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Server 2012 R2 Start Menu not functioning

Having an issue where the start menu on server 2012 R2 has stopped working, this has just happened randomly there is nothing in the event logs etc that would indicated a reason for it.

Every thing still works on the server fine the task bar etc but the start menu button just doesn't function any more.

We have uninstalled the GUI then installed it again with no luck.

Can some one provide some insight on this and perhaps how to fix it, its more an inconvenience than any thing else.

Server 2012 R2 is running on ESXi 5.5 UD1
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Try the link below. This is a posting from Experts Exchange. A similar issue and hopefully the solution will resolve it for you.


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Hi Jbond,

Thanks for the suggestion I checked the link there but its not the issue we are having I had already tried that fix from microsoft of adding the WInX folder.

This issue is experienced with local admin account as well, I guess I should have also mentioned that this is only one of 6 server 2012 R2 VM's running on the host but is the only one that is experiencing this issue RDP users and the local admin account don't experience this issue on any of the other server 2012 builds (they well all installed using the same fresh install, have the same updates installed and very little variables in software installed).

So its not an issue with roaming profiles we seem to be experiencing its just total lack of been able to use the start menu

Have any Windows Updates been installed recently? If possible, try uninstalling the most recent updates to see if it resolves the issue.

There has been updates installed the problem been though is this issue has been here for a month and 1/2 now, we were trying to work out a fix for the issue but have had no luck (because its more of a inconvenience thing rather than a urgent matter it got minimal attention) mean while updates have been installed since then as well, I could roll back a few months worth of updates I guess and see if that works but that could take alot of time (because I would need to uninstall one, test (probably reboot) then move onto the next).

I am surprised that I was only able to find minimal people with a "similar" issue but theirs been the roaming profile issue.

Ah.. well if it's been a month and a half then finding the (possible) update will be very time consuming as you said above.

What is the problem exactly? Does the Start Screen appear at all or does pressing the Start button do absolutely nothing? Or is the Start Screen just blank?
So the little start menu Flag is there on the bottom left of the task bar, but clicking on it right or left click does nothing at all. It's like its just a picture now no functionality at all. It's not a huge deal for me Windows key+R and use that for managing the system, but for the dev's its making things take longer than it should to get to stuff.
So do you see a blank screen when you click on the Start button or does absolutely nothing happen at all? Does this happen for all users or just existing users?

No Blank Screen, the button does nothing at all this is the case for new users that have never logged onto the machine before be that AD users or even if I create a new local user. It's like the button has lost all functionality.

Try running sfc /scannow in an elevated Command Prompt and then check the event log afterwards for any errors/warning. Make sure you restart the server afterwards as well.
Hi VBITS, Sorry about the delay I what you requested above and the event log was all clear after apart from a couple of SQL warning which were preexisting any way.

I'm fresh out of ideas about what could be causing the the issue with the start menu on this one virtual machine.
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Tried uninstalling VMware tools, and re installing no luck there. We have decided it would be more time effective to just rebuild the server and restore the data from backups so we will just proceed down that path. Thank you for the assistance though.
While the issue was unable to be addressed there was some good information provided.