Start menu (program don't start) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I’m running a Windows Vista Business, Its developer box.  I have problem that some programs won’t start when you click on them from the Start menu. It’s when I try to click on link in the “Most frequently used programs”, “Pin list” or the “search box”. It’s all types of programs from Microsoft Office Word 2007, Notes, SQL SPY and more.

    My work around for this is to click on “All Programs” and drill down to shortcut. Then it works.  Or start explorer and find the shortcut that’s not working. Delete the shortcut and recreates it and the it start to work.

    Is that any workarounds for this behavior? Can I have change some setting somewhere.

    Don't know if this right place....


    Friday, February 15, 2008 8:55 AM

All replies

  • Friday, February 15, 2008 11:04 AM
  • http://forums.windowsvistamagazine.com/forums/thread/5413.aspx

    I think it this Windows Installer Shorcut that the problem for me...
    Friday, February 15, 2008 12:05 PM
  • Shortcut, File Extension, COM CLSID – these refer to hooks for MSI packages that use the Class, Extension, Shortcut tables in a way that enables these specialized entrypoints.  The OS handles these differently.  Take the shortcut.  The “special” shortcut (also called an advertised shortcut or darwinized shortcut) has the target grayed out when you right-click properties on it.  This is because the target is actually a tuple consisting of the ProductCode, Feature, and ComponentId to which the shortcut belongs.  When the shortcut is double-clicked, the shell actually calls into MSI (via advapi32.dll) to resolve the tuple.  In doing so, MSI checks the health of the component and feature in question.  If unhealthy (the keypath of the component is missing), MSI will actually invoke an installation to install the component (or reinstall it) and then return the path to the keyfile of the component.  Shell will then launch the file referenced in the keypath
    Friday, February 15, 2008 12:28 PM
  • That's interesting and all, but I don't believe the shortcuts are not working becuase of any health issues. If a shortcut never works from recently used programs, it NEVER works for that application, even if you start the application with another shortcut and the application runs fine.


    For example, in the case of the Office 2007 apps, for me, they don't work from the start menu recent programs (particularly excel).. however if I browse to the Microsoft Office program group in start menu programs folder, it works from there always and that's how I'm forced to start excel.


    It seems primarily the problem is with Microsoft Applications and more recent ones.. older versions of Windows Live Messenger weren't affected by this, but as of 8.1.0178, it now too is falling victim to this behavior. I must navigate to the programs group in order to launch, and it refuses to launch from the recent programs list.


    Many other non recent Microsoft applications (and even some recent ones) in my recent items list work fine.. For example:


    Visual Studio 2005, Calculator, Ventrillo and Zune all work without issue and share the same space as Microsoft Excel and Windows Live Messenger (the two items currently occupying space there that don't work.


    I'm not going to say it's the MSI feature that reroutes the shortcut specifically that's causing this problem, because some of the software we write and release with Visual Studio 2005 in an installer project uses this method of creating shortcuts, and does the auto-health check and repair if the application becomes damaged etc, and that software works fine when it's shortcuts appear in the start menu.. but there may be another set of circumstances particular to the way some MS teams are packaging shortcuts in installer packages that's causing this conflict.


    At any rate, hopefully someone will identify this as a bug and put it on track for getting fixed, I did some searches and it seems the problem is fairly prevalent. This is quite an embarassing problem to come across when trying to convince our clients and departments to switch to Vista. ("Yeah, the start menu doesn't quite work right, sorry about that")

    Friday, February 15, 2008 3:42 PM

  • Your issue is most likely a poorly coded 3rd party app.  Specifically a bad context menu handler. A context menu handler is a shell extension handler that adds commands to an existing context menu. Download shexview from  http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html and disable 3rd party apps one by one until you find the offending application.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 4:17 PM
  • I have the same problem as many. Specifically, I can't launch Word 2007 and Streets and Trips 2008. This sugests the problem is not related to crappy 3rd party apps. Word has been a problem from Day1, but Streets and Trips used to work fine.

    Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:34 PM
  • itunes too...




    At this link there are some solutions to this problem...

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 6:34 PM