Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Registry Tweaks Cause Unexpected Results

I recently wrote about the problems that can result from so many different files that make up Windows. This week I found out the hard way how simple registry tweaks generate unintended surprises.

A few years ago, a tweak started making the round that allow users to add “Move To” and “Copy To” to the Windows Explorer in XP. Just last September TechRepublic was promoting this registry hack which used some additions to the registry key…HKCR\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

Well, it turns out this tweak can cause some unexpected surprises. I can tell you I was surprised when my new friend Mark told me about the unexpected behavior he experienced. When he clicked on PLUS Info… he was greeted with a “Move Items” Dialog screen.

This dialog appeared when requesting Plus Info!  Weird

After doing some research I found many other unexpected surprises caused by this registry hack. This is just one of the registry changes which has caused problems since I’ve fixed a previous Windows quirk that impacted WinPatrol users.

Most of the registry flaws appear to be caused by 3rd party browsers or other internet programs which made changes when they installed, but didn’t restore the original values when they were Uninstalled

When it comes to our newest WinPatrol (12.1.2007.0) I’ve narrowed most problems to the registry key HKCR\InternetShortcut\shell\open\command. If you experience problems getting PLUS Info visit for help. If this causes a problem in WinPatrol it will most likely cause problems to other programs.

If you’re one of those people who like the “Move To” / “Copy To” registry hack I can point you to the correct solution. MVP Ramesh Srinivasan provides an explanation and new method at

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