Unable to invoke Start menu or other Taskbar options after upgrade to Windows 10 version 1809

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Article ID: 173052

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Updated On:

Products

Endpoint Protection

Issue/Introduction

If Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) is installed on Windows 7 SP1, you may experience the following issues after upgrading to Windows 10 version 1809 (Windows 10 build 17763, AKA "Redstone 5" or RS5): inability to invoke the Start menu or other Taskbar Options like the Windows Button, Search Bar, and Edge -- process crashes.

This may occur particularly when SEP's ADC (Application and Device Control) component is installed.

Cause

Metro Apps fail to load Symantec's sysfer.dll (DLL for ADC) because the Windows upgrade process is not setting privilege group "ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES" for Symantec and other third-party modules. 

Environment

Upgrade of Windows 7 SP1 to Windows 10 version 1809 with SEP Application and Device Control (ADC) installed.

Resolution

When upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, be sure to use the latest installation source. Or ensure that latest updates are downloaded during the process. This issue has been resolved in December 11, 2018 update KB4471332 from Microsoft. If no updates are installed during the upgrade, the issue described in this article will still occur.  

If Windows has already been upgraded and is in a state where you are unable to invoke Start menu or other Taskbar options, you can implement the following work around

[Work Around 1]

Adding "ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES" default permissions to C:\Windows\System32\sysfer.dll and rebooting. 

  1. Navigate to C:\Windows\system32.
  2. Right-click on sysfer.dll and choose Properties.
  3. Switch to Security tab.
  4. Determine that "All Application Packages" group is missing.
  5. Click Edit and then click Add to add the group.
  6. Reboot the computer 

[Work Around 2]

Moving the SYSFER.DLL out of the System32 folder and copying it back.  The copy and paste operation will replace permissions with those appropriate for the parent folder.

  1. Navigate to C:\Windows\system32.
  2. Move sysfer.dll from C:\Windows\system32 folder to a different location
  3. Copy sysfer.dll back to C:\Windows\system32 folder

This will allow Windows to set the privilege automatically.