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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Win 7 explorer.exe minimizes all folders

    My W7 Home Premium has suddenly changed its behavior. Double-clicking on My Computer, or right clicking within disk management and selecting Explore, results in a new minimized icon on the taskbar. These icons, if clicked, replicate themselves. I've attached a screen capture of this thread preparation. Note the "Computer" icon in the task bar. Clicking on it places a new minimized "Library" icon alongside, that will not open either. They never allow the contents to be displayed on the desktop (i.e. cannot be opened or maximized). I have not installed SP1 or other Windows or Microsoft Updates since Feb 11, which is also the date of the latest restore point. I have taken no restore or other repair action, other than F8 and using "Last Known Good configuration" to no avail.

    Win 7 does not lockup or BSOD or display any error message boxes. It just prevents me from getting inside my folders to view files. An application like Word 2010 can open a folder and load a file, and be minimized and then maximized, but not Explorer-launched folders.

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  3. #2
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    I can suggest that you can start with,system file check here's the link;http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...e-checker.html
    If that doesn't work for you try a,Repair Install this WILL NOT change or lose any data for you.Here's the link to explain it further;http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...r-install.html
    BTW,welcome to the lounge & the best of luck.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  4. #3
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    Have you run any malware scans?

    Joe

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeperez View Post
    Have you run any malware scans?

    Joe
    Ran MalwareBytes with negative results. I keep thinking there is some setting or combination of settings causing this, but then why would MS or any user ever want to make access to their own files impossible? A mouse hover over these minimized icons shows their contents via AeroPeek, but they will not maximize to the desktop (see attached).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chowur View Post
    I can suggest that you can start with,system file check here's the link;http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...e-checker.html
    If that doesn't work for you try a,Repair Install this WILL NOT change or lose any data for you.Here's the link to explain it further;http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...r-install.html
    BTW,welcome to the lounge & the best of luck.
    SFC/ verifyonly showed all system files' integrity to be OK. Windows Help suggested reviewing group policy via gpedit.msc. Guess what - it too goes minimized to the task bar and cannot be accessed from there. I'm going to go the Repair Install route as I have no ideas and online searches produce no similar results from other users.
    Last edited by haybarn; 2011-02-26 at 09:35. Reason: added text of next step.

  7. #6
    Lounger Anak's Avatar
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    This may be a little late if you have already tried the Repair Install, but you might have a corrupted User account. You could try creating a new one set to your preferences, and if that would work okay then delete the the one you are having problems with.

    See:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...-accounts.html

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anak View Post
    This may be a little late if you have already tried the Repair Install, but you might have a corrupted User account. You could try creating a new one set to your preferences, and if that would work okay then delete the the one you are having problems with.

    See:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...-accounts.html
    Yes, I just completed a Repair Install, and to my disbelief, the problem remains. I can pinpoint what I was doing when this happened: I had a window open (maximized) and for some dumb reason, without having opened the second window I had in mind, I did the "drag into right hand desktop edge" to set up two vertical panes. I dragged too far, or something, and the window disappeared off the desktop, but reappeared as an icon on the task bar that would not open. Strange. Why this behavior escapes an Repair Install fix (with AV and Firewall off) is a mystery.

    My next step may be reimaging. Unfortunately, my images (using Terabyte Unlimited Image for Windows/DOS) are up to date for data partitions and drives, but not my C drive. The latest C drive image I have is Sep/10 so some changes will be lost. However, if it gives me a working system, I'll do it. Anyone have any other ideas or experience before I do this?
    Win 8.1 (Update) Pro 64bit on Toshiba Ultrabook w/ Intel Core I3, 120gb SSD, 6gb RAM, and on ASRock Desktop PC, latter with 890GX Extreme 3 AM3, PII X3 740 BE (running as X4), 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, CM 692II Case, CM Silent Pro M600 PS, AC Freezer 7, Kingston SVP S2/96gb SSD, LaCie 2TB, H.I.S. ATI Radeon HD 4670, Samsung 23" Mon/HDTV.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You can try disabling Aero Snap . Then check your operation. If OK, try enabling snap again.

    Jerry

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    You can try disabling Aero Snap . Then check your operation. If OK, try enabling snap again.

