HP Wireless Assistant is invisible but still takes mouse clicks

HP Wireless Assistant issue:
 
I have Windows 7 professional on an HP laptop.  Please see the constraint at the end of this question.
 
"HP Wireless Assistant Main Program" (HPWAMain.exe) is a program, not a service, that runs on startup but does not show in task manager as an application (it does show as a process).  Although it can be opened from the task bar to start or stop a radio device, it is meant to otherwise work behind the scenes and provide pop-up balloons of status change information, but it creates a small invisible window in the bottom left of the screen that takes the focus away from whatever application one is working on.  For example, if one is working in Excel one cannot select the tabs of other sheets (being located at the bottom left of the screen) because one ends up clicking on this invisible/transparent window instead of the Excel window which is behind it.
 
HP support said to uninstall the program and reinstall it again from their website, which I did.  But the program behaves the same way.
 
My workaround is to click on the invisible window where its menu would be (the menu becomes visible) and click maximise or restore; fortunately it is always in the same place.  The program then stays in the background without taking the focus or the mouse clicks.
 
To my mind there is nothing I can do to make the program behave properly in the first place.  Surely HP have to modify their program so that it starts up "maximised", but HP support say the problem is unique to me i.e. there is nothing wrong with their program that they would need to fix (I am pleased they are still trying to resolve the problem).
 
However, what chance is there that this happens only to me?  What chance is there that this happens to each and every one of HP's customers whose machine comes with this program?
 
Incidentally, I don’t see anything in registry HKEY_CURRENT_USER that tells the program to open one way or another:
 
BlueToothState: 1
WLANState: 1
WWANState: 0
DisableBalloon: 0
DisableFirstBalloon: 0
HideSysTray: 0
IconState: 1
NoSWInput: 0
NumberWirelessDevices: 3
TurnAllOff: 1
TurnAllOn: 1
 
The question: What is to be done to make this program start up properly, without reinstalling the operating system?
LVL 1
August354Asked:
Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

x
 
August354Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I think I will have to accept my workaround as the answer, especially since I find the workaround better than not using the program. I find it useful for turning off (and on) the wireless local area network when it has an issue and I want to use HSPA 3G mobile wireless network instead. I found it not easy doing this without the HP Wireless Assistant. Moreover, the program provides a nice instant summary of which wireless devices are turned on (WLAN, Bluetooth, and/or WWAN).

I would like to have resolved this better than this to confirm the issue has nothing to do with a corrupt component of the operating system.
0
 
B HCommented:
find the location of the process that runs it... like c:\program files\hp crap\wireless\fail.exe

right-click the process (the file on the hard drive)
properties
compatibility
run with windows xp sp2 compatibility, and optionally run as administrator
ok

restart the process
0
 
sir plusSales ManagementCommented:
Not familiar with HP but have been able to resolve similar Toshiba issues without reinstall
Try some workarounds

This is what worked for me
Uninstall the prog
Manually clean its directory if anything left
Clean registry thoroughly
I ran ccleaner about 5 times till it had 0 errors
Then tried a couple others that I trust
Each one run till nothing found

Then reinstall
Voilla

Apparently the uninstall was not perfect!

If that doesn't work try the below



Try rightclicking on program -perhaps you may stumble on a propertioe or options. Bet you already did.

Try this
Systray icons missing
"The most successful workarounds"
http://winhlp.com/node/16
More aimed at repair

To run it minimised
Create a shortcut for the program
right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
Click the Shortcut tab.
In the Run box select Minimized and click Apply.
The program will now open minimized upon starting Windows if you use the shortcut

this program http://www.xneat.com/ .. it contains the send to tray features plus much more

Once its there you can customise it
Right click your Taskbar, choose Properties, under the Taskbar (XP or "Notification Area" Vista+) tab click the Customize button under the Current Items hilite the program and under Behavior use the drop-down arrow button to choose Always hide. Do this for those you want to hide, then OK your way out. This will hide then from the Taskbar but if they're running it will not hide them in the Task Manager list of running applications.


Try
http://majorgeeks.com/Taskbar_Repair_Tool_Plus_d4307.html
0
The new generation of project management tools

With monday.com’s project management tool, you can see what everyone on your team is working in a single glance. Its intuitive dashboards are customizable, so you can create systems that work for you.

 
August354Author Commented:
Hi Bryon

I'm afraid this made the process not start up on starting windows, and when started manually it created an icon beside and inside the little triangle on the Windows 7 task bar (the one outside the triangle was temporary and is probably normal for a process started manually until it is hidden after a period of time).  Moreover, the behaviour of the program when started in compatibility mode is the same as before, i.e. the invisible window that takes mouse clicks is still there.

- Brendan
0
 
August354Author Commented:
Hi Sirplus

I uninstalled the program again. Ran Ccleaner and fixed the one line that related to the HP wireless assistant (an ActiveX/Com issue for InProcServer32), then reinstalled.  It did not change the behaviour of the program.  It is possible there is still a registry entry that Ccleaner did not find, e.g. the registry still contained entry(s) for another program (WAMobCtr.exe) installed the same time as the program started at startup (HPWAMain.exe).
0
 
August354Author Commented:
After uninstalling HP Wireless Assistant, and after running Cclearner, the following entries remained in the registry.

In No.1 below, I wonder whether the question mark "?" in the path where a colon ":" should be would affects things.
In No.2 below, I see there is an hpwireless.dll related to an installer (actually, this is seen from No. 1 as well).
No. 3 below confirms this is a shared DLL, so it should not be deleted before reinstalling, especially since we don't know whether it is shared by the HP Wireless Assistant.
In No. 4 below, we see the uninstallation of HP Wireless Assistant did not uninstall registry entries relating to WAMobCtr.exe, another program installed with HP Wireless Assistant.  

One
***
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components\B4135EDE2B4FB854F9295DC0D8822795]
"C3A8A5940DF864C49997592C16181ABA"="C?\\Program Files\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP Support Framework\\hpWireless.dll"

Two
***
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Assemblies\C:|Program Files|Hewlett-Packard|HP Support Framework|hpWireless.dll]
"hpWireless,Version=\"0.0.0.0\",Culture=\"neutral\",FileVersion=\"65535.0.0.0\""=hex(7):39,\
  00,21,00,79,00,58,00,3f,00,71,00,2b,00,6a,00,53,00,40,00,3d,00,4b,00,6e,00,\
  55,00,67,00,58,00,2b,00,6a,00,31,00,60,00,48,00,50,00,54,00,43,00,41,00,3e,\
  00,79,00,28,00,26,00,4f,00,75,00,4b,00,6e,00,78,00,45,00,3d,00,38,00,55,00,\
  5d,00,2d,00,27,00,54,00,78,00,57,00,68,00,44,00,00,00,00,00

Three
*****
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDLLs]
"C:\\Program Files\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP Support Framework\\hpWireless.dll"=dword:00000001

Four
****
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{79C2927D-4AC7-4E43-9C64-6388E9240B61}]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{79C2927D-4AC7-4E43-9C64-6388E9240B61}\1.0]
@="WAMobCtr 1.0 Type Library"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{79C2927D-4AC7-4E43-9C64-6388E9240B61}\1.0\0]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{79C2927D-4AC7-4E43-9C64-6388E9240B61}\1.0\0\win32]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP Wireless Assistant\\WAMobCtr.exe"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{79C2927D-4AC7-4E43-9C64-6388E9240B61}\1.0\FLAGS]
@="0"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{79C2927D-4AC7-4E43-9C64-6388E9240B61}\1.0\HELPDIR]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP Wireless Assistant"
0
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.