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Advertised Shortcuts Set To Hidden When Used

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,
Recently alot of our standard users have been losing their start menu and desktop shortcuts.
We have tracked the problem down to advertised shortcuts only (The shortcuts that have the target set in grey).
As soon as a user invokes an advertised shortcut it is set to hidden and disappears.  If an administrator logs onto the computer the shortcut is visible and the hidden checkbox can be unticked.
If the shortcut is already visible and an administrator invokes the shortcut it is left unchanged.
Replacing the shortcuts with a new shortcut that points straight to the exe file is not an option as we have a wide range of applications installed and alot of users.
Also I now know that an application can be installed from an MSI with the DISABLEADVTSHORTCUTS option set to 1 but it is too late to reinstall every application with this option.
We are running Windows XP Professional SP3.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:mpdctech
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 34923125
I believe that when an advertised shortcut is clicked the installer is activated.

Try turning on installer logging for the machine, click on one of the bad shortcuts, and see if anything interesting is logged.  Here's how to enable system-wide installer logging:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314852

Globally for all setups on a machine
You can also globally turn on Windows Installer logging for a machine. To do this create the following registry entry either directly in the registry or using Group Policy, as described in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 223300:

  [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer]
  "Logging"="voicewarmup"
  "Debug"=dword:00000007

This will generate log files named Msi*.log where * is a random number in the TEMP directory for each MSI based setup. The meaning of the flags in the value are documented in the aforementioned KB article 223300. Note that you should use this only during the trouble shooting phase because it will have adverse effects on system performance and disk space.

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Author Comment

by:mpdctech
ID: 34947541
Thank you for your suggestion sjklein42.  The advertised shortcuts are not creating a MSI*.log file in the %temp% directory which leads me to believe they are not running the installer file.
I ran a seperate msi installer and a log was created, I also run a repair on an application and a log was created.  This is the same for the 3 computers I was working on.
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 34947730
Weird.  I don't know what could be happening or why it just started recently.  Sorry.
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Accepted Solution

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mpdctech earned 0 total points
ID: 34956647
I have finally found the cause of this problem.  The problem is caused by our peripheral device security software DeviceShield.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mpdctech
ID: 34990882
After using SpyMe Monitoring Tool I tracked down the problem to a process run by DeviceShield
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