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Random empty dialog boxes on desktop


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#1 stalkingturkey

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:36 PM

Hello,

 

For the past few weeks, there have been random popups of completely empty dialog boxes, featuring only 2 buttons (OK and Cancel), appearing on my desktop. I had just finished putting together a new custom PC in early July and I'm still in the process of installing old programs and configuring everything just the way I want it. Please see below for an attached image.

 

As far as I could tell, the popups are completely random. Sometimes one popup would appear and that would be it for the day. Sometimes I would close one and another would follow immediately (It doesn't matter if I hit OK or cancel). A couple of times, I would leave my computer on idle for a few hours, and I would return with literally dozens of those windows cascaded on the desktop.

 

I don't believe they are associated with any specific programs, as they happen while I'm idling and while using other applications. I've ran virus scans, spyware scans, sfc /scannow, memtest...no luck, but like I said, it's pretty much a brand new machine. I also can't seem to match the popups with any specific warnings or errors in the event viewer, so no luck tracing it that way. I've also tried retracing my installation steps and uninstalling and/or doing a system restore to any programs I think are causing it, but the list is pretty slim.

 

Anyway, any help would be appreciated, thanks.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:42 AM

If you are currently reinstalling...the simple thing to do is do a clean install...install a given app...see if the boxes appear...if not, install another app.

 

If those are Windows boxes, I'd have to question the source/method of installing Win 7...or assume that there is a hard drive problem or that the Windows on the installation media is corrupt.

 

Whatever it is...it seems to me that the best course for solving it is just to start anew and proceed as I have stated.

 

Louis



#3 murffff

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:58 AM

Have you found a solution to this problem?

I am experiencing the same issue with a machine I use for work... I had to send it to support to have them rescue data from an old hard drive that crashed and put a new one in; they reinstalled Windows 7 and since I got it back (probably 2-3 months now), the same problem has been happening to me. It started out pretty tame, I could exit the one dialog box and maybe it wouldn't show back up, but now it's gotten to the point where twenty of them will pop up while I'm at lunch and every time I exit the last one, another pops up in its place. Quite annoying.

 

Let me know if you found a solution to this. I might send my machine back to support to have them do a clean install AGAIN but I'd rather not be without my personal machine for a week.

 

Thanks-



#4 stalkingturkey

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:21 AM

Have you found a solution to this problem?

I am experiencing the same issue with a machine I use for work... I had to send it to support to have them rescue data from an old hard drive that crashed and put a new one in; they reinstalled Windows 7 and since I got it back (probably 2-3 months now), the same problem has been happening to me. It started out pretty tame, I could exit the one dialog box and maybe it wouldn't show back up, but now it's gotten to the point where twenty of them will pop up while I'm at lunch and every time I exit the last one, another pops up in its place. Quite annoying.

 

Let me know if you found a solution to this. I might send my machine back to support to have them do a clean install AGAIN but I'd rather not be without my personal machine for a week.

 

Thanks-

 

murffff,

 

I ended up narrowing down my problem to Acronis True Image backup software.

 

When I was migrating the data from my old computer to my current system, I wanted a new backup solution to replace an ageing copy of Norton Ghost. I decided to try Acronis, and everything with the backup seemed to work fine until the problems mentioned above started happening. I actually would have never been able to narrow it down to Acronis if not for a massive memory leak I noticed with the Acronis imaging driver (it seems to be an extremely buggy program overall, I obviously wouldn't recommend it.) I uninstalled Acronis to fix the memory leak, and the empty dialogue boxes never showed up again.

 

You mentioned that your support provider needed to rescue data from your old hard drive. I'm guessing that they may have used some kind of imaging software--although you may not have the actual retail version of Acronis True Image installed on your machine, Acronis has been known to market it's imaging drivers for use in proprietary Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc., backup and restore software. It might be worth a try to uninstall this backup software (most of these companies have downloadable installers available on their websites should you need to re-install). Alternatively, you could attempt a clean install yourself without sending it back to support, installing only the most essential programs at a time to narrow down the issue.

 

I hope that your problem isn't completely unrelated, although I will say that in 20 years of computing I have never seen an issue like this, and I was relieved that I stumbled upon the solution and fixed the problem with one uninstall--a clean install would have been a headache. Good luck and let me know what you find out, I'm very curious.

 

-Eugene



#5 murffff

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:36 AM

This is unbelievable, 

I am not sure what support used to salvage the data from my old hard drive but I do have Acronis True Image installed on my machine for weekly backups. This is interesting information. I will try what you suggested and see what happens.

Thanks for the reply!

-Murphy



#6 murffff

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:49 AM

I uninstalled Acronis software and I have no more pop up issues!! Thank you so much haha.

If you don't mind explaining (and have the time), how did you narrow down your suspicions to the software? I just graduated from university this year and I'm working as a Programmer Analyst; I'd like to learn as much as I can about pretty much anything right now. 

 

Thanks again!



#7 stalkingturkey

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 01:15 PM

I uninstalled Acronis software and I have no more pop up issues!! Thank you so much haha.

If you don't mind explaining (and have the time), how did you narrow down your suspicions to the software? I just graduated from university this year and I'm working as a Programmer Analyst; I'd like to learn as much as I can about pretty much anything right now. 

 

Thanks again!

Excellent, I'm glad it worked out for you!

 

Like I said before, I would have never figured it out without stumbling upon a more readily traceable problem. I had all but given up on the pop-up issue when I began seeing a massive increase in idle system resource utilization. If my memory serves, I remember tracing the memory leak to a specific service related to Windows Search, and I had just remembered enabling an option to allow Acronis to integrate Windows Search into its built-in image browser. Although disabling that specific option stopped the memory leak, I was a little irritated at the overall software due to some other bugs as well, so I just decided to uninstall it completely. After my pop-up issues stopped, I realized that I had essentially killed two birds with one stone. That's really all there was to it, I'm sorry if you were expecting an epic tale of me debugging the Acronis code line-by-line, but as a wise woman of the internet once said, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

 

Good luck with your Programming career, and if you're in the market for new backup software, look up StorageCraft ShadowProtect--We have used the enterprise version for our servers at work with minimal hassle, so I decided to try the Desktop version. It's pricey, but seems to be very stable.






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