Windows Errors

Fixed: Unknown Hard Error on Windows 10


Unknown Hard Error Overview

Windows 10 unknown hard error can appear in any case when you are using the PC, whether you try to login into Windows 10, or play games, or close an application.

Among all the cases of the hard error, sihost.exe unknown hard error and that of CTF loader pop up most frequently.

It is said that if you are unable to open a file or launch an application and prompted the Desktop is not available error, unknown hard error explorer.exe will also display before you.

Here comes the system warning you will get:

C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or your network, and then try again. If it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location.

And since it is an unknown hard error, sometimes it is no use restarting Windows 10. So you can’t open or run any programs except Task Manager elevated by Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

Or for some users, you will accidentally stumble upon the unknown hard error after Windows 10 updates, especially after Windows 10 April Update 1803 and Windows 10 latest update 1809.

Whatever situation you are in, once you encounter a sihost.exe unknown hard error or any other hard problems, it is likely that your PC will turn into the problem of the black screen with cursor or Blue screen of death or the program icons on your Desktop going away on Windows 10.

All these consequences brought by ctfmon.exe unknown hard error will prevent you from using your computer smoothly.

Therefore, you are supposed to learn more about this unknown hard error on Windows 10, 8, 7 and get useful ways to fix this Windows 10 latest update problem of unknown hard error.

What is and why Does Unknown Hard Error Occur to Windows 10?

The unknown hard error comes up when you are to launch an application, or you are playing games, or you have just updated Windows 10. No one can ensure you what leads to the unknown hard on Windows login. That is what it means. So you need to troubleshoot your PC for this sihost.exe unknown hard error on Windows 10.

But with deeper research, the main causes of this unknown error after update can be:

1. Corrupted files, like explorer.exe, sihost.exe and ctfmon.exe

2. Local disk issues

3. System conflict

As you can see, normally, Windows 10 unknown hard error can’t be talked with sihost.exe and the ctfmon.exe as these two .exe files are the main culprits of your update problem.

In this way, prior to specific ways towards ctfmon.exe unknown hard error on Windows 10, it is necessary to get through both the sihost.exe and CTF Loader on Windows 10.

What is Sihost and Should it be Removed?

Sihost refers to Shell Infrastructure Host, which is a vital component of the Windows system. And being one of the executive files, the sihost.exe runs the Shell Infrastructure Host.

It is said that Shell infrastructure Host aims to control the elements of the graphics on your operating system, such as Taskbar and Start menu.

What’s more, Sihost is also used to display Windows applications on Windows interface and manage some background behavior, like changing Windows 10 wallpaper.

Judging from what the sihost.exe do on Windows systems, you can safely arrive at the conclusion that sihost.exe can’t be removed from Windows 10.

What is a sihost.exe virus? In the normal case, it would not be a threat to your PC. But if you failed to find it in C:\Windows\system32 folder, perhaps it implies your sihost.exe has been corrupted.

And maybe that is why the sihost.exe unknown hard error happens to you on Windows 10. You need to take measures to fix sihost.exe file error for your computer.

What is Ctfmon.exe?

The CTF is the abbreviation of Collaborative Translation Framework. And ctfmon.exe is in charge of Windows 10 alternative user input in Microsoft Office and official language bar.

For instance, if you feel like changing the speech or language for your PC, it is the ctfmon working on Windows 10.

On that occasion, you can decide to enable or disable this ctfmon.exe on Windows 10 depending on whether you need it to control the language and speech recognition.

But as long as the ctfmon.exe unknown hard error appears on your PC, you would better choose to stop it from running to see if it works for your Windows 10 updating issue. The following content will show you how to disable ctfmon.exe for Windows 10.

How to Fix Unknown Hard Error on Windows 10?

Of course, for some of you, it is also likely that you run into any other .exe unknown hard error on Windows 10, such as explorer.exe unknown hard error.

From this perspective, you are to try methods not only to fix sihost.exe and ctfmon.exe unknown hard errors on Windows 10 but also some other unknown issues.

Before diving into this unknown hard error after Windows 10 update, if you stumble upon the black screen, choose to hit Ctrl + Shift + Alt to go to Task Manager to check if it runs. Or choose to sign out and then sign in with another user account.

Possibly, your unknown hard error black screen has disappeared from Windows 10. Otherwise, you need to go further to fix unknown hard error on Windows 7, 8 and 10.


1: Clean Boot Windows 10

2: Check and Fix Disk Errors

3: Run SFC and DISM Tools

4: Run the CHKDSK Tool

5: Disable Ctfmon.exe to fix Unknown Hard Error on Windows 10

6: Run Explorer.exe New Task

7: Uninstall Windows 10 Latest Updates

Solution 1: Clean Boot Windows 10

You firstly should clean boot Windows 10. Therefore, your PC runs in a minimal set of programs and startup items, which can make it easier to troubleshoot ctfmon.exe unknown hard error on Windows 10.

1. Input MSConfig in the search panel and then hit Enter to move into System Configuration.

2. Under the General tab, find out Selective startup and then uncheck the box of Load startup items.

uncheck load startup items

3. Then under the Services tab, tick the box of Hide all Microsoft services and then choose to Disable all.

check hide all

4. Under the Startup tab, click Open Task Manager.

click task manager

5. Then in Task Manager, select the enable startup task and then hit Disable to stop it from working.

disable startup item

Here you can disable Realtek Audio service to see if it can fix sihost.exe unknown hard error on Windows 10.

6. Reboot Windows 10 and the black screen disappeared. You can play games and do any other activities as you like.

Solution 2: Check and Fix Disk Errors Automatically

Just as what has been discussed, local disk issue is one of the reasons why unknown hard error by Sihost.exe or ctfmom.exe occurs to Windows 10, so there is much need for you to fix disk errors with Advanced SystemCare.

