Fix: Windows Store App Crashes or Freezes in Windows 8 | 8.1

Today I’m going to share an experience I had with troubleshooting random Metro application crashes on my Windows 8. My friend had just installed Windows 8 RC on his laptop, on a new partition – so it was a fresh install and not an upgrade. The reason why I asked him to do this,  is because many a times,, upgrades may cause issues like random freezes and crashes, for no apparent reason. I’ve seen a lot of cases with Windows XP or Windows Vista upgraded to Windows 7 – so I always recommend users to perform a clean install rather than an upgrade.
surface thumb Fix: Windows Store App Crashes or Freezes in Windows 8 | 8.1

Windows Store App Crashes

In spite of a clean install, Windows 8 apps were crashing. So my first hunch was to disable all security software that were running on the machine, since it tend to sometimes interfere with Windows 8 applications that are trying to connect to the Internet. This may lead to freezing and crashes of such Metro applications. Sometime just disabling Internet security software will not fix the problem. We may need to disable it from Startup and stop all the related services and reboot to complete rule out that problem. Sadly that had no affect on the problem.

So my next step was to perform a Clean Boot i.e. disable all non-Microsoft related startup items and reboot the system. This can rule out if any other application is interfering with the Windows 8 applications. I used the method described in this post on how To Manage Startup Items In Windows 8  to do so. Sadly this didn’t help much. But when you’re troubleshooting App crashes this is an important step to try, even if Clean Boot did not help in this case.

My next step was to run the system file checker to see if any operating system files had been corrupted. Sometime users tend to use tweaking software or system file patches that could corrupt the core windows files, which can lead to stability issues on Windows. The SFC scan reported that there weren’t any problems found. But even if the result said so I had to check the logs to conform it. I have seen cases where SFC reports that there is no issues found, and still we get to see corrupted files or registry entries in the log files, which we need to manually fix. So I followed the steps provided in this post on how to analyze SFC logs in Windows 7, but strangely the logs seemed to be clean.

Then I had to go back to the basics. There are few other things that could cause the Windows apps to not work. I followed this post on how to fix Metro Tiles are not responding in Windows 8 and checked if UAC was disabled, Screen resolution of the Monitor, New Windows user account, etc. Nothing helped. I know, as a last resort I may need to have him reinstall his Windows. But I couldn’t give up so easier I never considered reinstallation of Windows as a good troubleshooting step, there is nothing like troubleshooting a complicated issue and exhausting all the available resources.

Operating System 5 errors

So I researched over all Internet, started reading all the Event logs and app crash dump files. I found something interesting, there are few Operating System 5 errors; which means that there are some permission issues going on. Seems like the user had messed up the C drive permissions. I can’t remember how may times I have advised users not to change the permission or any attributes of the root C folder; because that’s where all the boot related files and all the system files are located. If you want to change the permission, change a specific folder or file and not the whole C drive. Anyway, I searched online for the appropriate permission required for the Windows 8 application  to run properly. Luckily I found a TechNet article about Managing Client Access to the Windows Store. In that article it’s mentioned that

While configuring the access permissions on any of these resources, it is important to identify which of these resources grants access to all Metro style apps and ensure that the new effective permissions do not remove that access. When supplying the permissions in SDDL form, the security identifier (SID) for ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES is S-1-15-2-1.

So I went and gave “ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES” permission to root C folder and rebooted the system. Voilà no more crashes it worked just fine!

This is one of the most interesting and challenging troubleshooting case I have done in quite some time. It feels really good when you do so successfully.

More links to help you:

Well, I hope you guys get some tips from this article. In case you encounter any problem, do let us know.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumni and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.
  • http://www.yethz.com/ yethz

    i have recent problem with metro apps in windows 8 rp, if i click the metro apps in start screen nothing happens, it wont open all metro apps..

    do you have any ideas about it? thanks..

  • Jessica M

    This is very useful knowing the SID of that account. However, I’m pretty sure that allowing all Modern UI / Metro apps full control of your entire C: drive is asking for trouble. I suggest rather using the system refresh option which should fix that kind of permission issue.

  • jimsing59

    Good job! Thanks for sharing your troubleshooting steps in detail. I also will reinstall Windows 8 as a last resort. Sometimes it is quicker to do a reinstall but, it is more rewarding to successfully fix the Windows operating system.

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    Hello Jessica,

    Yes I know since the permissions was already screwed up my primary goal was to get the Metro to work. But your rite it’s not a good idea to give full control to entire C drive.

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    Hello Jimsing59,

    Thanks. Yes I know reinstalling Windows will fix it but where is the fun in find the problem alone and fixing it :)

  • Ron M.

    clean install was my favorite route, but Win8 actually works better installing over the working Os. winsupersite has some articles about this.

  • Bilal Ahmed Khokhar

    i m also facing problem with some metro apps, when i launch these apps, start screen of that screen appears and then strat menu appers up back

  • Gogotshi

    OMG thanks :) love you man!

  • Villaflorjess

    hi, i am having problems here, i already managed to use windows 8 on a very old netbook and also fix resolution issue and it worked well, but now i installed it in my friend’s netbook/laptop and i am facing this problem that i can’t fix even reinstalling.. problem is whenever i open any metro apps the system reboot and when it boot up it says PC RUN INTO A PROBLEM. please help me solve this thanks

  • Silvio Turello

    Same with me despite this approach was the only successful which means that there is indeed somewhere a problem with access rights. After further checking it turned out that the only missing access rights were the “read & execute, list folder contents, read” on the Windows root folder “C:Windows” (aka %windir%) for the group “ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES”. Compared to the above approach this is completely uncritical as actually everybody else has these access rights to the Windows folder (just not the Metro apps initially). I hope that helps everybody who was almost there with Metro apps :-)

  • Vergil Yamato

    you got that right!

  • Vergil Yamato

    I hope you can hear me
    I have read that there is some bios tweak or something like changing option in bios
    and if you have or he 2 dvd drive turn 1 off while installing windows 8 :)

  • Venkat Eswaran

    HI.
    I id a mistake in changing the permission settings in my C drive which ended up in a mess getting no access to my c drive hopefully i got it reading some of the suggestions in some blogs. but my windows apps are not working as it was… i tried the technique above but still its not working. it opens and within seconds it gets minimized. please find me a solution to this i’m really stuck with this issue. please suggest a method other than a clean install of the OS.

    need ur support….. :(

  • Daniol71

    Can you please explain how you give root access to ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    Give full permission to C drive

  • Ramizraza Sheikh

    Sir,

    I have problem with Windows 8.
    before activation the metro apps work great.
    After Activation

    I checked that it is activated or not.

    It was activated.

    The problem that I am Facing now is that the METRO APPS like.. music, store, weather, people, message, etc open but it need to update new version.
    Also it shows error that “You are not connected to internet. Please check the connection and try again.”
    But internet is well working on browser an desktop.

  • Shane

    What do I do If I don’t even have “ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES” ?

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    It might be a hidden folder. Enable the hidden files folders

  • Traye Kline

    ok im at the system 32 folder but how do i change the permissions? do i give it full control? i cant seem to be able to tick the full control box after i select edit

  • Traye Kline

    any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran
  • Matthias Voigt

    Just read about this. My windows freezes on starting some apps, even after reinstalling windows. When I try adding ALL APP PACKAGES permissions I got a lot of errors.

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