Persistent/ghost context menu in Windows 7

Aznboy1993

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Sometimes whenever I right-click to pop up the context menu Windows 7 glitches up and a "ghost" image that does not go away stays where it used to be. Screenshot below. Does anyone know what this is and how to fix it? I really don't want to reformat and yes I've already scanned for viruses and malware with Malwarebytes and Norton 360.



 

ambientZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 1, 2004
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My only suggestions are to try a newer graphics driver (or if you are at the latest a revision or two back),

or to try adjusting the aero/graphics properties.
 

Burke Hamblin

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That's happened in Windows for like...ever.

As long as it's only now and then, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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Jan 9, 2001
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sometimes hitting F5 when focused on the desktop makes it go away when it refreshes. If it doesn't and you don't want to reboot, just open Task Manager and kill explorer.exe and run it again.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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only seen that when I get click happy and accidently press the wrong button near the start menu
 

Snowknight26

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Just had this ghost menu happen twice in two weeks now and it's really annoying:



It's almost guaranteed to be a GPU driver issue (thanks AMD!) but without either paying Microsoft support to help debug it or getting non-existant AMD support to help with it, I can't actually verify that it is. The most ironic part is if you do manage to get help and a reboot is required, you probably won't be able to reproduce this for a long time. What's even worse is that aside from some poeple have tried to get help from Microsoft and from the Chromium team (where some user says its a Kernel issue and is fixed by disabling menu fades), even some Microsoft employees have been able to reproduce it but haven't figured out why it happens.

With that said..
Your best bet is to either restart (fixes it for a while.. or a few days in my case), or constantly restarting DWM (net start uxsms -> net stop uxsms) after you right click a Windows menu. If you're running an AMD GPU and you don't want to restart or do the latter, you can probably try reinstalling your GPU drivers. I haven't tried this yet but my guess is that it works.

Other fun facts regarding this issue:
IE9, Chrome 7/8, and Firefox 4 have trouble opening new tabs because of issues initializing DirectX or something along those lines.
Minimizing/restoring windows takes a fraction of a second longer when this occurs.
DXVA still works.

I'll keep trying to debug as much as I can with my limited knowledge - I'd love to see some other bright minds try to tackle this. :|

Edit: Hah, great. Copying the URL for the image via a context menu now has 'Copy Address' menu showing up. Sigh.
 
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Snowknight26

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Well that solves that. Opening too many tabs in one of those browsers caused a BSOD, courtesy of atikmdag.sys. Till next time ghost menu. :D
 

Snowknight26

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I seem to be able to consistently reproduce this when CPU usage is hovering around 100% for at least 30 minutes. I've also noticed that IE9 still exists in the process list even after closing the GUI. Sounds like a thread isn't being closed.

Anyone have any debugging clues? Tawnos? ;)
 

Tawnos

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I seem to be able to consistently reproduce this when CPU usage is hovering around 100% for at least 30 minutes. I've also noticed that IE9 still exists in the process list even after closing the GUI. Sounds like a thread isn't being closed.

Anyone have any debugging clues? Tawnos? ;)
Gah, can't you bug Arainach? :p

Seriously, though, if you can get a set of instructions that reliably* reproduce it and a driver version/hardware (via dxdiag.txt), I can try to take a look at what I have around and try to reproduce it here.


*reliably - once every three or four tries, if it takes 30 minutes to attempt a repro
 

Jerome36

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I always meant to reply to this thread when it was originally created. To the original poster, Aznboy1993, it seems you have more issues then a persistent context menu. Windows seems to be rotating your wallpaper upside down!!!
 

Snowknight26

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Seriously, though, if you can get a set of instructions that reliably* reproduce it and a driver version/hardware (via dxdiag.txt), I can try to take a look at what I have around and try to reproduce it here.
Unfortunately, that'll be the toughest part. Though I've yet to narrow it down to any specific trigger, I know the general conditions under which it happens. With that said, I'll try to give you something you can work with in my next post, but for now, here's the dxdiag log.
 

Pansopher

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Nov 10, 2010
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I recently started seeing this phenomenon (on Windows 7), just about constantly, and it was driving me crazy.

I found that if I reset the graphics card, it resolved it (till the next time). An easy way to do that reset was to RIght Click on the desktop and select "Screen Resolution", then at the dialog make some change (e.g., the resolution) and say Apply. The graphics system resets - with the selected change - and I then tell it to just "Revert", throwing away the change and resetting it again. If you practice it (and I had the pleasure of doing that about 10 times a day), you can do the whole double-reset in about 7 seconds.

I thought this was pretty clever, till I read a hint (above, by Snowknight26, on 10/13/10) about "disabling menu fades"...

And that was it!

Go into Control Panel, to System | Advanced Settings | System Properties | Performance -- and turn OFF "Face or slide" for both menus and ToolTips, and also turn off the "Fade out menu items after clicking".

