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Windows 7: Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once

31 Aug 2015   #1

Windows 7
Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once

Hello all!

Normally, I'm able to find a thread that discusses any problem I may be having, but I have a rather unique issue today. I recently did a fresh install of Windows 7 SP1 on a HP Pavilion laptop. The install went well, but I ran into an issue when I installed GameMaker 8.1 Standard. It is an old game creation program that I still like using for sprite creation.

I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling, reinstalling to a new directory, and even copying the install folder from my old computer, but no matter what I do, the program will open new windows repeatedly until the computer runs out of memory or I find a way to shut it down. Each window creates a new process called Game_Maker.exe *32, but there is always one process running called GameMaker.exe. If I end that process from the Task Manager, it stops and I can close windows until I only have one copy of the program running. The tricky part is, that process is reopened each time a new Game_Maker.exe *32 thread is started, meaning I have to have impeccable timing if I want to actually stop the program from sucking all my RAM. Otherwise, I get an error stating that the thread can't be closed because it no longer exists. I uploaded a screenshot of Task Manager during this (slightly hilarious) mess. I think that the auto-updater is the issue, but there is no setting to turn it off. Also, to make this even more ridiculous, I should probably mention that this is happening on my home computer, which is the exact same model and OS as my travel computer (on which there is no error). I even have the same start bar configuration and desktop background on both computers

I doubt that anyone here has ever heard of Game Maker, let alone experienced this problem, so I am looking for a workaround instead of a specific solution. I am wondering if there is any sort of program or command that will freeze all active applications so I can go in and shut down the process at fault without it trying to play Hide-and-Go-Seek? Any other workarounds you can think of would be welcome. Right now, I am starting the program, waiting for it to open around 50 windows, then force restarting Windows. The thread at fault is shut down first, and I can stop the restart before the rest of the windows close. It works, but it is still a pain. I don't use Game Maker that often, but I would still like to know if there's anything I can do to fix it.

Attached Images
Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once-new-bitmap-image.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2015   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Try running it in one of the compatibility modes and as admin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2015   #3

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

I create lots of windows when I goof up a batch file:

A batch file named test.bat that contains this code...
...makes a mess.

Maybe there is something like that happening with your app.
Maybe something got renamed in error.
Silly humans

Process Explorer might help. By default, that tool shows a tree in the left most column. That should tell you what app started what other app. But, you will probably crash the tool with that many instances. Your best chance is to turn off every column that you can to lighten the loading.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Sep 2015   #4

Windows 7

I tried both suggestions. The app does open itself recursively. I wasn't able to fix the problem with compatibility mode, though..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2015   #5

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

When I start that app, I see this in Process Explorer:

Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once-gm1.png

For what it is worth, this is that middle command line:
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\GameMaker\GameMaker.exe --YYOriginalFilename="C:\Users\username\GameMaker 8.1\GameMaker.exe" --YYGMParams=""
You should have folders like this:

Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once-gm2.png

Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once-gm3.png

Attached is a zip of the config file. They are the same in both folders. You can drag/drop the config file into notepad.

Using the images and info above, see if you can spot the difference from my working copy and your broken copy. If you want to study the differences even closer, you can create a new Windows user account and install the app in there. In fact, you might want to do that anyway to see if the issue is computer wide or just for your account.

Attached Files
File Type: zip (662 Bytes, 1 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Program opens multiple windows when .exe is run once

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