ERROR : "cannot create system shell notification icon"

Posted on 2006-05-11
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Hello Experts:

1 gig RAM
120 Gig HD
SECURITY: KASPERSKEY SECURITY SUITE: Kasperskey Anti-virus 5.0.385;
Firewalls : Kasperskey Anti-Hacker
                   HARDWARE FIREWALL : Alpha Shield X2

Lately my windows shell seems unstable, and I am frequently getting the following error : "cannot create system shell notification icon."

My SpeedUp My PC application corrects the issue pretty fast, but obviously something is wrong in my system for this to be happening so often.

Any solution ideas??


Question by:jbm4
    LVL 59

    Accepted Solution

    I have checked some page on the internet that were found using a google search, and this appears to be the best one; apparently you have a program that cannot display its "system tray" (now called "notification area") icon on the taskbar, due to some timing problem during bootup:

    I think you'll find the entire page interesting and informative to read, but here is part of the section on your error message:

    Cannot create shell notification icon

    This is an error message that some programs, apparently all written in Delphi, show when they cannot reach the systray task to put their icon into the system tray. The most prevalent of these programs is Asus Probe. Most other programs don't throw an error message, but instead simply forgo creating an icon if they can't do it instantly. Both behaviors are insufficient, as we know.

    This problem can be solved with Startup Delayer (see below) and by other means of delaying the startup. If you want to do it yourself, you can do it as follows.

    Write a little program in Visual Basic Script that delays the start. Create a text file (File, New, Text file, or just open an Editor) and copy the following two lines into it:

        Wscript.Sleep 240000 ' 4 minutes

        WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run """C:\Program Files\Asus\Probe\AsusProb.exe""", 2

    The delay time is in milliseconds, 240,000 in the example. Everything from the apostroph (') onward is only a comment, has no function, and is not required. To solve the problem here, a delay of 30 to 60 seconds suffices, but if you also have the problem that a regulated fan triggers an alarm when started cold, 4 to 8 minutes may be required.

    Save the file under the name DelayedStartup.vbs into the folder where the AsusProb.exe file resides. If the path is different from the one in the second line, change it accordingly. Actually, the file can be anywhere else, if you like, if only you enter its path into the registry as described below.

    Test it. Close Asus Probe, then double-click on the VBS file in Windows Explorer, but double-click only once. There is no apparent reaction and no window opening. You have to wait for Asus Probe to appear after the given time. If you're in a hurry, you can shorten the time to a few seconds for the test, then change it back after the test.

    Open regedit (Start, Run..., regedit) and change the following value.

        "ASUS Probe"="C:\Program Files\ASUS\Probe\AsusProb.exe"

    Double-click on "ASUS Probe" on the right side and change the value to read:

        "ASUS Probe"="C:\Program Files\ASUS\Probe\DelayedStart.vbs"

    The path given in the above example may not be the same as on your computer. Adapt it accordingly.

    Log off and log on again to test the change. Asus Probe should appear after 4 mintes or after whatever time you entered.

    If you want to use this program to start several programs delayed, use the following example.

        Set WsShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

        Wscript.Sleep 240000 ' 4 minutes

        WsShell.Run """C:\Program Files\Asus\Probe\AsusProb.exe""", 2

        Wscript.Sleep 20000 ' 20 seconds

        WsShell.Run """put the path to the next program here"""

    Repeat the last two lines as needed.

    Note that some programs may reinstate the original situation when they are installed, reinstalled, or updated. Then you have to make the changes to the registry again.

    Author Comment

    Hello LeeTutor:

    Boy, you really wrote a treatise on this one! Even though I have nuthin' "Asus" in my system at all, I believe that you have probably nailed the nature of the problem. Now it is up to me to figure out which program I do have that can't get its icon into the tray fast enough on boot. I suppose I'll have to use trial and error - I wonder if there is a bootup log I can look at, to see which particular program is having trouble starting up too slowly?
    Well, anyways, I am accepting your answer because, as I said, I believe you identified the general problem. Now I'll try to chase down the details.



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