Active window opens behind main window?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Bob B. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thank you for the newsletter! I read it with interest because you discuss so many useful things that PC users struggle with sometimes.

I have a very peculiar problem with my PC: I recently visited the Microsoft Windows Update Website and installed numerous hot fixes and critical updates; when I launch a new task, all of my new active windows launch behind (instead of in front) of the window that is already open.

For example, if I launch Outlook Express and check for new email by clicking on the Send / Receive button, the Send and Receive progress window appears behind the main Outlook Express window. Normally, the progress window appears up front. This happens with many of my native Microsoft programs, but does not affect any of my non-Microsoft programs.

I have done three complete hard drive formats and reinstalled my XP Home Edition, Office XP Pro and all of my downloaded programs -- and everything works fine. When I download and install the Critical and Security patches from Windows Update, the problem comes back. Any ideas?"

My response:

I haven't experienced this problem before, so I searched Google for "active window opens behind" (and a few other variations) -- but wasn't able to come up with anything concrete.

Having said that, I can only guess at what might be causing the problem. You mentioned that you installed programs before applying hot fixes and critical updates. It may be possible that one your installed programs is conflicting with a windows update and producing this strange phenomena.

One way to be certain is to reinstall Windows and apply the patches without installing any third party software and test to see if you can produce the same effect. If everything is OK, gradually reintroduce your installed applications and test as you go along.

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