All Programs list in Start Menu doesn't appear

By ferrari24
Dec 18, 2007
  1. In my start menu when I click "All Programs," nothing shows up. On another account this happened and I fixed a registry problem that pointed to a wrong folder, but on this account the registry glitch doesn't exist. It still points to %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs.

    Note that this is a limited user account that cannot run the registry or do anything like that.

    Edit: Hmm, I think I may have found the problem. When I go into All Users\Start Menu, there is a folder named "Programs," and when I rename this to its rightful name "Accessories", the folder in the [user account name]\Start Menu folder is now called "Accessories" as well. It's like the folder is only in one place but Windows sees it as in both.

    What do I do?

    Edit 2: I tried copying the folder "Programs" in the affect user account's Start Menu folder. Now there are two folders named "Programs" in the directory. I then went to All Users\Start Menu\Programs and renamed the "Programs" folder in there back to "Accessories." I then refreshed the window for the affected account and then both folders became "Accessories." Windows has a problem that I haven't even heard of before. WTF?? Also, if I rename the "Accessories" folder to "Programs" in the affect account's folder, both folders are given the name "Programs," and then when I actually go into the folder named "Programs," Windows displays the folder name in the address bar as "Copy of Programs." This is getting confusing.

    Edit 3: Alright, I just created a folder with a random name, copied the correct contents into it, deleted the screwed up folder, then renamed the folder with a random name to "Programs." After logging off then back on the problem started again. WTF is going on?
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Not so many years ago, one could cheerfully ignore Windows 'conventions' in naming folders and might install applications to places other than 'program Files'. MS never liked that (user freesom of action) and it is now excedingly unwise not to follow conventions, as you have found.

    When MS programmers decide what happens and so much gets hidden in the registry under a zillion different locations, and there are an enormous number of inter-dependencies and much is hidden under hatches like {993E281-6695-4BA5-8A2A-7AACBFAAB69E}, and entire technolgies such as java and .net framework are pushed on us without any consideration or permission, then draw your own conclusion.

    Which is really simple : you can
    (1) do as you are told by MS
    (2) go somewhere else like mac or Linux
  3. ferrari24

    ferrari24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    What happened is I had deleted the "Programs" folder at one point. Upon re-creating it the problem started. Maybe if I change the location of the start menu folder to "Accessories" since it's being such an *****.

    I found all the entries in the registry editor, it's just that Windows is renaming folders in the shell and such. I don't think it's something that was done by Microsoft intentionally, I think I have just encountered a unique bug.

    Oh BTW, I do install programs in other places then just the "Program Files" folder, since the programs automatically add their shortcuts to the default Start Menu -> Programs folder.

    Finally, I am certainly not switching OS's because I have too many Windows-only things on my computer for that to even be a reasonable course of action.

    I believe my problem to be a glitch, not otherwise.
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