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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Bug that Follows Me

Not a real one though - if it were I could have easily used some bug sprayer and get rid of him already. This is a virtual bug, one of the more irritating breed. Doesn't make sense, I know, how can a problem involving computers follow you, you might ask. See the importance of punctuation by the way; those two yous would have looked a bit stupid otherwise. Anyway. Have you come across this Windows bug where folders always open in their own windows even when the folder option setting is specified so that they should open in same window? That is perhaps the most annoying but there ever is, don't you think so? So, as I was saying this bug seems to follow me - or rather it comes up in every computer I seems to touch at work. Funnily, and luckily I might add, it didn't come up in my home laptop though. Not yet at least.

Now, this occurred first some months ago while at work. I was using a PC back then, and this came up out of nowhere. I was going to reformat my computer anyway, and did, but the damn thing came up even after that. Several hours of net-searching later, I could fix it. Then a couple of months later I switched to a laptop. Sure enough, the bug came up after a while, and again got rid of it somehow. Funny thing is, one fix that you could use in one machine doesn't work in another. Anyway, then last week I again switched my laptop to another, which has been in use for several months without any trouble at all. I set my hand on it, not two days pass by, lo' and behold, THE DAMN BUG COMES UP AGAIN!

In case there are other souls who has the same problem, thought I might share what I did. Actually there are a few, and you might try each and every one of them until you get it fixed or your brain need fixing. Usually this occurs on Vista, though XP and even Windows 98 are known to have it. If you are using Vista, chances are that you're having IE 8 in your system. First try removing it and switch back to IE 7. This might fix it. Also keep in mind that if/when you download windows updates it will download IE 8 upgrade as well. So make sure you uncheck it before you installing updates - you never really use IE in the first place, do you?

For the other methods you need to tweak the registry a bit. You could try either of the two following, first of which solved it for me but the second one too is known to solve the issue sometimes.

Solution 1
  1. Open up the registry and go to HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-xxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxx-1005\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
    Here, xxx... refers to some numbers which differs from computer to computer. But it should always begin with HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21 and end with 1005. Sometimes this 1005 too can be changed to something like 1000 in your computer but worry not it's all the same.

  2. Then, within it is an entry called "Explorer". You need to delete it, but just to be safe rename it to something like Explorer2 so if you mess up everything then you can always go back and change it back to what it was.

  3. Reboot.
This should normally do it, though on some machines it doesn't work.

Solution 2
  1. Go to registry entry HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\command

  2. Change it's default value to %SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /separate,/e,/idlist,%I,%L
    Again, backing up the original value would be a good idea in case you mess up everything.

If any of that doesn't work, you could look up on the Internet a bit more and you might come up with some other solution. Even if that doesn't work, you should probably find a good 2x2 pollak and smack a couple of blows to the computer and find a job that doesn't involve computers.

Happy debugging guys!



  1. damn... I think I had this problem sometime back as well... but the PC was formatted and it didn't come back after that...

    Are you planning to upgrade to Windows 7? :)

  2. I see, but it's handy knowing a fix so that you wouldn't have to format the PC, I think.

    And nah, don't wanna spend so much money on upgrading to 7, specially when it's so new. There are bound to be few bugs in a new release, so if I upgrade I'll wait at least till SP1.

  3. You got me with that title, Sach.
    I came here hoping to see a sweet little Japanese critter for a change, and you have disappointed me.

    Computer bugs, bug me too. I lost nearly 100 images ('keepers') of a female Leopard that 'our jeep' chanced upon, and had for over 45 minutes before any other jeep could find us, due to a bizzare computer failure. Utterly heartbreaking. See what RAHU can do!

  4. @Amila

    Oh, so sorry to disappoint you man. But to be honest, I never thought somebody would come here wanting to see a real life bug! The word 'bug' usually reminds me of a computer bug before a real one though obviously it's the other way around with you. How we see things differently, isn't it?

    And sorry about the images, but you should always keep a backup. It's a must. Perhaps right when you downloaded the images from camer