Hidden windows?

Discussion in 'Windows XP Configuration' started by Terry Pinnell, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.

    In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!

    I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    stuff.

    The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    'Windows' list please?

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Nov 12, 2009
    #1
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  2. Terry Pinnell

    Tim Meddick Guest

    Terry,
    this [free] tool by reputable developer Sysinternals (once a division of
    Microsoft) called "Process Explorer", can be downloaded and run from any location by
    clicking on the link below :

    http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip

    The application, which can be configured to replace your Task Manager (called when
    you press Alt-Ctrl-Del), shows you all the currently running processes on your PC as
    well as all sorts of other information about each.

    It also has a built-in ability to go and search on the web for descriptions of any
    process that you are suspicious of - such as a process name that you are not familiar
    with.

    It is quite an easy program to use and allows you to investigate all the background
    goings on, on your computer.

    ==

    Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)




    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    > windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.
    >
    > In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    > and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    > weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    > which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!
    >
    > I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    > that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    > 160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    > stuff.
    >
    > The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    > from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    > 'Windows' list please?
    >
    > --
    > Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Tim Meddick, Nov 12, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Thanks Tim. I have Process Explorer and fully agree with you about its
    usefulness. However, maybe I've missed something, but I don't see way
    of using it for the purpose under discussion? Is there some way to
    show *windows* (visible and invisible) that are currently 'open'? I
    see only processes.

    ISS insist that "...the list of windows you are seeing is the list of
    windows reported by Windows itself." And "Macro Express Pro asks
    Windows for the list of windows. The list is not held in a file, a
    cache or registry keys."

    If this is true then (apart from implying my PC is messed up in some
    strange way), it should be easy enough to prove independently. If most
    of these windows are *permanently* 'open', then I should be able to
    view them, or at least there names and whatever else is associated
    with them, using some 'official' Windows utility, yes? And maybe even
    do something with them, like *close* them!

    FWIW I also have ProcMon, but again I'm not sure how that can help
    here?

    BTW, I'm not a sysop, techie or programmer, just an end user, so I may
    be missing something very basic here!

    Best wishes,

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK

    ====================

    "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:

    >Terry,
    > this [free] tool by reputable developer Sysinternals (once a division of
    >Microsoft) called "Process Explorer", can be downloaded and run from any location by
    >clicking on the link below :
    >
    >http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip
    >
    >The application, which can be configured to replace your Task Manager (called when
    >you press Alt-Ctrl-Del), shows you all the currently running processes on your PC as
    >well as all sorts of other information about each.
    >
    >It also has a built-in ability to go and search on the web for descriptions of any
    >process that you are suspicious of - such as a process name that you are not familiar
    >with.
    >
    >It is quite an easy program to use and allows you to investigate all the background
    >goings on, on your computer.
    >
    >==
    >
    >Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    >> windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.
    >>
    >> In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    >> and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    >> weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    >> which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!
    >>
    >> I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    >> that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    >> 160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    >> stuff.
    >>
    >> The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    >> from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    >> 'Windows' list please?
    >>
    >> --
    >> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Nov 13, 2009
    #3
  4. Terry Pinnell

    Tim Meddick Guest

    The difference between a "process" and a "Window" is just that a Windows has a
    "title-bar" making it a Window as opposed to a dialogue box or a program information
    box.

    Generally, Windows only classes Windows with title-bars and Control Panel extensions
    as true Windows

    There are quite a few third-party application managers around, but you can always
    "cross-reference" the list presented by the Task Manager ("Applications" tab) with
    the built-in task-switcher accessed by pressing Alt-Tab. This also shows all
    currently open "Windows"

    I was under the impression that you were also worried about the origin of some
    background applications, and gave me the impression that you were suspicious of some
    of them.

    The "Process Explorer" application does give a "right-click" > "Window" option,
    that allows you to bring any bone-fide Window in the process-list to the front
    [activate] or minimize / maximize...

