The Phantom Start Menu entries



  • I took this pic after doing:
    cd ..
    deltree /y .

    in the MS-DOS prompt in Windows 98..
    I was sort-of expecting nothing to be in the Start Menu..
    Windows 98's Start menu after deltree



  • Neat, but hardly a WTF.  Though exception handling fails in many places in Windows 98, I don't think the entire system drive being deleted while Windows is running is an exception worth handling.  I'd be afraid to see the error message...

    "A critical error has occurred.  Please tell Microsoft about this problem, so that they can suggest you send it to them by overnight courier to be repaired.  This will take about 6-8 weeks, cost $2000, and is not guaranteed to be successful.  If they find any non-Microsoft software on your computer, they will deem it unrecoverable at their discretion. [Send Now] [Send Later]"
     



  • [quote user="RevEng"]

    Neat, but hardly a WTF.  [/quote]

    I guess it depends on where in the tree the "cd .." was executed from?

    I reckon it would be a WTF if deltree /y was done from "Start Menu" - I would also expect at least the Programs entry to be empty, even if the shell entries (such as Control Panel, Printers etc) were still present.



  • [quote user="donazea"][quote user="RevEng"]

    Neat, but hardly a WTF.  [/quote]

    I guess it depends on where in the tree the "cd .." was executed from?

    I reckon it would be a WTF if deltree /y was done from "Start Menu" - I would also expect at least the Programs entry to be empty, even if the shell entries (such as Control Panel, Printers etc) were still present.

    [/quote]

    From what I remember of Windows 98, most Start Menu entries were just .lnk files with special CLSID values for a name.

    That doesn't explain where Shut Down... or Run... went, though.



  • since command.com starts at C:\WINDOWS> by default, I suppose he tried the equivalent of rm -rf /. (or at least cd /; rm -rf .

    The wtf isn't that the system allowed him to mess it up, it is the ghost startmenu, the stuff you'd think would always be there leaves and what stays is a bunch of corrupt-seeming folders.



  • [quote user="AI0867"]

    since command.com starts at C:\WINDOWS> by default, I suppose he tried the equivalent of rm -rf /. (or at least cd /; rm -rf .

    The wtf isn't that the system allowed him to mess it up, it is the ghost startmenu, the stuff you'd think would always be there leaves and what stays is a bunch of corrupt-seeming folders.

    [/quote]

    Well, perhaps not.  Doesn't deleting a file in FAT mean renaming the first letter to the backspace character?

    It's entirely possible that all of the folders are still there and pointed to by the start menu.
     



  • It reminds me when I re-install Windows for the 2nd time. It was late in 1999, and I was student at really-non-WTF university. But since a student has a lot of free time, I had a PC with Linux to do non-WTF things and Win98 for gaming and... suffering the big Windows WTF party.

    Unlike most of my friends, I didnt re-install Windows every 6months, and found it was a pain (and a major WTF) to have to do so. So I was looking for some way of avoiding "format-install".

     I noticed that reinstalling win98 on win98 was a pretty good cleanup, with the major advantage to keep non-system registry value unchanged. It's avoiding complete software/playware/WTFware reintsall, and a painfull total desktop customization (Yes, It was very important for me to have a X-Wing as background picture, listening "piou-piou" and other laser noises while clicking on windows and menus, having a strange voice saying "... you're not a Jedi yet" on system exit, and adjusting other font/icon/explorer/wtf parameters).

     
    For some reason i forgot, this day I said to me : "hey, I need only a c:\windows cleaning, so I only have to DELTREE C:\WINDOWS". After 10min of DELTREE, I started to do my homework to avoid waste of time.

    After 2h of homework, I hit reset, typed "format c:" then inserted Win98 CD. Doing a DELTREE on FAT32 disk was a WTF.
     



  • [quote user="Kilwch"]After 2h of homework, I hit reset, typed "format c:" then inserted Win98 CD. Doing a DELTREE on FAT32 disk was a WTF. [/quote]You forgot to load smartdrv first - that would've speeded up deltree significantly (it also speeds up install a lot).

    Incidentally, I just tried deltree /y * in Windows 98SE in VMware, but couldn't reproduce Start menu disappearing - only the desktop changed to grey and lost all icons (and clicking on it brought up a "Cannot access C:\Windows\DESKTOP. The folder was moved or deleted." The only change in Start Menu was that Programs was (Empty).



  • This reminds me of an old explorer bug where if you had a long name (eg blahblahblah) and named another folder to the dos 8.3 version of that name (in this case, blahbl~1) then one folder would disappear. Refreshing the folder made them both return, but entering either one took you into the same one of them. Anything that was in the other before the rename was almost irretrievable.

    Sadly it doesn't work on XP, it was a great way to hide stuff at school.



  • [quote user="Thief^"]

    This reminds me of an old explorer bug where if you had a long name (eg blahblahblah) and named another folder to the dos 8.3 version of that name (in this case, blahbl~1) then one folder would disappear. Refreshing the folder made them both return, but entering either one took you into the same one of them. Anything that was in the other before the rename was almost irretrievable.

    Sadly it doesn't work on XP, it was a great way to hide stuff at school.

    [/quote]

    On NTFS, you can also hide stuff easily in alternate data streams



  • [With regards to Start Menu seeming normal] I suspect it might have something to do with whether or not IE6 is installed (as opposed to IE4)



  • That funky A character is what windows gets when it 'loses' directories. You corrupted your filesystem. :)



  • Speaking of weird file behaviors in AmigaOS 1.3 you could move folder A into folder B and then folder B into folder A and 'lose' both of them.  They were still on the disk, but there was no way to access them except with a disk repair utility.

    This was fixed in the next release.  So was the WTF worthy color scheme.

     Disappearing Directories


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