Settings won't open

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Windows Central Question

This is a well-known problem and I've tried various solutions found Googling, without success, obviously.

1. The machine came with Win 8, which I upgraded to Win 10, without problems.
2. A few weeks ago I decided it needed Resetting (can't remember why).
3. Now Settings flashes open and immediately disappears. This means many of the solutions offered are not accessible. It won't open from Start, from a shortcut or from Notifications.
4. Display Settings is similar. Opening it produces a message 'ms-settings:display - This file does not have a program associated with it' etc.
5. About Windows shows blanks under user name and org name, although it is properly licensed.
6. Chrome would only work if made compatible with Win 8, although before the Reset it had been fine.
7. The time shows as 12 hours wrong. Of course I can't reset it from Settings.
8. I seem to remember that when I Reset the first time (I've tried again since) Windows refused to accept the correct password and I had to use the old one. Now when it opens it presents a Login button on which I click and it opens. I had had it set up to open without a password login.

I'm guessing that this is some sort of identity crisis. If Windows thinks I'm a different user, maybe it won't open Settings? But how do I log in as the correct user, particularly without access to Settings>User Accounts?


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Nov 12, 2012
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The last time I had a Windows install do that (with broken Settings functionality among some other quirks) I accidentally partitioned an unknown amount of the install away in a Linux mistake on my part.

I would consider breaking out Command Prompt and using the sfc /scannow command and DISM. How to use DISM command-line utility to repair a Windows 10 image | Windows Central

But honestly, there are serious issues here and I'm thinking we may need to cut our losses with a clean install here since that's what it took for me.

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