Author Topic: Desktop weirdness  (Read 2901 times)

Doug Bissett

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Desktop weirdness
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:12:35 pm »
My brother has ArcaOS 5.0.4 (I haven't been able to go there to upgrade it). He is having a problem where a lot of, seemingly random, windows open (programs, folders, files), when he boots. He has "SET RESTARTOBJECTS=STARTUPFOLDERSONLY,REBOOTONLY" in CONFIG.SYS.. Checking the startup folders (I hope he did what I asked), shows no sign of any of this stuff.

I saw this, on his system, a few years ago, in eCS, Ar that time, it was all from one folder. There was nothing obvious wrong with the folder. I created a new folder, and moved all of the files into it, then deleted the old folder. That fixed it then, but he can't seem to relate all of this stuff to any individual folder, so I don't know what to fix.

I have used the VOICE HelpDesk thing in the past, but that won't work any more (Telus has blocked everything), so I can't have a look.

Anybody got any ideas?

David Graser

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 10:25:05 pm »
My brother has ArcaOS 5.0.4 (I haven't been able to go there to upgrade it). He is having a problem where a lot of, seemingly random, windows open (programs, folders, files), when he boots. He has "SET RESTARTOBJECTS=STARTUPFOLDERSONLY,REBOOTONLY" in CONFIG.SYS.. Checking the startup folders (I hope he did what I asked), shows no sign of any of this stuff.

I saw this, on his system, a few years ago, in eCS, Ar that time, it was all from one folder. There was nothing obvious wrong with the folder. I created a new folder, and moved all of the files into it, then deleted the old folder. That fixed it then, but he can't seem to relate all of this stuff to any individual folder, so I don't know what to fix.

I have used the VOICE HelpDesk thing in the past, but that won't work any more (Telus has blocked everything), so I can't have a look.

Anybody got any ideas?

Doug, why not try the easiest thing first.  Restore an archive of before the problem started and see what happens.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 10:51:13 pm »
Quote
Doug, why not try the easiest thing first.  Restore an archive of before the problem started and see what happens.

That probably doesn't work. I think the last archive was made recently, and would include the problem. The oldest probably also has the problem, or it is about 3 years old, which would be a bigger problem.

I should have mentioned, that the same thing happens in two boot systems (on the same machine, of course). It doesn't seem to be related to a boot drive.

ivan

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 10:53:02 pm »
Hi Doug,

Something else he could try is to clean up the INI files with something like XFIX or CLEANINI.  It may do nothing but experience says that when the INI files get too large because of junk staying there strange things happen to the Desktop on startup.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 10:56:53 pm »
Quote
Something else he could try is to clean up the INI files with something like XFIX or CLEANINI.  It may do nothing but experience says that when the INI files get too large because of junk staying there strange things happen to the Desktop on startup.

That's a thought. I know that he was cleaning the INI files, perhaps he forgot, and it got away from him, or he may not have been doing it properly.

Thanks...

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 12:07:36 am »
Doug,

Quote
Something else he could try is to clean up the INI files with something like XFIX or CLEANINI.  It may do nothing but experience says that when the INI files get too large because of junk staying there strange things happen to the Desktop on startup.

That's a thought. I know that he was cleaning the INI files, perhaps he forgot, and it got away from him, or he may not have been doing it properly.

Thanks...

Don't most of our (if not all) INI maintenance tools routinely backup the INI files before you start doing anything on them (I know CHECKINI does, as I use it here)??? So there is a chance the previous un-touched version is still out there.

In parallel to this, OS/2 backs up the INI files as well...sometimes the OS2SYS and OS2 may be a touch out of sync, but otherwise look for the *.BAK versions of these two out in \OS2 directory.

Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 11:53:51 am »
IIRC this may happen if one has accessed the archived desktops in \OS2\ARCHIVES or the desktop from another OS/2 installation with the WPS. That should only be made with non-WPS file managers. (The same applies to the templates folder.)

To clean the startup folder problem, I see two options:

The first one is to restore an old archive, as David has written.

The second one is to edit OS2.INI: PM_Workplace:Startup. There should be only one key. (XWP's startup folders should not appear here.) How to find the correct one: The key name represents almost the hex. object handle of the startup folder. Prepend it with a '3' ('3' for a file object, '2' for an abstract object). Mine is 15CE. That means that the object handle is 315CE.

Open the properties notebook of the folder named "Startup". Icon -> Details... -> Object handle. Here the entry is 0x315CE, which looks correct.

