Vista Won't Silence Scotty's Bark
The new WinPatrol 2007 was designed to be Vista compatible as well as introduce a few other new features like Delayed Start. Much to my surprise the number one bug reported with the new version was that Scotty no longer barked on Vista machines.
This was a real mystery to me since Scotty’s bark was a single function call(PlaySound) in Windows. It has worked for the last 9 years all the way back to Windows 95. Reports to Microsoft via the developer forums were pretty much ignored and it remained a mystery.
Next week I plan on releasing a new version of WinPatrol so I thought it was a good time to revisit this unique problem. I was lucky enough to track down a programmer at Microsoft named Larry Osterman. My new best friend Larry is very familiar with the workings of the PlaySound function and was kind enough to work into the early hours of the morning to give Scotty his voice back.
It turns out Vista has “tightened up the validation logic that's used when checking files before the PlaySound call”. Essentially, it means Vista is a little more picky with the format header used by WAV files. Scotty’s bark was created a long time ago using a shareware program called CoolEdit96. A little tweak to the wav file header and he’s happy again, barking on Vista machines.
If you’d like all the technical details and the debate on whether it’s a bug in Vista you can read more on todays post on Larry Osterman’s Weblog.
Stay tuned for a new version of WinPatrol with this fix and a few other surprises sometime next week.