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Context Menu extensions can cause all sort of problems in Vista

I have been bugged for a while with some highly annoying problems in Vista:

  1. Mouse click on recently used item in start menu didn't start anything – nothing at all
  2. Running As Administrator on pinned menu items didn't work on some items.
  3. Typing application name in start search text box didn't start some applications either even though search found them
  4. Double click on items in Visual Studio solution's explorer didn't start context application, too.

Try living with those threefour problems for a single day and you'll feel the pain.

Of course I phoned [MS] support and they didn't know nothing about this problem. So after a while I went googling again and almost immediately found the description to my problem in this thread – apparently the problem is related to 3rd party context menu extensions.

Fortunately for me, the thread mentions a possible solution: basically you have to run ShellExView application and pinpoint the offender by disabling Context Menu extensions one by one (no need to restart the OS in between) until one of the problems is gone (they are all related thus when one is gone all are gone). The culprit on my computer was KDiff3 (otherwise a very good tool). Once I disabled Context Menu for KDiff3 the problems were magically gone. I suggest you to start by disabling non-[MS] multiplatform application context menu extensions as I did (KDiff3 was 2nd on my list out of 30 extensions).

And everything is working again.

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