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Windows desktop gadgets has stopped working

    Question

  • As of a few days ago my desktop gadgets have stopped working.  When I start Windows they appear to function normally for a minute or so then the error message "Windows desktop gadgets has stopped working" appears.  Sometimes there is a second attmept to launch the gadgets but it fails in the same manner.

    Worryingly for the general robustness of Windows 7, performing a System Restore to a time before the problem arose did NOT fix the problem. 
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 6:31 AM

Answers

  • I seem to have fixed this problem by booting to Vista and running a full chkdsk on the partition with Windows 7 on it.  This came up with:

    "Windows replaced bad clusters in file 8338
    of name \Users\Alan\AppData\Local\MICROS~1\Windows\Explorer\THUMBC~4.DB."

    THUMBC~4.DB was the only named file in the chkdsk result; the full name would seem to be thumbcache_1024.db (the only one of several such files in the Explorer folder with a name ending 4).  One of my gadgets was displaying random pictures from the Pictures folder so perhaps this is the database of thumbnail images it was using?  There might be a bug in Gadgets that can cause it to crash if this file becomes corrupt.  Anyway, running chkdsk seems to have fixed my gadgets problem; they have been working normally since I rebooted back to Windows 7.

    Shortly before this happened Windows 7 had hung on me, forcing me to cut the power and restart.  I hope that may have caused the bad clusters, rather than my hard drive coming to the end of its life.


    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 2:18 PM

All replies

  • Alan -

    You probably should try running the following command from an Administrative Command Prompt (Click Start Orb, type CMD in the search box, Right-click on CMD.EXE and select Run as Administrator).

    SFC /scannow

    This will run the System File Checker and verify your system files are correct.
    • Proposed as answer by skiboy Tuesday, January 18, 2011 3:20 PM
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 6:34 AM
  • Hi Alan,

    Did you turn off UAC? If so, please take the following steps to resolve the issue:

    1. Click Start, type Regedit and press Enter.
    2. Navigate to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Sidebar\Settings

    3. Create a new DWORD Value called AllowElevatedProcess, and set the value to 1.
    4. Restart the computer to test the issue.

    Hope it helps.

     

    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 8:44 AM
  • Hi Alan,

    Did you turn off UAC? 

     

    No.  I haven't touched UAC since installing Windows 7.
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 11:10 AM
  • Alan -

    You probably should try running the following command from an Administrative Command Prompt (Click Start Orb, type CMD in the search box, Right-click on CMD.EXE and select Run as Administrator).

    SFC /scannow

    This will run the System File Checker and verify your system files are correct.
    Surely anything that could be fixed by running the System File Checker should also be fixed by System Restore?  I picked a restore point from several days before my gadgets went wrong.
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 11:18 AM
  • I seem to have fixed this problem by booting to Vista and running a full chkdsk on the partition with Windows 7 on it.  This came up with:

    "Windows replaced bad clusters in file 8338
    of name \Users\Alan\AppData\Local\MICROS~1\Windows\Explorer\THUMBC~4.DB."

    THUMBC~4.DB was the only named file in the chkdsk result; the full name would seem to be thumbcache_1024.db (the only one of several such files in the Explorer folder with a name ending 4).  One of my gadgets was displaying random pictures from the Pictures folder so perhaps this is the database of thumbnail images it was using?  There might be a bug in Gadgets that can cause it to crash if this file becomes corrupt.  Anyway, running chkdsk seems to have fixed my gadgets problem; they have been working normally since I rebooted back to Windows 7.

    Shortly before this happened Windows 7 had hung on me, forcing me to cut the power and restart.  I hope that may have caused the bad clusters, rather than my hard drive coming to the end of its life.


    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 2:18 PM
  • Alan -

    1.) Not necessarily... If your system restore's cache of files has a corrupted file backed up, then when you restore it - it's not going to fix squat. The SFC /scannow command validates every file to make sure the files are correct.

