Order of Start Up Applications

I want my wife to be able to turn on the computer and have it bring up applications in a certain order so all she has to click on the OK buttons.  For example, when the computer turns on, it automatically loads the ISDN drivers.  Then it loads Outlook 98, then the dial up connection.  But then Outlook comes on top of the dial up window.  This confuses her.  (no comments!)  So, I want the ISDN to go first, then Outlook 98, completely, then the dial up in front.  Then all she has to do is click on connect, then Outlook.  

Is there a way to order the start up applications so they stack in front of each other?


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arunmConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Writing a utility to start programs in a particular order, and then
pausing between the start of each program to ensure they appear in the
correct order, is pretty easy. The follow program takes a list of
program paths and delays as arguments. The easiest method to use it is
to place a shortcut to this program in the startup directory with the
correct target info. For example;-

A target string could look like.

c:\myprogs\thisprogram.exe c:\program files\first_program.exe 2
c:\program files\second_program.exe 3 c:\program files\third_program.exe

This would start c:\program files\first_program.exe wait 2 secs, then
start  c:\program files\second_program.exe wait 3 secs and then finally
start c:\program files\third_program.exe

If you dont have a vc++ complier I can email you a working version of
this. Or if you need any more help on how to use it, let me know.

#include <afx.h>
#include <iostream.h>
#include <winbase.h>
#include <process.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
 int   seconds;
 int   currentArg = 1;

 // Initialise Startup structure
 InfoToPass.cb = sizeof(InfoToPass);
 InfoToPass.lpReserved = NULL;
 InfoToPass.lpDesktop = NULL;
 InfoToPass.lpTitle = NULL;
 InfoToPass.cbReserved2 = 0;
 InfoToPass.lpReserved2 = NULL;
 InfoToPass.wShowWindow = SW_SHOWNORMAL;

 // Spawn required process as a normal process

 while (currentArg < argc)
  // You could also use winexec here, but i prefer the control achived using
  CreateProcess(argv[currentArg++], "", NULL, NULL, FALSE,
   CREATE_NEW_CONSOLE, NULL, NULL, &InfoToPass, &ProcessInfo);

  sscanf(argv[currentArg++],"%d", &seconds);

   // wait
  Sleep(seconds * 1000);

 return (0);


Why not have the dialer automatically connect for her?
I think that unless you are connected to the Internet by a rented line, or have some other direct LAN connection, that any program, be it Outlook, MS Internet Explorer, Netscape, or other, has to access through the dial up connection.

You answer lies in writing a script or macro that automatically accesses your dial up connection after boot up (I think you can do this by placing the connection in your "Startup" file), but then exiting the program will not ask to disconnect from the internet upon closing.

I think that you can make it easier for her to connect, but then it will be harder to disconnect.

Good luck.
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If you already know how to make the dialer automatically connect, you might want to try this:
Change the order of programs loading in the startup folder by renaming the shortcuts listed there.
Just pick the order desired, and place its number as the first character of the shortcut's name.
Let me know if this helps, or you need more.

You can't simply specify the order of autostart because this is what windows is doing: It looks into all the autostart places (startmenu/ini-files/registry keys) and then starts all these programs. But the problem (for you) is that windows doesn't start the first program and then waits until it is finished. Windows starts them in a specific order but it's somehow all at the same time. So programs that bootup fast will come first and programs that need longer will come last.
You COULD write a little program that starts all these applications step by step in the desired order. But it would be some work and then the bootup would last very long.
So you'll have to find another way. I think it should be possible to configure all these programs in a way that they don't show up at all or at least without boxes where you have to click on something. So the order shouldn't matter. Your wife would have to shut her eyes for about 2 minutes. Then open it and begin with working...   :-)

Regards, Madshi.
Tim HolmanCommented:
  I'd take Outlook 98 out of startup, so that only the dial-up connection comes up, then you can connect first, then click on Outlook 98 seperately...
  Alternatively, you could do it for her, whilst she catches up on some ironing and cooks some dinner...
  Ooops !
  Did I say that ?

Here is a work around.
Right click on "Outlook" and select properties.
In the "run" drop down box, select "minimized".
That will keep outlook from getting in your face when you don't want it to be. It will start minimized then all she has to do is select it from the task bar to maximize it.
McDormanAuthor Commented:
You all have good ideas, but I like Skylab's.  So let me try some of the things you all have suggested and I'll get back to you.

Programmers note: You can also use winexec here, but I prefer the control acheiveable though using createProcess. Also, replacing SW_SHOWNORMAL with SW_SHOWMINIMISED would start each processe minimised on the task tar.

I dont know how I posted that twice? The comment should have been:-
Note:- I prefer to use createprocess() over winexec() due to the additional control it gives you over the process. Also, replacing  SW_SHOWNORMAL with SW_SHOWMINISMED allows an application to start minimsed on the task bar. It would be quite simple to add this to the list of arguments at start up.

Wierd there appears to be a bug at EE. The comment should have been ( at the 2 previous attempts to post it!):-
Note:- I prefer to use createprocess() over winexec() due to the additional control it gives you over the process. Also, replacing  SW_SHOWNORMAL with SW_SHOWMINISMED allows an application to start minimsed on the task bar. It would be quite simple to add this to the list of arguments at start up.

arunm is having a problem getting a comment posted.  I'm testing to see if I can post a comment.

Linda Gardner
Customer Service @ Experts Exchange
The attribution chain on this quesiton hass been repaired.  Please let us know if there are any other anomalies.  Thank you.

Im glad they sorted that out!  Although it appears that I still have 2 "proposed answers"?
McDormanAuthor Commented:
Everyone, this question has been posted again in order to help fix a potential problem at EE, although based on the comments shown, it looks like it may have been fixed.
McDormanAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your efforts, although I really liked the download suggested on the repost.

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