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Vista Start Menu Broken?


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#1 gfreek

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:17 PM

Over the past few days, I've noticed something odd about my Vista start menu. I can't seem to use the shortcuts for "most recently used programs." For certain apps example, I use Word 2007 quite often However, when I click on its icon in the Frequently Accessed Programs list in the Start Menu, I get no response from the computer. The only way to get the EXE to open is to go to All Programs->Microsoft Office->Word 2007

I've tried clearing the checkbox for "show a list of recently opened programs" and then putting the checkbox back. I suspect this bug been their for a while only now it's come to my attention! And no, I do NOT feel like "just reformatting" unless absolutely necessary.

Any solutions anyone?

#2 yoni5002

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 12:30 AM

Over the past few days, I've noticed something odd about my Vista start menu. I can't seem to use the shortcuts for "most recently used programs." For certain apps example, I use Word 2007 quite often However, when I click on its icon in the Frequently Accessed Programs list in the Start Menu, I get no response from the computer. The only way to get the EXE to open is to go to All Programs->Microsoft Office->Word 2007

I've tried clearing the checkbox for "show a list of recently opened programs" and then putting the checkbox back. I suspect this bug been their for a while only now it's come to my attention! And no, I do NOT feel like "just reformatting" unless absolutely necessary.

Any solutions anyone?


I'm having exacly the same problem... heheh. I can open all other applications but Not Office's ones... I've been doing a lot of things to get this solved. None of the tested things have worked so far... Weird huh??

Which office version are you using?? Professional Ultimate?

Edited by yoni5002, 31 July 2007 - 12:33 AM.


#3 gfreek

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:40 AM

I'm using Office 2007 Enterprise edition however, it's not just problem with office apps but also with some 3rd party apps. it's quite annoying now that I've noticed this bug. there must be some registry fix out there!

#4 gfreek

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:27 AM

Just to clarify when I try to open a commonly used program, nothing happen. And the weird part about it is that it only occurs to some shortcuts (not all) and only in the start menu frequently used programs and in the start menu search results. But if I go into start - all programs and then click any shortcuts it works.

It seems that there are 2 kinds of shortcuts. When I go into the properties of the shortcut files some are different. Here are some screenshots to be more specific:

(These types of shortcuts don't work:) see below fig 1



(these types of shortcuts work:) sebelow fig 2




I found a solution but it's long and it's not clean. It takes a long time depending on how many programs’ shortcuts are affected because you have to manualy delete the shortcuts in "Start", "All Programs" that are not working and recreate them manually (not in the most recent used program). To do so you'll need to find the programs usually located in "C:\Program Files" make a shortcut and place it back in "All programs" from the "Start menu". And now when you'll start a program from anywhere in the start menu, it will work. A registry key to modify would be the best way to fix it.

This problem is annoying, and is a waste of time.

Attached Files



#5 gfreek

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:56 PM

Finally a solution to my problem :D After much head scratching and bit of research on the net, it appears the bug is caused by certain 3rd party apps using context menu, how this interferes with Vista start menu shortcut links is beggers belief! I guess thats Vista for you <_< anyways on to the solution as follows:

ShellExView (by Nir Sofer) is an excellent tool to view and manage all installed shell extensions. If available, it displays the description, as well as version details, company information, location, file name and more. You can optionally disable/enable any item, which can be very useful to disable an extension, that you don t need or that has been left behind in your right click menu from a previous software install.

Download ShellExView http://www.nirsoft.n...s/shexview.html and run it as administrator. It will scan the registry for all the shell extensions. Once the scan is over and the list is displayed, you need to spot the context menu handlers. Sort the results using "Type", so that the context menu handlers are displayed together.

The rule is to disable non-Microsoft context menu handlers *one-by-one* and verify if the problem is solved. If disabling one does not solve the problem, undo the disabled item and disable the next non-Microsoft handler. Do the same until the problem is solved and finally identify the culprit, remember to re-boot each time you disable a item. In my case it was "Shedko Badges" I disabled that and voila probelm solved :D all apps now luanch from recent start menu!

