Back in July my version of Windows 10 got corrupted somehow (posted about it here, I think, ended up having to get it reinstalled). Got it back quickly, worked well for about 2 months...then, about two weeks ago, it started acting up in the same way - Task Host Window at shutdown, Microsoft/Windows programs (Word, etc) stopped working, search was iffy, so on. Obviously I wasn't too happy about the prospect of having to get it reinstalled again, and I didn't know what was causing 10 to screw up again. A few days later I was still trying to get to the bottom of the issue. I had the file explorer open, it got stuck, and I went to Task Manager and shut down Windows Explorer. I restarted and everything went back to normal. I thought I was in the clear. Flash forward to this past Wednesday, and the issue happened again. I did the same thing (shut down Windows Explorer, restarted) and I was back to normal...again. It didn't go as smoothly this time - I got a black screen following the startup window after trying to restart twice and I got something about a disk check - but it knocked that off and went through the disk check smoothly enough. Clearly something doesn't want to be fixed for good.
I wonder if this has something to do with my VPN (Private Internet Access). When the first corruption (or whatever it was) happened 2 weeks ago, I would still be connected to the VPN server but I wouldn't have internet access unless I disconnected. In addition, the icon changed a day or so before the issue started up (going from an icon of a computer screen, which has always been the default icon for me whenever I've used it) to the normal internet icon. The IP addresses also differ, though they both come from Toronto (server location). I honestly don't know and for all I know it's completely irrelevant, or the issues with it are just symptoms of whatever's going on with the OS. I suppose I could go to PIA's support forums or email their customer support, but I'd like to see if the problem is unrelated to the VPN or not. I don't want to delete the VPN as of now, however. If I can't get this resolved and/or it keeps cropping up, I want to keep the program on when I send it off for repairs so the person who fixes it can check it out and see if it's causing it, or if it's something that will happen again in the future.
So, that's that. As of right now it's cooperating and working well (knock on wood) but I don't know how long that's going to go for. I'd really like to see if I can get to the root of this problem for when/if it shows up again. Obviously I'm far from a computer expert but I like to think I have some knowledge about how these things work...and this is just mindboggling. I don't think updates have anything to do with whatever's going on here. It updated on Friday (got fixed the prior Sunday) and from everything I can tell, those at least went off without a hitch.
As always, thanks for any help that can be provided. I'm just at a loss with this. At least, with prior issues there's been something concrete or easily identifiable, but this is ridiculous. It's a new computer that does run well even with all this nonsense going on and I really don't think there's anything wrong with it physically, so....
List of issues that cropped up each time this happened:
- Windows/Microsoft programs (Word, WMP, etc) didn't load.
- Search function would be spotty at best.
- TeamViewer wouldn't connect even with a working connection.
- Network icon disappears, though connection remains unaffected.
- VPN would be connected but the internet connection would be down unless VPN was disconnected.
- Task Host Window (and sometimes TeamViewer) popups at shutdown requiring manual shutdown