Random Load Sequence of Systray Icons

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

-- I have about 8 icons which appear in my System Tray at Boot-up, but each
time they appear in some seemingly randomly-ordered sequence. Is there some
method to this madness? Does the loading of the icons reflect the order of
loading of the programs themselves? From time to time (not all that
frequently, so I find it tolerable) I get some fatal error message, but a
subsequent reboot has no problems. I don't know if the two are connected,
but can someone maybe explain what might be going on? My OS is Windows 98SE.

little nemo in slumberland
7 answers Last reply
More about random load sequence systray icons
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    littlenemo wrote:
    > -- I have about 8 icons which appear in my System Tray at Boot-up, but each
    > time they appear in some seemingly randomly-ordered sequence. Is there
    > some method to this madness? Does the loading of the icons reflect the
    > order of loading of the programs themselves? From time to time (not all
    > that frequently, so I find it tolerable) I get some fatal error message,
    > but a subsequent reboot has no problems. I don't know if the two are
    > connected, but can someone maybe explain what might be going on? My OS is
    > Windows 98SE.
    >
    > little nemo in slumberland

    Some programs depending on how their made can cause that, but more
    importantly one thing you can do is keep your system light on it's feet upon
    startup, where it's always good not to have too many programs running live
    anyway which also shows up in the sys tray, when they are not needed.
    As well it's certainly always good to do a 'find files' on and then delete
    the ShellIconCache file and reboot ..do that every few or 6 months
    (depending on use) for various good reasons, even if you have its
    cache set to 2048.

    Also it's very good occasional to boot to dos and run:
    scanreg /fix
    ..and then
    scanreg /opt
    ...which will clean up that a bit

    The point in mentioning this is that I've personally seen 'numerous' times
    after doing these procedures - it will stop the alternate loading of sys tray
    icons that you've mentioned. (which always bugged me too ;)

    Rick
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Yes, there is *some* method to it....see here --
    INFO: Run, RunOnce, RunServices, RunServicesOnce and Startup:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=179365

    <quote>
    ......the keys are loaded in the following order:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

    <Logon Prompt>

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    StartUp Folder

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

    With the exception of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\...\RunOnce key, all keys and their
    entries are loaded asynchronously. Therefore, all entries in the RunServices and
    RunServicesOnce keys can potentially run at the same time.

    Entries in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\...\RunOnce key are loaded synchronously in an
    undefined order.

    Because the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\...\RunOnce key is loaded synchronously, all of its
    entries must finish loading before the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\...\Run,
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\...\Run, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\...\RunOnce, and Startup Folder entries
    can be loaded.

    The RunServicesOnce and RunServices keys are loaded before the user logs into
    Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me. Because these two keys run asynchronously
    with the Logon dialog box, they can continue to run after the user has logged on.
    However, since HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\...\RunOnce must load synchronously, its entries
    will not begin loading until after the RunServicesOnce and RunServices keys have
    finished loading.

    <unquote>
    --
    Glen Ventura, MS MVP Shell/User, A+
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.microsoft.com/communities/conduct/default.mspx


    "littlenemo" <littlenemo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:03BF3DDF-B3B3-46BB-8971-8E26CC22B305@microsoft.com...
    >
    > -- I have about 8 icons which appear in my System Tray at Boot-up, but each
    > time they appear in some seemingly randomly-ordered sequence. Is there some
    > method to this madness? Does the loading of the icons reflect the order of
    > loading of the programs themselves? From time to time (not all that
    > frequently, so I find it tolerable) I get some fatal error message, but a
    > subsequent reboot has no problems. I don't know if the two are connected,
    > but can someone maybe explain what might be going on? My OS is Windows 98SE.
    >
    > little nemo in slumberland
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Others have given you excellent advice. However, the order in which the
    icons show up and are listed in the tray doesn't necessarily follow the
    order in which they start loading. The icons appear at the end of the
    load procedure for each program---they signify that the program has
    finished loading. However, since they take varying times to load, even
    from one boot to the next, the order of the tray icons will vary
    accordingly.

