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Posts Tagged ‘Task Bar’

If you are sick to your eye teeth with frequent hangs with FireFox 3.6 rc2 YOU may want to consider the FireFox 3.7 alpha.

Alpha precedes beta. Beta testing refers to customer testing. Hence, alpha testing denotes in-house testing. So the software will have more than its fair share of bugs. From my experiences in the past with FireFox ‘betas’ (never alpha) you may also find that essential FireFox add-ons, for example, ‘Delicious’ may be missing. So don’t rush into this. But, if you can tolerate some instability … and you can argue, what can be worse that the frequent hangs with FireFox 3.6 rc2 … then give this a try.

You can download it from <here>.  It should be OK. I have used ‘softpedia’ before for downloads.

FireFox 3.7 is said to be the first version of to support Windows 7 — in particular the task bar. Maybe, full Windows 7 integration will make it more resilient. We will see. My goal today was to just give you a heads up.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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As you probably know by now, I check the Web, daily, for Windows 7 information that maybe of use to US.

So yesterday, in Google News, I happened to see this InformationWeek article by a ‘Dave Methvin‘ that seems to sing the praises of the Windows 7 taskbar.

To his credit, Mr. Methvin states right up front that he started LIKING computers again … as of Windows 7 and that computers seem to like him too, of late. Lucky MAN. I hate computers. Have for 30 years. But, I have to use them, 7×12 at a minimum. So I guess that is what separates me from Mr. Methvin. I like red wine. Computers are a necessity. A tool. They are supposed to work.

I get a feeling that Mr. Methvin is not exactly what I would class as a power user. Because, if he was … he MIGHT have discovered, like WE have … that there are a NUMBER of rather serious Windows 7 bugs related to the taskbar.

Let us START with the disappearing taskbar icons. That is a pretty serious problem … a problem that we now know has been in Widows 7 since the Release Candidate. Mr. Methvin does NOT mention this. Lucky MAN. I wish I was that blessed. Taskbar icon problems have plagued me for months.

I won’t even mention the GHOST icons that persist in the taskbar when you have deleted a program. Oh, did I just mention that? Sorry. Old age.

Then remember that SOME taskbar icons perambulate on their own volition and you can’t pin them to the spot YOU would like. That is bloody annoying. Mr. Methvin hasn’t obviously seen that. Lucky man.

Mr. Methvin does RAVE about the taskbar icon displaying file transfer progress. We hit that way back in on Boxing Day … and I even showed you a picture because I can make Windows 7 snipper sit up and beg (and most days I do).

But, Mr. Methvin does NOT mention that Windows 7 still have problems calculating the time remaining to complete a file transfer.

All I can say is, IF you really think that the taskbar really is the most compelling feature of Windows 7 … you haven’t lived YET.

Yes, the taskbar is nice. It would be better if it didn’t lose icons, but then again … people will say I am unreasonable in my expectations. << smile >>

Good luck.

Cheers
Anura Guruge

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This morning, in a slight fit of impetuousness I downloaded Auslogics’ Registry Cleaner on to this Windows 7 rig … and ran it.

Given that I am posting from the same machine, 6 hours later, means that it didn’t blow me out of the water. Actually it went quite well.

Since I had already done it once on a XP machine, I was familiar with what to expect. All went well. It created a Desktop Icon. I don’t like Desktop Icons for applications. So I right clicked and asked it to create a Task Bar icon. It did. << more later on this >>

So let me do this in bullet form to make it as easy to follow as possible:

  1. Did a ‘simple’ scan. It found 116 Registry Errors.
  2. I was able to print their listing of errors. [No, following Microsoft’s great example their GUI is lacking. But CTRL+A works. I then copied the list and printed it.]
  3. Checked the list. Lots of invalid file types. Wow. Here is but a partial list: .aswcs (Avast), .asws (Avast), .csk (Claris?) .dif (data interchange?), .dv (digital video), .prf et. al. Well, I know where the Avast extensions came from. The rest is a mystery. Told it to delete the entries. It said it did.
  4. Me being who I am, I now restarted the PC to make sure that it could still be booted. Come on. I admit it. I am the cynic’s cynic.
  5. When the system came up I noticed ONE THING that made me very unhappy. The Registry Cleaner icon on the task bar was CORRUPTED. Not good.
  6. I tried to restore it. No luck.
  7. I looked in Windows START to see what I got on the program menu. That icon was corrupted too << as you can see from this screen shot >>
  8. I would assume it was Windows 7 that corrupted the icon. Never see that happen. Yes, we have had strange things happening to the Task Bar icons. But this is the first time I have seen an icon get corrupted. Hhhhmmm. Maybe Microsoft has it in for Auslogics. (HP uses a really obnoxious ‘generic’ icon for its duplex printing task … but that isn’t a corrupted icon. Just laziness on the part of HP).
  9. Well, I ran the Registry Cleaner again. This time in Advanced Mode with all categories, including ‘Software’ and ‘Shared DLLs’ enabled. It found 152 additional errors. I printed the list and had a look. Four errors related to System Mechanic. The bona fides of the list looked OK. Plus there is a RESTORE option. Told it to clean them all. It did. Icon is corrupted.
  10. Restarted again. So far so good. Icon still corrupted.
  11. I now downloaded and installed Registry Defrag. Skipped the option to install the ASK tool bar. Pinned an icon to the Task Bar.
  12. Ran it. Showed I had very little defragmentation of the registry.
  13. It refused to perform a compact saying I didn’t need it. That always aggravates me. I could not find an option to FORCE a compaction.
  14. So, ran it again. Same story. Would not let me compact the registry. Not amused. I should have the option of compacting … if I want to.
  15. Cleaner icon, on the Task Bar and on the START menu corrupted. Defrag icon is fine in all places! I removed BOTH from the Task Bar. Didn’t want a corrupted icon on my Task Bar. Does not bode well.