I've not seen the darn ghost menu items on my screen since I made that change.

Obviously there is some wider problem in control here, but at least there's an easy way now to get around it.

- P.
 

Snowknight26

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I seem to have found a consistent way to reproduce the issue.

Video: http://stfcc.org/misc/vids/?name=Windows 7 persistent menu

Essentially any time I run that bat (Avisynth/x264 - helps getting CPU usage to 100%) I'm able to open IE9, create some tabs, wait for the tab creation to fail, then have issue occur (along with all the other side-issues, such as iexplore.exe remaining in the process list). Strangely enough, stopping the program removes the menu.

I'll try to find a method that doesn't require a 2GB file to reproduce the issue. If I can, I'll make a zip file with all the necessary junk and provide a link in hopes of finding a solution.

In the mean time, though, maybe a dump of both iexplore.exe's will help. So I'll just leave this here.
 
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Snowknight26

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BSODs are a good motivator. As promised:
http://stfcc.org/misc/persistent menu.zip

Couldn't get it working in my VM as it's not running AMD drivers, but nevertheless, I can constantly reproduce the issue using the above files.

If anyone wants to give it a shot, some instructions are needed:
- Run test.bat.
- If you get any error, run MatroskaSplitter110109.exe and install with default settings, then run filters - install.bat. Accept any dialog boxes. When the ffdshow video configuration box comes up, set MPEG2 to libavcodec.
- Once moving the command prompt window around shows any signs of slugishness, simply open IE9, create tabs until they start failing, then open any Windows context menu and select any option. Voila, persistent menu.
- Once done, close the command prompt window (menu will disappear), uninstall Haali Media Splitter, then run filters - uninstall.bat.

Now for me to take this up with AMD.

*I'm not held responsible for anything that goes wrong caused by running the above files. I suggest only running this on a test environment.
 
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Tawnos

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BSODs are a good motivator. As promised:
http://stfcc.org/misc/persistent menu.rar

Couldn't get it working in my VM as it's not running AMD drivers, but nevertheless, I can constantly reproduce the issue using the above files.

If anyone wants to give it a shot, some instructions are needed:
- Run test.bat.
- If you get any error, run MatroskaSplitter110109.exe and install with default settings, then run filters - install.bat. Accept any dialog boxes. When the ffdshow video configuration box comes up, set MPEG2 to libavcodec.
- Once moving the command prompt window around shows any signs of slugishness, simply open IE9, create tabs until they start failing, then open any Windows context menu and select any option. Voila, persistent menu.
- Once done, close the cmomand prompt window (menu will disappear), uninstall Haali Media Splitter, then run filters - uninstall.bat.

Now for me to take this up with AMD.

*I'm not held responsible for anything that goes wrong caused by running the above files.
Can you share that as a zip? I flatten my system often enough that it's not worth installing an unrarer every time :)

*edit* is this possible without using IE9? There are numerous known issues with it, as it is still in a beta state.
 

Snowknight26

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It is, but IE9 seems to be a great catalyst. I can't think of how I did it prior to installing IE9, but it's definitely possible.

Link updated.
 
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Aznboy1993

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It is IE9's fault in my case. Once I uninstalled IE9 I fixed my problem. Too bad too, because I kind of liked IE9. Well...anyway...Thanks everyone!
 

Electrofreak

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Aug 5, 2008
Messages
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I'd seen this thread, but never experienced the problem before.

Suddenly, twice this morning, I've gotten a persisting "Open link in new tab" context selection using Google Chrome. I was able to get rid of the ghost image by changing screen resolution temporarily.

Interesting...
 

bigdogchris

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Feb 19, 2008
Messages
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If it was happening all the time I would be worried. I've seen this before with Windows on various systems. I wouldn't worry about it unless it persistently is bugging you.
 

SubtleOne

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Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
291
I recently started seeing this phenomenon (on Windows 7), just about constantly, and it was driving me crazy.

I found that if I reset the graphics card, it resolved it (till the next time). An easy way to do that reset was to RIght Click on the desktop and select "Screen Resolution", then at the dialog make some change (e.g., the resolution) and say Apply. The graphics system resets - with the selected change - and I then tell it to just "Revert", throwing away the change and resetting it again. If you practice it (and I had the pleasure of doing that about 10 times a day), you can do the whole double-reset in about 7 seconds.

I thought this was pretty clever, till I read a hint (above, by Snowknight26, on 10/13/10) about "disabling menu fades"...

And that was it!

Go into Control Panel, to System | Advanced Settings | System Properties | Performance -- and turn OFF "Face or slide" for both menus and ToolTips, and also turn off the "Fade out menu items after clicking".

I've not seen the darn ghost menu items on my screen since I made that change.

Obviously there is some wider problem in control here, but at least there's an easy way now to get around it.

- P.
Thanks, this was a sanity saver.
 
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