    --
    Gary S. Terhune
    MS MVP Shell/User
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm

    "littlenemo" <littlenemo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:03BF3DDF-B3B3-46BB-8971-8E26CC22B305@microsoft.com...
    >
    > -- I have about 8 icons which appear in my System Tray at Boot-up, but
    each
    > time they appear in some seemingly randomly-ordered sequence. Is
    there some
    > method to this madness? Does the loading of the icons reflect the
    order of
    > loading of the programs themselves? From time to time (not all that
    > frequently, so I find it tolerable) I get some fatal error message,
    but a
    > subsequent reboot has no problems. I don't know if the two are
    connected,
    > but can someone maybe explain what might be going on? My OS is
    Windows 98SE.
    >
    > little nemo in slumberland
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Things like Norton System Works, with it's one-button tune-up, are
    dangerous. Much more dangerous than Windows Updates, that's for sure.
    There is no such thing as a mistake-proof utility. That's why I outline
    the steps in my Clean Boot procedure the way I do, instead of telling
    people to just use Cleanup Manager or Norton whatever. It's OK to use
    these tools to suggest things that you might want to do, but it is *not*
    OK to let them make the decisions for you, and it is *not* OK to do
    *anything* they suggest you do unless you fully understand what you are
    doing. You're better off not doing anything, most times.

    The WORD 2000 program you installed is part of the Office Suite. There
    are several Office Programs. You can install them in carious
    combinations or only one. But they are *all* Office Programs. In
    addition to things like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc., Office has
    underlying support programs and utilities that each version of Office,
    whether a single program or a Suite, includes in the installer. When you
    first installed Word, before the installer got to actually install Word,
    it had to install those underlying programs. Some of them are optional,
    some of them are mandatory--common things that can be used by any of the
    Office applications. One of the optional utilities is FastFind, a
    program that indexes your files (searches for words in all files and
    creates an index much like the one you might find at the end of a text
    book.) Say you want to search your system for any files that contain the
    word Russia (because you've been doing some research on Russia and can't
    remember the name of one particular file, just that it's likely to
    include the word Russia, somewhere.) The FastFind indexing feature
    supposedly makes that searching go more quickly--because by using an
    index, each Search operation doesn't have to read every file to find the
    word Russia--it already has a list of those files. Unfortunately, as you
    have discovered, FastFind causes lots of problems. When it detects that
    your system ins "idle" it starts indexing files. Unfortunately, FF is
    more suited to NT architecture than it is to 9x architecture, causes all
    the problem you've seen. (Though, in fact, if you'd used my Clean Boot
    procedures to prepare for Norton Speed Disk, you wouldn't have had that
    particular problem with the FF Index, aka 'Microsoft Office Search
    Services', because the Clean Boot procedures turn off FF indexing
    temporarily.)

    Now, you claim, somewhere, that you "never gave permission" to do this
    or that... Well, yes you did--by using a Typical installation instead of
    a Custom installation. Office chose that particular drive to put the
    index on because it noticed it wasn't being used for anything else--was
    a nice free chink of disk that would suit its purposes nicely. (By the
    way, I think that many partitions on an 8GB drive is going way
    overboard, <s>.)

    Unless you particularly need its abilities (and most people don't,
    though some do), you're better off not installing FastFind--but it's
    part of every Office 2000 Default installation. Which is why I always
    tell people, "ALWAYS use the Custom installation option, not Typical or
    Full, etc." If you had used the Custom installation option when
    installing Word, you'd have noticed several features that are part of
    every Office installation, some of them enabled by default, others that
    are not. And just like my previous comments on "do-it-all-for-you"
    Utilities, "Typical" installations aren't usually the right choice to
    installation choice. Even so, you might have seen FastFind listed as
    enabled, and read the FF description and thought, "Well, that sounds
    helpful", and installed it anyway. But at least you would have possibly
    realized what was happening later on. Frankly, the FastFind issue is
    *so* well known that if you had come here and simply asked, "Why is my
    hard disk running continuously, *especially* when I'm not using the
    system?!?", fifteen people would have immediately responded, "Uninstall
    Fast Find!"

    OK, so after all that, you'll want to know how. Simple: Go to Add/Remove
    Programs, find Microsoft Word, double-click it and then choose "Add or
    Change Components". Make sure you have *not* already disabled FastFind
    in MSCONFIG--if it's disabled, the startup command won't be properly
    removed. Once you've uninstalled FF and restarted, you can then delete
    the index, that file you found on drive I.

    And don't forget to review everything else in the Word setup to decide
    if you want or need other things: Rule 1 is, "If you don't need
    something, or don't know what it is or if you need it, don't install it.
    You can always go back later and install it if you decide you need it."