    ==

    Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)




    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Thanks Tim. I have Process Explorer and fully agree with you about its
    > usefulness. However, maybe I've missed something, but I don't see way
    > of using it for the purpose under discussion? Is there some way to
    > show *windows* (visible and invisible) that are currently 'open'? I
    > see only processes.
    >
    > ISS insist that "...the list of windows you are seeing is the list of
    > windows reported by Windows itself." And "Macro Express Pro asks
    > Windows for the list of windows. The list is not held in a file, a
    > cache or registry keys."
    >
    > If this is true then (apart from implying my PC is messed up in some
    > strange way), it should be easy enough to prove independently. If most
    > of these windows are *permanently* 'open', then I should be able to
    > view them, or at least there names and whatever else is associated
    > with them, using some 'official' Windows utility, yes? And maybe even
    > do something with them, like *close* them!
    >
    > FWIW I also have ProcMon, but again I'm not sure how that can help
    > here?
    >
    > BTW, I'm not a sysop, techie or programmer, just an end user, so I may
    > be missing something very basic here!
    >
    > Best wishes,
    >
    > --
    > Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    >
    > ====================
    >
    > "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:
    >
    >>Terry,
    >> this [free] tool by reputable developer Sysinternals (once a division of
    >>Microsoft) called "Process Explorer", can be downloaded and run from any location
    >>by
    >>clicking on the link below :
    >>
    >>http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip
    >>
    >>The application, which can be configured to replace your Task Manager (called when
    >>you press Alt-Ctrl-Del), shows you all the currently running processes on your PC
    >>as
    >>well as all sorts of other information about each.
    >>
    >>It also has a built-in ability to go and search on the web for descriptions of any
    >>process that you are suspicious of - such as a process name that you are not
    >>familiar
    >>with.
    >>
    >>It is quite an easy program to use and allows you to investigate all the background
    >>goings on, on your computer.
    >>
    >>==
    >>
    >>Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>> One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    >>> windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.
    >>>
    >>> In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    >>> and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    >>> weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    >>> which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!
    >>>
    >>> I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    >>> that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    >>> 160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    >>> stuff.
    >>>
    >>> The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    >>> from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    >>> 'Windows' list please?
    >>>
    >>> --
    >>> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Tim Meddick, Nov 16, 2009
    #4
  5. Thanks for the follow up.

    Process Explorer lists 60 processes altogether here. The first few
    are:

    agent.exe Forte Agent
    alg.exe Application Layer Gateway Service
    avgnt.exe Antivirus System Tray Tool
    avguard.exe Antivirus On-Access Service
    csrss.exe Client Server Runtime Process
    DesktopSearchService.exe Copernic Desktop Search Service
    DPCs Deferred Procedure Calls
    Everything.exe Everything
    etc

    If I r-click each of those examples above, only Agent and Explorer
    allow access to the Window; it's greyed out in all the others. That's
    true of most of the 60.

    Yet macro Express currently lists 201 open windows, of which 165 are
    hidden.

    And the tool WindList.exe at
    http://software.filestube.com/download,7bf2c89d.html lists no fewer
    than 480!

    So I don't see any obvious correspondence between 'processes' and
    'windows'?

    BTW, if I r-click 'Window' for the Explorer process, what does that
    actually mean? IOW, how do I know which of the possibly many folders
    it will operate on? I have 5 open at present, all in my XP Pro Tasbar
    as a grouped entry called '(5) Windows Explorer'.

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK

    ====================

    "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:

