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Old 15th December 2003   #1
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Explorer / "file open" dialog sort order problems


I'm running Windows 98, original version with ALL updates, including IE6 sp1. A problem appeared recently with the "open file" dialog box - It always used to display files sorted by name when opened, but now it always opens with the files sorted in reverse date order. I can right click in the file list window and change the order by choosing "arange icons", but it's inconvenient when I have to do this every time! Can anyone tell me how to get the dialog box to open with the original "sort by name" order?

Some important points:
My PC has only the default user profile. It has never had multiple user profiles, which I know can cause problems.

This is an EXPLORER problem. Many programs use this dialog box, renamed according to the function that the dialog box refers to (e.g "attach files" in Outlook Express), and the above mentioned behaviour is always the same.

The default reverse date sort order is what I have always used with explorer, in "details" mode without viewing as a web page. However, even if I use explorer to change the sort order of the folder which the "open file" dialog box opens by default, the dialog box sort order is always the same - it does not follow the explorer setting for the folder it opens.

By some experimenting with the view settings I have been able to make explorer remember to sort individual folders by name rather than by date, but this is not always reliable. However, if I go to "tools - folder options - view - folder views" and click on "make all folders look like the current folder" this always resets all folders to sort by reverse date order again!

I have TweakUI installed with "save explorer window settings" under "explorer" enabled, which I think it is by default. I've tried switching this off but it made no difference to the problem.

I guess there is more than one registry setting involved here, but can an expert out there give me an idea of what needs to be changed to fix this problem?

Many Thanks
Tony J

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Old 15th December 2003   #2
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Perhaps..........

http://www.cc-tips.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=37

==synopsis====

you can force Windows to remember the file listing settings. I apparently did this accidentally at some point. Hereís what you do: go into Windows Explorer and open a folder such as My Documents. Now choose View|Details. Along the top of the file listing area, you see Name, Type, Size, Modified. If you click any one of these, it will change how your files are sorted in the list. For example, you click Modified to sort your files by the date they were modified.

Now...hereís the part that made Windows save this sorting information everywhere. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the Window to close it. Now whenever you run a Windows application that uses the File Open, Save, or Save As dialog boxes, the files are listed in Date Modified order rather than Alphabetically.

Itís sort of astonishing to me that I could have experienced so much aggravation just because I held down the Ctrl key at an inopportune time, but there it is. The mystery of computers just never ends.

==========
To set or reset to default view, perhaps this:[remember to export your reg key before making this change so you can reverse it if you choose to do so]:

Contents of the Open and Save As Dialog Boxes Sorted Incorrectly

When you use the Open command or the Save As command in one of the following utilities in Windows 98, the items in the Open or Save As dialog boxes may be sorted incorrectly:

Notepad
Browse window
Paint
WordPad
For example, files may be listed before folders, items may be sorted in descending order, and so on. This behavior can occur if the ShellState value in the registry has been changed or is incorrect.

To resolve this issue, set the ShellState value in the registry to the default value. To do so, use Registry Editor to view the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

If needed, edit the "ShellState" value to match the following value:

1C 00 00 00 A7 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00

NOTE: This value has been wrapped for readability purposes, it must be typed as one line. Also, you do not have to restart your computer for these changes to take effect.

==========
Shoot.....
I could pick and choose for ya' but why don't you decide for yourself:

http://www2.cajun.net/~theriots/blk/folder_views.htm


Last edited by goddez1; 16th December 2003 at 02:40.
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Old 16th December 2003   #3
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Hi goddez1

Many thanks for your help! The trick of holding the control key down while closing an explorer window fixed the problem. Everything is now how it used to be: "open / save file" dialog boxes always default to "sort by name" order, explorer remembers the sort order for individual folders, and the option to "reset all folders to look like this one" works as well as it used to (it never did reset ALL folders reliably).

For what it's worth I also looked at the "shell state" key in the registry:

default value suggested above
1C 00 00 00 A7 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00

actual values in my registry
1c 00 00 00 23 08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 0a 00 00 00
* * *

after closing explorer while pressing ctrl key
1c 00 00 00 23 08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 0a 00 00 00
*

As you can see, 3 values differed from the default values in my registry, but only one was changed by fixing the problem.

Such a simple solution to such an annoying and frustrating problem!
Thanks again goddez1 for your help and I hope this helps other out in the future.

tjbuc


Last edited by tjbuc; 16th December 2003 at 09:57.
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Old 16th December 2003   #4
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Your most welcome.

Thank your for sharing the results and the hkey value change.

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Old 12th January 2004   #5
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Ooops, been away for a while and forgot the difference between posting a message on forum and to individual. I believe in sharing.

My Win 98 Explorer suddenly stopped showing anything in the Detail View. All the files show in List, thumbnail ect. and I can sort using the right click. Was able to add the Attributes field to my Detail view but that is not much help when you can't see the file names. Not even a field bar on top, except for attributes.

Will check my registry settings (cringe). Switching my monitor didn't help the view settings,

Of course I can see details in Word, but not Notepad just as this thread has indicated. This is my genealogy machine, a bit old but... Thanks

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Old 12th January 2004   #6
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Thumbs up

Another victory for humankind! Thanks to forum for giving me courage to regedit. The fix suggested above did not work for me BUT I noticed something called DirectoryColsX in the ShellState area. Bald head said "column problems" = "DirectoryColsX problems"?

So I went to Goggle and typed it in and got one hit

http://members.shaw.ca/rickshelp/common_problems.htm

I was told to open Explorer, click on the right pane, then "Ctrl+". Presto back came the columns. Sooooo, that would mean that the columns were resized incorrectly.

This has been one of those problems I raise with any super IS geek who thinks they are pretty hot stuff. None have come close. This forum opened the right door, so at least this bald guy was on the right page to guess questions to ask! thank you one and all and goddez1.

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