Last week I clicked on a desktop shortcut to open one of my radio programs and the arrow kept spinning and then disappeared and no program opened. I tried some other desktop shortcuts and some worked and some did not.
Below is the road I travelled down to eventually fix the issue and it turns out that this could happen to any one of us. By outlining the path I followed I hope it helps others out there who may encounter the same issue.
Before I begin by way of background my setup is as follows:
Win10 home 64bit
Intel Core i5-10600K CPU @ 4.10GHz 4.10 GHz
My first step was simple and has helped in the past, to restart the PC and give the desktop shortcuts another try. That did not work.
I then chose one desktop shortcut and it's program to investigate and try to get it working.
Next, I turned off my Antivirus software (Bitdefender) for a period of 15 minutes and restarted my PC, checking to make sure the Antivirus was still off (it was). I tried the program again and it did not start.
I then went into Bitdefender antivirus made an exception file for the sample program and restarted but that did not work either.
Next, I started the PC in safe mode and was going to try the programs there but once the PC started the programs I wanted to test were not there.
I uninstalled the program using Revo uninstaller (great program by the way) I then restarted the PC went to the program's website and downloaded the program again with the antivirus turned off. After restarting the PC I tried the program and it did not work.
I did not think it was a Windows update as I run a program called Windows Update Blocker (another great program) it blocks all updates until I get the all-clear from the Askwoody site. This is a great site and click on the link to check out lots of great information there.
It was now time to take things to the next level. I am a firm believer in backing up your PC for the just-in-case moments. The program I use for this is Macrium Reflect and with it, I make a clone and image file of my solid-state C hard drive. The backups are stored on separate internal HDs. One drive for the clone and one for the image. Click on clone or image if you are not sure what they are and you will be taken to a website that explains them.
I decided to use an image of my C drive from an earlier date when I knew the desktop shortcuts and programs were working. Now you have to remember that anything on your PC after the date of the HD image date will be gone. If your image is from January 30th, 2024 anything on your PC after that date will not be there once you revert to that image. Now I know there is the Microsoft system restore as well but I have never had success with the program. I always get the message "System restore failed to restore to earlier image"
After Macrium Reflect did its magic and I was using an earlier image of my HD all programs were now working fine! So this thought.........
The next day I was on my PC and started the sample problem program and low and behold a spinning arrow and then the program did not start!
I was doing some nosing around in Bitdefender and turned off the antivirus again, then under protection I turned off Online threat protection and did a restart still had the issue. I then did the same to firewall, ransomware, vulnerability protection and advanced threat protection. It was then I turned on advanced threat protection everything started to work just fine.
|Macrium Reflect restoring HD to earlier date
I then turned on each protection feature and checked the programs and there were no issues but once advanced threat protection was turned on programs would not start.
Within advanced threat protection in the settings, you had the option to set up exceptions but these exceptions had to include the "exe" program file within the file exception. (I found this out with lots of reading on the internet). As well all exe files from the program have to be included or the program will still be blocked from working.
|Bitdefender Advanced threat exceptions
Once all this was done my problem of certain programs not starting was solved. I don't understand why only certain programs were affected....that is for later reading. Bitdefender is constantly performing updates in the background and I am guessing that something was added that marked some programs as a threat and stopped them from loading until an exception was made.