Strange Behavior of Startup Programs
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Thread: Strange Behavior of Startup Programs

  1. #1
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    Strange Behavior of Startup Programs

    So I am trying to add a start up program to start when my Windows 10 Pro 64bit machine boots.

    When Windows boots, I see the splash screen for the program on the screen and it looks like it is starting normally. But it doesn't launch. When Windows is fully loaded and everything is finished booting the program has not started.

    Some points:

    1. It's a portable app. Launchy.

    2. On rare occasions it DOES start properly without changing anything. Most of the time it does not. But it always LOOKS like it is starting normally (I see the splash screen).

    3. I have tried launching it in a couple of ways including adding it to the Startup folder (where it is now) and adding it to the task scheduler. I tried various parameters in the task scheduler such as adding a delay to the startup. I had the same issue every way I tried to start it.

    4. It launches perfectly every time when I manually start it from the .exe file or a shortcut. No sign of any problem.

    5. This doesn't seem to be specific to Launchy. I tried to get some other programs to launch at startup and some had the same problem. So it seems like it is maybe something involving the OS and not the specific program.

    6. There are no other programs in the Startup folder now except Launchy (since I put it there after it didn't work when I put it in task manager). But there are a number of programs in the task scheduler that seem to be launching correctly. Most of them were either already in there when I got the computer or added to the task manager by the program's installer.

    I have been setting up this new computer for a couple of months and solved every other quirky issue I've encountered so far. This is the last one. I'm out of ideas. I've never seen something like this.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Note that I said "task manager" a couple of times in the above. Every time I meant to say task *scheduler* not task manager.

  3. #3
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    Have you tried a Delayed Start for the program?

    https://www.thewindowsclub.com/set-d...ograms-windows

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    Have you tried a Delayed Start for the program?

    https://www.thewindowsclub.com/set-d...ograms-windows
    Thank you for your reply. The short answer is yes. I tried setting various delay times when I was launching the program with task scheduler.

    I'm not sure why the external tools on that link would be necessary since Windows already has its own built in startup delay settings in task scheduler and you can set up your program to start up after a delay with that.

    When I set the delays, it does the exact same thing, but after a delay.

    It's so weird! It starts fine when launched manually, and LOOKS LIKE it is starting fine when launched on start up, but then it doesn't complete the launch process! Have no idea what else to try.

    The only guess I have is that something is closing it when it tries to launch. But what? I have no malware software running. Could it be Windows Defender? I doubt it, but maybe I should try disabling that and see what happens.

    Thank you for your suggestion. Still looking for more ideas!

  5. #5
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    Check Event Viewer to see if there any error messages there.

    Also, does this software require Administrator rights to run properly?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    ...

    Also, does this software require Administrator rights to run properly?
    DOH!

    That's IT!

    I can't believe I didn't think of that! I can't tell you the number of times that I have told someone else to check their permissions if they have trouble running a file. But I never thought of it!

    Apparently a program that starts manually even without certain permissions, needs those permissions to start as a startup program. Because it ran when run manually it never occurred to me that could be an issue. But I gave the program Administrator rights and it worked!

    Can't thank you enough! Great call! Plus I learned something important.
    Last edited by Ryan1; September 7th, 2019 at 11:06 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the update. Glad you got it working.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for your help jcd2000.

    Sadly, it didn't work for long. Lasted a few boots and now back in the soup. What the heck could this be?!

    I tried putting it back as a task scheduler startup item instead of the startup folder so I could easily play with some of the settings. It works randomly and then doesn't work. I don't think I've found the key yet.

    When I tried to set it up to run as administrator, I did it by creating a shortcut then setting the shortcut's properties to run as administrator. Then I pointed to the shortcut to autostart the program on login. I don't think you can set the executable directly to run as administrator can you? Although I did grant every account full control in the .exe properties just to give it the best chance of working in case permissions is the issue. Unfortunately none of this stayed working.

