Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Bitten again by faulty context menu items (shell extensions) in Windows

Every now and again, perhaps a few times per month, I need to carry out some sort of computer management such as device or disk management.

The way that I usually initiate the process is to right-click the Computer icon on the windows desktop and select the Manage option from the context menu:


Following this, the Computer Management window appears and I get on with my job:


However during the last month something changed, and late last week I discovered that no amount of clicking on the Manage context menu item would cause the Computer Management window to launch. While it’s easy enough  to use alternative ways of launching Device Management and Disk Management (or other such tasks), I was both puzzled and irritated that my favorite method had stopped working.

After a while it dawned on me that I had been in this quandary before, see my earlier post How to detect and disable faulty context menu items (shell extensions) in Windows 

I can happily report that by using the “binary search” technique explained in that post it  took me less than five minutes to determine that a newly-installed application called ExtremeCopy was the culprit:


As soon as I disabled the two shell extensions belonging to ExtremeCopy my problem went away. The developers of this copy utility at Easersoft need to review and correct their implementation of shell extensions (which I will point out to them).

The detection technique was very fast, the only delay was because it took a day or two for my previous experiences with all this it to bubble to the surface in my slow old brain!