    >The difference between a "process" and a "Window" is just that a Windows has a
    >"title-bar" making it a Window as opposed to a dialogue box or a program information
    >box.
    >
    >Generally, Windows only classes Windows with title-bars and Control Panel extensions
    >as true Windows
    >
    >There are quite a few third-party application managers around, but you can always
    >"cross-reference" the list presented by the Task Manager ("Applications" tab) with
    >the built-in task-switcher accessed by pressing Alt-Tab. This also shows all
    >currently open "Windows"
    >
    >I was under the impression that you were also worried about the origin of some
    >background applications, and gave me the impression that you were suspicious of some
    >of them.
    >
    >The "Process Explorer" application does give a "right-click" > "Window" option,
    >that allows you to bring any bone-fide Window in the process-list to the front
    >[activate] or minimize / maximize...
    >
    >==
    >
    >Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> Thanks Tim. I have Process Explorer and fully agree with you about its
    >> usefulness. However, maybe I've missed something, but I don't see way
    >> of using it for the purpose under discussion? Is there some way to
    >> show *windows* (visible and invisible) that are currently 'open'? I
    >> see only processes.
    >>
    >> ISS insist that "...the list of windows you are seeing is the list of
    >> windows reported by Windows itself." And "Macro Express Pro asks
    >> Windows for the list of windows. The list is not held in a file, a
    >> cache or registry keys."
    >>
    >> If this is true then (apart from implying my PC is messed up in some
    >> strange way), it should be easy enough to prove independently. If most
    >> of these windows are *permanently* 'open', then I should be able to
    >> view them, or at least there names and whatever else is associated
    >> with them, using some 'official' Windows utility, yes? And maybe even
    >> do something with them, like *close* them!
    >>
    >> FWIW I also have ProcMon, but again I'm not sure how that can help
    >> here?
    >>
    >> BTW, I'm not a sysop, techie or programmer, just an end user, so I may
    >> be missing something very basic here!
    >>
    >> Best wishes,
    >>
    >> --
    >> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    >>
    >> ====================
    >>
    >> "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Terry,
    >>> this [free] tool by reputable developer Sysinternals (once a division of
    >>>Microsoft) called "Process Explorer", can be downloaded and run from any location
    >>>by
    >>>clicking on the link below :
    >>>
    >>>http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip
    >>>
    >>>The application, which can be configured to replace your Task Manager (called when
    >>>you press Alt-Ctrl-Del), shows you all the currently running processes on your PC
    >>>as
    >>>well as all sorts of other information about each.
    >>>
    >>>It also has a built-in ability to go and search on the web for descriptions of any
    >>>process that you are suspicious of - such as a process name that you are not
    >>>familiar
    >>>with.
    >>>
    >>>It is quite an easy program to use and allows you to investigate all the background
    >>>goings on, on your computer.
    >>>
    >>>==
    >>>
    >>>Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >>>news:...
    >>>> One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    >>>> windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.
    >>>>
    >>>> In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    >>>> and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    >>>> weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    >>>> which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!
    >>>>
    >>>> I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    >>>> that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    >>>> 160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    >>>> stuff.
    >>>>
    >>>> The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    >>>> from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    >>>> 'Windows' list please?
    >>>>
    >>>> --
    >>>> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Nov 16, 2009
    #5
  6. Terry Pinnell

    Tim Meddick Guest

    I don't think that the items listed in these third-party apps can possibly be
    bone-fide processes.

    I checked out your link for the third-party app - windlist.exe

    I believe that most of the items listed by it are really just "calls" by one process
    to another and not real running processes at all.

    For instance - the "Start Button" is listed in windlist.exe - and this is definitely
    NOT a process or thread but part of the program : explorer.exe

    The items listed by windlist.exe are not even threads and I can't quite see any point
    in using this program at all.

    Process Explorer has the in-built ability to "intelligently" determine which
    processes are classed as "Windows" and can be "brought to front" and differentiate
    them from background processes and services.

    If it's not listed in Process Explorer with the "Window > bring to front" option
    active, then it is NOT a process that can be viewed as a Window in any way.

    While using windlist.exe and attempting to bring one of these supposed "Hidden
    Windows" to the front (an Outlook Express "window", NOT listed by Process Explorer,
    Task Manager or the command-line tool - Tasklist.exe) my PC was brought to a
    standstill and froze.

    I had to terminate OE by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and using Task Manager, to un-freeze
    the computer.

    I DO NOT RATE THESE PROGRAMS AT ALL AND IN MY OPINION THEY SERVE NO USEFULL PERPOSE.

    If a process is not listed in Process Explorer - it is not an active program or
    background service currently loaded in memory.

    P.S. If you become suspicious of any process in Process Explorer, check out the
    "right-click > Search Online" option.

    ==

    Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)