    2.) THUMBC~4.db may or may not have been the thumbcache_1024.db file. It depends on if there are any other thumbcache_xxx.db files in the folder. When you see files listed with "~xxx" in the filename - that means that it's using short filename convention (as opposed to a long filename).

    But at any rate, yes, if a cache file goes bad, it could cause problems. And that cache file could indeed be what it was using to keep track of the pictures it's displaying. And yes, a computer hanging the way you describe can cause open files to be corrupt. So that was likely the problem.
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 9:43 PM
  • I believe you have already found a solution to your gadget prob, but i wanted to share my experience, as none of the posted fixes seemed to work for me. 

    I'm running the x64 verison and the sidebar.exe just flatout won't work.  Sometimes it states that it has "stopped working" other times it just vanishes.  I was able to get the x86 verison to work w/o any probs via the following cmd:  
    "c:\progra~2\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /showGadgets"

    Only problem is that every link in windows points to the x64 version so you will still be unable to access it via control panel or by right clicking the desktop.

    cam

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:05 AM
  • Cam,

    Thanks, your solution worked for me, as none of the other solutions applied or worked in my case.  I also ran that same command, but from the Program Files folder, not Program Files x86 folder.  In Cmd, navigate your way to the windows sidebar folder in the program files (x64 version) folder.  Then execute that same command.  Voila, you can access the gadgets via control panel or by right clicking on the desktop.

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Friday, July 24, 2009 4:38 AM
  • this is a litle bit beyond my level....but when I tried to do what ya'll said it would not work. Can someone give me clear, exact instructions on how to do this? I know how to get to the command prompt, and I typed in EXACTLY what you put, one time with quotes and one time without, and both times it says "the file path cannot be specified" or some other error message.

    Thank you!
    Monday, October 26, 2009 2:20 PM
  • Lane, there are two solutions given in this thread.  The one given by JustCam80 suggests you should open a CMD window and type "c:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /showGadgets" without the quotes.  This assumes that your Windows installation is on the C drive (as normal) and the file sidebar.exe is in the expected location (which you can check if necessary).

    The solution given by me is to navigate to the file C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_1024.db , delete the file and restart the computer.  For username substitute your user name.  This also assumes that your Windows installation is on the C drive (as normal). 

    Monday, October 26, 2009 5:49 PM
  • Alan knows what he's talking about...did the CMD fix and it worked immediately. I didn't even have to restart!

    Thank you Alan.

    Monday, October 25, 2010 9:16 PM
  • Hi Robinson,

     

    Even I am facing the same problem initially the gadgets were working just fine but then a couple of days back it just stopped working , I can open the gadgets but when I drag items like clock just a box with red needle is displayed.

    I tired to do what you have suggested but after sidebar I don't have settings as an option , what do I do?

    I would be really glad if you could help out.

    Thank you

    Saturday, November 20, 2010 2:02 AM
  • I have tried all the options stated but none of them seem to work for me.

    Please provide some other suggestions so that I can try it out.

     

    Regards,

    Ganesh

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 11:05 AM
  • Mr Wolfie-

    Dude I had the same problem with my gadgets. I think it was my fault when i tried to change the background in windows 7 starter which you are'nt supposed to be able to do- and it diddt work, along with causing a problem with my gadgets. I used the SFC/scannow and it fixed it immediately. Thanks for the tip-worked great.

    Nathan

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:30 PM
  • Firstly I used Oceanis for Windows 7 starter on my netbook  and had no trouble........  great app.

     

     Just fixed my gadgets, by going into Cntrl Alt De, clicked on processes running, shut  down sidebar.exe,  then clicked on  File, Run and typed it on again.

     

    Boom!!!!!! all fixed nice and easily.

     

    • Proposed as answer by GrandpaDRF Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:51 PM
    Sunday, January 16, 2011 10:29 PM
  • Alan -

    You probably should try running the following command from an Administrative Command Prompt (Click Start Orb, type CMD in the search box, Right-click on CMD.EXE and select Run as Administrator).

