SP2 Empty Start/App Screens on Reboot

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by jrhillma, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. jrhillma

    jrhillma Member

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    The first week and a half with my SP2 (8gb/256gb) were great. This week...not so much. I've completely restored to factory twice due to stability issues. Now I have a new problem.

    When waking it from sleep last night, everything was fine. I tried to launch the TuneIn Metro app, which opened then immediately closed. I did that twice with the same result. Thinking I'd just restart the system to see if it would clear the problem, I swiped in from the right edge, touched Power then Restart. Well, actually, it said "Update and Restart". OK, sure.

    When the SP2 came back, it loaded to the lock screen just fine. I swiped up, entered my password and the Start screen loaded but was completely blank. The Apps screen is completely blank as well. I can get the charms bar to show (swipe in from right), but searching for *anything* results in a search screen that is endlessly sliding dots across the top of the screen. No results ever show.

    I tried a hard power down (hold down power button for 10 seconds), then restarting. Same results. I tried a hard power down followed by the UEFI boot (volume up and power button), installed the default certificate (thinking maybe the drive was not 'unlocking' or something), saved and exited. Same results.

    At this point, I can't even get into the restore settings to do (yet another) factory reset. Has anyone had this problem? Any thoughts on additional troubleshooting or how to fix it?

    To be frank, my satisfaction level is dropping. The SP2 shows so much promise, but ever since that first blue screen (complete with emoticon, ugh) for a crash Bth<something><something> driver, this device (well, not *this* one; I'm posting from my iPad) has been...less than stellar.

    Help?
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hang in there. Please post an update if you were able to get it working.
    Just wondering... Is it possible that you...
    - Were indexing files or folders for Search?
    - Removed an SD Card or powered off during a firmware upgrade?
     
  3. jrhillma

    jrhillma Member

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    There was no active indication of indexing going on. Maybe it runs in the background, though. The SD card was not removed until just now (for yet another reboot; also disconnected the Type 2 cover and power...no change). I don't believe it was powered off during a firmware upgrade. The last installed updates are dated 18 MAR.

    I rebooted to the blank Start screen, used Windows+X to bring up the menu and opened an elevated command prompt. I'm running "sfc /scannow" to see if that fixes anything.

    Interestingly enough, the desktop is there and just the way I left it. If I Windows Key+X and then bring up the Programs and Features window, all the apps are installed. Nothing shows up in search, though. Very, very strange behavior. I really have no desire to reinstall everything from scratch yet again. Ugh.

    Maybe it's a corrupted profile?
     
  4. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    Something is very strange. If you picked the option to keep your personal data when you do a refresh, it could be a corrupted profile
    I would create another account, and see if the problem persists in there. If everything is fine on the other account, and can't reproduce it, then we can see in transferring your stuff from the old account to the new.

    It could also be a program that you installed that causes this strange behavior. And we can't rule out a problem with the GPU or system memory (which the GPU uses). The entire Start Screen and Windows 8 Apps are all GPU rendered. The Desktop is not. Only the shell is GPU rendered (task bar, borders, etc, but not the content of a window or program. That is up to the program itself to be CPU or GPU rendered)

    You are definitely the first to report such problem that I have read on 3 big Surface Pro 2 forums I am participating in, such as this one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  5. jrhillma

    jrhillma Member

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    When I did the (first two) resets, I did a full "treat this like a new PC" restore to factory defaults. I did not keep anything (there wasn't anything locally worth saving), so the profile should have been completely removed and, thus, not the source of a corrupted profile. I would think, anyway.

    It could have potentially been a problem. As I noted, TuneIn (Metro app) would launch and immediately crash. Perhaps that was the culprit. That is interesting information about the GPU rendering for the Start/Apps screen. They were rendering, showing the background and the controls, but there were no tiles on either.

    In the process of researching (read: googling) this, there are others who had the same problem. My recollection is while they were experiencing the issue on Windows 8.1 (specifically), they were not Surface users. The hardware may not be relevant, if that is true.

    What I ended up doing was restoring to an earlier point. This sort-of worked. On reboot, I was prompted to create a new account. I did so, and upon logging in discovered a populated Start/Apps screen (albeit not having my configuration of tiles, nor all the apps I had installed post-"restore point" point in time). Instead of screwing around trying to get everything back the way I wanted it, knowing I would always have a nagging doubt that it was "clean," I did (yet another) reset to factory, including a complete wipe of the disk.

    So far, it has performed as expected. But, it's only been a day. ;)
     

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