[4124] Start Menu in Coherence STILL broken

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by vioccc, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    Hi,

    This one is really starting to piss me off. The issue with the Start Menu not showing up in Coherence that I have reported at every new beta here, here and here is STILL present in the supposedly release build 4124. How am I supposed to use Coherence if I can't even get the Windows Start menu to show up? Right now I am setting to task bar to be visible but this is not an acceptable solution as:
    1) It's ugly
    2) It doesn't even work reliabily. Sometimes, the task bar doesn't appear for no good reason.

    As I already mentioned, I have tried to uninstall and re-install Parallels tools several times to no avail. Between build 4072 and 4106 I also have taken the time to completely uninstall Paralles (which took ages as I had to do 3 or 4 permission repairs and 3 or 4 reboots) before installing the new build. That didn't work either.

    Is there anybody at Parallels looking at this problem?

    Thanks.
     
  2. wingdo

    wingdo Kilo Poster

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    320
    I have found if you double click on the icon between three and six times, the start menu will open. You are not the only one experiencing this issue.
     
  3. sotl

    sotl

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    5
    I found that it generally works best if you do a slow double click when parallels isn't focused. As if you wanted to rename a file. The first click gives the focus to parallels and the second opens the start menu. Clicking really fast makes it very flaky causing me to click 5-6 times. At least from what I've experimented. If parallels is already focused then one click works flawelessly everytime.
     
  4. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    Thanks for the suggestions but in my case, the start menu doesn't work at all. It dosen't matter whether I click 5 or 6 times, whether I double-click 5 or 6 times, whether I click slowly or quickly, whether the dock is set to auto-hide or not, whether the task bar is set to auto-hide or not, whether the taskbar is at the top, bottom, right or left, whether I've installed Parallels from scratch or just done an ugrapde, whether I've unsinstalled Parallels Tools and re-installed them from scratch or not, whether I've rebooted the VM or not, whether I've rebooted MacOS or not, whether I've reparaired the authorizations or not...

    It just doesn't work AT ALL.

    I would like to emphasize the fact that I am trying very to hard to remain calm and that I am still prepared help the Parallels technical team to troubleshoot this bug (and the many others that 3.0 still has) if anybody at Parallels bothered to show up here and try to solve the problem. I have refrained from joining the hysterical crowd in the Technical forum who are currently bashing Parallels pages after pages but I have to say that this half-baked release has left me with sour taste in my mouth. There really wasn't any hurry in releasing 3.0 now and I can't say that I am impressed or even satisifed with this release.
     
  5. dippyskoodlez

    dippyskoodlez Bit Poster

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    88

    What OS?

    I use the start menu all the time, I don't understand what exactly doesn't "work at all"?
     
  6. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    All the details about my config are in my signature. I have described my problem several times already in the beta forum and the techical forum without any of the Parallels people bothering to answer (see links in the first post of this thread).

    In short, the Start Menu in Coherence worked fine for me up until some point in build 3188. Clicking on the Parallels icon in the Dock or right clicking it and selecting Start Menu would cause the Windows Start Menu to appear.

    But one day, without any apparent reason, it stopped working. Clicking on the Parallels icon or choosing Start Menu in the contextual menu now simply does nothing at all. I do not have any way to display the Windows Start Menu in Coherence apart from setting to Windows task bar to be visible in Coherence mode. None of the subsequent builds fixed the problem. I have literally spent hours installing, uninstalling, re-installing, cleaning, repairing, resetting, tweaking, doing everything I could think of the get this bloody thing to work again to no avail.

    That's what my problem is right now. Actually, this is what one of my problems is right now but if at least this particular point worked, I think that I could try to ignore the rest and patiently wait until the other issues are fixed. But not even having a working Coherence mode is really pissing me off.
     
  7. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    Right, since it seems that Parallels couldn't care less about this problem, I've managed to find a workaround to this problem by developing a small application that displays the Start Menu for me.

    What I thought would be a quick'n easy 2 minutes job turned out to be a nightmare as I kept running into more and more Coherence bugs. This Coherence "mode" is definitely just a quick and dirty hack and a mountain of bugs.

    Anyway, I ended up finding a straightforward solution to my problem (and I really should have thought of that a long time ago):

    - On the Windows side, I have developped a small UI-less application that autoruns at logon and monitors a specific file on the C drive for changes. When the file is changed, it simulates a mouse click on the Start Menu button which causes the Start Menu appear.
    - On the MacOS X side, i've written a small UI-less AppleScript application and placed a shortcut to it in the Dock. When launched, this application writes random data in the file monitored by the Windows application which causes the Windows application to kick off and show the Start Menu.

    So far, it seems to work brilliantly. In fact, it not only works, it actually works better than Parallels' solution as I only need to click on my StartMenu application in the Dock once to have the start menu show up regardless of whether Parallels was in the foreground or not. No need to click 2 times or more. It also obviously works just fine when the dock is set to autohide.

    I can at last use Coherence again. And for the next version of Parallels, I hope that you guys at Parallels are going to get your act together. Asking beta testers to spend hours testing your product and submitting bug reports for free to eventually end up rushing out a final version in which half of the reported bugs are still present is very insulting towards both your beta testers and other customers.