    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:blush:...
    > Thanks for the follow up.
    >
    > Process Explorer lists 60 processes altogether here. The first few
    > are:
    >
    > agent.exe Forte Agent
    > alg.exe Application Layer Gateway Service
    > avgnt.exe Antivirus System Tray Tool
    > avguard.exe Antivirus On-Access Service
    > csrss.exe Client Server Runtime Process
    > DesktopSearchService.exe Copernic Desktop Search Service
    > DPCs Deferred Procedure Calls
    > Everything.exe Everything
    > etc
    >
    > If I r-click each of those examples above, only Agent and Explorer
    > allow access to the Window; it's greyed out in all the others. That's
    > true of most of the 60.
    >
    > Yet macro Express currently lists 201 open windows, of which 165 are
    > hidden.
    >
    > And the tool WindList.exe at
    > http://software.filestube.com/download,7bf2c89d.html lists no fewer
    > than 480!
    >
    > So I don't see any obvious correspondence between 'processes' and
    > 'windows'?
    >
    > BTW, if I r-click 'Window' for the Explorer process, what does that
    > actually mean? IOW, how do I know which of the possibly many folders
    > it will operate on? I have 5 open at present, all in my XP Pro Tasbar
    > as a grouped entry called '(5) Windows Explorer'.
    >
    > --
    > Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    >
    > ====================
    >
    > "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:
    >
    >>The difference between a "process" and a "Window" is just that a Windows has a
    >>"title-bar" making it a Window as opposed to a dialogue box or a program
    >>information
    >>box.
    >>
    >>Generally, Windows only classes Windows with title-bars and Control Panel
    >>extensions
    >>as true Windows
    >>
    >>There are quite a few third-party application managers around, but you can always
    >>"cross-reference" the list presented by the Task Manager ("Applications" tab) with
    >>the built-in task-switcher accessed by pressing Alt-Tab. This also shows all
    >>currently open "Windows"
    >>
    >>I was under the impression that you were also worried about the origin of some
    >>background applications, and gave me the impression that you were suspicious of
    >>some
    >>of them.
    >>
    >>The "Process Explorer" application does give a "right-click" > "Window" option,
    >>that allows you to bring any bone-fide Window in the process-list to the front
    >>[activate] or minimize / maximize...
    >>
    >>==
    >>
    >>Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>> Thanks Tim. I have Process Explorer and fully agree with you about its
    >>> usefulness. However, maybe I've missed something, but I don't see way
    >>> of using it for the purpose under discussion? Is there some way to
    >>> show *windows* (visible and invisible) that are currently 'open'? I
    >>> see only processes.
    >>>
    >>> ISS insist that "...the list of windows you are seeing is the list of
    >>> windows reported by Windows itself." And "Macro Express Pro asks
    >>> Windows for the list of windows. The list is not held in a file, a
    >>> cache or registry keys."
    >>>
    >>> If this is true then (apart from implying my PC is messed up in some
    >>> strange way), it should be easy enough to prove independently. If most
    >>> of these windows are *permanently* 'open', then I should be able to
    >>> view them, or at least there names and whatever else is associated
    >>> with them, using some 'official' Windows utility, yes? And maybe even
    >>> do something with them, like *close* them!
    >>>
    >>> FWIW I also have ProcMon, but again I'm not sure how that can help
    >>> here?
    >>>
    >>> BTW, I'm not a sysop, techie or programmer, just an end user, so I may
    >>> be missing something very basic here!
    >>>
    >>> Best wishes,
    >>>
    >>> --
    >>> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    >>>
    >>> ====================
    >>>
    >>> "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Terry,
    >>>> this [free] tool by reputable developer Sysinternals (once a division of
    >>>>Microsoft) called "Process Explorer", can be downloaded and run from any location
    >>>>by
    >>>>clicking on the link below :
    >>>>
    >>>>http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip
    >>>>
    >>>>The application, which can be configured to replace your Task Manager (called
    >>>>when
    >>>>you press Alt-Ctrl-Del), shows you all the currently running processes on your PC
    >>>>as
    >>>>well as all sorts of other information about each.
    >>>>
    >>>>It also has a built-in ability to go and search on the web for descriptions of
    >>>>any
    >>>>process that you are suspicious of - such as a process name that you are not
    >>>>familiar
    >>>>with.
    >>>>
    >>>>It is quite an easy program to use and allows you to investigate all the
    >>>>background
    >>>>goings on, on your computer.
    >>>>
    >>>>==
    >>>>
    >>>>Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >>>>news:...
    >>>>> One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    >>>>> windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    >>>>> and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    >>>>> weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    >>>>> which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    >>>>> that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    >>>>> 160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    >>>>> stuff.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    >>>>> from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    >>>>> 'Windows' list please?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> --
    >>>>> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Tim Meddick, Nov 17, 2009
    #6
  7. "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:

    >I don't think that the items listed in these third-party apps can possibly be
    >bone-fide processes.
    >
    >I checked out your link for the third-party app - windlist.exe
    >
    >I believe that most of the items listed by it are really just "calls" by one process
    >to another and not real running processes at all.
    >
    >For instance - the "Start Button" is listed in windlist.exe - and this is definitely
    >NOT a process or thread but part of the program : explorer.exe
    >
    >The items listed by windlist.exe are not even threads and I can't quite see any point
    >in using this program at all.
    >
    >Process Explorer has the in-built ability to "intelligently" determine which
    >processes are classed as "Windows" and can be "brought to front" and differentiate
    >them from background processes and services.
    >
    >If it's not listed in Process Explorer with the "Window > bring to front" option
    >active, then it is NOT a process that can be viewed as a Window in any way.
    >
    >While using windlist.exe and attempting to bring one of these supposed "Hidden
    >Windows" to the front (an Outlook Express "window", NOT listed by Process Explorer,
    >Task Manager or the command-line tool - Tasklist.exe) my PC was brought to a
    >standstill and froze.
    >
    >I had to terminate OE by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and using Task Manager, to un-freeze
    >the computer.
    >
    >I DO NOT RATE THESE PROGRAMS AT ALL AND IN MY OPINION THEY SERVE NO USEFULL PERPOSE.
    >
    >If a process is not listed in Process Explorer - it is not an active program or
    >background service currently loaded in memory.
    >
    >P.S. If you become suspicious of any process in Process Explorer, check out the
    >"right-click > Search Online" option.
    >
    >==
    >
    >Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >news:blush:...
    >> Thanks for the follow up.
    >>
    >> Process Explorer lists 60 processes altogether here. The first few
    >> are:
    >>
    >> agent.exe Forte Agent
    >> alg.exe Application Layer Gateway Service
    >> avgnt.exe Antivirus System Tray Tool
    >> avguard.exe Antivirus On-Access Service
    >> csrss.exe Client Server Runtime Process
    >> DesktopSearchService.exe Copernic Desktop Search Service
    >> DPCs Deferred Procedure Calls
    >> Everything.exe Everything
    >> etc
    >>
    >> If I r-click each of those examples above, only Agent and Explorer
    >> allow access to the Window; it's greyed out in all the others. That's
    >> true of most of the 60.
    >>
    >> Yet macro Express currently lists 201 open windows, of which 165 are
    >> hidden.
    >>
    >> And the tool WindList.exe at
    >> http://software.filestube.com/download,7bf2c89d.html lists no fewer
    >> than 480!
    >>
    >> So I don't see any obvious correspondence between 'processes' and
    >> 'windows'?
    >>
    >> BTW, if I r-click 'Window' for the Explorer process, what does that
    >> actually mean? IOW, how do I know which of the possibly many folders
    >> it will operate on? I have 5 open at present, all in my XP Pro Tasbar
    >> as a grouped entry called '(5) Windows Explorer'.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    >>
    >> ====================
    >>
    >> "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>The difference between a "process" and a "Window" is just that a Windows has a
    >>>"title-bar" making it a Window as opposed to a dialogue box or a program
    >>>information
    >>>box.
    >>>
    >>>Generally, Windows only classes Windows with title-bars and Control Panel
    >>>extensions
    >>>as true Windows
    >>>
    >>>There are quite a few third-party application managers around, but you can always
    >>>"cross-reference" the list presented by the Task Manager ("Applications" tab) with
    >>>the built-in task-switcher accessed by pressing Alt-Tab. This also shows all
    >>>currently open "Windows"
    >>>
    >>>I was under the impression that you were also worried about the origin of some
    >>>background applications, and gave me the impression that you were suspicious of
    >>>some
    >>>of them.
    >>>
    >>>The "Process Explorer" application does give a "right-click" > "Window" option,
    >>>that allows you to bring any bone-fide Window in the process-list to the front
    >>>[activate] or minimize / maximize...
    >>>
    >>>==
    >>>
    >>>Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >>>news:...
    >>>> Thanks Tim. I have Process Explorer and fully agree with you about its
    >>>> usefulness. However, maybe I've missed something, but I don't see way
    >>>> of using it for the purpose under discussion? Is there some way to
    >>>> show *windows* (visible and invisible) that are currently 'open'? I
    >>>> see only processes.
    >>>>
    >>>> ISS insist that "...the list of windows you are seeing is the list of
    >>>> windows reported by Windows itself." And "Macro Express Pro asks
    >>>> Windows for the list of windows. The list is not held in a file, a
    >>>> cache or registry keys."
    >>>>
    >>>> If this is true then (apart from implying my PC is messed up in some
    >>>> strange way), it should be easy enough to prove independently. If most
    >>>> of these windows are *permanently* 'open', then I should be able to
    >>>> view them, or at least there names and whatever else is associated
    >>>> with them, using some 'official' Windows utility, yes? And maybe even
    >>>> do something with them, like *close* them!
    >>>>
    >>>> FWIW I also have ProcMon, but again I'm not sure how that can help
    >>>> here?
    >>>>
    >>>> BTW, I'm not a sysop, techie or programmer, just an end user, so I may
    >>>> be missing something very basic here!
    >>>>
    >>>> Best wishes,
    >>>>
    >>>> --
    >>>> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    >>>>
    >>>> ====================
    >>>>
    >>>> "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>Terry,
    >>>>> this [free] tool by reputable developer Sysinternals (once a division of
    >>>>>Microsoft) called "Process Explorer", can be downloaded and run from any location
    >>>>>by
    >>>>>clicking on the link below :
    >>>>>
    >>>>>http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip
    >>>>>
    >>>>>The application, which can be configured to replace your Task Manager (called
    >>>>>when
    >>>>>you press Alt-Ctrl-Del), shows you all the currently running processes on your PC
    >>>>>as
    >>>>>well as all sorts of other information about each.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>It also has a built-in ability to go and search on the web for descriptions of
    >>>>>any
    >>>>>process that you are suspicious of - such as a process name that you are not
    >>>>>familiar
    >>>>>with.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>It is quite an easy program to use and allows you to investigate all the
    >>>>>background
    >>>>>goings on, on your computer.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>==
    >>>>>
    >>>>>Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >>>>>news:...
    >>>>>> One of my tools (Macro Express Pro) has the facility to list all open
    >>>>>> windows, in two categories: Normal and Hidden.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> In the latter category I get a list of 211! Most look totally obscure
    >>>>>> and seem to refer to folders or processes I haven't run for days or
    >>>>>> weeks. There's even one called 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key',
    >>>>>> which is worrying, as to the best of my knowledge I'm not!
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> I have another tool called Stiletto which also lists all windows, and
    >>>>>> that shows 51 window names (most of them 'hidden'). That difference of
    >>>>>> 160 reinforces my suspicion that Macro Express is no cleaning out old
    >>>>>> stuff.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> The Macro Express developer (ISS) says that their list comes straight
    >>>>>> from Windows. So, is there some XP tool I can use to get a definitive
    >>>>>> 'Windows' list please?
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> --
    >>>>>> Terry, East Grinstead, UK