I hope this helps you, saving you a lot of time and headache!

#6 Splinter

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:05 PM

I did like you said and the recent programs still do not show. I have even gone as far as disabling all nonmicrosoft context menu handlers.

#7 gfreek

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:31 PM

Splinter did you re-boot each time you disabled a item? becuase if you don't as I found out it will not work.

This solution not only worked for me but it also helped quite a few of my friends, so it should work!!

If you have done exactly what I have said in my last post and it still doesn't resolve your issue then I suspect it could be something else all together:( you never know with vista!!! it took me nearly a month to solve this.

Good luck mate!

Edited by gfreek, 23 August 2007 - 08:33 PM.


#8 Splinter

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 09:59 PM

I rebooted after disabling each item and still nothing works. I have a feeling that it is something wrong in the registry. Like a fool I did not make a backup when running a registry cleaner and now that I'm having problems there is nothing to go back on. :(

#9 gfreek

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:48 PM

Splinter I feel for you man! I too did the same little while ago using these stupid registry cleaner apps, and it screwed up my mouse pad scroll function luckily for me I had system restore:) since then I've stopped using these apps in fact Vista is actually far more efficient then XP you don't really ever need to use registry cleaners unless it's a last resort measure to sort an issue and even then make sure to do a back up!!

If you feel the need to use cleaners use CCleaner it's excellent freeware utility, has built in registry cleaner but not deep level so it's safe to use. google it!!!

#10 Splinter

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 07:14 AM

Yea, I had some system restores but none were before the problem started. I created another account on my computer, and everything works fine on it so I know that the problem is only in my user account. Now I get to compare the two registry versions and find my problem.

#11 Splinter

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:45 PM

Couldn't find the error in the registry so to fix the problem, I made a new account and transferred my documents on over. Everything is fine now.

#12 cosmin2007

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:24 PM

Couldn't find the error in the registry so to fix the problem, I made a new account and transferred my documents on over. Everything is fine now.


That's a fine solution and one of the before-the-last-resort category solutions in order to avoid Windows reinstall. Curious, though, it worked for shell extensions. Bad designed apps mess the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE keys in Registry so bad sometimes ... :( . I know shell extensions are found in CLSID sections, but some important shell settings also reside in LOCAL_MACHINE, if I remember well.

Anyway, lucky you !

#13 Jim Berglund

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 08:37 PM

Over the past few days, I've noticed something odd about my Vista start menu. I can't seem to use the shortcuts for "most recently used programs." For certain apps example, I use Word 2007 quite often However, when I click on its icon in the Frequently Accessed Programs list in the Start Menu, I get no response from the computer. The only way to get the EXE to open is to go to All Programs->Microsoft Office->Word 2007

I've tried clearing the checkbox for "show a list of recently opened programs" and then putting the checkbox back. I suspect this bug been their for a while only now it's come to my attention! And no, I do NOT feel like "just reformatting" unless absolutely necessary.

Any solutions anyone?



I downloaded and ran Sheksview, and was able to determine that the culprit is the Microsoft New Menu Handler It's a contect menu handler (details below)

New Menu Handler No Context Menu Windows Shell Common Dll 6.0.6000.16386 (vista_rtm.061101-2205) Microsoft® Windows® Operating System Microsoft Corporation No No No C:\Windows\system32\shell32.dll {D969A300-E7FF-11d0-A93B-00A0C90F2719} 8/13/2007 11:09:27 PM 11/2/2006 6:53:15 AM Yes Directory\Background A 11,315,200

When I disabled it, the menu worked; when I rebooted, the handler was still disabled, but the start menu programs didn't work. I enabled it , and they started working again.

That's as far as I can get. Someone else with a lot more savvy needs to get involved...

Jim Berglund

#14 Splinter

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 03:58 PM

Couldn't find the error in the registry so to fix the problem, I made a new account and transferred my documents on over. Everything is fine now.