    There may also be a ton of files in the Windows folder with long names
    that start with "ffff", (or something like that) and end in a long hex
    number in {brackets}, and you'll want to get rid of those, too. They're
    left-over temporary index files that should have been deleted once their
    contents were written to the permanent index, but a bug often means that
    they stay around forever.

    I hope the above helps you understand a few things better.

    --
    Gary S. Terhune
    MS MVP Shell/User
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm

    "littlenemo" <littlenemo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:EBCF9CC7-83F1-475F-831B-6BA7F8FFF3AB@microsoft.com...
    > Thanks Gary--the advice is much appreciated even as most of what you
    said
    > just confirms what was already in the back of my mind. As for your
    paper on
    > a 'Clean Boot', I downloaded that months ago for future reference,
    realizing
    > that I would someday make use of its wisdom. But I have to say I'm a
    little
    > gun-shy about defragging and optimizing, although I've always known
    its
    > benefits. The program I normally use for that is Norton Systemworks
    (it has
    > a 'One Button Checkup' feature which includes defragging and
    optimization),
    > but it has caused me some headaches. I've tried to find out what's
    causing
    > the problem, but I've had no luck finding answers--Symantec won't
    support a
    > product more than 2 years old, and I haven't been able to find the
    answer in
    > Microsoft's Knowledge Base. But I might mention it here for your
    > consideration--you might be able to direct me to someone who has the
    answer.
    >
    > A couple of years ago, I installed a standalone copy of Microsoft Word
    2002.
    > Initially the install appeared to be installing some portion of
    Microsoft
    > Office before something seemed to go wrong and it aborted. On my
    second try,
    > the installation seemed to proceed smoothly, with no initial parts
    having to
    > do with Microsoft Office. The program seemed to work fine with no
    problems.
    > Not too long after that I noticed that my hard drive seemed to be on
    > steroids, with the activity light on almost constantly for long
    periods of
    > time--something that had never occurred before. This seemed to happen
    > whenever the computer was idle for awhile, and when I would return to
    it, it
    > would seem to respond sluggishly, as if coming out of a deep
    coma---the disk
    > activity would seem to resist the interrupting of its operations,
    whatever
    > they were. It would sometimes take up to a minute or so before
    everything
    > seemed to work punctually again, and the disk activity would cease.
    During
    > this period, the Systemworks defragging and optimization began bogging
    down
    > on my I: drive (partition). I have a 30 GB hard drive which I had
    originally
    > partitioned into drives C: through Q: (15 partitions). Most of these
    > partitions were 'empty', including the I: drive, so I could not
    immediately
    > figure out why the defragging and optimization was taking 45 minutes
    to an
    > hour on this one drive, while all the rest of the drives combined,
    including
    > my C:, D:, and E: drives---which contain most of my software and data,
    were
    > being defragged and optimized in seconds. As far as I knew, I had
    nothing on
    > the I: drive, that is, until I took a look at it. It now contained a
    folder
    > called 'Microsoft Office Search Services' whose size was over 200 MB.
    What
    > was it and how did it get there without my knowledge? I've never been
    able
    > to really figure it out, except that it appears to have something to
    do with
    > 'indexing services' which in turn enable some kind of 'fast find' of
    document
    > contents for Microsoft Office-related programs. One thing that
    bothers me is
    > that I never gave any permission to the installation program to make
    use of
    > my I: drive, and I was never informed of it.
    >
    > In any event, it is this large folder which appears to be causing my
    > Systemworks defrag and optimize to seemingly thrash about endlessly.
    Just as
    > strangely, within a matter of days, the folder appears to have again
    become
    > fragmented and disorganized to the point that it again requires the
    same long
    > time to defrag and optimize. It's as if the 2 programs--'Microsoft
    Office
    > Search Services' and 'Norton defragging and optimizing' were engaging
    in
    > un-doing each other's work. To try to correct this situation, I
    attempted to
    > configure Systemworks so as to get it to 'ignore' this particular
    drive, but
    > there isn't any such option, so I'm more or less forced to endure the
    tedious
    > defragging and optimization every time I choose to do the One Button
    Checkup.
    > I haven't been able to get answers from either Microsoft or Symantec
    on how
    > to deal with this. I've thought seriously about 'deleting' the
    Microsoft
    > Office Search Services folder, but I'm not sure what effect this would
    > have--whether it would simply replace itself like 'ShellIconCache'
    does, or
    > perhaps jam up my computer in some painful way. Can you blame me for
    being
    > somewhat reluctant to make use of defragmentation and optimization?
    Any
    > suggestions?
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Yes, that's exactly what they are doing, Gary. They've also installed a keylogger
    on your machine so Dan won't miss anything you write. ;-)

