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Disappearing Outlook window with Windows 7 / Office 2007

Posted on 2010-11-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I recently replaced several computers and one of them is having a strange problem with Outlook.  When a message window is open and the user is typing, the window will temporarily "disappear".  You can still see the outline of the window, but the actual window itself goes away.

Click here to see a printscreen of the issue:
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/1582/problempv.png

While the window is like this, it still has focus because when the window eventually reappears, everything that the user typed is there.  He says that what he usually does is moves his mouse, and this causes the window to reappear.  It doesn't happen every time, but it happens several times a day and I was able to reproduce it once and took the screenshot above.

The system is Windows 7 64-bit with Office 2007 Professional.  I deployed several other identical systems from the same hard drive image, and I am not aware of any additional software that has been installed on the system with the problem.  This has been driving us crazy, please help!
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Question by:FWeston
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6 Comments
 
LVL 7

Accepted Solution

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tstritof earned 2000 total points
ID: 34089533
Hi,

if you move the mouse pointer to the bottom right corner of the screen - all the way to the right of the taskbar there is an "incognito" show desktop button there. When you hover the mouse over it all windows turn transparent and for any non-maximized windows you actualy see "glassy" areas. If you move the mouse away from that spot - all windows come back.

Hope to help.

Regards,
Tomislav
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:ken2421
ID: 34089621
FWeston,
As tstritof said moving the mouse to the lower right hides the windows but leaves the outlines. I have had several users do this without knowing. It is now in my deployment training. If you click the box in the lower right it minimizes all the windows.

HTH,
Ken
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Sebastian Lennskog
ID: 34091539
Also, The keyboard shortcut for doing this is "Windows-button"+Space
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:FWeston
ID: 34093143
Thanks all for the comments.  I am going to let the user know about the "incognito" show desktop button.  I don't think he would be moving his mouse over there every time, but you never know.  I forgot to also say that I've replaced his keyboard thinking that perhaps he had a stuck key that was causing this behavior.  I'll report back with any findings.
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Expert Comment

by:Sebastian Lennskog
ID: 34093864
Sounds good!
If the issue with a stucked button is the deal, then if the windowskey is the problem the "show desktop" would appear every time he presses space.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:tstritof
ID: 34095705
:)

Yes, but if the WIN key was stuck then:
- moving the mouse wouldn't bring windows back,
- typed text (while window is transparent) wouldn't be in Outlook when window reappears,
- you would mostly have to get WIN key "unstuck" to make windows reappear,
- the computer would probably behave very strange in many other ways (stuck WIN key can do that for you :))

And since the symptomps reported happen exactly as FWeston described when mouse pointer is moved all the way to bottom-right - I stick to my first post as the favorite :) However - it may be a malfunctioning mouse (e.g. some wireless equipment picks up interference from cell phones or other equipment), or maybe the users colleagues are too fond of practical jokes :)

Regards all,
Tomislav
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