Fixing Edge, Start Menu and Cortana slowness

Fixing Edge, Start Menu and Cortana slowness

I've had issues with my machine for months now and it was very hard to pinpoint the culprit. It resulted in:

  • Start menu freezing
  • Cortana/explorer bar search staying black for up to 30 seconds
  • Edge not wanting to open or regularly freezing

I had tried all the tricks out there, none worked:

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • sfc /scannow
  • Windows 10 app troubleshooter
  • Windows 10 search & indexing troubleshooter
  • Windows 10 windows update troubleshooter
  • Reset Edge from the Apps & Features in Settings
  • Delete edge data in the user profile folder (%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge\_8wekyb3d8bbwe)
  • Reinstall Intel and Nvidia graphics drivers
  • Install Nvidia driver without the nView extensions
  • Uninstall 3rd party virus scanner.
  • Reinstall all store apps: Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($\_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Technically the issue appeared in a few ways:

  • After starting edge the following processes would cause high-CPU and edge would crash:

    • browser_broker
    • runtime_broker
  • After opening the start menu or Cortana the following process would cause high-CPU and would freeze the start menu or Cortana for up to 30 seconds:

    • dllhost.exe
    • com surrogate
  • The event viewer would list a number of DCOM errors:

    • The server {0002DF02-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.
    • The server {2593F8B9-4EAF-457C-B68A-50F6B8EA6B54} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.
    • The server {973D20D7-562D-44B9-B70B-5A0F49CCDF3F} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.

One of the tips to remove this problem was to uninstall the Intel and Nvidia graphics drivers and have Windows reinstall them. This didn't help either but did expose me to the culprit. After reinstalling the video drivers my machine was unable to start causing a blue screen on the following driver: vdd2hookkmode.sys. To solve the blue screen issue I had to delete the following registry key:


This driver ships with the Barco ClickShare Extension Pack, a set of drivers I use to share my screen to Barco's otherwise wonderful screen sharing devices we use in our training rooms. These drivers aren't updated through Windows Update or come with an update notification of any sort and removing them solves all my issues.

Their latest driver supposedly fixes some of these issues as well. But for me Edge becomes unusable the moment I install the latest version. For now I'll have to do without presenter view when using ClickShare together with PowerPoint.

Barco has released a KB Article to respond to this issue. For now this is a work in progress.