    Appreciate your feedback Tim, but you're wrong in your contention that
    "If it's not listed in Process Explorer with the "Window > bring to
    front" option active, then it is NOT a process that can be viewed as a
    Window in any way."

    I used Macro Express to successively list those 200 or so 'windows'
    that it reported. I then successively OPENED all but a small number of
    them. Including the large number NOT shown in PE.

    In case you're curious, the 160 or so 'hidden windows' were a mixture
    of:
    - Recognisable/expected (the minority in my case, but that's probably
    because I'm not a programmer or similar)
    - Shouldn't logically still be hanging around (e.g. Outlook reminder
    messages I closed hours ago)
    - Programs I'm sure I've uninstalled - but I'll have to double-check.
    - No idea what they are ('M', 'Default IME, 'NetscapeDispatchWnd',
    etc. etc) These were the BULK in my case.
    - The running macro itself! (Which duly froze; had to terminate MEP
    rather like your experience with wndlst.exe).
    - Notable wierdies (like 'You are using a Pirated Licence Key', which
    appears to be a spam window from MailWasher Free, which I've used for
    years, presumably to encourage me to upgrade to MailWasher Pro).

    And don't forget that this 'windows' data comes direct to MEP from the
    Windows XP Pro OS. MEP or wndlst or whatever may well be selecting
    different SUBSETS of it (and that poses the question of *defining* a
    'window'), but its MS Windows that's the source, not those third-party
    apps.

    --------------------

    Any thoughts on my question about PE's behaviour with Explorer.exe
    when multiple folders are open?

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Nov 17, 2009
    #7
  8. Terry Pinnell

    Tim Meddick Guest

    Terry,
    concerning you question about multiple explorer windows and Process
    Explorer - PE only shows the shell process [explorer.exe] and the browser process
    [explorer.exe /n /e,].

