Windows 7, dwm.exe causes dead area in lower right screen RRS feed

  • Question

  • I first reported this issue here: "http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/feedback/details/759464/windows-server-2012-dwm-exe-causes-dead-area-in-lower-right-screen"

    I reiterate here what I reported there. Then I add some new information at the bottom:

    I keep the Recycle Bin in the lower right corner of the screen. For several weeks, I noticed that clicking on Recycle Bin does nothing. When I first start Windows 7, everything works everywhere. But after some time (I don't know, maybe an hour or so), clicking does not work in the lower right corner of the screen. My screen is SAMSUNG SyncMaster BX2231. But I do not think it is the monitor. My screen display area is 10 inches tall by 19 inches wide. The problem area is about 2 inches tall by about 4 inches wide in the lower right corner.

    Everyplace else on the screen works. I discovered that I can select the Recycle Bin (or any other icon I drag there) in these ways:

    1. I can drag the mouse from a live area of the screen to the dead area so that the selection rectangle selects the Recycle Bin.
    2. I can click on the desk top in a live area, then use the arrow keys to move from icon to icon until the Recycle Bin is selected.

    So it is just mouse clicks that do not work in the lower right. And I cannot drag from that area.

    It seems like an immovable and invisible window is covering the icons in the lower right. 

    Then I opened Windows Task Manager. I sorted on PID and started with the largest PID and worked my way towards lower PIDs. I Ended each process and checked whether I could open the Recycle Bin with a mouse click. I was able to open the Recycle Bin after ending dwm.exe. I noticed that dwm.exe restarted itself somehow. But I was sill able to click on Recycle Bin in the lower right even with it running. I restarted Windows re-establishing the normal set of running tasks. After a time, maybe an hour or two, I noticed that I again could not open the Recycle Bin by clicking. This time I ended only dwm.exe. I was again able to open the Recycle Bin by clicking. I saw that dwm.exe restarted itself. But I was still able to open the Recycle Bin by clicking.

    New information:

    Although my terminating dwm.exe seemed to implicate dwm.exe (because the problem went away), we could have coincident phenomenon that gives me a misleading perception. That is to say, maybe dwm.exe is not the culprit. Rather, when I delete dwm.exe, some chain of events corrects the problem. And the problem originated from somewhere other than dwm.exe. Or maybe dwm.exe is indeed the culprit. At this point we do not know.

    In any case, the last time I noticed that the lower right part of the screen is a dead area I noticed the mouse cursor changing shape. As I moved it slowly from the top of the rectangular dead area towards the bottom, the cursor changed from the arrow to the pointing hand. This is the shape that indicates in a browser that you are hovering over a link. I clicked, then McAfee All Access Total Protection opened, asking how long I wanted to turn off some feature. The feature was something like scanning or firewall.

    At this point it looks like the dead area is some kind of invisible, immovable window that has active controls you can click on. And it looks like McAfee creates this window because a McAfee window opened when I clicked.

    I hope there is some way to find out what this is. Is there a problem with dwm.exe? Or McAfee All Access? 

    If we report the problem to the wrong third party software, nothing can get fixed. So, I hope someone can isolate.

    I am assuming that this has nothing to do with my windows configuration settings but does have something to do with Windows software and third-party software. Even so, I am open to trying some configuration setting adjustment.

    Ron Lewis at Indinfer, Baltimore, Maryland United States

    Monday, August 27, 2012 5:50 PM


All replies

  • Hi,

    We may test the issue in Safe Mode first. Please temporary remove McAfee.


    In addition, this type issue may be related to the damaged user profile. As a result, we can create a new account and log in to test the issue.

    Kim Zhou

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Kim Zhou Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:16 AM
    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 6:55 AM
  • This problem was happening every day and several times a day. But for the past several days I have not seen the problem. All parts of my screen are active with no dead areas.

    I was trying to wait until the problem occurred again before doing the isolation procedure you said which involved removing McAfee.

    I think the problem was probably McAfee's and McAfee probably fixed it because it has not happened even once for several days. Of course we cannot know for sure that McAfee was the problem, especially now that the problem has not recurred. What we know is that I have not been able to reproduce the problem that I had before.

    I suppose if the problem recurs, I can post to this thread or open another thread. Thank you for your attention. 

    Ron Lewis at Indinfer, Baltimore, Maryland United States

    Friday, August 31, 2012 6:14 PM
  • Hi,

    I would like to confirm if the issue re-appears again? If so, please feel free to let us know it.

    Kim Zhou

    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, September 3, 2012 3:06 AM
  • I waited a few days to see if the issue re-appeared. However, the issue never re-appeared. Thank you for your help and attention. 

    Ron Lewis at Indinfer, Baltimore, Maryland United States

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012 11:45 AM