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Thread: Start Menu is picking up all files




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    6

    Question Start Menu is picking up all files

    Help!
    My Start Menu is picking most (or maybe all) of the folders and files in my Program Files directory. For example, I have a folder in my Program Files directory called Benchmarks for progs like 3DMark, etc. Inside of that I have a folder for 3dMark03, another for 3DMark2001SE, etc. When I go to the Start Menu>Programs>Benchmarks>3dMark03 it expands out to show every file in the folder! And it doesn't show them as shortcuts either. If I check properties for one, it shows the actual file. I believe this has done this for every new folder I've made in the Program Files folder. The normal shortcuts show up also, but normally (in their own folders or right on the root of the Start Menu>All Programs) like the way the program installed it. This has made a real mess of my Start Menu.

    When I boot up, it gets to the part where it is loading the icons that show up in the icon tray, and there is like a 30 second delay where a can't do anything related to the Start Menu, Tanksbar, or Icon Tray. I believe it is loading all that Start Menu stuff during that time.

    This is ticking me off to the point I may do a clean re-install. But I'd rather not do that if I don't have to. I figure it's probably just a manner of changing a something in the registry, but I don't know enough about the registry to figure that out. But if one you registry gurus can tell me what to change, I do know how to edit the registry safely.

    Help! This is d-d-d-driving me crazy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    4,825

    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    Chances are good you just did a straight copy/paste of these files into your Start Menu. Usually when you install a program, you are given a choice where to place the shortcut to the application. Since you have specialized yours into a folder called "Benchmarks", how did you go about placing the shortcut into the Start Menu? Did you copy/paste that folder into the Documents & Settings area so you could access these programs under the "Benchmarks" folder? It sure sounds like it to me. Since these files were just copied and pasted into the D&S portion for the Start Menu, you have a full access to the files since they were present during the paste.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    Thanks, but that's not it. I just used the Benchmarks folder as an example, but the same is true for every program I've installed on my system. A quick check with Explorer shows that the programs are all installed under Program Files as they are supposed to be. Also, if you go into the Start Menu to any one of the programs and do as right-click/properties, it also shows the Path as being under the Program Files folder. I've been using Windows for a long time and have always tried to organize my programs with folders for each type of file, but have never seen this happen before. Somehow the files are becoming linked with the Start Menu. If I don't figure out what's happening pretty soon I'll just do a clean install again, and I hate to because this one is only a month old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    How it happened is not as important as what has happened. As I indicated above, your Start Menu is not being fed from the right location. Here are the two places the Start Menu should gather information:

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu
    C:\Documents and Settings\**your account**\Start Menu

    Since you check properties and the aiming spot is Program Files, you have found your problem. This is NOT how it is supposed to be done. Your Start Menu is doing nothing more than what it has been asked to do... that is aim itself at the Program Files location and show you what is there.

    The above assumes you are using WinXP. If you have a different operating system the location will be slightly different but will still not be coming directly from the Program Files folder.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    Well, Darthtanion, I believe you are right. But my question is - how do I fix it? I tried looking through the registry, but it's like looking through a haystack for me.

    And yes, op sys is Windows XP.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    Head on over to Microsoft and download TweakUI for WinXP if you don't already have it. The screenshot below will show you where to go to fix your problem.
    Attached Images Attached Images Start Menu is picking up all files-tweakui-jpg 
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    Ya, I already had that. And it shows my Start Menu right where it's supposed to be (just like your pic, just subsitute my name for yours and it looks just like that).

    Problem is, like you said, the Start Menu gets picked from 2 different places, but TweakUI only allows you to change on of them, and I think it's the other one that's screwed up.

    Thanks for your help though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    Got it fixed! I think I got pretty lucky. Made a backup of the registry, then I did a search for "programs" trying to find an entry that didn't look right. When I found one, I'd delete it and log out and back in. It took 5 or 6 tries, had the Start Menu all screwed up (it was completely empty at one point). Finally hit on the right one. I don't even remember what it said or what section it was in now.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    If you happen to discover what changes you made, post the results here so others who run into the same issue can get their system squared away as well.

    Glad you got it fixed up.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Start Menu is picking up all files

    I still have the backup of the reg. Do you know of any program that will compare the old reg with the current one and tell the difference?

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