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Windows 7: ShellFolderFix - Manage folder window positions/size

18 Feb 2010   #111

W7
 
 

LOVELY!

The last tweak issue with Windows 7 solved with this nice little tool!

Well, almost. I install it but it won't autostart properly. Neither can I change any settings. I get an error when I press OK. "Unable to create shortcut int Startup folder.". If I place a shortcut in Startup manually, it opens up non-minimized as my computer boots (even when that option set, incl run with Admin rights).

If I start it manually, it starts minimized and works - although only with the default settings.

What could be the problem?

I've moved and reset the Startup folder, I've made sure the reg key for it points to the right place. I also use ClassixShell to get the old version of the startmenu, but tried without that running, and still I get the same error.

(Windows 7/x64)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2010   #112

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fawkrin View Post
Well, almost. I install it but it won't autostart properly. Neither can I change any settings. I get an error when I press OK. "Unable to create shortcut int Startup folder.". If I place a shortcut in Startup manually, it opens up non-minimized as my computer boots (even when that option set, incl run with Admin rights).

If I start it manually, it starts minimized and works - although only with the default settings.

What could be the problem?
That's very strange, sounds like some kind of issue with access rights for the process since you can't change settings (or have it write the shortcut). Those settings are written to the current user registry section, which you always should have write access to AFAIK.

The reason it doesn't start minimized is also due to it failing to write to the registry. You can bypass that particular effect by adding "/autostart" to the shortcut command line:

C:\...blabla...\ShellFolderFixUI.exe /autostart

However that's not an ideal solution since you'll still have the problem of it not writing other settings to registry.

I don't really know why it isn't allowed to write to the registry (or disk), do you have some other security software installed? The only thing to do, I can think of right now, is to open the Task Manager (right click on empty area of start menu and pick Start Task Manager) and look under "Processes" tab. Search for "ShellFolderFixUI.exe" in the list and see if the "User Name" column matches your user name.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #113

W7
 
 

Very strange indeed, and I have no other similar issues. Or any issues really, except Windows 7 being what it is.

I can open and edit the registry, have done so to tweak the system (nothing that breaks it).

Security software is basically what comes along, apart from AVG v9. Tried with that disabled, same effect. Not that's a guarantee its actually off, this kind of software has the habit of not shutting down (which usually is a good thing).

ShellFolderFix is started and run by me yes. And surprise, the /autostart didn't really help. The main window still pops up. The other programs in startup does not.

Just to make sure, I double checked rights on all important folders, all ok, most allowed for write to "everyone", and read only not set.


Uhm, now I get another error when I try to change settings: "Unable to delete shortcut from Startup folder, reason unknown."

It's getting better...

Anyone having a clue? Can I get a sample or list of the usual registry entries? If so I can edit and import... I searched it, and found details about the installation and such, so it has definetely written to registry...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Feb 2010   #114

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fawkrin View Post
ShellFolderFix is started and run by me yes. And surprise, the /autostart didn't really help. The main window still pops up. The other programs in startup does not.
Now that's really really strange, that should be technically impossible . The code to display the dialog is completely circumvented if /autostart is specified.

That it displayed it without /autostart made sense, because then it used a registry key to check if it's the first time run, and since it can't write to the registry it always thinks it's the first time, but with /autostart that doesn't happen. I'm stumped.

Quote:
Uhm, now I get another error when I try to change settings: "Unable to delete shortcut from Startup folder, reason unknown."

It's getting better...
I don't think that is strange though. It doesn't have write access so it can't delete the shortcut, and since the default settings are used it thinks autostart should be disabled so it tries to delete it.


Hmm, if I understood it right you used the installer so this shouldn't be able to happen, but is there any chance it's running the 32-bit version? Check the task manager and see if it says "*32" next to ShellFolderFixUI.exe process.

Also did the process have the correct owner?

Quote:
found details about the installation and such, so it has definetely written to registry
That's probably what the installer writes to the registry, not the application. If you want to look for what the application writes then look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/ShellFolderFix. I'm suspecting that isn't there at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #115

W7
 
 

Hey

Nope, no *32 so its the 64 bit version, and I used the installer.

