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NeoSmart Technologies' ToolTipFixer 1.0.0


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Press Start | Programs; and right-click on "Accessories," then press "Open." Close the window that opens up, then go to your taskbar (next to the system clock) and hover over an icon, what do you see?

If you're using anything from Windows 95 to Windows XP, chances are, you're just about to experience The Wow - a 14-year-old bug that Microsoft finally admitted to in 2006:

Before.png

Microsoft's advice? Reboot your PC.

NeoSmart Technologies' ToolTipFixer 1.0.0 is a patch to address this issue that Microsoft refuses to fix: just run the (free, small) patch once, and you're set. If you want your messed up tooltips back, just uninstall it and no harm done!

Not tested on Windows Vista

After.png

linkicon.gif Link: Windows XP's ToolTip Bug.. Fixed!

softicon.gif Download: Download ToolTipFixer 1.0.0 (88kb)

souricon.gif News source: NeoSmart Technologies

Edited by Computer Guru
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It happens to everything >.<

The technical explanation is that in the Win32 API, tooltips are coded to have HWND_TOPMOST as their z-index - meaning that they are on top of everything.

However, due to a series (many) (obvious) bugs and miscodings in the Windows Shell, when you perform certain actions with dialogs and Windows that are supposed to appear above current windows (like the context menu when you right click the start menu items) end up coming even above the HWND_TOPMOST entries as well - that's not supposed to happen.

Then it seems (from here on in, i'm only guessing based on what i can see) that the parent window/dialog (in this case, the start menu, then the taskbar) inherits the window status when the child is closed, and keeps it.

Think of it like Dominoes. The first window is made topmost - no problem. as it closes, it's parent takes that z-index. then its parent, and the next, and the next - until you end up with something in the same x-y plane as a HWND_TOPMOST item, and it ends up with a lower z-index; therefore obscuring that item from view.

Basically, it is something that could be avoided by properly handing off z-indexes and keeping these always under HWND_TOPMOST items.

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I do not use XP anymore to use this, but finally a patch! That was the most annoying thing about XP for the years I used it :angry:

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You are mighty welcome, guys.

I do not use XP anymore to use this, but finally a patch! That was the most annoying thing about XP for the years I used it :angry:

I formatted my Vista two weeks ago, haven't looked back - can you tell me if you follow the steps at the very top of the original post, do your taskbar tooltips get messed up?

I know I saw it once or twice in the 8 months I used Vista RTM; but I don't know if it is 100% reproducible like it is in XP.

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You are mighty welcome, guys.

I formatted my Vista two weeks ago, haven't looked back - can you tell me if you follow the steps at the very top of the original post, do your taskbar tooltips get messed up?

I know I saw it once or twice in the 8 months I used Vista RTM; but I don't know if it is 100% reproducible like it is in XP.

No, I haven't seen it ever in Vista and doing the steps aforementioned yielded no results. Looks like they fixed it in Vista.

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Hmm. Runs on startup, creates a t.txt in my root, eats up 8 mb of ram, and made an unrecoverable system error after install.

Sorry, but looks rather dangerous.

Also, I don't know since when, but I don't have that problem on my computer. Tried the right click open thingy... Nothing happens.

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t.txt is a left over from the debug process, it used to contain the all the HWND_handles for open win32 controls. Must have forgotten to remove it - now it just creates the empty file without writing the handles to it. I guess the inevitable .0.1 build is coming out soon to make t.txt disappear :)

Kill ToolTipFixer.exe in taskmanager than try the right-click, open thing and see if you still have that bug. (what OS)

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I'm running Windows XP SP2 manually slipstreamed along with all the other patches and everything.

I tested this in classic and normal mode with the taskbar set to auto-hide or not and with it set to to top, bottom, or side. Each time it could be reproduced so long as tooltipfixer.exe was killed.

Running tooltipfixer.exe fixed the problem and prevented it from happening again.

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I'm running Windows XP SP2 manually slipstreamed along with all the other patches and everything.

I tested this in classic and normal mode with the taskbar set to auto-hide or not and with it set to to top, bottom, or side. Each time it could be reproduced so long as tooltipfixer.exe was killed.

Running tooltipfixer.exe fixed the problem and prevented it from happening again.

I uninstalled it and still don't have the issue :)

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