So that was my first experience of Auslogics Registry Cleaner and Defrag on Windows 7.

The corrupted icon spoiled the show and my day.

But, other than that, it went fairly well. Hasn’t made any difference to my performance. But, unlike, System Mechanic it didn’t hang.

Tomorrow, if I have the time, I will try Disk Defrag. I asked my wife, who has a fairly decent 1GB Dell laptop with XP SP3 to try out the Auslogics BootSpeed — the supposed equivalent to System Mechanic. My wife is a great believer in System Mechanic. She was AMAZED that I had uninstalled it from this Windows 7 machine. Well, she was NOT impressed with BootSpeed the first time around. It found all these problems, but wouldn’t fix them because we hadn’t bought a license. It didn’t tell her that before she started. I have a two-word phrase for products like that and the second word is ‘teaser.’ Not impressed. Not amused.

Good luck. Cheers.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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A few minutes ago I deleted iolo System Mechanic 9.5.5 from my Windows 7 Professional machine because I had had it with the stupid hangs. My patience, in my dotage, is legendary (but to be honest the kids are the biggest beneficiaries of it). But, I just couldn’t take the damn hangs. So System Mechanic had to go.

I uninstalled it using the Windows 7 Control Panel Uninstall. So it was Windows 7 that did the uninstall. (Yes, later, using instructions from iolo I went and removed the iolo folder from the registry. But, that is another story. Bloody iolo.)

When the uninstall was over I noticed a ‘ghost,’ generic icon on the Task Bar where the System Mechanic icon used to be!

Ah?

Clicked on it? Said that the program associated with that icon was no longer installed. DAMN RIGHT. You (meaning Windows 7) uninstalled it. Remember?

That is STUPID.

I had to now manually delete the generic icon. Come on Microsoft. Can’t you do better than this?

So the BUG: Windows 7 doesn’t clean up the Task Bar icon when it uninstalls an application.

Gee, thanks Microsoft. You guys are the best?

Thanks. Good luck. We need it.

Cheers

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

P.S. iolo has TWO folders in the Registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER. One says System Mechanic 5. That is encouraging when you are trying to delete ALL SIGNS of System Mechanic 9.5.5. The other one, that iolo does NOT talk about, is called TMRU Como. I deleted that too. I didn’t want anything from iolo polluting my system. Good bye and good riddance. Yes, I had a few months left on my fully paid up System Mechanic license. But getting rid of SM was well worth it. Just for the record, I was a HUGE fan of System Mechanic since c. 2002. It was just the damn hangs with Windows 7 that drove me to distraction. Sorry. Old age. Grumpy OLD MAN.

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This is is a list of the re-creatable bugs (as opposed to annoyances) I have found with a legit,  $149 OEM copy of Windows 7 Professional (pre-ordered DVD from newegg.com, delivered the day after the official release of Windows 7) running on this fairly high-end, resource-rich rig, with 12GB of physical memory.

  1. Windows Backup does not work. November 9, 2009. Acknowledged bug. Very IRONIC. It does not occur in the ‘free’ Release Candidate. It is ONLY found in copies cut close to the Oct. 22, 2009 release. Talk about bad Karma. Microsoft sticks it to its paying customers.
  2. Windows 7 Media Player refuses to start. Requires a restart of Windows 7. November 9, 2009 January 10, 2010.
  3. Windows 7 will not recognize ‘un-powered’ USB hubs. Could possibly be fixed by adjusting the power management settings for the USB hub. Known problem. November 24, 2009.
  4. Erroneous display of padlock against file icons. December 4, 2009. Got a temp. fix. But problem can come back requiring fix to be applied again. Click here for the fix, December 13, 2009.
  5. Windows 7 within its ‘Action Center‘ tools will not recognize installed and active, bona fide antivirus programs such as Avast. December 6, 2009. < Also see this Comment about iolo System Mechanic System Shield 4. Same problem. >
  6. Difficult, sometimes impossible, to invoke CHKDSK against the Windows 7 system disk, from the Disk Properties Tools, to check the disk for errors. December 21, 2009.
  7. Desktop shortcuts disappear. Others are having this t0o. In my case it was ‘network’ shortcuts to 4 of my XP systems. January 1, 2010. No fix. Have to manually recreate the shortcuts from scratch.
  8. Task Bar icons (like the shortcuts above) will disappear. Once reinstated (manually) they will refuse to be moved to a desired ‘spot’ on the Task Bar. January 14, 2010.
  9. Resilience vis-à-vis application failure and restart is POOR. Have had numerous hangs of iolo System Mechanic and FireFox. Windows 7, by and large, will not even recognize that the application has failed. This is very disappointing and frustrating. Please refer to ‘FireFox 3.6’ and ‘System Mechanic’ CATEGORIES on this blog for a list of the hangs, and the version numbers of the application involved.
  10. Windows 7 does not automatically remove the Task Bar icon when IT uninstalls an application, in this case System Mechanic 9.5.5. January 22, 2010.

