Author Topic: Shadows on the desktop stopped working  (Read 957 times)

Neil Waldhauer

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Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« on: October 16, 2017, 08:45:14 pm »
One of the machines I administer (running eCS 2.2 b2) has developed a problem. I can create a shadow (of a folder, for example) on the desktop, but it does not function. Around the same time as this started happening, I got the three error messages shown in the attachments.

After rebooting the machine comes up fine, except for the shadow problem.

What is going on? Can it be fixed?

« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 08:47:39 pm by Neil Waldhauer »


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Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 10:47:45 pm »
Errors like that are usually caused by a corrupt ini file. Use the ones that IFX or DMT saves (default is 3 generations) to restore an old one. Also XWP saves 1 generation, but after you rebooted, it should be also corrupted.

Yes, I have seen these messages a few times. I tried to repair the inis, but ended in a replacement. I do that from a service partition and don't know if one can force IFX/DMT to show the restore dialog on startup. (Many years ago, before the time of DMT, XWP had a problem with saving inis, so I had seen that many times.)

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 06:29:41 am »
Andreas is right on the money here...corrupted INI files. As it happens I continue to be plagued by this nightmare...does not happen on each re-boot, but occasionally while shutting down XWP will tell me that something went "wrong", upon re-boot attempt my desktop is usually corrupted, icons get missplaced, etc, etc.

I do have multiple backups for that very reason, but it's such a pain to shut the system down to make a manual backup off of a maintenance partition...is there a better way?

Dave Yeo

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 06:54:24 am »
I do have multiple backups for that very reason, but it's such a pain to shut the system down to make a manual backup off of a maintenance partition...is there a better way?

During boot, when IFX starts, hold down the shift key and choose one of the last 3 ini file backups to restore.

ivan

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 12:02:51 pm »
Hi Dariusz,

That sort of ini problem generally appears when the ini files become over full with crud (where programs write to the ini files but don't clean up after themselves).

When was the last time you ran an ini cleaner like Cleanini or Checkini from wptools or Xfix included in Xworkplace?  Depending on what you are doing you may need to run of then once a week.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 07:45:16 pm »
I'm trying to run xfix. The help mentions that it will display, but not actually work on a running system because WPS will overwrite any changes you make. Is there another way to run xfix on a running system?
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Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 09:39:33 pm »
I'm trying to run xfix. The help mentions that it will display, but not actually work on a running system because WPS will overwrite any changes you make.
I found that XWP's warning about overwriting is much too strict. In my cases it works well even when run within the WPS. But I don't understand what you want to achieve by running ini repair tools while avoiding a reboot: After you edit the ini files, you should better reboot to be sure that the changes stick. I don't think you can fix much with tools beneath the WPS without letting the WPS know that something has changed.

Is there another way to run xfix on a running system?
It's not about running it, it's about getting the WPS notified about the changes.

Dave Yeo

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 08:34:22 am »
I'm trying to run xfix. The help mentions that it will display, but not actually work on a running system because WPS will overwrite any changes you make. Is there another way to run xfix on a running system?

You have to do it during boot. Yes, you have to reboot, but it is easier then going to a maintenance partition

ivan

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 12:03:18 pm »
After you have made changes to the ini files (they are held in memory) you should restart the desktop to write them back to disk.

All of the ini cleaners I mentioned will do that automatically with a switch setting.  Xfix does that from the dropdown menu.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 03:23:08 pm »
I'm trying to run xfix. The help mentions that it will display, but not actually work on a running system because WPS will overwrite any changes you make. Is there another way to run xfix on a running system?

You have to do it during boot. Yes, you have to reboot, but it is easier then going to a maintenance partition

How do you get xfix to run during boot? I tried holding down right shift, but nothing happened.
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Pete

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2017, 06:18:14 pm »
Hi Neil

Press and hold the Shift key - I tend to use the left - when the Desktop background colour appears until xfix starts. I presume that would work for the cutdown xwp installed with eCS but have never bothered installing the cutdown versions included with eCS or ArcaOS.


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Pete

ivan

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2017, 06:41:50 pm »
Neil, I would suggest that you run cleanini.exe /c /restart from a command window with the system working.  Once it has done its thing it will tell you what it did and write a full log to the root of the boot drive - it also makes a backup of the ini files.

This is what we (when I ran the company) did once a week on all systems for the past 20 odd years.

Xfix will also run from a working system and if you use the 'write back to os2eys.ini' in the 'xfix' menu dropdown there should not be any problems.  The best thing to do is let it 'find invalid' (number shown at the bottom of the window) then 'select all invalid'.  Once that is done, scroll down through them just to see what is there, then use mb2 to select 'delete' - this will mark them for deletion but they will only be deleted when you select 'write back to os2sts.ini' and even then you will get warning messages.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2017, 09:06:51 pm »
Hi Neil

Press and hold the Shift key - I tend to use the left - when the Desktop background colour appears until xfix starts. I presume that would work for the cutdown xwp installed with eCS but have never bothered installing the cutdown versions included with eCS or ArcaOS.


Regards

Pete

That does not work either on eCS or on ArcaOS. I didn't try any machine with the full XWorkplace.
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Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2017, 11:18:16 pm »
Hey ivan,

...That sort of ini problem generally appears when the ini files become over full with crud (where programs write to the ini files but don't clean up after themselves).

When was the last time you ran an ini cleaner like Cleanini or Checkini from wptools or Xfix included in Xworkplace?  Depending on what you are doing you may need to run of then once a week.

Well, I am rather religious about running clenini, last time was literally just 2 days ago. I pretty much try to do it once a week, the goal being a clean report-out, which I always get (so no left-over corrupt objects, etc, etc).

In my particular case I find that a re-boot within 1 day of system boot usually gives me a clean 'save', anything beyond that usually ends up giving me a corrupted 'save', so that I pretty much know upon re-boot my WPS will be corrupted. In such situations the OS2SYS.INI file is alway chopped down to about 600k from the normal size of about 900k.

I can only guess that this is a symptom of memory contention in OS/2. Almost like clockwork, if I end up running FF for an extended amount of time, to the point where the available memory on my 4Gig box drops down to <1Gig, then the shutdown will produce a corrupt OS2SYS.INI file.

XFIX has been of use before, I normally run CHECKINI.

Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: Shadows on the desktop stopped working
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 12:30:53 am »
I normally run CHECKINI.
That's usually not enough. Cleanini (with the parameters and the config file set right) is in most cases required to keep a system clean.