Posted by: kurtsh | November 18, 2012

INFO: Windows 8 Modern apps failing to “start up”? One possible solution: Your Graphics Driver

Does this situation sound familiar on your Windows 8 PC?

You try to start up a Windows 8 ‘Modern’ app and after a short pause, the app closes and leaves you in the START menu… or the desktop?  And sometimes the desktop looks like it’s restarting the EXPLORER.EXE process and is redisplaying the taskbar, the system tray, etc.

I’ve heard of this issue popping up on a few PCs.   This is often the graphics driver you’re using.  Two things to consider:

  1. OLD GRAPHICS DRIVER?
    This may be an issue with your PC’s installed display driver.  The recent Intel integrated graphics driver update that was published on Windows Update as an optional update, for example, will fix this problem for many people that depend on the processor’s integrated GPU.  If you go to Desktop –> Control Panel –> Windows Update and look for optional updates you may see a graphics driver update that may fix this issue.
  2. DISCRETE GPU ONBOARD?
    Alternatively, on systems that have both “integrated graphics” (such as the Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics) as well as a discrete GPU onboard, such as an AMD Radeon 6630M chip, this can get hairy because it could be caused by issues with the proprietary graphics display driver (which often switches between the integrated graphics & the discrete graphics chip to minimize power consumption. 
      1. Check with your OEM for a driver update.  This is your best bet to a resolution.
      2. As a backup plan, if you can’t get an updated graphics driver from the OEM/manufacturer, consider disabling one of the GPUs in the BIOS.  This has been known to work amongst folks I know.

imageEXAMPLE:  MY SONY VAIO S – SWITCHING INTEL/RADEON GPU
One example of this is I own a Sony VAIO S (Model VPCSA25GX) and it has a switching graphics driver that leverages the onboard Intel Integration Graphics in the Sandy Bridge chipset for power efficiency when I’m using Word, Excel, blahblahblah.  But when serious graphics are required for certain things like the START page or Starcraft 2, etc. the discrete AMD Radeon HD 6630M GPU takes over.

The originally published Windows 8 driver on Sony’s web site which I wrote about HERE, was frankly buggy and resulted in Explorer crashes and Modern App crashes all the time.  Just a couple weeks ago, Sony published an updated driver on their site, a whopping 321MB file, that fixed my issues.

For those of you with a Sony Vaio S, here’s the link to the driver:


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