This list will be regularly updated.

Hope it helps. Thank you. Good luck. You will need it.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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Here is the problem or to be more precise problems:

  1. Task Bar icon disappears

  2. Task Bar icon changes place on its OWN (as if it was possessed)
  3. YOU CAN NOT move the icon to where you want it to be!

  4. In some instances you can only move an icon when the application it refers to is ‘open,’ i.e., running

No, I do not have a virus or anything. I checked. People have been having similar problems with the Task Bar icons from day one — even when this thing was but a Release Candidate.

So here is the story.

I have Core Temp installed as a means of checking my CPU temps … now that I realize that SpeedFan is a fake, at least when it come to Intel i7-920s.

I have its icon pinned to my Task Bar (see graphic above).

Yes, given that I am a sucker for discipline and order, my Task Bar icons are ordered … FireFox, Windows Explorer, Windows accessories, TOOLS (System Mechanic, TEMP PROBES), Control Panel, Snipper …. Applications … and last Calculator.

All was fine. CoreTemp icon was next to System Mechanic ahead of the ASUS SmartDoctor. This had been the case as of December 12. No problems.

Now that I know that this rig runs cold, I rarely check temps. Monday night I decided to do a quick check. Went to invoke CoreTemp.

NO ICON. Windows 7, YOU SUCK!

Found the application in the Program Folder. Invoked it. Told Windows 7 to pin the icon to the Task Bar. It did.

Moved it to its designated place. Next to System Mechanic. No problem.

Wednesday night Adobe updated Acrobat to 9.3. Looked down at my Task Bar. The bloody CoreTemp icon had MOVED … on its bloody own … and was now at the end of the ‘list’ … after the bloody calculator icon.

Tried to move the damn thing. It wouldn’t move. Did I already say that Windows 7 sucks? If I didn’t, ‘Windows 7 sucks … sucks big time.’

Couldn’t move the damn icon. Damn YOU MSFT.

Yesterday, I had an inspiration. I started up CoreTemp. Then I tried moving the icon. It moved. All day yesterday, the icon was in its right place.

Today, it is back … in the wrong BLOODY place. Windows 7 sucks. Windows 7 sucks bad.

This is beyond the bloody pale.

So I have been doing some thinking and checking.

As we know MSFT is asleep at the wheel. No Windows 7 updates.

So this Task Bar icon problem could have been caused by three OTHER applications … all of them very capable of devious behavior: System Mechanic, Adobe Acrobat or bloody FireFox.

I don’t know. But the only things NEW on my system in the last week are: System Mechanic 9.5.6, Adobe Acrobat 9.3 and FireFox 3.6.

My wife will most likely brain me … given what I have spent. But once I get the current book out and settled … I am genuinely going to evaluate Macs. Windows 7 sucks, Windows 7 sucks bad.

Good luck. If you don’t currently have Windows 7, DON’T bother. Stick with XP or evaluate Macs.

Cheers

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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See that … the GREEN filling up some of my ‘Windows Explorer’ Task Bar icon.

You can also notice I have three instances of ‘Windows Explorer’ active. I was burning a DVD using drag-and-drop, from one ‘Windows Explorer’ window to another. So that accounts for two instances. One for the ‘C’ drive and other for the DVD RW ‘E’ drive. I was copying across all of my Web site images. That was just over a gig and was going to take some time to burn. Hence the file transfer progress bar.

Well, since multitasking is my thing, I activated FireFox to start updating this blog. You will also notice I had two FireFox instances. One of each monitor. Actually, I should have mentioned that ‘Windows Explorer’ instances were also spread across the two monitors.

When I activated both FireFox instances the ‘Windows Explorer’ instances were obscured. I happened to glance down at the task bar and noticed the GREEN encroaching on the icon. Clicked on the icon for a preview. The GREEN matched the exact length of the progress bar.

WAY COOL. Way to go Microsoft. I am impressed.

I used PRT SCR with Snipper to capture the above image per the technique I talked about two days ago. It was a snip.

Enjoy.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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