Stardock Closed for the Holidays
Jan 5, 2015 8:45

Stardock's offices will be closed in observance of the holiday season from December 19th until January 5th, 2015.

During this time there will be a delay in answering support tickets, so we ask for your patience during the holiday period.  While we will keep tabs on the tickets during the break, we will respond to them as quickly as possible upon our return.  

On behalf of the Stardock staff we wish you a happy holiday season and look forward to the new year!

Fences doesn't start with windows

By on August 13, 2014 1:15:12 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums


Join Date 11/2007

Running Windows 8.1 64; Fences 2.13

Computer is 1.40GHz, 4GB RAM, 125 GB SSD, laptop


When windows starts up, Fences doesn't activate--nor are there any desktop icons--until I right-click on the desktop or start windows explorer. Quick hide is not enabled.


I have tried everything I can think of: starting from registry; starting as task; starting as service; starting as start-up folder link. I have uninstalled---removing every registry reference, folder, and file--and re-installed.


I have the same version of Fences with the same software set-up on another laptop (more powerful) and it runs without problem.


It's not a deal killer for me, but it sure is annoying!


Any suggestions would be appreciated.




12 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2014 8:33:15 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Sorry for the trouble your experiencing. This has been noted before and is logged internally. We hope to have it fixed in the future.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 23, 2014 7:27:45 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Same here (v2.13). However, it is not the same thing with every start. Often it appears normally (even it seems it takes way to long time and mostly is the last thing finishing loading itself even there are wether much fences nor much things to load; but this is known already also). In some cases then, it looks like Windows is loading eternally just because there is no icon/element seen on the Desktop. After one click, it shows up then.

Windows 8.1 Pro "Update" (x64)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 17, 2014 3:40:21 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I hope they can give a fix soon, this issue is starting to annoy me.

At least I haven't had Object Dock crash in the middle of my gaming for a while, so that update went well.

Fences desperately needs this issue fixed.

I read elsewhere on the forum that right clikcing brings the icons back (for me this is always, it still takes a minute or so). 

Boot has become ridiculously slow because of fences.

It also had something to do with a 'hide desktop icons' registry setting that is toggled to the wrong state. 



Windows 8.1 x64, have been running the same software configuration for ages, for me the issue started immediately after updating to version 2.13

I will reinstall fences, hopefully that somehow resolves the issue.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Sign Up or Login and this ad disappears!
There are many great features available to you once you register. Sign Up for a free account and browse the forums without ads.
October 21, 2014 4:16:51 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

If the developers need a hand with tracking down the issue, I am willing to help.

As a game developer I know my way around my computer, so get as technical as you need to.


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 21, 2014 5:23:22 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

p.s. re-installing (with reboots between uninstall, install and 'first' use resulted in exactly the same problem).
I did not clean out the settings, but I doubt it will make any difference.

Object dock also seems to start slow, but it does at least load without needing to right click.
uninstalling both results in a lightning fast boot as expected on a SSD.
It's definitely these two programs that are slowing down the boot. 



Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 21, 2014 9:10:05 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Please send in a support ticket. We may have a temporary work around for you to get Fences started at startup. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 21, 2014 8:14:07 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I have come up with what appears to be a work-around.

Using WinPatrol (free), I've set Fences to start on a 30 second delay after all other processes--and so far it is working like a charm!



Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 10, 2014 8:32:23 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I got a bat file from support, but the /enable parameter seemed to do very little in my boot experience.
The time differenct between the autostart link and the batfile in startup folder, seem to be nearly identical on an SSD, too fast for the parameter to take effect.

I created a scheduled task for windows, delaying startup with 1 second works for me.
Perhaps Fences or something in Explorer.exe is waiting for a network connection or some other DLL to load???

As the task is not started untill all other log-on startups are complete, fences is able to load without any problem.

Hopefully we can get an actual patch for the issue, but for now, scheduled task is a free and easy workaround.


Per user, workaround:

Here is a brief explanation on how to add a scheduled task.
You might be able to do some more scripting to create one for all local users, but for me the single user is enough.

I first disabled the original startup task using ccleaner (you can also do it with a 1000 other programs like it, just google disable startup program)

On windows 8.1 x64 (mostly identical for older windows, but some options might be slightly different):

start menu search for: Schedule tasks

Open the Task Scheduler Library, create task.

Give it a name (let's go crazy and use 'Fences'), set it to run only when user is logged on. Untick 'highest privileges' and 'hidden', as those two are not needed.

Go to the Triggers tab, select new, begin the task: at log on
Tick delay task for 30 seconds, you can even type in the selection, experiment with any amount of seconds and share your lowest score with us

Make sure 'enabled' remains ticked, all the others are not needed.
Press OK to save the trigger

Next up, go to the Actions tab, add the path to your fences install dir (for x64 bit OS the default is: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock\Fences\Fences.exe", for 32 bit remove the ' (x86)').

As parameters add: /startup

I'm not sure if this is needed, but I wanted to emulate the auto-start function as closely as possible.

You can customize the Conditions tab as you see fit, I would recommend you untick all the options here. Otherwise the task will only run on AC power.

Settings tab:


  • allow task to be run on demand
  • Run as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed
  • if the task does not end when requested, force it to stop


  • if the task fails, restart every:
  • stop the task if it runs longer then:
  • if the task is not scheduled to run again, delete it after:


I hope this helps the other users with this issue and the developers to solve the problem.


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 19, 2014 4:31:07 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Terrific instructions, but doens't solve the problem at my end.

Win 8.1 - 64 bit Enterprise

Fences 2.13



Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 20, 2014 4:01:09 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Perhaps we should also post other startup events here? So the devs can take a stab at the possibility that some other applications might be hindering fences showing up?

a 'Hijack this' log might work well in this scenario, though for privacy concerns you might want to send those to support directly.


Here is a short list of what is started at boot on my SSD:

ObjectDock, Realtek HD audio, ESET Nod 32 anti-virus, RoccatKoneXTD, Samsung magician, bitlocker, 7-zip, notepad++

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 9, 2014 4:37:54 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Is this problem related to this one

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 10, 2014 3:29:07 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

It could be related to virus scanners reading the memory and the code not handling delayed bits correctly.
Or they somehow protected fences from memory related tampering, causing issues when any half decent virus scanner starts poking around looking for trojans.

Either way these kinds of issues are hard to diagnose and reproduce, at least when not given all the information.
Try turning off HIPS, heuristic scanning, memory scanning or temporarily disabling your virus scanner. Once you know the cause, send a support ticket with all the version numbers you are using.

Also try the startup delay solution, simply disable fences and start it manually, if that helps, add a taskscheduler entry to start fences with a delay.

Even a 0 second delay is enough, as the timer is started after all startup items are done starting.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000844   Page Render Time:

Home | About | Privacy | Upload Guidelines | Terms of Service | Help
WinCustomize © 2014 Stardock Corporation. All Rights Reserved.