SetParent and related API not working

Posted on 2004-09-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
This used to be easy stuff back in my VB6 days.. Setting forms as a child of the desktop or whatever I wanted, but I can't get it to work in VB.NET.

Basically, I want to set Winamp as a child of the desktop window (when I press the Show Desktop button, Winamp and whatever else is a child of the desktop won't hide). Using Spy++, I've determined that Winamp's caption is "Main window" and its class is "BaseWindow_RootWnd".

At this point, I can't even set my own forms as a child of the desktop.. I'm using the following code (just testing, that's why it's ugly):

    Private Declare Function FindWindowEx Lib "user32" Alias "FindWindowExA" (ByVal hWnd1 As Long, ByVal hWnd2 As Long, ByVal lpsz1 As String, ByVal lpsz2 As String) As Long
    Private Declare Function FindWindow Lib "user32" Alias "FindWindowA" (ByVal lpClassName As String, ByVal lpWindowName As String) As Long
    Private Declare Function SetParent Lib "user32" Alias "SetParent" (ByVal hWndChild As Long, ByVal hWndNewParent As Long) As Long

    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        Dim blah As Long = FindWindow("Progman", vbNullString)
        SetParent(Me.Handle.ToInt32, blah)
    End Sub
Question by:todd_
  • 2

Author Comment

ID: 11982994
The following function (that I've found in reference to VB6) doesn't work in VB.NET either:

    Public Function ArrangeDesktopIcons() As Boolean
        Dim hWnd As Long
        Dim RetVal As Long
        'Find the desktop handle
        hWnd = FindWindow("Progman", vbNullString)
        'Find the first child to the desktop
        hWnd = GetWindow(hWnd, 5)
        'Find the first child of the first child of the desktop
        hWnd = GetWindow(hWnd, 5)
        'Arrange the icons
        RetVal = SendMessage(hWnd, LVM_ARRANGE, LVA_ALIGNLEFT, 0)
        ArrangeDesktopIcons = RetVal > 0
    End Function

It should arrange desktop items (assuming I have all the API functions already declared) but doesn't in VB.NET.
LVL 86

Accepted Solution

Mike Tomlinson earned 300 total points
ID: 11984147
The first problem I see is that you are using old VB6 API declarations.

In general, you need to change anything declared as Long to Integer.  Don't forget to change local variables that receive return values to Integer as well.

For instance, FindWindow() was this:

    Private Declare Function FindWindow Lib "user32" Alias "FindWindowA" ( _
        ByVal lpClassName As String, _
        ByVal lpWindowName As String) As Long

and it becomes this:

    Private Declare Function FindWindow Lib "user32" Alias "FindWindowA" ( _
        ByVal lpClassName As String, _
        ByVal lpWindowName As String) As Integer



Author Comment

ID: 11986618
Thanks a lot!

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