That's a fine solution and one of the before-the-last-resort category solutions in order to avoid Windows reinstall. Curious, though, it worked for shell extensions. Bad designed apps mess the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE keys in Registry so bad sometimes ... :( . I know shell extensions are found in CLSID sections, but some important shell settings also reside in LOCAL_MACHINE, if I remember well.

Anyway, lucky you !



I was real close to reinstalling Windows, then I thought to see if a new account would work. It did, and after moving my documents everything works like it did before.

#15 BenTrovato

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 06:07 PM

I've been having the same problem, also when right clicking on my computer and going to properties. Clicking on device manager from that window does not work either.

So many items on the start menu do not launch. I've had it up to here with Vista. It is so odd that there is no clear cut solution to a problem like this. I'm going back to XP.

#16 lanfear

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 11:16 AM

Thank you for this thread, it helped me to locate the cause! I had this problem but it was solved by uninstalling the software DeliPlayer. The new public beta of DeliPlayer (v2.50) doesn't seem to cause this when installed.

It's rather weird...

Edited by lanfear, 09 May 2008 - 11:18 AM.


#17 richard456

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:29 AM

Finally a solution to my problem :D After much head scratching and bit of research on the net, it appears the bug is caused by certain 3rd party apps using context menu, how this interferes with Vista start menu shortcut links is beggers belief! I guess thats Vista for you <_< anyways on to the solution as follows:

ShellExView (by Nir Sofer) is an excellent tool to view and manage all installed shell extensions. If available, it displays the description, as well as version details, company information, location, file name and more. You can optionally disable/enable any item, which can be very useful to disable an extension, that you don t need or that has been left behind in your right click menu from a previous software install.

Download ShellExView http://www.nirsoft.n...s/shexview.html and run it as administrator. It will scan the registry for all the shell extensions. Once the scan is over and the list is displayed, you need to spot the context menu handlers. Sort the results using "Type", so that the context menu handlers are displayed together.

The rule is to disable non-Microsoft context menu handlers *one-by-one* and verify if the problem is solved. If disabling one does not solve the problem, undo the disabled item and disable the next non-Microsoft handler. Do the same until the problem is solved and finally identify the culprit, remember to re-boot each time you disable a item. In my case it was "Shedko Badges" I disabled that and voila probelm solved :D all apps now luanch from recent start menu!

I hope this helps you, saving you a lot of time and headache!


This tool and method worked for me. The list it produces is depressingly long, but there were only 3 non MS context menu handlers, including a recently installed application - Retrospect Continuous Backup. Uninstalling this worked - the start menu items now work again. Why Microsoft allow this vulnerability in Vista in the first place is another question.

Thanks for the helpful post.

#18 Muyk

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:04 AM

Thanks a million! That shellxview program did the trick! It only took me 5 minutes to find the bug. What's nice is that I didn't have to go about uninstalling programs either. In my case, the culprit was gladinet, a new (beta) program that lets you mount Google Docs and MSLive as virtual drives.

#19 mozbius

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:39 AM

For those who might be interested the culprit in my case was (based on ShellExView) :

Extension name : Systran6.SystranShellContextMenu
Type: Context Menu
Description: Microsoft .NET Runtime Execution Engine
Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
Product name: Microsoft® .NET Framework
Company: Microsoft Corporation
Filename: C:\Windows\system32\mscoree.dll
CLSID: {7BEDB9F5-A8A8-48eb-BEFE-8357423A6FE6}

#20 Syzygy

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:52 AM

For those who might be interested the culprit in my case was (based on ShellExView) :

Extension name : Systran6.SystranShellContextMenu
Type: Context Menu
Description: Microsoft .NET Runtime Execution Engine
Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
Product name: Microsoft® .NET Framework
Company: Microsoft Corporation
Filename: C:\Windows\system32\mscoree.dll
CLSID: {7BEDB9F5-A8A8-48eb-BEFE-8357423A6FE6}

Two year old topic mate.

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