I have reg entries at that location;
Default - value not set
Dbsize - 0x000003e8 (1000)
FirstRun - x000000 (0)

Happy to be able to puzzle others too, not just myself...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #116

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fawkrin View Post
I have reg entries at that location;
Default - value not set
Dbsize - 0x000003e8 (1000)
FirstRun - x000000 (0)
Ok, that might help a little to determine what's happening (but still not why). I'm attaching a new exe which you can replace the current one with (just copy it over the existing one). I've added some numeric error codes to error message when it's creating/deleting the shortcut, hopefully that can help me on why that fails.

I also came to think about one other scenario where the dialog opens up on app start (even if /autostart is specified), and that is if the app is started while an instance of it is already running. Maybe for some reason it's double launched (related to ClassixShell?). In any case this is secondary, maybe it sorts itself out once the primary issue above is solved.

edit: attachment removed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #117

W7
 
 

Problem solved. I suspected it was double launched, so we were both right. Nothing wrong with your app, it's just probably written to give errors where other apps just chooses to ignore errors... Or limits the number of times it can be launched.

As I want a clean and sorted Start Menu, I edit it. Part of that is making sure all entries are in the same location. As software have the habit of installing shortcuts at either the "user" area, or the "all user" area, I move them to where I want them ("user area"). When I did that after installing all software on my new Windows 7 system, I MOVED the folder structure. That left the "all user" area without any folders. A simple empty "programs\startup" folder in the "all user" start menu solved the problem.

This has been the same since WinXP. If one of the two startup folders don't exist, Windows runs the one that exist twice. Just to be sure I guess.

So, I killed the Bruce Boxleitner in my system. For now...

Thanks for a great app, keep it up!

And THANKS for the effort of solving this, and making your app better. Wish that Microsoft had this kind of spirit instead of forcing us to do what they think is best. It IS a lifesaver in my Windows 7 setup, and with the user created freeware Classic Start Menu app I run, it makes up 50% of my happiness with the system. M$ owes you money in my book.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #118

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Ah great, that explains it. It failed to make shortcut because of the missing folder, and if it failed the shortcut it also aborted applying other settings (which I suspected was the reason for failure to apply settings so I changed that in the attached debug version above, so that settings always get applied regardless of shortcut success/failure).

I've added another specific error message for missing Startup directory, which will be included in the next version. Makes it easier to figure out should it happen to someone else in future.

Glad that got sorted out in a somewhat painless fashion (considering the seemingly strange behavior it could have been a lot harder)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2010   #119

MSDN Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tweaker View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by toddsparrow View Post
I want to pay you for this app. Seriously. Post a link or PayPal or something.
Thanks that's very kind, but that's not necessary (I made this app for myself, so it wasn't that much more work to release it.)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KremmenUK View Post
What have I done wrong?

Wonder if this is linked to my other problem where I cannot get the desktop folders on my account to display the inside 'sheets' of what is contained?
It does indeed sound like the windows are "invisible" to the app. You can double check that by having a couple of folders open and then going into ShellFolderFix options, press the "Init defaults from >>" button and see if it lists any windows or it tells you that no windows are open (you don't actually have to select anything should it display a list, it's just to check if it tracks any windows or not).

It is possible that it's related to your other problem. Do I understand it right that the problem always happens, even if FolderFix isn't running? If so then maybe it's some other installed shell extension or damage windows installation, I don't really know.
It was me, hopefully. By default the program is not set to auto start and I didn't change it.
Hopefully now it will remember.

I noticed in a previous post about the Navigation Pane. I also find it annoying that it is a global setting. I don't want it on my applications folders but I do want it on Windows Explorer/My Computer displays.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #120

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Hi Tweaker,

I've just had another situation where ShellFolderFix has decided to start Explorer as a tiny window off-screen.

I've made a copy of ShellFolderFix.db... Is this the file you would need to see to determine what's being written in there?

Thanks.

-Noel
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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