My desktop icons are disordered

Post any technical problems or questions you have while using or configuring Dexpot.
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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 10.08.2016 22:04:23

VirtuaMan wrote:So far, what I described in my last post works fine for me.
Working around ...
But how do you use ReIcon? In autostart or running it manually?

All done manually; ReIcon is fast and the only precaution is that one must close it after use, otherwise it looks to be unresponsive on screens other than the one where it is already open. It simply won't open and then you have to either remember which one is is open on or search - I am running with 7 screens.

The rest of the issues I have learned to live with since ReIcon is fast and easily updated when I install or move icons.
It is a shame that it is needed, but ....

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 11.08.2016 11:19:44

One observation:
I have the impression that when Dexpot autostarts directly (before using the batch file) the icons get disordered if a download is running at the same time.
My Antivirus downloads new signatures right at start (if a new download is available right then), and it appears to me that the icons are then more likely to be disordered.
The manufacturer of the Antivirus I use told me that the that download cannot be delayed and I, of course, do not want to delay the start of the Antivirus.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 12.08.2016 04:30:47

The same happens for me, but I strongly suspect it is not Dexpot - certainly not the startup.
As I switch screens quite often, that's when it happens, or , that is generally when I notice :-)
I still have Dexpot start up after almost a minute delay, but it don't see it making any difference.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 12.08.2016 09:03:05

Strange! I have never observed it occurring when I switch screens.
If the icons are disordered, they are after the (in my case first) start of Dexpot and then do not change still more when changing screen.
Then - in my case - they are ordered after running the batch file.
As concerns interference from a download taking place at the very start of Windows, this is only a speculation of mine.
It may be, or it may not be.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 12.08.2016 18:36:26

After I start, the icon positions are usually mixed up and so I reset them with ReIcon, with one configuration per screen.
It seems that every time I switch screens, the first five columns of icons flicker several times before they settled to their 'permanent' position.
That in itself is curious, and fortunate in many ways, because if I keep ReIcon beyond the 5th column, it is always where I left it :-)

The whole issue is interesting in many ways, but, not knowing what goes on behind the scenes with either Dexpot or Windows (it could even be related to some of the graphic card drivers, but who knows) and why the icons move, I have no choice but to do the best I can with the ReIcon work-round.
After all it is a free utility and we can't expect or insist on fixes unless it seems necessary to the developers :-)

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 14.08.2016 10:37:46

Yes, flicker they do, up and down - some of the icons.
But the way I use my workaround they soon settle in the right position.
That flickering is a remarkable symptom that I think should lead to finding a reason for the problem when investigated.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 14.08.2016 16:13:19

Meanwhile, I have ensured that my video drivers are up-to-date, but the problem persists.
As for the flickering, in my case, it is always and only the first 5 columns that both flicker and get scrambled.

The problem I see as far as getting things fixed, is that no one seems to be interested enough to ask questions or propose tests to check possible causes and remedies.

I certainly don't have the background to pursue this issue, other than to make do with what I can find as work-arounds :(

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Still ION-C » 19.08.2016 09:11:01

You are describing a fundamental difficulty with the limitations of the Windows desktop and the file browser.
The locations of the icons on the Dexpot desktops is done with a file that maintains the name of the icon and it's X-Y position, and monitor. That information is out there.
Note that when you change the name of the icon / file that it loses it's connection to the location data, and will wind up in the Standing in the Corner position.
Note that when you change a directory name - ALL ICONS / FILES underneath that change will likewise lose its connection to the location data and wind up in the top left corner position.
Dexpot saves this data to the settings file, and after you do some work, you should resave this like I think I indicated - meaning to occasionally save it to a new file.
So when you "refresh icons" and it doesn't work - you're probably to blame.
The thing I would like to see updated is to have a simple way to move PUBLIC icons to the same position on all desktops. You can do this by temporarily deleting (or moving) an icon from the PUBLIC dt and then renewing it, IN DT1, and then moving it to the position of choice. Almost perfect.

Oh - and you should have figured this out - it's in the user guide and easy to find what PUBLIC means. So just piling on - PUBLIC is a desktop that windows ALWAYS KEEPS IN VIEW. So you have 10 users / 10 user destops (under standard Windows) and only 1 PUBLIC destop. If you put a file into PUBLIC - all 10 users will see it on their desktop. All 10 users can DELETE IT (unless MS has some magic setting I'm not sure of.) So DexPot desktops work like that as well.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 19.08.2016 18:13:21

How would this explain the phenomenon that from one start of Windows to the other many icons become disordered, and not in the same way?
Sometimes, maybe often, but not always. Quite irregularly.
And why sometimes a few icons jump up and down before they settle?
And how could that help solving the problem?

