TimeBroker Kills The Metro/Modern UI

My Windows 8 Start Screen (or metro/modern UI) was killed yesterday by the TimeBroker service. The Start Screen was repeatedly frozen for minutes and intermittently released for few seconds. If it happens, the windows application log should complain an error as follows:

Log Name: Application
Source: Application Error
Event ID: 1000
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
Description:
Faulting application name: svchost.exe_TimeBroker, version: 6.2.9200.16420, time stamp: 0x505a9a4e
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: 6.2.9200.16451, time stamp: 0x50988aa6

Chances are that some timer-related Windows Store Apps, say reminder, scheduler, stop watch and the like, might negatively impact the low-level timing operations. According to Noori, he suggests the Tile Time app might have caused problems.

This costs me for 10 work hours to solve it. If you are suffered from the same problem, don’t waste your time blindly uninstalling the apps you’ve installed or examining, upgrading or re-installing the devices, or rebooting again and again. Just disable the TimeBroker service and reboot your Windows 8 to uninstall the problematic timer-related Apps. Since we don’t know which app is the killer, so uninstall suspicious Apps and reboot to test the result one by one. However, the Tile Time app is the number one to be killed!

To be reminded, even though the Start Screen got frozen, the system is still responsive, slowly though. The following is the how to rescue your Windows 8:

  • Upon logging in, click the Desktop tile in 2 seconds to switch to the traditional desktop environment that is more responsive. If you are not succeeded, keep pressing the Windows key and you would win a few seconds when the system is responsive.
  • Press the shortcut combination: Windows key + R, type in “cmd” and click OK.
  • In the command window, type in “regedit” and hit enter
  • Search and navigate to the registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TimeBroker
  • Modify the “Start” value to “4” (4 for disabled; 3 for manual).
  • Reboot the system and the Start Screen should work normally for you to uninstall Apps.
  • Click the Market tile to uninstall the suspicious timer-related Apps and reboot to test the result one by one until the problem is solved. (You don’t need to use PowerShell to uninstall Apps as stated in the reference 2, it’s for your information only.)
  • Restore the “Start” value to “3” and reboot.
  • done!

Good luck to you!

TimeBrokerErrorLog

The error log

DisableTimeBroker

Modify TimeBroker Start Type

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6 thoughts on “TimeBroker Kills The Metro/Modern UI

  1. thedevapps December 21, 2012 at 12:02 am Reply

    The problem was not caused by the Live Tile Timer app, published by TheDev, but by the other app you have installed, Tile Timer. You granted access to some background process that killed your system. Live Tile Timer do not run in background, so cannot kill your system.

    • wentzwu December 21, 2012 at 12:14 am Reply

      Thanks for feeding me back. I removed comments about Live Tile Timer. In fact, I didn’t install Tile Timer, but probably was confused by the other two apps. By the way, how can you respond so quickly as the post was published?

  2. paritycheck December 21, 2012 at 12:28 am Reply

    I ran into a similar issue in that I downloaded an App that had a memory leak. The program was called The Time. Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 cents – be careful what you download.

    • wentzwu December 21, 2012 at 10:31 am Reply

      You are right. I should have read more ratings and comments. Thanks for sharing.

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