    Jerry
    Neither disabling Aero Snap alone, or choosing a basic non-Aero theme resolved the problem. Will try an older image replacement tomorrow, but skeptical given that a Repair Install failed. I also have an on-board ATI HD 4290 video that I'll switch to from my 4670 PCIe card - maybe it is some graphics driver issue.
    Win 8.1 (Update) Pro 64bit on Toshiba Ultrabook w/ Intel Core I3, 120gb SSD, 6gb RAM, and on ASRock Desktop PC, latter with 890GX Extreme 3 AM3, PII X3 740 BE (running as X4), 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, CM 692II Case, CM Silent Pro M600 PS, AC Freezer 7, Kingston SVP S2/96gb SSD, LaCie 2TB, H.I.S. ATI Radeon HD 4670, Samsung 23" Mon/HDTV.

  11. #10
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    SOLVED! I turned on all visual effects this morning (my normal settings are customized to improve performance) and was able to see what was actually happening. If I click on a task bar button it does open, but shoots off the right side of the desktop completely out of sight. Remember, my original action that caused this problem was moving one active window to the right too fast and it disappeared from the desktop only to appear in the task bar as a minimized button.

    So, the problem is to get an open window back in view on the desktop. I found the answer here:
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...eyboard-trick/

    While I only have one monitor and never configured the computer otherwise, it acted like it was working with a second monitor off to the right. Weird, but resolved.

    Thanks to all for the help.
    Last edited by haybarn; 2011-02-27 at 08:44. Reason: Solution found
    Win 8.1 (Update) Pro 64bit on Toshiba Ultrabook w/ Intel Core I3, 120gb SSD, 6gb RAM, and on ASRock Desktop PC, latter with 890GX Extreme 3 AM3, PII X3 740 BE (running as X4), 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, CM 692II Case, CM Silent Pro M600 PS, AC Freezer 7, Kingston SVP S2/96gb SSD, LaCie 2TB, H.I.S. ATI Radeon HD 4670, Samsung 23" Mon/HDTV.

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    Use Winkey+right arrow key (or left arrow key) instead of the mouse to stop that happening again. I have seen this before with a colleague trying to move between monitors and ended up with a document lost in hyperspace! (Note that if a Window has been moved into the right half, Winkey+Left arrow key will return it to its original position too.)

    A slightly different way to resolve the issue is to open two application windows and then right-click in the Taskbar and choose a Tile option,close one of the cascaded windows and then adjust the position of the other before maximising it again.

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    Star Lounger johjue's Avatar
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    Haybarn-

    Congratulations! It's quite a thrill when you figure one out and the fix works, isn't it.

    John

  14. #13
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    Red face

    You're right about that. I will probably never know what caused the issue in the first place though. I've been a Windows experimenter/user since V1 (alongside Quarterdeck's DesqView - anyone remember that one?) and I've come to think of it as a dog that is friendly and tirelessly devoted, except every once in a while it wakes up in the morning and bites someone for no reason.
    Win 8.1 (Update) Pro 64bit on Toshiba Ultrabook w/ Intel Core I3, 120gb SSD, 6gb RAM, and on ASRock Desktop PC, latter with 890GX Extreme 3 AM3, PII X3 740 BE (running as X4), 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, CM 692II Case, CM Silent Pro M600 PS, AC Freezer 7, Kingston SVP S2/96gb SSD, LaCie 2TB, H.I.S. ATI Radeon HD 4670, Samsung 23" Mon/HDTV.

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    2 Star Lounger
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    Just curious, did you try right-clicking the icons and choosing 'close window'? If so, would it have opened off-screen the next time?

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cws View Post
    Just curious, did you try right-clicking the icons and choosing 'close window'? If so, would it have opened off-screen the next time?
    Yes, I did try. It simply closed the minimized button (and what I now realize was its corresponding off desktop window). Also, I now understand why a Repair Install did not resolve the issue. It was not a bad system file, just a set of legitimate buttons showing what was off screen and therefore nothing to "repair". The keystroke method mentioned in a previous reply was necessary because the mouse was useless.
    Win 8.1 (Update) Pro 64bit on Toshiba Ultrabook w/ Intel Core I3, 120gb SSD, 6gb RAM, and on ASRock Desktop PC, latter with 890GX Extreme 3 AM3, PII X3 740 BE (running as X4), 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, CM 692II Case, CM Silent Pro M600 PS, AC Freezer 7, Kingston SVP S2/96gb SSD, LaCie 2TB, H.I.S. ATI Radeon HD 4670, Samsung 23" Mon/HDTV.

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