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Sorting links in the start menu

Posted on 1999-08-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I do not use any "fancy" Web-interfaces in W98, but I think the OS still is fooling me sometimes with the filesorting in the start menu:

If I create a new group and add some links to it, they all are sortet alphabetically. When I later add links (.lnk-files) to the group, they are viewed in the bottom of the group, regardless of the alpha-sort.

I can manually reorder them the way I want, but I want all of them to be automatically alpha-sorted. How?
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Question by:BakkenIT
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14 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:saba44
ID: 1677255
Can you not select the method of displaying files by date, type, size & name in windows explorer, from the file menu. If you have just copied, moved or created a flie in a particular directory, it will always appear at the bottom of the list, no matter what view settings you have selected.. You must refresh the screen display, by pressing the F5 button... Then your files will re-arrange themselves into the order you have chosen.
I hope this helps.
Good Luck
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 1677256
Can you do this?
Right click on the menu, then choose "sort by name"
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Expert Comment

by:rekoolea
ID: 1677257
Hi.  I think that if you install IE5, then this should solve your problem.  I have IE5 and whenever I right-click on start-menu item I'm given the option, "sort by name" which re-arranges the whole list of items. I am also running Win98 SE, the latest version.  But I believe that the sort by name feature on context menu is a feature of Internet Explorer 5.  Hope this resolves the matter for you!

Rekoolea
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1677258
Rekoolea, you justed posted Rayt333 comment as your answer. That wasn't fair now was it?
Dennis
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Author Comment

by:BakkenIT
ID: 1677259
I have no context-menu within the startmenu that lets me "sort by name" (I right-click the folder that contains the objects I want to sort. Is that right, or where do I eventually find the menuoption?)

I do not want to install the IE5 (I'm happy with my IE4), but I really think it should work fine without?? Is it really a bug in IE4? I hope not.

Can anyone help me with the reg.key for the "sort by name" context menu, if there is something like that I am short of?

Another idea: The "manual" sorting must be stored somewhere! If we knew, could we not delete it? Is it stored in the registry (I have not searched yet), or in a file somewhere? I deleted the hidden folderfile (folder.htt) and reset settings in desktop.ini, but I still can't get rid of the manual sorting.

saba44: In explorer, the folders are sorted as they should :(
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Expert Comment

by:rekoolea
ID: 1677260
IE 5 is a better, faster loading browser. It also gives you the option to "repair" if there is a problem with corrupt files, etc.  I recommend upgrading to this latest browser since it will also improve your windows OS. The search functions are improved in IE5 too.  Then it actually "remembers" information that you use a lot on filling out forms and also passwords if you enable this feature.  
Rayt333's comment was not seen by me until after sending my response, dew_associates!
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1677261
BakkenIT, give this a try.

There are two ways to do this if you were using IE5. This is why the previous suggestion didn't work as you are using IE4. There is the registry change that should help you.

Warning: As with all Registry-editing techniques, we recommend backing up your Registry files--System.dat and User.dat, hidden files on the root of your hard drive--before continuing.)  

Open the Registry Editor--select Start, Run, type  

regedit  

and click OK--and navigate your way to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder\Start Menu\Menu. In the right pane, right-click Order, select Delete, then click Yes to confirm. Close the Registry Editor, restart Windows 98, and check out your newly arranged Start menu!

As mentioned by others here, if you install IE 5.0, there is an easier (and safer) way to alphabetize my Start menu. By clicking Start and navigate your way to the Start menu branch you want alphabetized. Right-click any item at this level, select Sort By Name, and voila--all non-folder shortcuts at that level are sorted alphabetically.
Dennis



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Expert Comment

by:msonstei
ID: 1677262
If I understand your problem correctly, you are stating that the sorting problem is occuring on your START-PROGRAMS menu?  This has nothing to do with IE anyversion.  If you are happy with 4.0, keep it.  If you want the quicklaunch feature, upgrade to 4.01.  If you want a slightly faster browser (for somethings) and the option of a higher encryption technique, go to 5.0.  Regardless, of the IE you choose to use, if the start menu ordering is really the question, try this.  Right click on the Start button and choose Explore.  If you do not see (in the right frame) Name, Size, Type, etc. choose View (on the main menu bar) and select Details as the view method.  Double click the Programs folder and you should see the structure you get under the Start-Programs button.  Clicking on NAME (the column heading) will sort in Ascending.  To verify this is what you want, click on the start button and choose programs, see if they appear correctly, then close the window.  Is that what you were asking about?
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1677263
Msonstei, you state, "If I understand your problem correctly, you are stating that the sorting problem is occuring on your START-PROGRAMS menu?  This has nothing to do with IE anyversion."