    When you open other instances of explorer.exe the thread count goes up by one and a
    new thread beginning BROWSEUI.dll!Ordinal1 38+ appears under the "threads" tab in
    that processes properties page.

    Granted, you can only summon the last explorer window opened by right-clicking on the
    browser process and selecting "Window > bring to front".

    You can "kill" Windows Explorer windows by going to the browser process and selecting
    properties. Going to the "Threads" tab and pressing the "kill" button while a
    [BROWSEUI.dll!Ordinal1 38+] is selected.

    Where [windlist] is concerned, I still don't think very much of it. I believe what
    is happening is that it scans the process list (as in PE or Task Manager) and scans
    the image (the program's code) for the presence of dialog boxes and other 'controls',
    and prints them in a list whether that box is currently open or not!

    Every process on your system has to be assigned a PID [Process ID] number. Threads
    are assigned a TID [Thread ID] these are different from programs and cannot exist
    without parent processes. What [windlist] displays are not true processes or threads
    (why does it list "Start Button" as a Window?) but are 'controls' programmed into the
    true process but not necessarily active (called) and certainly they are not all
    "Windows" - hidden or otherwise.

    'Controls' are things like dialog boxes and command buttons that are drawn by Windows
    according to what is written in a program (or parent process).

    ==

    Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)




    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >
    > <clipped>
    >
    > And don't forget that this 'windows' data comes direct to MEP from the
    > Windows XP Pro OS. MEP or wndlst or whatever may well be selecting
    > different SUBSETS of it (and that poses the question of *defining* a
    > 'window'), but its MS Windows that's the source, not those third-party
    > apps.
    >
    > --------------------
    >
    > Any thoughts on my question about PE's behaviour with Explorer.exe
    > when multiple folders are open?
    >
    > --
    > Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Tim Meddick, Nov 17, 2009
    #8
  9. Thanks Tim, that makes things a lot clearer. And I agree about
    windlist - I won't be using that again.

    Best wishes,

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK

    ====================

    "Tim Meddick" <> wrote:

    >
    >Terry,
    > concerning you question about multiple explorer windows and Process
    >Explorer - PE only shows the shell process [explorer.exe] and the browser process
    >[explorer.exe /n /e,].
    >
    >When you open other instances of explorer.exe the thread count goes up by one and a
    >new thread beginning BROWSEUI.dll!Ordinal1 38+ appears under the "threads" tab in
    >that processes properties page.
    >
    >Granted, you can only summon the last explorer window opened by right-clicking on the
    >browser process and selecting "Window > bring to front".
    >
    >You can "kill" Windows Explorer windows by going to the browser process and selecting
    >properties. Going to the "Threads" tab and pressing the "kill" button while a
    >[BROWSEUI.dll!Ordinal1 38+] is selected.
    >
    >Where [windlist] is concerned, I still don't think very much of it. I believe what
    >is happening is that it scans the process list (as in PE or Task Manager) and scans
    >the image (the program's code) for the presence of dialog boxes and other 'controls',
    >and prints them in a list whether that box is currently open or not!
    >
    >Every process on your system has to be assigned a PID [Process ID] number. Threads
    >are assigned a TID [Thread ID] these are different from programs and cannot exist
    >without parent processes. What [windlist] displays are not true processes or threads
    >(why does it list "Start Button" as a Window?) but are 'controls' programmed into the
    >true process but not necessarily active (called) and certainly they are not all
    >"Windows" - hidden or otherwise.
    >
    >'Controls' are things like dialog boxes and command buttons that are drawn by Windows
    >according to what is written in a program (or parent process).
    >
    >==
    >
    >Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >"Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >>
    >> <clipped>
    >>
    >> And don't forget that this 'windows' data comes direct to MEP from the
    >> Windows XP Pro OS. MEP or wndlst or whatever may well be selecting
    >> different SUBSETS of it (and that poses the question of *defining* a
    >> 'window'), but its MS Windows that's the source, not those third-party
    >> apps.
    >>
    >> --------------------
    >>
    >> Any thoughts on my question about PE's behaviour with Explorer.exe
    >> when multiple folders are open?
    >>
    >> --
    >> Terry, East Grinstead, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Nov 18, 2009
    #9
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