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Cthulhu Calamari

Windows 10 not selecting open windows/programs

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Posted · Original PosterOP

For the past few weeks I've noticed that opening new windows frequently (but not always) fails to 'select' the opened window, even when nothing else is actively running on the desktop.

 

Example: I will open Firefox with no other active windows on the desktop, and when the program comes up, typing - which generally automatically goes into the address bar - does nothing until the Firefox window is manually selected, either by clicking on it or Alt+Tabing to it - from nothing...

 

This occurs generally, not just for browsers. It will happen with File Explorer, windowed games, etc. It's really frustrating, especially when the newly opened window comes up on top of anything else that is running, but isn't actually selected. (The keyboard inputs don't appear to affect previously open windows either; it's like Windows is using a double-clutch system, and I'm just in neutral...) It also doesn't appear to matter if something is opened from the Start menu or a shortcut... I have no idea what's up.

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Windows updates? I hate em.


NO RTX 30 SERIES TALK OR RYZEN 4000 OR INTEL 11TH GEN TALK.

Quote me or @Not Wills for a reply!

Contact info on my profile!

All my builds below!

 

Current builds:

Main system: AMD ryzen 5 3600 (No OC (Thermal reasons)) | Stock AMD cooler | Gigabyte B450m gaming | Zotac GTX 970 dual fan (OC, Core base: 1366, Core boost: 1440, Memory: 4206) (+200 core +700 memory) | Corsair 2x8GB 2666Mhz DDR4 | Kingston A400 240gb x2.

Laptop: Toshiba a110-274 | Intel core solo T1350 | Intel 945GM Express | 2x512mb 533Mhz DDR2 sodim | Seagate Momentus .3 7200rpm | Intel pro Wi-fi.

 

Coming soon:

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Small form factor gaming PC: AMD ryzen 5 3600 (It's here!) | Zotac GTX 970 dual fan (on-hand) | Asus B450I (coming soon-ish)  | 2x Kingston a400 240gb (on-hand).

 

Selling soon:

Mb | combo: AMD ryzen 3 1200 (OCed to 3.625Ghz) (1.21V) | Stock AMD cooler | Gigabyte B450m gaming | 

Dell prebuilt: Intel i3 8100 | Dell Z370 | Dell cooler 80mmm | Dell GTX 1050 | Crucial 1x8gb 2400Mhz DDR4 | Toshiba A300 1tb. (Sold)

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There is no such problem on my system, you can try this operation with another Windows device, if that device does not have such a problem, then you can try to restore the system

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You have a program that steals focus. That is your problem that you are facing. Now, what program it is. 

 

I, like you, can only guess. From experience, Keyboard/Mouse manufactures tend to make shitty software. So I would consider them for removal to see if the problem gets fixed. At worst, if it is not, you install it back. Then I would go with startup programs, including task scheduled registered program, including auto updater. Same for them under serviced (disable then stop them and see if it helps, if not enable them back). 

 

It is a hunt, yes, but hopefully you can find it, and see if there is an update to it that fixes it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 8/7/2020 at 8:48 PM, GoodBytes said:

You have a program that steals focus. That is your problem that you are facing. Now, what program it is. 

 

I, like you, can only guess. From experience, Keyboard/Mouse manufactures tend to make shitty software.

Aha. I recently got a Corsair keyboard, with the iCUE software. That's the most likely culprit right there. MFer isn't the lightest CPU load, either...

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4 hours ago, Cthulhu Calamari said:

Aha. I recently got a Corsair keyboard, with the iCUE software. That's the most likely culprit right there. MFer isn't the lightest CPU load, either...

Keep us updated! :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've killed iCUE and a handful of other BG programs in the Task Manager, and the problem persists. According to my System Tray, I've currently got the following running:

  • My external drives, via USB;
  • Steam (which hasn't triggered this problem in the decade+ that I've had it);
  • OneNote's quick launch;
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology;
  • RealTek Audio Manager (MSI's branded version);
  • Sennheiser Audio 1.13 (headset; no problems in the past 4 years of use);
  • Epic Games launcher (I know, Epic Bad, but Hades was only available there for the first year and I love Super Giant more than I hate Epic's bullshit; eat me);
  • NVIDIA Settings;
  • Windows Security;
  • OneDrive;
  • Folding @ Home (paused cuz shit gets hot);
  • OnScreen Control (LG monitor);
  • Volume Mixer;
  • Spotify;
  • Discord;
  • 1Password;
  • Dropbox; and
  • Language settings.

