Since the introduction of Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system in July, users who have upgraded their computers or purchased new devices with Windows 10 pre-installed have been contending with issues centering around the Windows Start Menu and the Cortana digital assistant.
Windows 10 users attempting to launch Cortana and/or the Start Menu are receiving a "critical error" message, which claims the desired function is not operating and the system will automatically attempt a fix on the user's next sign in. The fix, however, never comes, even upon multiple sign in and reboot attempts.
Microsoft previously acknowledged the issue and promised that they were working hard on a fix for the bug. It appears that fix has now arrived in the form of Windows cumulative update KB 3093266. Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft has initiated a new policy whereby it does not detail specific contents of updates and what they are intended for. This has angered and frustrated many Windows 10 users, who feel they should be made privy to the contents of the updates they receive.
The contents of update KB 3093266, however, were revealed by a Microsoft employee who posted details on a Reddit forum. The poster's status as a Microsoft employee has not been confirmed but appears legit. The employee, known as jenmsft, stated that: "This update contains more improvements for anyone who's been seeing issues with start menu reliability or the critical error dialogs mentioning start and/or Cortana — def jump on it if you're one of those impacted. Team continues to actively investigate other underlying causes for these issues, we appreciate your patience."
Some Windows 10 users' patience are being tested, however, when they attempt to install the update. A poster in the Microsoft Answers forum details the issue he and others are experiencing: "After an apparently successful installation through Windows Update, the computer requests to be booted. During the boot, I get a message that the installation HAS NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL and then continues to boot. Going into Windows Update Advanced, I find that the update did fail."
Another forum user offered a solution, which involves deleting the contents of the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads folder, and then erasing the Windows Update history files. Windows 10 users experiencing this issue who are not comfortable attempting this fix should remain patient, as we expect Microsoft will eventually issue a patch for the purported issue.