It will offer a toolbox named Disk Doctor to troubleshoot the errors in every and each local disk drive, including the ones storing Sihost.exe and ctfmon.exe files.

For another thing, if Sihost.exe unknown hard error is caused by less available disk space, it is also accessible to free up disk space using Disk Optimize in Advanced SystemCare.

Firstly, try Advanced SystemCare Disk Doctor to Fix Disk Errors Automatically:

1. Download, install and run Advanced SystemCare.

2. Then under Toolbox tab, locate and click Disk Doctor to get it within the software immediately.

3. In IObit Disk Doctor, Select the disk to be analyzed and then hit Next.

Here you can either choose to analyze a disk drive such as local disk C or all disk drives.

4. You can see Disk Doctor is analyzing the selected disk drives.

5. In Analysis results, click Finish if No errors found or Fix if there are errors in the disks.

If an unknown hard error has been resolved successfully after Disk Doctor fixed the disk errors, your Sihost.exe unknown hard error may be due to the disk error in fact. But if it failed, you can also choose to optimize the disk to see if it helps.

Use Advanced SystemCare to optimize disk usage on Windows 10:

6. In Advanced SystemCare, under Clean & Optimize, check the box of Select All and then Scan for these items.

You can also choose to perform Disk Optimization solely as you wish.

7. Hit Fix to fix all the related things to optimize the system.

Possibly, an unknown hard error will disappear if the problematic programs, disk drives, and files are removed.

To a great extent, Advanced SystemCare will help you fix system issue and disk errors, thus getting rid of Windows 10 Sihost.exe unknown hard error.

Solution 3: Run SFC and DISM Tools

Firstly, since this unknown hard error can mostly be caused by the sihost.exe and ctfmon.exe file, there is much need to search for the virus or threat in system files.

Here it is advisable to make full use of Windows-based tools – System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Imaging Servicing Management (DISM) to examine your PC.

1. Type in Command Prompt in the search box and then right click the result to Run as administrator.

2. In Command Prompt, enter sfc/scannow and then press Enter key to execute SFC.

begin system scan

After that, you will be reminded if there is any corruption on Windows 10 that gives rise to unknown hard error Windows 10 black screen.

And you can attempt to run DISM to fix imaging problems on your PC.

3. In Command Prompt, copy and paste the commands below and hit Enter to run them one by one.

input dism commands

4. Restart your PC.

Hence, the corrupted system files will be detected and corrected by Windows 10 System File Checker, including sihost.exe and ctfmon.exe files.

Solution 4: Run the CHKDSK Tool

As disk error is also one of the reasons for explorer.exe or a sihost.exe unknown hard error, you would better decide to check local disk condition for Windows 10.

To perform a CHKDSK disk checking tool, just run its command in Command Prompt.

In Command Prompt, input chkdsk /f /r and then run it by hitting Enter keyboard key.

chkdsk f r

After a while, this CHKDSK tool will display you the performance of your disk.

If nothing wrong but Windows 10 latest problem of unknown hard error remains on your PC, use more ways to tackle it.

Solution 5: Disable Ctfmon.exe to fix Unknown Hard Error on Windows 10

Once you find the warning message when you are using the programs related to the ctfmon.exe files, like the Start menu.

You need to disable the ctfmon.exe process on Windows 10 for the purpose of removing ctfmon.exe unknown hard error on Windows 10.

1. Right-click the start menu and then choose Task Manager from the list. Or, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Delete combination key to open Task Manager if you are encountering unknown hard Windows 10 black screen error.

2. In Task Manager, under the Processes tab, scroll down to find out and then right click CTF Loader to End task.

disable ctfmon.exe

Instantly you stopped ctfmon process, reboot Windows 10 to take effect. And when you login in again, you will notice the unknown hard error perish.

Solution 6: Run Explorer.exe New Task

Now that explorer.exe unknown hard error is also possible, why not try method towards File Explorer. In case you meet with File Explorer problems on Windows 10, here you are strongly recommended creating a new explorer.exe task.

1. Go to Task Manager.

2. In Task Manager, click File on the top left corner to Run new task.

3. Then in Create new task window, enter explorer.exe and then hit OK to save changes.

create explorer.exe new task

That will navigate to File Explorer where you can find the files you need and check if the sihost.exe and ctfmon.exe files are in folder C:\Windows\System32.

Solution 7: Uninstall Windows 10 Latest Updates

Due to the fact that many of users hit upon sihost.exe or explorer.exe unknown hard error on Windows 10 right after Windows 10 latest update, it means that something goes wrong with the updates for Windows 10, such as Windows 10 update 1803 and 1809.

In this sense, you have to manage to remove the updates in order to make unknown hard error after Windows 10 update go away from your computer.

1. Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security.

2. Under Windows Update, locate View update history.

update history

3. Then hit Uninstall Updates.

uninstall updates

Here you can see the update history and it is accessible to remove a certain update.

4. Restart Windows 10.

Then Windows 10 will not in system conflict as you can try to install the updates again. Maybe this time Windows 10 update won’t cause you any trouble, like an unknown hard error.

To sum up, in terms of unknown hard error on Windows 10, be it a sihost.exe unknown hard error or ctfmon.exe or Windows 10 latest update problem, you can make an attempt to get rid of it by way of fixing file, disk, system errors.

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Jane He
Jane is a tech-writer and content writer with an endless passion for exploring computer problems and technologies. She loves solving problems and helping others with challenges in dealing with technical problems. Hence, she has been writing articles for to provide technical support and suggestions for people.

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