bit. I haven't tried any other editions (home, enterprise, education) or x86. I can't say if they have the same problem or not.
    drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017
  12. Kari Win User
    Windows is not meant to be installed without network connection.

    That might have something to do with your issue: if you enable "Set time automatically", then turn it back even for a minute, what should Windows think? Should it set time automatically, or should it use the wrong custom time you set?
  13. Changing system time completely breaks start menu functionality on CU

    It does the same thing if you do NTP sync it... it's just faster to set the clock manually than wait for it to sync. I did test that.

    FWIW, I did try a couple VMs where I had it online, but maybe half the time it didn't sync the time right away until after I was already at the desktop, in which case the problem occurred. I was just giving you a tip on how to guarantee the problem will happen...
    drfsupercenter, May 31, 2017
  14. Thanks man! I just experienced this issue right now, and now I just have to wait for 12 hours to make use of the start menu again... This is just...
    casshern008, Aug 15, 2017
  15. Yeah, best thing I can suggest is to just temporarily set your clock forward, arrange the start menu how you like, then set it back. You'll be prevented from making any changes until the real time catches up with the previously set time, but at least you'll be able to customize it a bit.

    You should still be able to *use* the start menu, you just can't rearrange any tiles.

    Really stupid glitch in the newest update, not sure what the actual point of this was.
    drfsupercenter, Aug 15, 2017

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