Finally Fix Cortana Search Crashing after Two Characters Typed on Windows 10

Yesterday my computer started exhibiting this bizarre behavior where typing two characters in the Cortana Search would crash the entire Taskbar – typing in the start button area would have the same behavior. I immediately tried the basic things first like restarting Cortana, Windows Explorer. I checked Services to make sure the Search service was running. Nothing helped.

(Pro Tip: In order to use the search feature to quickly open apps while this problem persists, type elsewhere and then cut/paste it into Cortana and press enter.)

Fruitless Attempts to Fix Cortana Search Crashing after Two Characters Typed

So like any sane person I immediately did a malware/virus scan with Windows Defender, SuperAntiSpyware, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, as well as searched Google for answers when the scans were done. I ended up at this page first and ended up running SFC to no avail, which is why I hadn’t already done it.

However, DISM initially wouldn’t run due to an “Access Denied” error and after more Google searching I ended up here, which said an antivirus’ real-time protection could be blocking access to System32. However, I generally rely on good judgment, a firewall, and weekly virus scans rather than real-time protection so I didn’t think that was my case but I decided to check the Event Viewer. There were tons of “Unable to start a DCOM Server: The error: “740” Happened while starting this command” Errors. I decided to check Windows Firewall – Windows Firewall wouldn’t open.

Now I was suspicious. I decided to see if Windows Update had ran recently – it too would not open. So, it had definitely ran and screwed up my PC, which is a windows 7 “upgraded” to Windows 10 machine that’s been up and running for 4-5 years without a clean re-install, a recipe for disaster.. It’s good that I had not tried the other suggestions in the first Google searches for “Cortana Crashes Two Characters Typed” which told me that I needed to run Powershell to reinstall Cortana, or basically just start over and make a new Windows User account.

Cortana Search Crashing after Two Characters Typed because SearchUI.exe 0xc0000005

Event Viewer also showed me a few “Faulting application name: SearchUI.exe, Faulting module name: ConstraintIndex.Search.dll, Exception code: 0xc0000005” errors and after searching google I ended up at this Sysnative post that suggested Tweaking.com’s Repair Tool to fix the issue. Aside from CCleaner I generally stay away from “Repair Tools”, especially unknown registry cleaners and other tools that mess with system files like DLLs.. However, because my PC was screwed and I was losing hope, plus I remembered using Tweaking.com’s repair tool a time before to fix a small issue like thumbnails or context menus, I relented and tried it.

I ran the Preset Repairs for “Windows Update” with two extra options enabled, “27.02 – Repair windows 8/10 App Store (Completely Rest App Store)” and “28 – Repair windows 8/10 Component Store”, all free options. After 20 minutess of watching DOS windows check files and reset permissions and restarting my PC, all was well except Search was still crashing. Back to square one, sort of. At least now I just have one problem to deal with and not a dozen.

ConstraintIndex.Search.dll Key to Cortana Search Crashing – Solved with Regedit and Blind Faith

I did one more Google search for just “Faulting module name: ConstraintIndex.Search.dll, Exception code: 0xc0000005” and ended up at this Microsoft Answers post that suggested making a backup of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search in the registry and then deleting the whole entry to reset Windows Search. I tried it, and it worked. So far, so good!

Moral of the story… Use Google Search, as many times as it takes! Oh, and Tweaking.com saved the day again, part of it at least.


How use Python, or Any Program, via CMD Prompt without Full Path

For Windows 7/8/8.1/10:

  1. Right-click on “My Computer” or “This PC”.
  2. Select “Properties”.
  3. Click “Advanced System Settings”.
  4. Click “Environment Variables”.
  5. Under the “System Variables” sub-section select the Variable Path and click “Edit”.
  6. Append “;C:\Python27” to the existing path, click “Ok”, and “Ok” again.
  7. Restart CMD Prompt for the new path setting to take effect.

Source: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11287597/how-to-make-python-accessible-via-cmd-prompt-without-full-path

Fix Remote Desktop Problem Windows 10 Faulting module name: vorbis.acm

I was having a problem recently with Remote Desktop connections not working, Remote Desktop would just exit without any error while trying to connect. I checked Event Viewer and saw this entry:

Faulting application name: mstsc.exe, version: 10.0.14393.447, time stamp: 0x5819bc5f
Faulting module name: vorbis.acm, version: 0.0.3.6, time stamp: 0x50a51541Exception code: 0xc0000005

So after searching for problems with RDP related to vorbis.acm I found this article discussing the same problem in Windows 8.1 x64.

It turns out that a recent install of FL Studio 12 introduced vorbis.acm to my system which is not compatible with mstsc.exe in 64-bit machines, which I found strange since the FL Studio 12 install from Image Line has both a 32-bit and 64-bit version.

So what was the fix to get Remote Desktop working again? Well, just rename the “vorbis.acm” file located in C:\Windows\System32 to “vorbis.acmBAK” and RDP will start working again! Sure, it’s a temporary work-around, but at least you can connect to remote machines!

Failed to Install HCMon Driver Error Installing VMware Workstation on Windows Fix

I was installing VMware Workstation 12 Pro yesterday and I kept getting this “Failed to install hcmon driver” error at the very end of the install, and each time it would undo the install and I’d be left with nothing.

After a few Google searches I found this page in the VMware Knowledge Base and learned the problem was pretty stupid, but easy to fix.

See, I also manage a 32-core 128gb ram server running VMware ESXi 6 in my office and in order to connect to that VMware host I use the VMWare vSphere client. Apparently the vSphere client conflicts with the VMware Workstation installation so I had to uninstall it.

After removing the vSphere client I no longer got the “Failed to install hcmon driver” error while installing VMware Workstation 12.

Once I installed Workstation, the vSphere Client reinstalled perfectly fine.

Also, remember to restart your machine after installs and uninstalls to avoid other issues that can arise from not restarting!

MSI Failed Error While Uninstalling or Installing VMWare Workstation on Windows Fix

The other day I was trying to uninstall and then upgrade my VMware Workstation from version 10 to 12 and I kept getting an “MSI ” Failed” Windows Error.

Turns out it helps to stop not only VMware programs running via Task Manager, but to also stop the VMware Windows Services. After that, VMware Workstation 10 uninstalled successfully and I was able to install VMware WS 12 with no problems!

Well, there was one problem involving an hcmon drive error, but it was an easy fix.

Note: Restart your machine after installs/uninstalls so other issues don’t arise! (This is important!)