My batch file workaround does work well! For me...
Even though the first start of Dexpot many a time results in disorder, mainly in some secondary windows, they are nearly always ordered after the batch file is run.

And I do still have some suspicion that the download of updates to my Internet Security already during startup of Windows, and then also of Dexpot, could be a reason when they are disordered after the first start of Dexpot. When they are. Somehow interfering with the starting Dexpot.
I tried to delay the Network Connections Service, but this had no effect. The delay appears to be much to short.
Is there a way to give it a fixed delay and not, as it is with the setting "Automatic (Delayed)", that it waits until some primary services are started, albeit max 120 seconds. It seems to wait much less than that, maybe a second or a few, in my case.
Is there some entry in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Netman that can do that?

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 20.08.2016 01:21:18

Still ION-C wrote:You are describing a fundamental difficulty with the limitations of the Windows desktop and the file browser.
The locations of the icons on the Dexpot desktops is done with a file that maintains the name of the icon and it's X-Y position, and monitor. That information is out there.

OK, I'll bite :-) Which file in particular are you referring to?
Is it perhaps %user%.dxi.
I suppose I could try to save that file after I have set the icons the way I want them and the see if there are any changes to the file the next time they have moved.
I'll give that a try right now and see what that leads to.
Still ION-C wrote:Note that when you change the name of the icon / file that it loses it's connection to the location data, and will wind up in the Standing in the Corner position.

Changing any names of icons has never made any icon appears in any corner - so I am not sure, what might be different between our setups.
Still ION-C wrote:Note that when you change a directory name - ALL ICONS / FILES underneath that change will likewise lose its connection to the location data and wind up in the top left corner position.

Never had this happen either
Still ION-C wrote:Dexpot saves this data to the settings file, and after you do some work, you should resave this like I think I indicated - meaning to occasionally save it to a new file.

I do, but I have not seen any difference :(
Still ION-C wrote: So when you "refresh icons" and it doesn't work - you're probably to blame.

Not much of a consolation ;-)
Still ION-C wrote: Oh - and you should have figured this out - it's in the user guide and easy to find what PUBLIC means.

I have figured out that part, but that has not helped me at all.
First of all, there is the 'caution' to always move icons using Dexpot (DP), but I see no way to move icons to the Public desktop within DP
Secondly, if at all, when (and how, if it is) is this 'Public' desktop ever displayed on its own?

Still ION-C wrote: So just piling on - PUBLIC is a desktop that windows ALWAYS KEEPS IN VIEW. So you have 10 users / 10 user destops (under standard Windows) and only 1 PUBLIC destop. If you put a file into PUBLIC - all 10 users will see it on their desktop. All 10 users can DELETE IT (unless MS has some magic setting I'm not sure of.) So DexPot desktops work like that as well.

As I am the only user and hardly ever even switch to another 'user' persona or environment - I do have a couple of aliases - this does not seem to be of any consequence at all.
While we are discussing this 'public' desktop, it might have some bearing on the movement if icons, but I cannot see any rhyme or reason as to how or in what way it will influence or affect the icon position changes I am seeing.
The number of icons on the public desktop comes close to the number of icons I regularly see changing position and I suppose the number does not have to exactly match, possibly some modulo-something number, but the main reason for my caution on this is that some of the icons which appear on the public desktop move or change regularly, while others are simply staying put over long periods and over so many cycles of changes in the left 4 columns of my screen. FWIW, my screens are 1080 vertical resolution. with the icons set a minimum size - which makes for 16 icons/column or a total of 64 icons most of which almost always move and a total of 60 icons on my 'public' desktop.

Periodic 'refresh' (right-click on the screen and select 'Refresh') seems to help for a short while, but it does not last.
Just switching screens seems to be enough to start the migration.
My machine is not set for either sleep or hibernation, but I do have a screen saver, but I am pretty sure, this problem occurs even without the screen saver kicking in.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 26.08.2016 16:12:38

Well, it is sad, but there seems to be no real effort taken to solve this problem.
We only have a workaround.
I used Dexpot several years now. First and without any problems in WinXP.
Then the problems started with Win7.
If there were not these problems, Dexpot would, in my view, be the very best.
But now the time may come to look for an alternative.
I looked into VirtuaWin and quickly became disappointed.
It cannot organize different icons in different windows, like a useful multidesktop application must be able to do.
It can only open different applications in different windows. What for?
I can put down different windows in that task bar instead, and load the one or the other as I want.
Or even load them side by side. Without switching between desktops.

Who has found a real good alternative to Dexpot?
Who has experience with another good and really useful mutlidesktop application?
Or is there an experienced programmer who will roll up the sleeves to grab Desktop under the arms?
I wish I could, but I am not... I can live with my workaround still, but not forever.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 26.08.2016 16:52:09

To investigate this it is, in my view, insufficient to use a simple "research" computer with little more than Win7 running - and with Dexpot, of course.
But one with very many applications and an Internet Security Suite installed that at startup downloads updates.
And with many autostart applications.
Because it is in that milieu that it happens...