The RealTek program is just there because my MoBo is MSI; I have no reason to keep that if it's know to trigger issues.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cthulhu Calamari said:

-snip-

Don't look at system tray, but rather startup programs.

But regardless, WOW a massive list. I have Logitech Options (Mouse/Keyboard soft), OneDrive and Windows Defender. That is it.

Everything else is ran as needed.

 

That said, from your list, I don't know. Programs and drivers are often updated, and I know nothing that sparks something largely known.

 

Here is what I would try next:

  • Make a new account on the system, and see if the problem exists there. If not, we know that the problem is software based and limited to your account.
  • If you have a spare SSD or HDD that you don't care about (ie: can be formatted)? If so, when your system is turned off, unplug your current drive (and anything else, we don't care, we just want to do a test), plug that empty spare SSD/HDD, and clean install Windows on it (should take around 5-10min), once done, check for updates, (don't worry about activating Windows, we don't care), make sure everything has been detected from Device Manager, install Firefox, and see if the problem is solved.

NOTE: The above are not solutions. I would do the following to be able to narrow things down. If the problem is solved, the next thing I would do is slowly setup my environment one program at a time, until it breaks again. When it does, I can identify, by elimination the problem. Then I can go back in my account (if case #1 above, or back to my main SSD/HDD, and uninstall (or update, if avail, the culprit).

 

By the way, I am assuming that the problem is outside of Firefox. If the problem is only under Firefox, then forget everything, it is a problem an extension installed that does something  or a bug in the software.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I can confirm that the issue isn't limited to one program. It is sometimes the case that launching a game from Steam will have it launch under the Steam window, etc.

 

I appreciate the step breakdown for trouble-shooting, but for the time being, without a "usual suspects" hit list to test, I won't have the time to run through everything. I also get to contend with an unknown software error (with a few different error codes) triggering the occasional BSOD, but it doesn't trip too often, and my work laptop can cover while it restarts. (I'm a first-year call at a law firm, and it feels like I've been having "one of those days" for 4 months straight now...)

 

At present, the most likely outcome is that I wait for new hardware to drop next month, build a completely new rig, and just reformat this one to serve as the media centre or something...

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Posted · Original PosterOP

UPDATE: I noticed that it was really common for my Wifi receiver to fail to see networks without direct action on my part after a BSOD reset, and that my connection was seeming particularly garbage lately overall. I finally took the time to run ethernet cable all the way to my office, and - knock on wood - it appears that my Wifi dongle I've been using for a few years was dying and triggering both the program focus theft and the random BSOD issues.

 

This one, which is no longer available on Amazon:
image.png.1685444a314641cb9394d3db9b83ca83.png

It's only been a day, but so far so good. Plus, now my kickass internet connection is unimpeded by walls in a 100+ year old building. If it had to be hardware failure, I'm glad it's a USB peripheral and not, like, my M2 boot drive.

 

If my guess checks out, this rig will be able to coast all the way to third-party 3080s being available in Canada, instead of barely limping along to whatever current upgrade I can get my filthy mitts on ASAP.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Further update: I got a BSOD and one instance of the focus loss issue again yesterday, so the problem appears to be persistent. The problems appear to be occurring with less frequency, and at least my internet connection is much better. *shrug*

 

Additional further update: Yesterday I pulled the trigger on the components to start my new build, which will use my current PSU and 1070 (until the 30s are available here in Canada). I don't know that I'll be willing to spend the time to completely trouble-shoot this problem, especially since I don't think my modular PSU has a second 24-pin cable so keeping both rigs functional would be too much work...

Thanks for the suggestions, though.

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I assume you removed your USB wireless dongle.

Typically those wireless USB dongle you purchase d uses a Realtek chip. Fine chip. But of course the rest of the circuit needs to be considered.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 9/3/2020 at 12:55 PM, GoodBytes said:

I assume you removed your USB wireless dongle.

Yup. As soon as I had the hardline in & tested, the USB dongle was out.

 

As mentioned, the focus stealing issue still pops up occasionally, and I've still had 1 BSOD in the several days since, so it seems that I had at least 2 problems going on, but the USB WiFi receiver was definitely one of them. Without it the system has been much more stable with no other changes being made.

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