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Bits & Bytes

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Fixing Disappearing Icon Overlays

Icon overlays are important for visually keeping track of the state of files in a repository. At a glance, you can tell if the file checked in, modified, locked, etc. Below is a screen of some folders that are under version control in TortoiseSVN. The little green check indicates that these folders and the files inside are all checked in and have not been modified since the check in.

Folders Checked in to TortoiseSVN

Checked in file folders


The problem is that most versions of Windows have a limited number of available icon overlays that they can use at one time, usually 15 or less. If you use a version control system, like TortoiseSVN, it may register many icon overlays. TortoiseSVN, for example, registers 9 icon overlays. OneDrive uses 5 icon overlays and Google uses 3.

Once you exceed the limited number of icon overlays in the registry, the additional overlays are not displayed. In the case of TortoiseSVN, none of them were displayed when some of them could not be displayed.

The solution is to prioritize the icons that you want to see and move them up in the list using the Registry Editor. Begin by opening a Command Prompt and entering “regedit” to open the Registry Editor as shown below:

Opening regedit

Command Prompt

Once you enter “regedit” and hit return, the Registry Editor should open and look similar to what is shown below.

Registry Editor

Registry Editor shown open

As the status bar at the bottom of the window above shows, you need to navigate to the folder Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers. Now, you should see the list of the names for your icon overlays displayed in the subfolder, and you probably have move than 15 or so of them.

The names of these folders is not important, except to prioritize which ones get used. So, if you want to move some of them up the list, you can add spaces to the front of the folder name, as shown above for the One Drive icon overlays (Microsoft adds one space automatically). Otherwise, you can remove any spaces from the front of the name, as I did with the Google Drive icon overlays (In an effort to beat Microsoft, Google prepends two spaces to its names.). You can add any other characters that you would like to the names of the folders to organize them and select View->Refresh to see your changes. As I said, the name does not matter.

Alternatively, you can also delete some of these folders, but you should perform an Export first, just in case you want to be able to Import them back at a later time. Once you are done, you can close the Command Prompt and Registry Editor windows and restart your machine. The icon overlays should show up after you restart.

Fixing an Empty Battery Indicator in Windows

empty_battery

Shortly after accidentally dumping water on my computer and letting it dry out, it developed an odd error where the battery always indicated that it was empty even when it was fully charged. I searched unsuccessfully for a fix before finding a simple one of my own. This worked on a Windows 8.1 machine, but a similar fix will probably work on any version of Windows.

  1. Start by opening up the Control Panel
    1. Slide the cursor into the upper-right corner and bring it down along the right edge to open the side menu
    2. In the side menu, left-click Settings to open the right-side Settings menu.
    3. In the Settings menu, left-click Control Panel to open the Control Panel window shown below.

    control_panel

  2. Open the Device Manager
    1. Left-click Hardware and Sound (see above) in the Control Panel to open it.
    2. Left-click Device Manager in the Hardware and Sound window (below) under Devices and Printers.

    HardwareAndSound

  3. Uninstall all of the drivers under Batteries
    1. In the Device Manager and under Batteries, right-click a driver to open the context menu, as show below and left-click Uninstall
      uninstall_first
    2. A dialog like the one below may pop up. Left-click the OK button to confirm the uninstall.
      confirm
    3. Repeat those steps for each driver.
      uninstall_second
    4. When you are finished, the category for Batteries will be gone.
      device_manager
  4. Right-click the main computer icon to open the context menu shown below, and left-click Scan for hardware changes, as show below. This will replace the drivers. However, you may need to restart the computer to reset the battery indicator.
    scan


Fix for Windows 8.1 Apps Crashing – cannot find ms-windows-store: purgecaches

I just had this error and fixed it. The problem displays itself when you try to open an 8.1 app. The app opens and then closes quickly. I looked around for fixes and tried everything that I could, but I had to fix it myself in the end. Other suggested methods are listed below, in case you need them or if you want to try them first. Please leave a comment to let us know which one works.

The solution is simple and avoids having to do a full restoration and wiping out everything. Basically, I did a system restore. Microsoft Windows 8.1 creates restoration points when actions that it considers potentially harmful are performed. Restoration allows you to go back in time to a previous state, and the process is reversible. You can do it like this:

WARNING: Before you perform a restore, be sure to back up your personal files. Contrary to the claims by Microsoft, they will be affected. Cloud storage works well for this. You can put them on One Drive while you perform the restoration.

Method 1 – Restore from a restore point


  1. Open the Control Panel
    1. Move the cursor to the upper-right corner of the screen and pull it down along the edge of the screen until you are over the Settings icon.
    2. Left-click the “Settings” icon to open the Settings menu.
    3. In the settings menu, left-click “Control Panel” icon to open the Control Panel dialog.
  2. Left-click “System Security” at the top-left.
  3. Left-click “Action Center” at the top.
  4. Left-click “Recovery” at the bottom-right of the dialog
  5. Left-click “Open System Restore” to open the System Restore dialog
  6. Left-click the “Next” button to open a list of restore points. If
  7. Left-click the check box next to “Show more restore points” if you like.
  8. Choose a restore point and left-click it to select it. Be sure that your files are backed up and close your running applications because the OS will perform a restart.
  9. Left-click the “Next” button and finish the restoration steps.
  10. Windows should indicate what it is doing. Wait for the restart to log in and test it.

Note: if this did not work, you can follow the steps to completely undo the restoration and try one of the methods below.

Method 2 – WSReset


  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an Administrator account.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to open the context menu.
  3. Left-click “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open a command prompt. (UAC will request that you allow this to make changes to your computer. Left-click the “Yes” button.)
  4. Enter wsreset in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window and press Enter.

If this fails, it should give you the message “cannot find ms-windows-store:purgecaches.” Otherwise, open the app store to see if this fixed it.

Method 3 – System File Check


  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an Administrator account.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to open the context menu.
  3. Left-click “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open a command prompt. (UAC will request that you allow this to make changes to your computer. Left-click the “Yes” button.)
  4. Enter sfc /scannow in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window and press Enter.

Method 4 – Re-register the Store App


  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an Administrator account.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to open the context menu.
  3. Left-click “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open a command prompt. (UAC will request that you allow this to make changes to your computer. Left-click the “Yes” button.)
  4. Enter

    powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.XML

    in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window and press Enter.

Method 5 – Troubleshooter


Try downloading and running the troubleshooter from Microsoft: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=268423

As always, you might want to try restarting your machine after trying these.