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HoppaLong

Ghosts in the Taskbar

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If you listed 50 flaws with these early Windows systems, "ghosts" in the taskbar
probably wouldn't make the list. Nevertheless, that's the problem I've got.

With some of my apps, the rectangular image in the taskbar leaves a ghost behind
when the window is closed. The worst offender is an app called PrintScreen. Each
screenshot creates another ghost in the taskbar. So, if I take 20 screenshots I
have to click the taskbar 20 times to make them disappear.

This happens occasionally with many different versions of Windows, but with my
copy of 98SE it's become a chronic problem.

I don't know the cause or the solution. If you do, please let me know.

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That may happen with applications built for newer versions of Windows that are being run through KernelEx and/or with the help of other system files updated to their Win2000/XP+ versions. But not only.

 

I see the same behavior with a few recent versions of FastStone Image Viewer on my heavily updated 98SE, while on the same system certain 2000/XP+ applications such as Firefox 9 fail to show a taskbar button at all or until certain operations are performed (start/close other applications, minimize/maxime the offending application etc).

 

I haven't pursued the issue so can't tell the exact reason or offer a fix, if possible. I can only suspect wrong/missing system messages or wrong windows classes that messages are being sent to.

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I think the most common situation when you see such ghosts, are the built-in screensavers, when tested though Display control panel. They will almost always leave a ghost button at the taskbar (with or without a name).

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With early Windows systems it's best not to use desktop wallpaper or
screensavers. I don't use either. I try to run my copy of 98SE clean and
simple. Keeping the number of background processes to a minimum reduces
the appearance of the BSOD or complete system crashes.

I installed KernelEx disabled. It's enabled selectively when needed.

Whenever there is a problem with no obvious solution, I try to create a script
that will work around the problem. I'm not sure how to do it right now, but I
might be able to create a monitoring script that will extinguish the "ghosts"
when they appear.

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A better way might be to keep count on the offending applications and then launch them one at a time, either by profiling them in Dependency Walker or by parallel running an API monitoring application (I think there is an old one also built by Sysinternals but forgot its name). It's possible that one or more system files are outdated and/or mismatched.

 

I remember an issue that resurfaced recently with missing rebar elements in taskbar after installing Revolutions Pack without previously updating the required system files.

That happens because certain flags are not recognised in some system messages which makes those messages fail.

Your case may be very similar to that, meaning you'd have to find out which libraries need updated and do that (after backing up the original(s), of course).

 

However, if the offending applications are those run through KernelEx, chances are some system messages themselves are not the appropriate type (Unicode instead of ANSI) and/or use flags and/or parameters that are not supported even by KernelEx.

 

But you'll have to find out the exact cause(s) yourself. Good luck! ;)

 

 

(typos again…)

Edited by Drugwash

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I've had this problem mainly with ACDSee v2.1 (c.a. 1997) for over a decade. A couple of weeks ago another small app briefly gave me a whole bunch of these "ghosts" but I don't remember the details.

I'd like to test with your PrintScreen app. Is this Gadwin PrintScreen and if so, what version?

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If you listed 50 flaws with these early Windows systems, "ghosts" in the taskbar

probably wouldn't make the list. Nevertheless, that's the problem I've got.

 

Well, I don't have this problem, I tried to push it with screen savers and the program ACDSee (v2.1)...(btw, nice tiny program, Jumper!). Do you all use a heavily fixed explorer.exe for the english version?

 

So, what are the other 49 flaws...? :w00t:  Or 48, you just posted another one. :whistle:

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