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Strange Taskbar Behavior

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Dr. Michael, Feb 14, 2005.

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  1. Dr. Michael

    Dr. Michael Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    I'm running XP Professional with a cable modem connection.

    I've noticed lately that every once in a while, a tab appears briefly on my taskbar and then disappears about 3 seconds later. It's blank, except for a generic symbol on the left side that looks like an empty white box with a blue bar across the top - a typical generic windows symbol.

    I've run every anti-virus and anti-spy program I can find and am not finding anything malicious.

    What could this be?

    Thanks to all in advance...
    Dr. Michael
     
  2. squidboy

    squidboy

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    On a clean machine, I'd say that was a DOS script/batch file running. This could be bad or by design by some program.

    Look at your startup stuff (msconfig>startup tab) or try to boot in safe mode and see what happens.
     
  3. Dr. Michael

    Dr. Michael Thread Starter

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    When I go to msconfig/startup, what should I look for?
     
  4. squidboy

    squidboy

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    If it's a dos box, as you described, then I'd look for any dos based programs.

    However, I'm oversimplifying this as it could be many things.

    Example, at work, if I see that I know it's a net use command or something similar to map drives under Windows from a script, etc.

    So, it's somewhat up to you to determine what is causing it, which could take a bit of digging. I would start in safe mode first to see what happens there.
     
  5. Dr. Michael

    Dr. Michael Thread Starter

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    I think I'm in over my head...

    I have no idea what any of that means, nor would I know what to do in safe mode. It's not causing any problems. It just seems as if something's intermittently running on its own... It's disconcerting...

    Any simple things I can do?
    Mike
     
  6. squidboy

    squidboy

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    Pardon, it was not my intention to throw too much at you.

    If it's not causing any trouble then I wouldn't be alarmed.

    Safe mode is like a bare-bones boot up. While your PC is booting you hit F8 then select safe mode. It will load only what is necessary to load Windows, and nothing else. This is useful for troubleshooting.

    So, try safe mode, or not. It's up to you as to how far you want to diagnose this.
     
  7. Dr. Michael

    Dr. Michael Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    I'd definitely like to get rid of the problem. I booted in safe mode and did not see the mysterious task bar appear. But it only happens intermittently anyway so I'm not sure what that means. It does appear to be some sort of dos batch file running, and only comes up for a mere second or two. What should I try next?

    Thanks again!!
    Mike
     
  8. squidboy

    squidboy

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    A little tricky but it may work if you time it right. If you can select that dos window so that it's in the foreground you can hit the pause key to halt it while you maximize it and inspect its contents.

    In addition, if you can get you task manager open real quick to the applications tab, you may see what's popping up which would provide more clues.
     
  9. sosada

    sosada

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    Hi there, any luck with finding out about what's causing this? I've been having the same issue for about a week or so. The program closes too quickly and when I try to left or right click it's gone already. I've tried keeping open taskmanager listed by CPU useage, but I don't see anything popping up or moving up. Wish there was a way to record the history of actions taken for a given time period to be able to see any changes more easily.

    The other difficulty is finding descriptions to search google and other search engines with since the issue is hard to describe in a few key words.
     
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