I started having a number of problems recently on my Asus laptop, running Windows 8.1:
--When navigating to the Start Screen and trying to click on one of the apps (for example, the Maps program), the system immediately freezes and can't be recovered unless I use Ctrl-Alt-Del and sign out, then sign in again
--Unable to shut down the computer as I normally did in the past: sweeping the mouse from the right, clicking Settings-->Power-->Shut Down. The system again freezes or doesn't open these options when attempted.
--Certain desktop shortcuts no longer work: I double click on one of them and nothing happens (program won't open). The same with hyperlinks in word documents; just recently they worked fine, but now when clicked they won't navigate to the webpage. Recently I had to re-install Adobe Flash Player, but when I click on the .exe file it won't execute. Opening Windows Media Player or some other programs is the same: they freeze or don't open at all.
I can still browse the Internet and use other basic functions, but I'm wondering what might be causing all these issues suddenly to occur at once, and how to fix them? I do not recall installing any new software recently or making any notable changes to the system, so I'm at a loss as to the cause. The problem probably started within the last 1-2 weeks or so, and may have coincided with the most recent Windows update (KB3074219). I have also seen some note about "Task Host Window" preventing shutdown or signing out. Not entirely sure what that means.
I appreciate the help.