Windowblinds causing taskbar to lock up in Windows 8.1

By on January 16, 2014 5:55:30 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

BuckoA51

Join Date 03/2007
0

So I've had this problem for months now, been back and forth with Stardock technical support and nothing they suggest seems to fix it. I've used Windowblinds for years and apart from one issue with UAC a few years ago I've never had any big problems with it. But at the end of my tether I've disabled it this morning as I simply cannot fix this issue.

Basically what happens is my taskbar keeps locking up. By locking up I mean I click the icons and nothing happens, I can't peek at a program (by hovering the mouse over it) I can't open the notification area (system tray) or open the Start 8 Start Menu by clicking on it (though pressing Windows key does sometimes work). It will stay like this for several minutes sometimes, before returning to normal. While in this state, one or more of my taskbar icons will flicker as if being clicked rapidly, but no windows will move on the desktop (unless I move them myself, I mean).

Nothing else willl lock up on the PC, I can still alt-tab through windows for instance, but it's just become too frustrating.

Please, I can't be the only user in the world experiencing this, can anyone suggest what might be causing it.

OS Name Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro
Version 6.3.9600 Build 9600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name W8-GAMES
System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model X58A-UD5
System Type x64-based PC
System SKU
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 950 @ 3.07GHz, 3059 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. FD, 01/02/2011
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Embedded Controller Version 255.255
BIOS Mode Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
BaseBoard Model Not Available
BaseBoard Name Base Board
Platform Role Desktop
Secure Boot State Unsupported
PCR7 Configuration Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume3
Locale United Kingdom
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.3.9600.16408"
Username W8-GAMES\Bucko
Time Zone GMT Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 12.0 GB
Total Physical Memory 12.0 GB
Available Physical Memory 7.68 GB
Total Virtual Memory 13.8 GB
Available Virtual Memory 8.43 GB
Page File Space 1.81 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions Yes
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions Yes
Hyper-V - Virtualisation Enabled in Firmware Yes
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection Yes

Graphics card - Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 Driver version 332.21
3 Monitors (1x Dell SP2039W 2048x112 and 2 x Samsung Syncmaster 204B 1600x1200)

Other software of note - Directory Opus, Rainmeter, Multiplicity, Deskscapes, VirtualBox, Thunderbird, Firefox, Trillian, Yoono Desktop, OpenOffice (that's what I'd typically have running in a day working at my PC anyway)

PC passed the SFC test, no corrupted OS files

If anyone's experienced anything similar to this please let me know, even if you didn't solve it, maybe we can find a common factor and narrow down what might be the cause!

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January 16, 2014 9:50:18 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Open Windowblinds config window and click on about. Post that info here. Also, and you may or may not have done this already, try uninstalling Windowblinds, run a cleaner like CCleaner or the like and reboot. Then reinstall Windowblinds, reboot and see if the problem persists. There may be a compatibility issue with one of your programs but don't quote me on that as I'm running Win7. Just trying to narrow things down.

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January 16, 2014 2:47:48 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Uvah,
There may be a compatibility issue with one of your program
Most probable cause. -That, Malware or you´re using a poor registry fixer. I would say It´s definitely on your end though.

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January 16, 2014 7:25:47 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I never run registry cleaners, waste of time as far as I can see. Malware.. well I guess anything is possible but if it was malware wouldn't the problem persist after I disabled Windowblinds?

I've uninstalled/reinstalled using a cleaning tool Stardock provided, didn't help.

Windows 8.1 Pro (9600.winblue_gdr.131030-1505)
WindowBlinds 8.02 (022 - Windows 8 Edition) - 64 bit OS

    Wblind.dll         2013/11/12 16:11:ll
    Wblind64.dll         2013/11/12 16:11:09
    Wbsrv.dll         2013/06/18 13:44:40
    WB8Config.exe         2013/11/19 20:50:17
    Wbload.dll              2013/11/12 16:11:06
    Screen.exe         2013/06/06 13:52:23

 

 

 

 

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January 16, 2014 9:22:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BuckoA51,
I never run registry cleaners, waste of time as far as I can see

-Problem solved. 10 to 1 this is where you´ve gone wrong

 

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January 17, 2014 4:40:50 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Windows 8 must log events such as this, have you checked your admin. tools to see what error or issue is being logged when this occurs. IE, operation hang or such. Might steer you closer to a resolution.

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January 17, 2014 8:18:12 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Problem solved. 10 to 1 this is where you´ve gone wrong

Do you have any evidence to back that up as all the evidence I've uncovered says they are a waste of time and money and cause more problems than they fix eg - http://www.edbott.com/weblog/2005/04/why-i-dont-use-registry-cleaners/

Windows 8 must log events such as this, have you checked your admin. tools to see what error or issue is being logged when this occurs. IE, operation hang or such. Might steer you closer to a resolution.