About templates: IIRC there exist VIO tools by Steven or Rich to clean them.

Rich Walsh

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 03:48:22 am »
I have used the VOICE HelpDesk thing in the past, but that won't work any more (Telus has blocked everything), so I can't have a look.

You should re-read "HelpDesk.txt".

Code: [Select]
  Alternate Ports
  ---------------
  Hosts that already run an SSH server on Port 22 may want to configure
  HelpDesk to use another port.
  [...]
  Note: using an alternate port may enable connections from clients who
  are behind a firewall that blocks port 22. Try using the port for a
  well-known service such as http (80) or some flavor of email that is
  less likely to be blocked.

BTW... what ever happened to the once-standard advice of "Run checkini"?

Code: [Select]
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:Startup
=================================================
C:\OS2\ARCHIVES\01\DESKTOP\COMPUTER\STARTUP is an ARCHIVED folder

╔═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
║ Remove stored reference to non-existing or faulty startup folder ?  ║
║     NOTE: Objects in this folder will no longer be autostarted!     ║
───────────────────────────────────┬───────────────────────────────────
║                YES               │               NO                 ║
╚══════════════════════════════════¤══════════════════════════════════╝

Doug Bissett

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 06:52:55 am »
Quote
You should re-read "HelpDesk.txt".

I did. It was working, before Telus replaced my old modem (actually a router as well) with a new one. Now, it seems that NO incoming traffic can get through. Alternate ports don't work. I suspect that they have, somehow, blocked the modem from accepting it's own address. Out going is okay, incoming seems to be blocked. Period. I can't even ping my own outside address (not that that means much).

I can make Helpdesk work through my own router, but not through the modem. I even tried my cell phone connection. It is with Public Mobile (which is owned by Telus), and it does the same thing. I can get out, but not in. I haven't, yet, tried to do a direct connection to my brother's computer (he is with Sympatico which is Bell Canada), and I wouldn't be surprised if they block that sort of thing too. It will be a major project to get him to open a port in his modem (especially when I don't know anything about his modem).

Telus was, at one time (when they were Alberta Government Telephones), a leader in internet technology. Now, they can't even run an e-mail server, and they farmed that out to GMail, which is nothing short of a royal pain. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options, and most, if not all, of the alternatives are even worse. I am looking at getting a business account, which is, of course, more expensive (but that is why they block things).

Quote
BTW... what ever happened to the once-standard advice of "Run checkini"?

Well, I asked my brother to do it, but I don't think he has done it yet. It would be so much easier if I could just go there and fix the problems. The biggest problem is, that he has lived with the problem for a while, without telling me, so going back is probably not an option any more.

Dave Yeo

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 08:16:49 am »
Off-topic, I got the mail telling me that I'm being moved to Gmail from Telus mail yesterday. I've started experimenting with gmx.com for mail.

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 04:04:44 pm »
Guys,
Off topic (as applicable to Doug's original inquiry here) question, but what's the issue with GMAIL?

I've got this setup here, been using that stuff for a few years now, first through PMMail and most recently with Thunderbird...smooth...love my GMAIL Categories, easy to kill off massive amounts of useless emails, let alone the auto-flagged SPAM stuff.

So while I'm living the GMAIL "bliss" (ha ha...does anything ever approach that though?) what am I being ignorant of?

Dave Yeo

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 04:26:37 pm »
Well, there is the advertiser having access to all your mails. For certain mails it is fine but nice to have alternatives and, at least in theory, a Canadian base ISP's email should be more private.
Then, try sending someone a zip file or certain other types with Gmail.

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 04:47:25 pm »
Dave,

Well, there is the advertiser having access to all your mails. For certain mails it is fine but nice to have alternatives and, at least in theory, a Canadian base ISP's email should be more private.
Then, try sending someone a zip file or certain other types with Gmail.

Yeah, I got that: "dance with the Devil and eventually you get burned".

I have historically had my email with a local ISP (MNSI.net - these guys have been awesome through the years, like going back to when DSL was the "big deal"...ha ha). Now that they caught up with their fibre rollout I went back for main provisioning as well, but my email has always stayed with them.

The stuff in GMAIL is the other ISP independant stuff...you know, the things you absolutely MUST be able to take with you should you ever change your ISP permanently, etc.

But yeah Dave, I understand your point.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2021, 08:36:12 pm »
Quote
Yeah, I got that: "dance with the Devil and eventually you get burned".