    Good luck anyway, looking forward for the next version.
     
  8. dippyskoodlez

    dippyskoodlez Bit Poster

    Messages:
    88
    It doesn't seem like anyone else has seen this issue..

    Click once if parallels doesn;t have focus.

    Click again, menu pops up.

    works for me every time, so theres nothing "broken".

    Its something with your setup thats "breaking" the popup.
     
  9. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    I know that. Something in my setup has caused this feature to stop working. In other words, Parallels Desktop has a bug that causes this essential feature to break on some configurations. When that happens, Parallels doesn't automatically recover from the problem and doesn't even display any error message when the feature is being accessed. It just does the worst thing it could possibly do (other than crashing or corupting data): it does nothing. And it has done that for months. I've had this problem ever since build 3188.

    In addition, if you have a look at the previous messages in this thread, you'll see that I'm far from being alone in having problems with this features. Even for those that get it to work, it sometimes takes 5 or 6 clicks to get the Start Menu to show up.

    Anyway, I have it working via my small apps and I don't even need to click twice if Parallels is in the background so I'm happy enough now. As the saying goes, If you want to be served, serve yourself.
     
  10. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    424
    Can't you just press the left command (apple) key (or the ctrl key if you have them switched in preferences) to get the start menu to come up? And also you should make sure you are using the latest build (4128 is the latest build not 4124).
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  11. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    brkirch, you're a star! ;)

    First, sorry about the wrong info in signature. I was actually using the latest build but forgot to update my signature. Fixed now.

    Using the Command key to bring up the Windows menu would not be an ideal solution as it would require Parallels to be in the foreground for it to work.

    However your suggestion reminded me that a long time ago I had installed a key remapper in Windows to remap the Command key to the Ctrl key as at the time Parallels did not automatically remap Command-CXV to Ctrl-CXV. I have since uninstalled it but after having read your message I went to the Windows registry to make sure that the key remapping had been removed when I had unistalled the software.
    It turns out that the Command key was still remaped to the Ctrl key. As far as Windows is concerned, the Command key is actually the Windows key which means that in my case the Windows key was remaped to the Ctrl key and therefore did not bring up the Start menu when pressed.

    So far, this hasn't anything to do with the Parallels bug I'm encountering however since the Coherence mode is just a hack, I thought that Parallels might simply simulate a Windows key press when the user clicks on the Parallels icon in the dock in order to make the Start Menu pop up. So I removed the Windows key remaping, restarted Windows, pressed the Parallels icon in the Dock and, Bingo!, it worked. The Start Menu poped up. After months of frustration, you've made me found the root of this bloody problem. Thanks a lot. It's still annoying to have to click the Parallels icon twice to get to the Start Menu so I guess that I'll keep using my workaround but it's nice to have finally nailed down this problem.

    So Parallels people, here is your bug: simulating a Windows key press in order to display the Windows Start Meny does not work as the Windows key can be remaped to anything by the user. If the user chooses to remap the Windows key, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, this should not break Parallels' ability to display the Windows Start Menu as this feature is completely unrelated to the function affected to the Windows key. So you'll have to find something else. And at the very least, you should check whether the Windows key has not been remaped before using it and display a message to the user in case the key has been remaped so that the user knows why nothing seems to happen.
     
  12. jasonw

    jasonw

    Messages:
    90
    I myself would like to disable the Windows key tap bringing up the start menu as I sometimes end up tapping the command key when I back out of a keyboard combo or when I bring up Spotlight with Parallels focused.

    The existing workarounds for Windows (keyboard mapping that disables the Windows key, products like DisableThatKey!, etc) don't work as clicking the dock item no longer has the desired effect. I wonder if Parallels could simulate a Ctrl-Esc instead when clicking the dock icon?
     
  13. ShillemV

    ShillemV Bit Poster

    Messages:
    6
    Same problem here. I don't know what my father did, but I have a multi-account configuration with two shared Windows VMs (Windows XP and Windows Vista). I, my brother and my sister we have not problem at all: the start menu shows up correctly. Starting from today the start menu of both VMs doesn't work when I logged with my father's account.

    Only a thing, it still shows up when the cmd key is pressed, but not in the near of the dock icon but at the left of the screen. Somebody can help me?
     
  14. SixingH

    SixingH

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    3
    Even without remapping the keys, this issue does show up. I have my win xp backup and found that, if I try to open it after the first installation, the start menu in the dock is dead. Only when I chose import, the menu seems OK. Annoying issue.
     
  15. SixingH

    SixingH

    Messages:
    3
    Found the solution!

    Check this out, it works for me, without reinstalling anything.

    http://forum.parallels.com/showpost.php?p=367702&postcount=19

    So adjust your dock, both the normal and magnified sizes. Good luck.

    That also explains why after my reinstallations, sometimes it showed up sometimes not. Because each time I just adjust the dock approx. to the size I like. That is, it depends on luck.

    And that sucks.
     
  16. JoeStu

    JoeStu

    Messages:
    3
    Thank you, I am having the same problem and couldn't figure it out. I was trying to learn to deal with it. I never realized remapping the windows start menu key would screw up a key function of parallels. I had opened a ticket with parallels support but all they're good at is telling you to uninstall and reinstall things.
     

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