I can't see anything in event viewer that looks out of the ordinary, but not exactly sure what I am looking for in this case I have to admit.

I'll report back if I find anything else!

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January 17, 2014 8:52:21 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BuckoA51,
Problem solved. 10 to 1 this is where you´ve gone wrong--------------------

Do you have any evidence to back that up ?

-Well a lifetime of experience that events similar to this may occur if not cleaning your registry, that and the fact that they tend to go away when the registry is working properly.

 

Edit: Just trying to help you here man, thought you wanted the problem sorted

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January 17, 2014 12:45:49 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

CCleaner will take out left over files in the registry that uninstalling leaves behind. This has been proven many many times. Had you run a registry cleaner like CCleaner you would have seen that. And not to put too fine a point on it CCleaner is free, as in no cost. Nearly everyone here and elsewhere runs CCleaner. The masses can't be all wrong.

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January 17, 2014 3:10:45 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

-Well a lifetime of experience that events similar to this may occur if not cleaning your registry, that and the fact that they tend to go away when the registry is working properly.

My experience has been totally the opposite, never known registry cleaning to cure a problem and back in the XP days when I did do it, caused more problems than it ever fixed. Windows Guru Mark Russinovich even said the same:-

"I haven't and never will implement a Registry cleaner since it's of little practical use on anything other than Win2K terminal servers and developing one that's both safe and effective requires a huge amount of application-specific knowledge."

CCleaner will take out left over files in the registry that uninstalling leaves behind. This has been proven many many times. Had you run a registry cleaner like CCleaner you would have seen that. And not to put too fine a point on it CCleaner is free, as in no cost. Nearly everyone here and elsewhere runs CCleaner. The masses can't be all wrong.

CCleaner is more than just a registry cleaner though, it cleans up temporary files and other junk so it's of much more value. I've not actually seen any proof anywhere that registry cleaning really helps a system though. A few left over keys in the registry aren't going to affect anything really. If registry cleaning was that important to system health Microsoft would have bundled a registry cleaning utility with Windows.

[Edit: Just trying to help you here man, thought you wanted the problem sorted

Oh I do believe me, I may even try CCleaner as I've really exhausted all other options. Don't take this as a personal attack I just think the whole registry cleaning business is something someone made up to sell useless tools to people. If it works for you then fine, I see your point I'm the one having issues right now not you

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January 17, 2014 3:28:34 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BuckoA51,
If registry cleaning was that important to system health Microsoft would have bundled a registry cleaning utility with Windows.

Mm hmm...and we all know how good Microstuff is at doing the right thing by their OS's. Registry cleaners do work. Try it. 

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January 17, 2014 6:16:51 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Is the list large ?The event log.Would maybe be an operation hang or similar.

 

Post a screeny, maybe we can help more.A screen of the event log.

 

 

As for reg. cleaners.

 

They can screw things up royal, but, also remove entries that may be causing issues, or correct entries , repairing minor issues.

 

I personally never had a cleaner, not even ccleaner, which I use, actually fix any severe issues or driver issues,pot luck I say.

 

 

Has this been an issue from the first install or new?

 

If new, maybe a restore would help. If it is new it could be a virus.

If always screwy, maybe a bad install or hardware, driver,or software compatibility issue.

 

Hope you get it fixed, sounds like a pain in your butt.

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January 17, 2014 7:37:04 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Is the list large ?The event log.Would maybe be an operation hang or similar.

Yeah aren't event logs on all windows machines really large? In this instance I just don't know what to drill down to. Remember I can still work the PC by alt-tabbing, or even open the Start menu with the Windows key, so it's as if Explorer is still running just not responding to mouse clicks.

Post a screeny, maybe we can help more.A screen of the event log.

I did make a screen-cast of the way the icons flicker when the taskbar locks up:- https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1488717/windowblinds-taskbar-lockup.mp4

As for reg. cleaners.

 

They can screw things up royal, but, also remove entries that may be causing issues, or correct entries , repairing minor issues.

 

I personally never had a cleaner, not even ccleaner, which I use, actually fix any severe issues or driver issues,pot luck I say.

Yeah most of the evidence for registry cleaning seems anecdotal at best. People saying "it works for me". I have yet to actually see it fix a problem or make a computer run any faster or even see a review where this happens. Considering I've seen the opposite, where a registry cleaner screws up a PC, and many Windows experts (not just Mark Russinovich) say they aren't worthwhile, I really don't want to chance messing up my system more. If a reg cleaner could fix problems like that it'd need some huge database of all possible configurations. I just have less than zero faith in registry cleaning and don't like the idea of risking my PC more. I do appreciate peoples suggestions and that people have had different experiences to me, but once bitten, twice shy.