    SFC /scannow

    This will run the System File Checker and verify your system files are correct.
    thanks pa
    Sunday, January 30, 2011 4:08 PM
  • dy_dx

    This AM I had the dreaded Gadgets not working problem after the overnight automatic Windows Update.

    Your simple solution worked immediately for me. Thanks.

    GrandpaDRF

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:55 PM
  • As of a few days ago my desktop gadgets have stopped working.  When I start Windows they appear to function normally for a minute or so then the error message "Windows desktop gadgets has stopped working" appears.  Sometimes there is a second attmept to launch the gadgets but it fails in the same manner.
    Worryingly for the general robustness of Windows 7, performing a System Restore to a time before the problem arose did NOT fix the problem. 


    do repair online

     

    Sunday, June 26, 2011 3:58 PM
  • As of a few days ago my desktop gadgets have stopped working.  When I start Windows they appear to function normally for a minute or so then the error message "Windows desktop gadgets has stopped working" appears.  Sometimes there is a second attmept to launch the gadgets but it fails in the same manner.
    Worryingly for the general robustness of Windows 7, performing a System Restore to a time before the problem arose did NOT fix the problem. 

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:48 AM
  • I have found this solution and worked perfectly for me, you might want to try it out!
    I own no credit over this!
    Thanks to " 
    Ramesh Srinivasan   "

     Is your Windows Sidebar (Windows Desktop Gadgets) crashing after adding a third-party gadget, with the error "Windows Desktop Gadgets has stopped working" or "Windows Sidebar has stopped working" (Windows Vista) at every start? You can stop the offending gadget from loading by editing the Windows Sidebar Gadgets settings file. Here are the instructions, which apply to Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

    If Sidebar.exe process is running, you wouldn’t be able to write to its settings file. Launch Task Manager (taskmgr.exe), select the sidebar.exe process and terminate it if it’s running.

    Click Start, type the following path in the Search box and hit ENTER.

    %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar

    (You can type it in the Run dialog as well.)

    The above location is where the desktop gadgets store their configuration information, in a file named Settings.ini

    First, make a copy of Settings.ini

    Double-click Settings.ini to open it in Notepad.

    Configuration information for the last installed desktop gadget is usually located at the end of the INI file. Using the PrivateSetting_GadgetName line as the hint, locate the corresponding [Section #], select all lines underneath and delete it. Trim any blank lines that may have resulted from the deletion.

    Then, move to the top of the INI file, and delete the Section# line that references the offending gadget. As you’ve removed the entries in [Section 5], also delete the following line:

    Section4="5"

    Trim any blank lines that may have resulted from the deletion, and save the Settings.ini file.

    Right-click on the Desktop, and click Gadgets. This starts the Sidebar.exe process and shows the gadgets listed in the Settings.ini file.

    • Proposed as answer by AmrIbrahim Monday, January 09, 2012 1:33 PM
    Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:44 AM
  • Da7ool

    This was just great,

    It solved the problem like magic

    Thank you all for sharing your experience.

    All the best,

    Amr

    Monday, January 09, 2012 1:34 PM
  • GREAT
    Thursday, January 26, 2012 11:28 AM
  • Great Great it really works.

     But the problem use to occur repeatedly with the increment of Section#  when I click some of the gadgets; so I would like to have a solution for that as well . Shall i delete the recently created Section#s. Suggest me whether I should remove such gadgets or what?



    • Edited by Jeny12345 Thursday, February 02, 2012 6:10 AM
    Thursday, February 02, 2012 6:04 AM
  • excellent!.. thanks mate.. this bug was fixed
    Sunday, June 24, 2012 5:37 PM
  • Kudos to u.

    Hats off to u......

    It resolved the issue in seconds

    Monday, October 15, 2012 12:49 PM
  • I found your solution working
    Good job
    my gadget problem is solved
    Thanks

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:59 AM