    I notice that when I check the properties of the action in task scheduler, even though I select the shortcut in the path to start the program, it shows the executable as the "target" not the .lnk file. I assume that is the "target" so that makes sense. But they should have another field for showing the actual file you selected to start. I just have to assume it is launching the .lnk file and not the .exe file.

    Anyway, I also tried the event viewer, but it launches with an error "Snap-in Unavailable" I posted a screen shot.

    Right now I am experimenting with longer delays, like two minutes on the theory something else that is starting up it causing it to crash.Screenshot - 9_10_2019 , 10_24_38 AM.jpg

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    Thank you, yes, I just read that article. That's exactly what I tried. I created a shortcut to the .exe portable program file and set the shortcut properties to Run as administrator as described in the article.

    Then I added the shortcut to the startup folder (which worked for a while then stopped working). Now I took it out of the shortcut folder and added the shortcut to a Task Scheduler item to start at login. Again, works now and then, but not every time.

    Just realized something. Since I can launch the program any time by double clicking the program's executable, or clicking on a shortcut to it, and I don't get any dialog telling me I need to run it as administrator, then permissions is probably *not* the problem. If it was, then it would ask me to run it as administrator when I start it manually. In fact, it just launches when I start it manually. No dialogs appear.

    So although it seemed promising, at this point I *think* I've ruled out permissions as the issue.

    The extra delays also did not work.

    I tried changing the compatibility mode since it's an old program. That didn't work.

    UGGGG! I'm back to square one!

    Can't understand what could be so difficult about launching a program at startup that launches perfectly any time I try to launch it manually. It just doesn't make sense to me. And it's even weirder that it *seems* to be launching at startup and I see the splash screen, but then it isn't running when startup is over! It's above my pay grade that's for sure!

  11. #11
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    Gotta love Windows 10 - it just works! - NOT!

    You could try creating a batch file that runs the program, give it a delayed start and Run as Admin just to make sure, and see what that does. If that fails, you could try contacting the software creator.

  12. #12
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    Right you are jdc2000! I only switched to Windows 10 because my Windows 7 laptop got some kind of infection and I didn't want to bother to fix it. I figured it was a good time to make the move. At first I HATED it. There were so many quirks and I had to learn my way around because I am so XP and 7.

    It has taken me about 3 or 4 months to get it up to speed the way I need it, but at this point I don't hate it as much as I first did. There are very few problems left and I have it pretty much configured like my 7 laptop as a lean mean productivity machine.

    There are only two problems left on the punch list, this one and being able to disable my mouse so it wouldn't keep waking the PC when I didn't want it to. But I've already pretty much come to the conclusion that I cannot disable the mouse waking capability without also disabling the ability of the keyboard to wake it. It's a bug in the drivers I read about. I can disable the keyboard waking without disabling the mouse waking but not the other way around. So I think I'm stuck with that one.

    This launching problem is minor. I suspect I won't be able to solve this one either. It's an open source program that has been out of development for some years, so I suspect the developers can't help me. But I notice there is a user forum that is still somewhat active so I posted the issue there. I give it a 20% chance of being solved, but if it is, I will report back here!

    Thank you for all the great help. I had another account before this one for years and have been coming to this site forever! I really love it. Thanks again!

  13. #13
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    Have to say this is one of the strangest Windows things I've ever encountered (and that's saying a lot!).

    Every time it boots it LOOKS like it is working. The program launches and I see the splash screen. If I look in Task Scheduler there is a field to show the status of the last run and it shows that it was successful.

    BUT...sometimes it is actually running (rarely) and most of the time it is not. Other startup programs seem to be working fine.

    I don't want to give up on this one still. There must be an answer. It's too weird to not have an answer!

    So far 10 views in the Launchy forum with no replies. I doubt anyone there can address this.

  14. #14
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    Does this program run as a Service, or does it show in Programs in Task Manager? Is it shown as running each time?

    Check Event Viewer to see if there are any error messages there.

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