Monday, January 14, 2008

Windows Photo Gallery would not open a file on the desktop

Situation: I often use the desktop for temporary storage of images or documents I am going to throw away after a very short while. When I tried to open a JPG image on the desktop by doulbe-clicking it, there was no reaction however. Standard program for viewing images is the Vista native "Windows Photo Gallery."

Problem analysis:
  • Doubleclicking the image or rightclicking, selecting preview or open with - Windows Photo Gallery all produces the same result: Nothing
  • Doing the same on another file residing in any other folder works perfectly.
  • Moving the image file in question to any other folder makes it open like a dream. Moving it back restores the problem.
  • Rightclicking and selecting open with - also works.
  • Rightclicking and selecting open with - choose default program makes the file open in the other program you choose upon doubleclick or richtclick - preview.
Problem identification: Windows Photo Gallery has a problem opening image files residing on the desktop.

Clue: On a web forum I found a clue that it might be due to another file on the desktop being corrupt. He suggested moving all files except the image file(s) on the desktop to a folder on the desktop. Having done that, IT WORKED AGAIN! I had moved away a couple of PDFs and two internet shortcuts, that did the trick. By moving one and one file back, I was able to identify one of the internet shortcuts as being my problem:

Solution: An internet shortcut containing a very long URL (a direct pointer to an online shipment tracker) was a showstopper. Removing this shortcut from the desktop did the trick.

I figure it must be some kind of a buffer overflow issue or something.

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