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[Fixed-PortableOnly] InfraRecorder hides Desktop Icons in Windows 7

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solanus
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[Fixed-PortableOnly] InfraRecorder hides Desktop Icons in Windows 7

While this bug is there in both the Portable and Installed versions of Infrarecorder, I think it is a big enough issue to inform the users here.

As you may know, in Windows 7, you can hide the desktop icons by right-clicking on the desktop and unchecking Show Desktop Icons.

Well, the bug is that Infrarecorder does that secretly every time you run it. It must be doing it on the registry level, because the icons don't disappear right away, but the next time you reboot, they are gone.

The workaround is easy - just re-check Show Desktop Icons - but it's really annoying. And, because the effect is delayed until you reboot, it wasn't obvious that Infrarecorder was the culprit. I'd been trying to find out the reason for my randomly disappearing icons for months!

I've e-mailed Christian (the dev) and posted on their bug-tracker, so I don't know if there's anything that has to be done here - it's not specific to the Portable version.

Although... would it be possible to build a way to backup the affected registry key using the Portable launcher, so that it reset itself when it closes?

UPDATE: I've received a response from Christian, and he said he'll look into it.

UPDATE 2: Out of curiosity, I ran Process Monitor to check what happens when IR starts up. Even after filtering to show only registry entries generated by infrarecorder.exe in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion, it still showed 2,572 entries logged by Process Monitor, including specifically setting the HideIcons key to 1.

A similar check on Audacity shows only 14 entries, OpenOffice only 13 entries, and Thunderbird only 197 entries.

I'm pretty sure he's using C++ for this. @ anyone with knowledge, is it possible for a C++ compiler to pick up HKCU keys inadvertently?

John T. Haller
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Can't Reproduce

I can't reproduce that with either the local or portable version on my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 box.

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solanus
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huh!

I'm running Windows Home Premium 64.
This bug has been reported multiple times on the Infrarecorder forum, as well as in their SF Bug Tracker.
I just tried it with their 64-bit zip and also with their 64-bit installer, and it occurs with both of those, as well as the portable version from here.
It's very specific. I monitored the registry in regedit, and it happens the same every time.
When I start any version of Infrarecorder 0.50, it immediately changes this registry key from

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"HideIcons"=dword:00000000

to

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"HideIcons"=dword:00000001

The icons don't immediately disappear, but the desktop context menu has the option now un-checked.
If I restart the computer or kill and restart explorer.exe, the icons disappear.

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John T. Haller
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Confirmed

I just double-checked it and you're right. Weird. Why on EARTH would it be doing that? I didn't remember it doing that before, but then I remembered that the last time I burned a disc I was still on Vista (I burn maybe one disc a year).

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Stevoisiak
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Odd

Thats a very odd sounding bug...

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solanus
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There's prolly more keys affected

See my update 2 above about my Process Monitor check.

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computerfreaker
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Try running it in Sandboxie

Try running it in Sandboxie and see what gets changed; some HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion stuff is supposed to get changed, IIRC, so it might not all be bad.

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solanus
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I have a comprehensive list from Process Monitor

Not just numbers, I have the list of all the actual keys affected, and way too many of them have nothing to do with the actual use of the app, and instead look like they are artifacts from the compiler's computer.
Add to that, the developer was truly surprised that the HideIcons entry got changed. There's no earthly reason for an app to change that unless it is intended as a feature of the app, which it's not.
If it's possible that the compilation process pulled all these accidental keys in, then the code needs to be reviewed and whole thing should get recompiled.

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computerfreaker
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Never heard of a compiler

Never heard of a compiler building in Registry keys that don't even have anything to do with the app at hand; either the compiler's broken or something is very wrong here.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Something's seriously wrong

Just flipped through the InfraRecorder source in SVN; nowhere in the code is HideIcons (or even any registry key other than InfraRecorder's own) mentioned at all. I suppose it's possible the 0.50 code was never checked in, but this seems unlikely.

Even more perplexingly, the compiler is quite clearly VC++, as there are several .sln and .vcproj files in the file listing. I've never seen a VC-compiled app have side-effects like this (the compiler does what you tell it and no more, like any good compiler should), so some black magic is definitely at work here.

Hm, the string "HideIcons" doesn't appear to exist in InfraRecorder.exe or any of the DLLs it uses, either (not even cygwin1.dll, which was one of my #1 suspects).

I'm totally stumped here.

OliverK
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I was using this on a work

I was using this on a work machine and my desktop icons kept disappearing. Now I know what happened to them.
*EDIT
Guess it would help if I let everyone know it was a win7 pro or ultimate x64

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guillaume.prevot
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Thanks

It happened to me twice and I get a few phone calls for help about hidden desktop icons : all I could say is "Check it again" Smile
Now I know... Thank you.
Edit: Bug confirmed on Windows 7 x64

John T. Haller
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Fixed in Rev 3

This is fixed in the portable version in Revision 3, which will backup and (if necessary) restore the setting for your Win7 desktop icons. The bug is still in InfraRecorder itself, though, our launcher just fixes it for users.

Note: The Show Desktop Icons entry may remain unchecked after running, but it is set properly within in the registry and will remain visible on next logout/login or reboot.

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romulous
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Sorry to drag this up again...

Sorry to drag this old topic up again, but I installed Portable InfraRecorder to my USB last night, and when I logged onto my Win7 64bit PC today, my icons had disappeared. I eventually discovered a couple of threads on the Microsoft forums that mentioned InfraRecorder, and I was able to un-hide the icons. A further search picked up some more threads on the InfraRecorder forums, and then this one. When you say it is fixed, does that just mean that the 'show desktop icons' option is not greyed out? I rebooted a few times when I first found the problem today, and that didn't fix it, so the PortableApps launcher is not stopping InfraRecorder from changing that setting. Just wanted to clarify exactly what you mean by "fixed" really.

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solanus
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Are you using the latest one?

I was the OP on this post, and since I installed this latest version
https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/infrarecorder_portable , I haven't seen the issue again.

BTW, I've also been posting and bumping this on the InfraRecorder Sourceforge site, AND I've directly e-mailed Christian Kindahl, but he hasn't touched this in the main app.
Go figure.

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romulous
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Oops, apparently not...

Well, this is odd. I just checked what the latest version is, and it seems to be a Rev 3. I only have Rev 2 - and that is what I installed - but I check this site for new release announcements each day (and have done for months), and I haven't seen any notice for a new InfraRecorder. I suppose I could have missed it, but it makes me wonder if it was actually announced. Anyway, I'll download Rev 3 and update my USB install and see if it fixes the problem. Thanks solanus.

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xuesheng
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Rev 3 was announced

Rev 3 was announced on 17 March. The news item is still listed in the "More News..." section linked from the home page and the announcement itself is at
https://portableapps.com/news/2010-03-17_-_infrarecorder_portable_0.50_R...

Using the RSS button listed under "PortableApps.com News" on the home page makes it easy to keep up-to-date with what is happening (though sometimes the RSS updates seem to be a bit slow)

solanus
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No worries!

I gotta give John props for fixing a problem that the original developer seems to be completely ignoring.
But it's definitely a disturbing bug.
Glad I could help.

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