    "Gary S. Terhune" <grystnews@mvps.org> wrote in message
    news:eluZUeRUFHA.3716@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > Sheesh! I never *can* remember if it's "Find Fast" or "Fast Find".
    >
    > I swear, they're monitoring these groups, and every time I use one term
    > they quick run and change all the references in the KB to just the
    > opposite!
    >
    > --
    > Gary S. Terhune
    > MS MVP Shell/User
    > http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    > http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm
    >
    > "glee" <glee29@spamindspring.com> wrote in message
    > news:ORTyv$QUFHA.612@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > > OFFXP: Hard Disk Runs Continuously After You Install Office XP
    > > http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=282106
    > >
    > > OFFXP: Overview of the New Search Feature in Office XP
    > > http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=282107
    > > --
    > > Glen Ventura, MS MVP Shell/User, A+
    > > http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    > > http://www.microsoft.com/communities/conduct/default.mspx
    > >
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Hi, Dan!

    --
    Gary S. Terhune
    MS MVP Shell/User
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm

    "glee" <glee29@spamindspring.com> wrote in message
    news:OIRoOSWUFHA.1404@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > Yes, that's exactly what they are doing, Gary. They've also installed
    a keylogger
    > on your machine so Dan won't miss anything you write. ;-)
    >
    > "Gary S. Terhune" <grystnews@mvps.org> wrote in message
    > news:eluZUeRUFHA.3716@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > > Sheesh! I never *can* remember if it's "Find Fast" or "Fast Find".
    > >
    > > I swear, they're monitoring these groups, and every time I use one
    term
    > > they quick run and change all the references in the KB to just the
    > > opposite!
    > >
    > > --
    > > Gary S. Terhune
    > > MS MVP Shell/User
    > > http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    > > http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm
    > >
    > > "glee" <glee29@spamindspring.com> wrote in message
    > > news:ORTyv$QUFHA.612@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > > > OFFXP: Hard Disk Runs Continuously After You Install Office XP
    > > > http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=282106
    > > >
    > > > OFFXP: Overview of the New Search Feature in Office XP
    > > > http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=282107
    > > > --
    > > > Glen Ventura, MS MVP Shell/User, A+
    > > > http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    > > > http://www.microsoft.com/communities/conduct/default.mspx
    > > >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    On Wed, 4 May 2005 16:47:06 -0700, "Gary S. Terhune"

    >Things like Norton System Works, with it's one-button tune-up, are
    >dangerous. Much more dangerous than Windows Updates, that's for sure.

    Yes. There are dangers at every level of abstraction...
    - user intention
    - software intention
    - software design
    - software code
    - unwanted software, i.e. malware
    - hardware
    ....and the lower the level of abstraction, the greater the risk,
    because scopes that rest on higher abstraction layers are meaningless.

    So, from the bottom up, we have:

    1) Bad RAM

    Think of this as like a sniper who seldom fires, but never misses. If
    the system encounters a situation where RAM is suspected to be bad, it
    can do nothing safely, and will simply halt - but more often, there's
    no chance to react to bad RAM because until the first shot there is
    nil to see, and the first shot usually kills processing stone dead.

    2) Bad HD

    Think of bad HD as like quicksand - stray into an area of failing
    disk, and you get trapped in low-level retry loops that won't let you
    go for ages. Typically what is written to bad disk is lost forever,
    though the system may fake recovery.

    3) Bad untestables

    Other hardware subsystems can fail, but there are generally no tests
    for these - it's the "deadly sniper" effect all over again, but this
    time the sniper is invisible. Bad PSUs or motherboard caps are as
    likely to reset the PC as to lock it up, bad SVGA may show visible
    anomalies on screen as well as locking up, and overheating may cause
    slowdowns before errors, lockups and resets as the CPU protects itself
    by retreating into thermal shutdown etc.

    4) Malware

    Malware can mimic anything else, and is designed not to be found. So
    you have to go and look for it; it won't stand up to be counted.

    5) Unsafe software

    Safety failures are of three types:
    - software takes risks on user's behalf
    - software misrepresents risk to user
    - software behaviour is not limited to risk shown to user
    Malware thrives on software unsafety; it is this, rather than
    "security", that is most relevant to malware.