I think you may want to visit the Microsoft Knowledge Base and research your comment a little further!
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:NESTIAM
ID: 1677264
This answer comes directly out of PC World March 99 issue page 242 by Scott Dunn.   "First back up the following files in your Windows folder: user.dat, system.dat, user.dao, and system dao.

     Now launch the Registry Editor by choosing START-RUN, typing REGEDIT, and clicking OK.  In the left-hand pane, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\EXPLORER\MENUORDER.  Click the + next to MENUORDER to see its two folders (called keys)-Favorites and START MENU.  To alphabetize your Program Menu, continue navigating down the tree to the START MENU\& Progams\Menu key.  In the right pane, you should see the binary Order icon, which stores sorting information.  To reset the sort order, select that icon, and press DELETE.  Then click yes to confirm the deletion.  

    To clean up other menus, delete the Order icon from within the appropriate MenuOrder keys-that is, from the Favorites\Menu key, the Start Menu\Menu key, or the Menu keys of any submenu key.  Then exit the Registry Editor  and select restart.

    To force windows to alphabetize a given menu each time you start your computer, you need to create stand-alone Registry sections.  As follows:

     First use the Registry editor to make a backup of the Menu Key of a particular menu: Select the key in the left pane and choose REGISTRY-EXPORT REGISTRY FILE.  Specify a location for your backup and type a name.  Make sure 'Selected branch' is highlighted and click SAVE.  Now locate the backup file you just created, right-click it, and choose EDIT to open it in Notepad.  Save a copy under a new name to preserve your original backup:  Choose FILE-SAVE AS, type a name like "alphatiz.reg" (be sure to include the quotation marks so Notepad gives it the .reg extension), and save the file in the folder of your choice-for example, the Windows folder.

     Now to make some changes.  If you successfully exported only a Menu key branch, the third line of your file containing text should begin with '"Order"=hex:'.  Select and delete everything after the colon so that '"Order"=hex:' is the only thing on the line and that line is the last one in your file.  At the end of the line, press ENTER to insert a carriage return.  Now choose FILE-SAVE and then FILE-EXIT.  This creates a REGISTRY key backup with a blank Order icon, eliminating the information about icon arrangement.  This little text file includes a complete path to the section of the Registry that determines the order of a given menu.  By merging this file with the Registry, you can delete whatever order info is stored for a given menu.  To make Windows import this Registry key every time you restart your computer, choose START-RUN type   notepad c:\autoexec.bat  and click OK.  Now add the following line to the last line of  your autoexec.bat file:  c:\windows\regedit c:\windows\ alphatiz.reg (your path may differ).  Save the file; exit; and reboot."  
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Author Comment

by:BakkenIT
ID: 1677265
NESTIAM, I like your answer!
Since I'm quite new here at EE, I don't want to do anything wrong "the first time". Who shall get the points in this discussion? A lot of people have contributed, but (as far as I know), only 1 can get the points.

The answer I was looking for were the registry-key "[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder\Start Menu]". With a backup, you can experiment as you want, and get good results. I deleted the key "&Programs" (yea, lots!), and my start-menu was sorted the way I wanted! (I've not deleted my backup yet, but everything seemes OK).

I think dew_associates was the first to hint me about the reg.key although NESTIAM had a more detailed description. I think all of us had a great discussion! But, one will get the points, and as a newbie, I ask: How is this usually solved?

Thanks to all of you for the assistance!
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 1677266
ask the first person who gave you the solution, which in this case should be dew_associates
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

by:
dew_associates earned 200 total points
ID: 1677267
BakkenIT, I'm glad it is fixed. Indeed Nestiams answer was detailed, but so was the article it was taken from, although that was not wrong. As for the backup process, windows 98 does this for you with Scanreg. Each time your system boots, scanreg makes a backup of your registry files as well as a few others. Using Wordpad, you can open scanreg.ini and you will see a detailed view of what is being backed up for you.

The article that Netsiam refers to was originally written for Win95, and therefore it is more applicable to that application when it comes to the backup of the registry.

You may want to visit the Microsoft Knowledge Base and search on Scanreg and it will provide plenty of details on how you can safeguard your system.

Dennis

P.S. Thanks Rayt333
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Author Comment

by:BakkenIT
ID: 1677268
Thanks again!
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