In WinXP you could start up "naked" without the autostart applications.
I did not find a way to do that in Win7. Is there one?
In that case one could more easily compare starting with or without autostarts, and then with just a few autostarts.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 26.08.2016 17:56:18

I have tried various alternatives as well, but once you get used to the many good points of Dexpot, it is hard to step down to something without those features :(
Yes, and it is sad that no one want to work on a fix or even explain what the problem might be. I have been raising this issue for years and I have not had any even close to official comment on this issue.
There is not even a hint that supporting or buying Dexpot will help, as the website claims there is no difference between the free and the commercial version.
Even sadder is that it certainly looks as though development has stalled - the last entry in the change log is Sept. 2014, almost two years ago.

As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with autostarting Dexpot with the OS. I have set it to delay be as much as nearly a full minute to give everything else a chance to settle down. This has been in effect for more than 6 month and I see no change, certainly no improvement.

In my trials there are two things I have noticed:
In my case columns beyond 5 are much more stable than column 1 - 4
Having 'blanks' - positions without icon - seems to make things worse.

Because I have not been able to come even close to noticing any other patterns, I have not really spent a lot of time on investigating this issue

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Sebastian » 26.08.2016 18:49:18

:dex:,

unfortunately, we were never able to reproduce the issue. I doubt this is related to auto-start at all.
Flickering usually results from the auto arrange-option not being disabled before Dexpot repositions the desktop icons.
Best regards (wave)
Sebastian Brands, Dexpot GbR

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 26.08.2016 20:17:54

Sebastian wrote::dex:,

unfortunately, we were never able to reproduce the issue. I doubt this is related to auto-start at all.
Flickering usually results from the auto arrange-option not being disabled before Dexpot repositions the desktop icons.

It is very strange, and I do believe you made that observation some time ago. And it was that possibility, which has lead me to think it might be related to video drivers and such, but I have no way to prove that, short of buying several video cards from different manufacturers :(

IIRC, the issue has been noted on my main system for as long as I have had it and I have had Dexpot installed pretty well from the start - with the same video card. I have two other systems, with one running Dexpot, but I use the one with Desxpot so little, that I have not paid much attention.
The machine where the problem is evident has an ASUS EAH5450 series graphics card; a recent update of the drivers made no difference.

Perhaps we need an inventory or list of adapters which are known to work?
It certainly looks as though I am not the only one with this problem, but thus far I have been unable to find any common ground.

------------
By " auto arrange-option" you are referring to the OS Windows Explorer "Auto arrange icons' option,?

It has been turned off on my system ever since I can remember and I did and still do check occasionally to ensure it is off.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 28.08.2016 09:26:04

"unfortunately, we were never able to reproduce the issue. I doubt this is related to auto-start at all.
Flickering usually results from the auto arrange-option not being disabled before Dexpot repositions the desktop icons."

Well, see my remarks above about a computer to try it on.
Then you will probably discover it...
It looks to me like you may have tried in a too simple "milieu" and without an Internet connection that might already be active during startup, such as downloading some update as the autostart process is still running.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 03.09.2016 09:24:29

I really do have the impression that a download during startup, such as an update to the installed Internet Security, does hamper with the start of Dexpot.
It is often slowed down when such an update comes and it sometimes even hangs for a while.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 04.09.2016 09:30:41

Today my Internet Security had a bigger than usual chunk of update downloads when I started my computer. It took correspondingly longer to get it down.
Then even the batch file trick did not work well and I had to run the batch file a second time when the download was over.
After that it was OK.

Is that not a rather clear indication that there really can be a conflict at startup if a download takes place while Dexpot is starting up?
It seems that this needs to be investigated!

How fix? I searched in vain for a method to delay the Internet connection about a minute. Delaying the start of the service results in a much too short delay.
Apparently other autostarting applications have no such conflict at startup. Why? What can they that Dexpot can not?

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby Multi » 05.09.2016 01:13:24

What happens if you disable startup with Windows and the start Dexpot manually when things have settled down and there is no network activity - at least for a test??

In my case, a manual start does not prevent the scramble.

After fixing the positions with ReIcon, the icons scramble after some time; never was able to pin it to some specific event or action.

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Re: My desktop icons are disordered

Postby VirtuaMan » 07.09.2016 08:03:17

No real difference...

IF SOMEONE WOULD ROLL UP THE SLEEVES AND DO SOME REAL WORK ON DEXPOT, IT WOULD BE WORTH PAYING FOR IT!
Because it is GOOD, otherwise.


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