Has this been an issue from the first install or new?

It's fairly new, I think around the time Windows 8.1 came out.

If always screwy, maybe a bad install or hardware, driver,or software compatibility issue.

My guess is some sort of weird software conflict. I've worked on my PC all day today then gamed in the evening, with Windowblinds off not one problem, so seems unlikely to be malware or anything of that nature.

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January 17, 2014 8:01:56 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I suggest further reading, the problem isn't entirely attributable to WindowBlinds but it may be aggravating the problem. I don't run Win8 or 8.1 but it sounds like WB's is perhaps trying to skin something you have running and failing. Just a guess here.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Windows+8+taskbar+unresponsive&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=&oe=

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January 18, 2014 7:28:01 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yes I Googled that same thing myself, I've tried power management settings that didn't help.

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January 18, 2014 8:02:04 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Does your problem persist with every skin you apply?           

 

Are you using only windows 8 ready skins?

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January 18, 2014 8:09:01 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Had to google 'yoono desktop' ...thought it might be an explorer enhancement...something that 'might' conflict with WB...but maybe not.

Best thing to do is stick with support@stardock.com  - that's the best avenue.

 

Re reg cleaners.... used sensibly they don't hurt....and do 'help' with the MS reg bloat ....but since 98/xp etc.  there's little real 'need' for them with later OS vers.

As for 8  and especially 8.1  I'm confident there WILL be bugs....I've certainly seen glitches in 8 .... with or without WB.

Just something to ponder....MS makes the flight sim 'FSX' ...and makes IE 10 and IE 11.  Why am I still using 9?  Because FSX crashes on load with 10 or 11.

If MS cannot keep their own crap compatible.....

 

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January 18, 2014 9:34:10 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Does your problem persist with every skin you apply?

Yes every skin

Are you using only windows 8 ready skins?

A mixture of what comes with the software and those I've downloaded from Wincustomize, not all are Windows 8 ready but some are.

Just something to ponder....MS makes the flight sim 'FSX' ...and makes IE 10 and IE 11.  Why am I still using 9?  Because FSX crashes on load with 10 or 11.

Why would IE effect a flight simulator?! Just curious.

Best thing to do is stick with support@stardock.com  - that's the best avenue.

They are as stumped as the rest of us it seems!

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January 18, 2014 10:28:19 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BuckoA51,
Why would IE effect a flight simulator?! Just curious.

God only knows....and she's obviously not talking to Bill...

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January 21, 2014 9:32:21 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Ok I am beginning to suspect this might be some sort of conflict with VirtualBox. Do any of you regularly run Virtualbox on your Windowblinds enabled machines?

In testing yesterday with minimal startup, there was no problem for a good half a day of computing, then as soon as I started a VM up the problem appeared. I can say for sure that it doesn't always happen when VBox is running and that it has happened when VBox hasn't been running, but I could have started Virtualbox and then closed it and not noticed the problem until later perhaps..

So yes, anyone run Virtualbox and not had any issues?

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January 21, 2014 11:06:35 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BuckoA51,
anyone run Virtualbox and not had any issues?

Ran VirtualBox a while ago without any complications

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January 21, 2014 12:55:33 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Ohh well- just read this
the driver you run on your graphics card is that the "Game ready driver beta" or the WHQL ? note there has been 2 versions one was bad
I had similar issue with the latest Gameready driver i dont know if it was due to choosing the update option but reinstalling it solved the problem for me...
Sadly i can´t give any more advice but if i would experience something like the video above showed and support couldnt help i would uninstall it download it once again and install it.


 

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January 21, 2014 1:30:46 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

It's the WHQL driver I'm using.

Ran VirtualBox a while ago without any complications

How long is "a while ago"?, did you use it for long? Which guest OS's?

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January 29, 2014 1:52:21 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Really does seem to be VirtualBox that is aggravating it.  No problems for 3 days or more then had the issue again today after starting VirtualBox.

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January 29, 2014 2:55:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BuckoA51,
Really does seem to be VirtualBox that is aggravating it
It´s not conflicting on my rig.

Just tried it, both Mac lion & Win. No problems

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January 30, 2014 6:55:10 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Which version of Virtualbox? How long did you run it for? Did you use seamless mode or any feature like that? Did you have guest additions installed in your Windows guest and how were you capturing the cursor? How many monitors do you have?

It seems at the moment as if VirtualBox is actually screwing with the mouse pointer, so sometimes Windows thinks I'm not clicking on the taskbar when in fact I am.

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