    6) Insane software

    Software may be safely designed, but insane due to exploitable code
    defects. For example, it may show you that a file is a JPEG (and thus
    safe to "open") and it may not automatically run a mis-named .EXE as
    code, but stop with an appropriate error. Yet the code that handles
    the JPEG material may have flaws that allow it to take control.

    7) Security issues

    Security, as system administration goes, is about ensuring that
    everything that happens is accounted for and can be linked to a
    particular user, and that users are identified and limited to what
    that identity is allowed to do. It only starts to be relevant after
    factors (1-6) have been excluded.

    8) User failure

    Only once we know the user is supposed to be allowed access to the
    system (7), and that the software does only what the user intends to
    do (5), and that the system is sane (6), clean (4) and healthy (1-3),
    are we left with genuine user stupidity or perfidity and can "blame
    the victim" on a PBKAC basis :-)

    >There is no such thing as a mistake-proof utility. It's OK to use
    >these tools to suggest things that you might want to do, but it is *not*
    >OK to let them make the decisions for you, and it is *not* OK to do
    >*anything* they suggest you do unless you fully understand what you are
    >doing. You're better off not doing anything, most times.

    Now consider auto-Scandisk and XP's AutoChk against the backdrop of
    (1-8) above. These automatically (5) make changes at a deep level of
    abstraction that act below any patina of safety that "security" (7)
    might apply, and are handling insanity (6) or ill-health (1-3). These
    changes are poorly logged. Seems like a real (7) failure to me.

    Why in 2005 do we allow XP to automatically "fix" things in a
    destructive and irreversable way, and bury the results deep in Event
    Viewer? How "accountable" is this? How does one square this with the
    excellent advice to allow no unlogged changes to the system?

    >FastFind causes lots of problems. Unfortunately, FF is
    >more suited to NT architecture than it is to 9x architecture

    Underfootware file touchers are a BAD idea, due to (6). Complex code
    is sure to have defects, and if these are on an edge, they can be
    exploited. NT (XP etc.) has the equivalent of Fast Find built into
    the OS, and the wretched thing has already been found to have
    exploitable defects. As such, it is the worst kind of (5), i.e.
    software that is maximally unsafe because it automatically takes risks
    on the user's behalf. If it "touches" a file that is crafted to
    exploit it, then that content gets traction to run as code.

    >Now, you claim, somewhere, that you "never gave permission" to do this
    >or that... Well, yes you did--by using a Typical installation instead of
    >a Custom installation.

    In NT (XP) you have even less control; Office uses NT's built-in
    indexing automatically, like it or not. As at 2005, current versions
    of NT (i.e. XP) may not run the indexing service automatically.

    >"ALWAYS use the Custom installation option"

    ABSOLUTELY! Even if you just nod dumbly, you can at least see what
    you are nodding dumbly to.

    >There may also be a ton of files in the Windows folder with long names
    >that start with "ffff", (or something like that) and end in a long hex
    >number in {brackets}, and you'll want to get rid of those, too. They're
    >left-over temporary index files that should have been deleted once their
    >contents were written to the permanent index, but a bug often means that
    >they stay around forever.

    Actually, those files are not related to Fast Find at all. Fast Find
    creates its index files (usually 4-5 of them) in each volume's root.

    The FFFF....files in Windows base dir aren't "F^%ing Fast Find" as the
    names suggest, but are spawned by MDM.EXE, i.e. the script debugger.

    Normally, you kill that via IE's Tools, Options, Advanced, [x] Disable
    script debugging, but recent versions of MS Office tend to enable the
    wretched thing even when IE's settings appear to suppress it. Look
    for MDM.EXE as a Task in the Ctl+Alt+Del list, and you may have to
    explicitly kill it in RegEdit as well as "asking nicely" in IE.

    Writing wads (thousands!) of dir entries into the Windows base dir is
    a ^&%$ing STUPID thing to do, especially in FATxx systems where
    directory access is linear. The directory gets long and fragmented,
    and thus the critical period for each update is increated. Bad-exit
    during this period, and the next Auto-Scandisk may just decide the
    Windows directory is "bad" and trucate it, casting system files adrift
    as nameless lost cluster chains. Game Over?

    If MDM.EXE had any clue whatsoever, it would spawn its own dir
    somewhere and puke in that. But as it is, etc.


    >---------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
    Gone to bloggery: http://cquirke.blogspot.com
    >---------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
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