Support

With hundreds of millions of 32-bit Windows machines (and more all the time), tens of thousands of applications, hundreds of peripherals, and all sorts of other variables in the mix, statistically WindowBlinds will probably get confused at times. 

There are a vast variety of applications out there from thousands of developers. Some follow Windows programming guidelines better than others, which is important with WindowBlinds because hidden little problems that might not otherwise be visible tend to creep out when WindowBlinds is working its magic. If you are having problems with a specific application, please try adding it to the exclusion list. 

*A quick primer and note on the Enhanced version for registered users

The WindowBlinds Configuration window is accessed by right clicking on the WB icon in the system tray (next to the clock) and selecting Configure WindowBlinds. You can also double-click on the WindowBlinds icon in the Start menu to bring up the config window if WB is already running. 

Please note that the shareware version of WindowBlinds does not include support for skinning scrollbars, progress bars, notebook tabs, or the colorizing features. You must register WindowBlinds and download the enhanced version for registered users. The enhanced version is linked at the end of the order process and you can always come to http://www.windowblinds.net to download later updates (you'll need the serial number from your registration email or jewel case available). If you have lost your serial number and ordered online, visit http://www.stardock.com/support or contact sales@stardock.com

Object Desktop Network customers should download updates via the Component Manager or Stardock Central.

Getting in touch with Stardock

Should you find a bug or have additional comments, please get in touch with Stardock so that we can help resolve them. The best place for bug reports/suggestions/general chat is the WindowBlinds newsgroup. 

Stardock maintains multiple newsgroups for discussion and peer feedback on our products (as well as some groups purely for discussion/entertainment value) on our news server at news://news.stardock.com.

A newsreader program is required to access these groups, Most Windows systems, especially those with Internet Explorer 4, have Outlook Express or some other program capable of viewing newsgroups installed (Netscape Communicator would be another example).

Some newsgroups of note:

news://news.stardock.com/stardock.windowblinds

news://news.stardock.com/stardock.windowblinds.support

We are also found in the #stardock channel on irc.stardock.com and you can e-mail us at support@stardock.com. Information on new releases, FAQ's, and additional downloadable personalities/skins can be found on the Stardock web site at http://www.stardock.com or at http://www.windowblinds.net.

I thought WindowBlinds was freely available, what's up with the registration dialog? 

WindowBlinds is part of Stardock's Object Desktop for Windows (http://www.stardock.com/products/odnt/) in addition to being available for registration as a standalone product. Registrations are good for all 1.x versions (i.e. there will be no charge for registered users to get WindowBlinds 1.1 or 1.5). As long as a percentage of users register, WindowBlinds will continue to be freely available (though you'll have to purchase it to get access to the enhanced version which handles scrollbars, progress bars, and more!). After ordering online via Stardock's Secure Commerce Server, you'll receive an email (generally within 10 minutes) with your registration key. 

Object Desktop users should download and install WindowBlinds from the Component Manager servers, as that version will automatically register itself on installation. 

Can you give me a registration code?

Sure, visit www.stardock.com/order.html and pay $20. Or see the order.txt file in your WindowBlinds directory for options to order if you do not have a credit card (cheques/money orders accepted).

We encourage the trial use and download of the shareware version of WindowBlinds, but please register it if you find yourself using it. Not only will you gain access to the enhanced version of WindowBlinds for registered users (which includes the ability to skin scrollbars, progress bars, and more), but you'll be supporting future development and new features.

Stardock would also like to encourage you to consider purchasing Object Desktop instead. For slightly more than the cost of WindowBlinds alone, you gain access to the Object Desktop Network and its many other components (like Control Center, IconPackager, NetScan, Object DriveScan, and more!). You can also upgrade to Object Desktop after purchasing WindowBlinds.

Upgrading to Object Desktop

If you have purchased a standalone component of Object Desktop (WindowBlinds, IconPackager, or Control Center currently), you can upgrade to the full Object Desktop package at a reduced price. Visit http://www.stardock.com/order.html for more information.

