Windows 10 Store Won’t Start

I performed the update from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on my development computer. I did not perform the clean install and choose to preserve my existing applications and files. The reason I did this is, as will be important later, is the number of development tools and applications I have will take days to get back up and running. My documents are backed up, as is the system, but a clean install will require way to much time.

After the update, everything ran smoothly for a couple weeks, until one of my projects needed me to use a VMWare virtual machine. With hesitation I installed VMWare, and fired it up, and this started the problems. Hyper-V, which I have for several Linux VM’s, cannot co-exist with VMWare. Great. I uninstalled Hyper-V to use VMWare, which ran, and I immediately started having problems. This is where the Windows Store quite working and weeks of troubleshooting started.

First thing I did is get rid of VMWare. Then I reinstalled Hyper-V. On this reboot is when my boot time started taking nearly 30 minutes. However, once I logged in, everything other than the Windows Store, and Store apps, worked normally. Mail, Camera, Weather, Store, and all universal apps, simply wouldn’t start and said to run the Store and re-install. Running the Store it just exited immediately.

I hit the forums, tried all the power shell tweaks I could find with those having no effect. I then looked at my Windows Event Log and noticed in the System and Application logs there were lots and lots of errors and warnings.

Tried the SSL enables. Tried a new user account, and had the same problems. The only action I didn’t try was the re-install Windows 10, which would require me to re-install all my applications. As I said, too much time to and not willing to do that just to get the store working.

The long boot time I suspected was a result of the 20 or so applications related to the Store that failed to start, as shown in the Application log. I used power shell to uninstall many of those store applications, and as a result my boot time dropped from 30 minutes down to about 10 minutes. Progress.

Next I started going through the errors that happened during a system restart. Cleaned up task scheduler, which had lots of Windows 7 scheduled tasks, Media Center stuff, and driver failures for hardware I no longer had in the system. All this helped, boot time became faster, but was still over 5 minutes and the Store and related apps still failed to start.

One of the errors was for the Microsoft Cryptographic Provider failing to start. Looking deeper into this, I found this post.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/cryptographic-services-failed-while-processing-the/c4274af3-79fb-4412-8ca5-cee721bda112

After going through this sequence, my boot time was back to normal, only a minute or two. Most of the errors in the Event log had been removed. However my Store was still not working.

About a week later, having made no further changes, the Store and other Apps started working.  Looking at the Windows Update history, no patches were pushed in the last week, other than the Windows Defender data file updates.

So what was the fix? I suspect, it was a little of everything, and probably the crypo fix more than any. It was preventing needed services from authenticating and causing those applications to get locked out. It just took time for resets to happen, just a guess.

Either VMWare or Hyper-V must have adjusted the permission on the driver access and caused the immediate failure.

My educated guess, given my experience with using and building crypto systems, is that when the crypto driver failed, an account associated with my machine had become locked out when trying to run apps. After I fixed the provider service and allowed sufficient time to pass for the lockout to clear (days perhaps) the authentication succeeded and the apps were again allowed to run.

If I learn any more I will update.

About Chris Snyder

Owner of Common Ground Software Solutions, LLC
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