They switched me over, a few months ago. I have been "burned" more than once, since then.

Personally, I don't trust GMail any more than I trust microsoft, or apple. They are all on a mission to gather as much data on people as they possibly can. Currently, that seems to be used mostly for targeting advertising, but there are a lot more, less obvious, uses for that data. Currently, I cannot send  diagnostic data if it even has one e-mail address in it. I cannot send a text file that even looks like it might contain a script. I cannot send a file with the extension ".CMD". and many more things. All of those things either get lost in space, or are dumped into their SPAM filter, when somebody else sends them to me. Sometimes, they don't even notify people that they did things like that. Now, my contacts need to send a separate message, telling me that they sent a message with an attachment, so I know that I should have got something.

GMail will NOT let me control what gets filtered out, in any way, and I have had some very important messages filtered to their SPAM folder. Telus just keeps giving me the run around (I am pretty sure they don't even understand what I am telling them). They did "promise" a "safe, and user friendly, e-mail experience". They didn't deliver on either one. I also noticed, that my SPAM level has gone up, starting about a month after the switch to GMail (not saying they did it, but...).

I use PMMail, and PMMail doesn't know about their SPAM filter, so I need to check, using the web mail thing, a couple of times a day to see what they did, and correct their errors. That is a lot of extra work, for me, when PMMail does a far better job of filtering SPAM than they do. At least PMMail doesn't get advertising added to the messages.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Desktop weirdness
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2021, 07:02:07 pm »
Back on topic...

Quote
BTW... what ever happened to the once-standard advice of "Run checkini"?

Slowly making progress. From CHECKINI.LOG:
Code: [Select]
Folders of class TSMasterSetup will be regarded as startup folders.
Folders of class WPVault will be regarded as startup folders.
Folders of class WPUrlFolder will be regarded as startup folders.
Folders of class WPMinWinViewer will be regarded as startup folders.
Folders of class XWPTrashCan will be regarded as startup folders.
Querying WP_DESKTOP
Desktop found (Desktop handle is 0x37028)
Desktop location: C:\DESKTOP
Making a backup of OS2.INI to W:\UTILITY\WPTOOL\OS2SV.INI
Making a backup of OS2SYS.INI to W:\UTILITY\WPTOOL\OS2SYSSV.INI
=================================================
 Checking integrity of PM_Workplace:Handles0
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Objects:ClassTable
=================================================
Test skipped !
=================================================
 PM_Abstract:Objects & PM_Abstract:FldrContents
=================================================
Test skipped !
=================================================
 Checking PM_Abstract:Icons
=================================================
Test skipped !
=================================================
 Checking PMWP_ASSOC_FILTER
=================================================
Test skipped !
=================================================
 Checking PMWP_ASSOC_TYPE
=================================================
Test skipped !
=================================================
 Checking PMWP_ASSOC_CHECKSUM
=================================================
Test skipped !
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:FolderPos
=================================================
PM_Workplace:FolderPos:254698@XFSB
  points to 3E2EA - C:\NOWHERE\M3U PLAYLIST77<-UNABLE TO ACCESS
  DELETING PM_Workplace:FolderPos:254698@XFSB from the profile
=================================================
 Checking PM_PrintObject:JobCnrPos
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:PalettePos
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:StatusPos
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_PrintObject
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:Startup
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:Templates
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:Location
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking FolderWorkareaRunningObjects
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking integrity of PM_Workplace:Handles0
=================================================
=================================================
 Checking PM_Workplace:Handles0
=================================================

*DRIV: Y:\  (568 handles)

*DRIV: M:\  (610 handles)

*DRIV: W:\  (3028 handles)

*DRIV: C:\  (1019 handles)
 3E2EA:M3U PLAYLIST77 =>C:\NOWHERE\M3U PLAYLIST77<-UNABLE TO ACCESS

 DRIV: R:\  (1 handles)

*DRIV: D:\  (28 handles)
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles0:BLOCK1
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles0:BLOCK2
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles0:BLOCK3
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles0:BLOCK4
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles1:BLOCK1
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles1:BLOCK2
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles1:BLOCK3
  CORRECTING PM_Workplace:Handles1:BLOCK4
The Workplace shell has been reset!

I expect that the first few lines tell the story, but the problem still exists. It looks like the "/T" parameter is needed, but he needs to hide the other boot drives. I am waiting to hear from him (if the whole thing isn't a vegetable by now).