What is the proper way to install a new WB version?

In order to work its magic, WindowBlinds goes pretty deep into the system while its running (don't worry, if you unload WB it's like it was never there). But, a consequence of this is that the WBLIND.DLL file becomes locked from changes, even if you unload WB. If you attempt to update WB and this file isn't replaced... things can get funky.

Suggested WB update method: open the config window, disable Run WindowBlinds automatically on startup on the Startup Settings & News Page, and then reboot the computer. When the computer restarts, WindowBlinds will not be loaded and you can simply install the update and start using it immediately. If, for whatever reason, you get a message to reboot after installing the update, please do so to ensure all the files were updated correctly.

None of my scrollbars are skinned!

You must be a registered WindowBlinds user and have downloaded the enhanced version for registered users (linked at the end of your order and also available from http://www.windowblinds.net (you'll need the serial number from your order to download it).

Some known Issues (some of them actual problems, some just things to be aware of -- see the Troubleshooting section of this file as well)

Application X is not getting any WindowBlinds effects

Unfortunately, some applications (due to how they handle their window creation) have certain issues with WindowBlinds on some systems. We have had to exclude these from being changed by WindowBlinds. Some of these exclusions can be modified/removed by users, as the issues may not happen on all systems. See the Per Application section of the help file for more information.

Feel free to try experimenting with removing some of the exclusions. For instance, Telnet is excluded by default but it is really only needed as an exclusion on Windows 95 (we've yet to fix a bug with respect to it resizing itself). If you look at the wbdg.ini file directly you'll see comments associated with many of the exclusions that can help you gauge whether removing a particular one may impact your system.

Application X is crashing, help!

If a particular application has problems when WindowBlinds is loaded, try adding the .EXE for that program to the WindowBlinds exclusion list. We've included several programs in the default exclusion list that are known to currently cause problems for some users (and we'll continue to try and work around these problems if possible in future releases).

Unloading WindowBlinds

Unloading WindowBlinds should function properly and not cause any running applications to crash. If this is not working correctly, please contact us so that we can fix any remaining problems.

Should WindowBlinds be crashing on unloading, try closing open applications beforehand. Alternatively, apply the "disabled" option on the Personality configuration tab to remove the enhanced effects.

If WindowBlinds is crashing on shutdown, you may want to unload it prior to starting to shutdown. What's happening is that Windows is trying to unload other applications as WindowBlinds is still being removed from memory. 

What's up with 16-bit applications?

All 16-bit applications are excluded from being impacted by WindowBlinds (it is not always possible to detect and handle them appropriately). This also applies to "32-bit" applications like Freecell and the Clipboard Viewer (which are really not true 32-bit apps). 

I'm not interested, I want it off my system!

Well, we're certainly sorry to hear that and we hope you'll check out future WindowBlinds releases down the road. Simply use the Uninstall icon in the WindowBlinds folder or Add/Remove Programs (in your Control Panel) to uninstall WindowBlinds. If you have configured WindowBlinds to start from the registry, please disable this option prior to uninstalling. We also recommend that you reboot without WindowBlinds before uninstalling to make sure locked files are removed. If you have added additional skins, you'll need to delete the \Program Files\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds directory to remove them. We've played it safe with the uninstall and not attempted to remove additional files.

My system slows to a crawl

There's likely a conflict with one specific app or something has hung in the background. See the Troubleshooting section of the help file for how to narrow down the culprit.


5/7 

WindowBlinds 6.1 Released

3/19 

SkinStudio 6 released!

3/17 

IconDeveloper 2.0 released

3/12 

DeskScapes Preview available

3/11 

Object Desktop 2008 Guided Tour

2/12 

TweakVista 1.1 released

2/5 

CursorFX released

1/30 

Sins of a Solar Empire goes gold

  

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