Posts Tagged ‘windows annoyance’

Win 7 Explorer Folder Display Bug

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I am eagerly awaiting a fix for the Windows 7 bug that causes the Windows Explorer tree view to jump after you expand a node in the tree. Very irritating. The bug has been there since the first release of Win 7.

I had hoped the fix would be in SP1, but no. Let’s annoy Microsoft right back by voting to get this bug fixed.



I am cautiously optimistic that the workaround from Michael Noxfeld on 1-18-2012 may actually have fixed this problem!  It could just reappear on the next reboot, but I can always hope…

Click on the link to go to the bug page, then click on the Workarounds tab and scroll down a ways to find it.


Nope. That improved one aspect of the subtree display behavior but not the delayed jump back to a previous location. Still searching for a full solution.

Update 2:

I now believe the delayed jump was caused by the Network section of the tree view being refreshed. It takes a few seconds for all the machines on our network to be polled and added to the list. If I can launch Explorer with the Network subtree closed, this does not occur. So now I am religious about collapsing the Network section, so that when I launch a new Explorer window it won’t feel the need to refresh and cause the tree view to scroll at an unexpected time.

Open Command Prompt Here

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

I still prefer the command line for many tasks. Sometimes it’s just faster. It can be a deterrent if you want to run some commands in a deeply nested folder, however. So I like the “Open Command Prompt Here” feature, which can be made available in Windows Explorer’s folder context menus.

In Windows 7 it is there, but hidden. Hold the Shift key and right mouse on a folder to see the context menu entry. In Windows Vista it is half there. Holding Shift while displaying the context menu only shows the hidden entry in the righthand pane of the Explorer Window. Prior to Vista, you need to use PowerToys or edit the registry to add the context menu item.

There is more information here.

What’s SVCHOST doing?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

In a Windows CMD window you can type the following command:


to see what is being run by the various svchost.exe processes.

I was trying to track down what was using half my CPU when the machine should be idle. I was very thankful to find this blog entry. Turns out the culprit is the Pml Driver HPZ12 for my networked HP printer, which seems to put my machine into this state, maybe after someone has scanned documents and saved them onto a PC on the network.

Unexpected Relationship

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Recently I needed a Python fix, Monty Python that is. I tried to watch the Spanish Inquisition on Netflix. Firefox (3.6) kept saying the Silverlight plug-in has crashed. Reinstalling Silverlight did not help. Luckily, someone else had already solved this one.  Silverlight would not run because the Windows Tablet PC Input Service was disabled.  I figured I did not have a tablet PC and was not using pen input.  Silly me.

I re-enabled the service and started it.  Silverlight ran fine after that.


Friday, September 10th, 2010

I just learned this one: to get the text of cross references in your MS Word document to update (say you inserted another table and it changed the numbering of your Table captions), do a Print Preview… then close the preview window. Sigh. And that after a lot of time spent looking for an Update Cross References button. Also, searching in the Word help for “update cross references” turned up nothing.

This trick was part of number 6 of Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know.  Users shouldn’t have to know this.

Follow-up:  Others report that you can Ctrl-A to select the whole document, then press F9 to update the references.

Allow program to run with Admin privileges at startup

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

I have occasionally found it necessary to have a program start when I log in to my Windows desktop, but with Admin privileges.   A little Google searching turned up this procedure for Windows Vista.  I assume it works the same or very similarly for Windows 7.  Because it is a bit mystical, I have been living in fear that the website with the instructions will disappear and I will never again be able to successfully set up a task in the task scheduler to run with Admin privileges, so I have copied the instructions here, with all credit due to the original author at Thomas’ Developer Blog.

To begin you have to start by removing that program from start up.

1) Run > msconfig
2) Click the Startup Tab
3) Scroll down until you find that pesky program giving you issues
4) Note the location and see if it is HKLM or HKCU

Open up regedit
1) Run > regedit
2) If it is HKLM go to HKey_Local_Machine otherwise it should be HKey_Current_User
3) Go to HKLM/HKCU > Software > Windows > Current Version > Run
4) Find that pesky program, right click, and delete that string value (the ab icon thing)

After that you need to go to task scheduler
1) go to: Start > Program Files > Accessories > System Tools > Task Scheduler
2) Under actions context at the top click “create task…”

Under create task
1) Give it a name (I choose the name of the program
2) Make sure you select run only when user is logged on
3) Check “Run with highest privileges
4) Go to the triggers tab
5) Click New
6) From the drop down select at log on
7) Make sure everything is unchecked EXCEPT “enabled” and click OK
8 ) Click Actions tab
9) Click New
10) Select Start a Program from the dropdownlist
11) Browse for the program you want to start
12) Click OK
13) Click Settings Tab
14) Check Allow task to be run on demand
15) Check Run task asap after a scheduled start is missed
16) Uncheck “Stop the task if it runs longer than:”
17) Uncheck “If the task is not scheduled to run again…”  (note that you can check this if you want, but only if you don’t plan to run the program again after a set time)
18 ) Make sure “Do not start a new instance” is selected from the drop down list at the bottom
19) Click OK
20) Restart and it should be working just fine

How to squelch the Cygwin DOS path warning

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

CygwinIn Cygwin version 1.7 they added a “feature” that would warn you about using DOS-style paths on the command line.

my-cygwin-pc> cd c:/<TAB>cygwin warning:
 MS-DOS style path detected: c:/
 Preferred POSIX equivalent is: /cygdrive/c
 CYGWIN environment variable option "nodosfilewarning" turns off this warning.
 Consult the user's guide for more details about POSIX paths:

At least this only happens the first time during the session, but I still wanted it gone.

So I tried to turn it off, but the instructions were a little ambiguous to me.  I tried setting a nodosfilewarning environment variable in my .cshrc.  I actually tried it several different ways:

setenv nodosfilewarning 1
set nodosfilewarning=1

Turns out none of these are right.  You need to set a Windows environment variable named CYGWIN:


Mystery solved.