Minimizing mystery/quick launch

By StuCazz ยท 31 replies
Jul 16, 2008
  1. For at least 2-3 months now, 95% or more of the time, whatever program I'm running will minimize to the task bar without me doing it. Whether I'm playing guild wars, virtual pool, reading in IE or word. It usually happens when I'm idle for like 5 seconds, it's happened several times while gaming. My XP environment runs stable (other than this), I scandisk, defrag, antivirus scan (NOD32) several times. it happens maybe 3-4 times a day, everyday, and now it's bugging me. I thought it was conflicting files, but in my experience that messes with a lot more.

    As far as quick launch, when I click on an icon, it will goto the desktop and never start the program. Is that maybe one of many M$ qwerks?

    If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts (short of reformatting) or even if you've heard of this, please let me know.

    Thank you in advance,


    XP MC
    Core Duo
    2 GB RAM
    250 GB HD
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Check the Power Option settings in the Control Panel.

    As for the QL shortcuts not working, they may have gotten corrupt. Try deleting, then resetting one of them and see if it works. If it does, do the same for the other shortcuts.
  3. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Thank you for your response, I will try that.

  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    You're welcome. Please let us know how and if you resolve the problem.
  5. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I checked power settings, everything looked ok. Then I reinstalled APC PowerChute software and so far so good.

    As far as the QL shortcuts, I recreadted the ones giving the problems and haven't experienced nutty behavior yet, so hopefully both issues are solved. I'll let you know in a couple of days.

    Thank you

  6. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    As a matter of precaution, it would be best to run scans with your security programs- antivirus (again) and at least 2 spyware/adware programs. be sure to update each right before the scans.
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

  8. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    gbhall It occurs even when it's the only focus, which is usually the case. For some reason, it happens more when playing virtual pool and that's the only thing open.

    Bobbye I did what you suggested, I ended up deleting some adware. But NOD32 didn't find anything, and I've been using it for years. I don't think the adware was the problem, because it's happened several times since.

    I have a 250GB HD, 125 for XP and 125 for Ubuntu Linux. I've never experienced it in Ubuntu, don't even know if I should. Regardless, I hope I don't need to format to rid this annoyance.

    Thank you both :confused:

  9. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    StuCazz, u can drag and drop what u need to backup from the Windows hard drive to the Ubuntu Linux hard drive for backup if u need if u have to format the Windows hard drive to clean it out.
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    it is totally unreasonable to expect one anti-virus package to protect you. You should download at least one other, update it immediately, drop into safe mode and run a full check. You could uninstall it afterward if it finds nothing. Good reports also about on-line scanning, from the likes of 'homecall'. My understanding is NOD32 is good, but not exceptional.
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    I am in complete agreement that it is unreasonable to think the antivirus program alone will prevent, find and fix any and all malware! Some antivirus programs will only alert you to the presence of malware, but it will not remove it.

    You should have at least two spyware/adware programs on the system- preferably one that is 'preventive' like SpywareBlaster and another that will 'find and fix'- at least! And when a problem exists and the resident AV doesn't show anytihng, I would also go on to recommend an online scan.
  12. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Well, if this didn't do it, the only thing is a format.

    I downloaded and installed SpyBot & SpywareBlaster. Multiple spyware and cookies were detected and fixed. Taking Bobbye and gdhall's advice, I ran the on-line scan by trend micro. It also detected quite a few instances , which I had deleted. I then did a second scan using NOD32. Hopefully that takes care of things. I will report after the weekend if it worked. That way I can have some time.

    Thank you both very much

  13. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Hopefully your experience with Spybot Search & Destroy (I hope that's what you used) and SpywareBlaster will help you realize that an antivirus program alone is not sufficient protection. I don't know what spyware you got rid of but let's hope it didn't steal any of your information while it was on your system!

    Be sure to open SpywareBlaster and configure it for your system.
  14. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    yes, those are what I used. Again thank you very much :wave:

  15. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    You're welcome. The reason I put the full name in is because occasionally people will do a search just using the name 'spybot'. then they get a rogue spyware program that "finds" a lot of mostly false positives and wants the user to pay to remove them, They are trading on the name Spybot S&D.
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    isn't clear if you're still having the problem with focus.

    You can also try downloading tweakui from the MS Powertoys site and run it.

    - Click General -> Focus and check the option to Prevent applications from stealing focus. Hit OK.

    See if that helps as well
  17. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Sorry, I'm not sure if I'm still having the problem or not. I was going to give it a couple of days, and report back.

    Thank you
  18. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    ok. tho it doesn't hurt to download tweakui and and set it as indicated. You might also find it interesting to skim through all the other custom settings you can do to change you windows user interface (most of which are not easily exposed to you or are otherwsie apparent as an option thru the Windows interface)
  19. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Exellant that you say. My vision is pretty impaired and I would like to increase fonts and change colors, not like a theme, I just need a not so bright background and bigger letters. Thank you for that, I'm going to it right now.

    Thanks again,

  20. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45


    I installed it and have no clue how to use, please advise.

  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Tweakui is a simple tool/interface that allows you to modify your Windows interface but turning on/off (by checking or unchecking) the various options it presents.

    1. As an example, let's address the issue of stealing focus. Click on General in the tree in the left window pane to expand it. Then click on Focus
    • You'll see its options along with radio buttons, check boxes, etc. so you may customize the options to your choosing
    • Usually, (as for this case) you'll also see a description of the option also appear below the option list (but not always).
    For Focus you should see a Description which says Check "Prevent applications from stealing focus" to prevent applications from stealing focus from the window you are working in. Instead, their taskbar icon will flash to indicate that the application is trying to get your attention. This is a per-user setting.

    Check the box to Prevent applications from stealing focus.

    2. Next, suggest you try going through the options in the tree (you might just skip to clicking on Desktop, Internet Explorer and other things that sound familiar in the tree on the left) Click to change options that appear on the right. You can skip over it if you don't understand it. Or if change something and later change your mind you can always go back to tweakui to change it back
  22. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I'm sorry, I think I was unclear again. I don't know where the program is or it's location.

  23. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    no problem. in fact, i sometimes forget where it installs itself (it's a pretty fundamental program. Obviously, with the most basic of interfaces!)

    I believe the root directory for XP MC is Windows (as it is for Pro and Home edition). Use Windows Explorer to get to C:\WINDOWS\system32\tweakui.exe. Then double click on it to run it.

    If you simply highlight it and right-click you can select Create Shortcut. It'll create a shortcut to tweakui.exe (probably will appear at the bottom of the file list until you refresh to re-alphabatize the window). You can then just move the shortcut that's created to somewhere like your desktop to make it easier to get to it again in the future.
  24. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    And! I just noticed one of your posts i missed and didn't read before.

    I'm not certain of all the options offered in tweakui but i do know one easy way to increase the font size is clicking

    => Control Panel -> Display
    => Click Appearance tab
    => You'll see a pull down menu where you can change Font size. It defaults to Normal but there is also a choice for Large and Extra Large fonts.
  25. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I finallyy got it going, created my shortcut. I'll mess with it tomorrow since it's pretty late.

    About what I mention, changing the appearance only goes so far. I'm looking for a third-party software, which would allow me to chane color and font size of a background (like Word, Outlook, Excel), pretty much anything with a white background. I have slight double vision, and the longer I'm looking at white and small fonts (11pt or less), the worse it get's. I've tried out Windowblinds and MyColors, but that only allowes customizing color/fonts of skins. It's not a big problem in IE, since I can change and increase. In display it doesn;t allow that to much, unless I'm doing it wrong.


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