Windows 10 start menu does not work?

The windows 10 start menu stopped working a couple of days ago.  It is not even available with the right click of the mouse.  It takes forever for the task bar to load and during that period the screen (monitor) flickers about 10 times.  Up until a couple of days ago this machine was working perfectly.  I was able to access by way of the task manager the sfc /scannow utility and ran it but it found no problems.  My guess is that this problem has been caused by a windows update this week.  I am not able to go to a restore point...with windows 10 that is a different sequence...the function keys do not work in terms of allowing one to go into safe mode.  Apparently with windows 10 you must get in to safe mode by using the start button and then doing a restart while holding down the shift key.  What is your take on all of this and what do you recommend to solve this problem.  I have a backup on hand on an external drive.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows updates have not caused any issue with a machine working properly. Try the following - SFC first and test.

For System Repair Functions:

System File Checker:

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW.
Allow to complete, restart or, preferably, shut down the computer and then start up again.
Test to see if the problem has been corrected.


Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
Restart the computer and test.
Did you maybe use some registry cleaner software? If you did - restore backup from registry cleaner software... I had such issue with registry cleaner on few client's computers. Problem was caused in this case with Free window registry repair.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
I am assuming that I must have this computer online in order to run the DISM options that you referred to.  Is that correct?  Keep in mind that I was able to run the sfc /scannow test and it said everything was okay.  I am in the process of installing a wireless adapter to make it possible for this PC to be online.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
SFC will work locally, and any time I have run DISM, I have been connected to the internet.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
What does DISM do?  My guess is that it compares the operating system on the PC with a known good version of that operating system and if it finds errors it tries to correct those errors.  Is this your understanding?   Thanks,
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management )
/online means that the image being serviced is 'online' as in in use .. like a disk can be online or offline.

has nothing to do with being on the internet
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
DISM is a stronger repair tool than SFC. It can fix more problems from the good files stored on the computer. I have used it a couple of time very successfully.
Go to safe mode and use your restore point, that us what it's meant for.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
I tried the solutions suggested and was not successful.  The Start button does not work...right click on the start button does not work,  and therefore I am unable to access the commands mentioned in your very much appreciated help suggestions.  You cannot get in to safe mode in the traditional manner and go to a restore point.  The function keys do not work in windows 10  the way they worked with previous versions of Windows.  DISM and sfc /scannow did not work either.  This is one screwed up computer and I honestly believe it is the windows update that caused this.  Prior to this week's update everything was working okay.  I realize the jury is out on this one but I have worked with computers long enough to know when going back to square one is required.  This evening I reinstalled windows 7 and I am looking forward to getting back to a state of normalcy.
I am not rewarding any points because that would be difficult to do given the circumstances.  I will be closing out the question.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Since Windows 10 was installed, you can reinstall Windows 10 with the media creation link because the licensing is stored in the Microsoft Store server system.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
I've had that problem intermittently the short term fix was to ctrl-alt-del to bring up task manager  go to details and end all explorer tasks and then file | run new task explorer
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
None of the answers provided a solution to this problem.  As I indicated in my recent response I believe that it is a windows 10 update that caused this problem.  Anyway, I appreciate the help offered very much.  As an update, I had to reinstall windows 7 and fortunately the user of this computer had a full backup.
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