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Gimpy

Is there a simple way to launch explorer.exe AFTER BigBox has launched/opened?

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I have an upright cab that I finally got around to setting up a shell using bblean so the PC boots straight into BigBox, so you never see a desktop, which is perfect. However, I quickly noticed that some games have trouble launching without explorer already being open (Some Teknoparrot games for example) - I got around this by having Explorer.exe as a startup app for those specific games, but as time has gone on, I have realised there are loads of niggling little issues that essentially arise from Explorer not already being open (for example if I launch say HotD4, it will load explorer and load fine, but if I play another Teknoparrot game after, its going to try launching explorer again, and since it's already open will just open an explorer window that comes into the foreground.

Is there a way I can get BigBox to immediately launch explorer on launch? I guess I could set up a fake platform or something and launch it from within BB, but I'd prefer something more elegant than that if possible? I figured its something that might be able to be done with AHK or command lines, but I am not familiar enough with them

Cheers!

 

edit: I have since tried Bills Application Manager, which looked like it might do the trick as it also has options to reinitialise processess if they're ended, etc, but of course it doesn't open unless explorer is already running, so back to square one!

Edited by Gimpy

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Thanks for the suggestion. I have tried that, as well as various other suggestions I've encountred on here, using various vbs/bat files, etc but for whatever reason I can never get them to work as intended, even though there doesn't seem to be any logical reason why they wouldn't. I can only ever get either Bigbox and no Explorer, Big Box and then explorer window opens on top of BigBox, or the desktop loads and then BigBox starts.

I am actually beginning to lose my mind I think :D 

Edited by Gimpy

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I've been on a journey of hacking a solution together, and each time I feel like I am getting closer, but ultimately find some other issue I can't conquer :D 

I downloaded a program called Bills Process Manager that lets you do stuff like launch one program when another one launches, restart a program if it ends, etc - so I set this up to launch explorer when BigBox starts (I had tried to do this using a bat file previously, but couldn't get it to work, so instead had the batfile start Process Manager and then start Bigbox)

So I had a bat file that loaded Process Manager, then loaded Bigbox, and then created a vbs file that I have turned into an exe, which launches that bat file on Startup and set that as a custom shell (which I had originally learned from this very helpful post here, which didn't work for me, but at least got me started), and explorer would launch 10 seconds after BigBox started up

and it worked!...kinda :D ProcessManager loads minimised, then Bigbox loads and the startup video loads fullscreen, but when explorer loads it also launches a File Explorer window which takes focus away from everything else. If I run explorer.exe from Task Manager it doesn't do this behaviour, but running explorer from this startup process makes the window appear. So now my new mission is to make this not happen   

I can't just hide it off screen because it steals focus from the Front End. I've tried setting the File Explorer Settings to 'This PC' rather than 'Quick Start', I've checked the Startup folder and made sure it's not trying to load explorer.exe a second time (which would also cause a window to open). I've downloaded autoruns and made sure there's no automatic processes that are trying to find a location that doesn't exist, etc. I've checked my folder settings to make sure that it's not remembering last position or forcing window on launch or something.

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I have now managed to achieve this after ages of messing around - a misunderstanding of the correct syntax to use could have saved myself a lot of time! I’ll post my bat file when I’m not on my phone in case anybody else wants to achieve this incredibly specific thing 

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On 7/20/2020 at 5:33 PM, Gimpy said:

I have now managed to achieve this after ages of messing around - a misunderstanding of the correct syntax to use could have saved myself a lot of time! I’ll post my bat file when I’m not on my phone in case anybody else wants to achieve this incredibly specific thing 

Hi @Gimpy I am VERY interested in your solution. I'm in a similar situation where I need to launch explorer after launching my custom winlogon shell script which starts up big box. I need explorer since I am utilizing Spotify in my build (long story) this is achievable but It's stealing focus as you mentioned. Would you mind posting your bat file?

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4 hours ago, richardoswald said:

Hi @Gimpy I am VERY interested in your solution. I'm in a similar situation where I need to launch explorer after launching my custom winlogon shell script which starts up big box. I need explorer since I am utilizing Spotify in my build (long story) this is achievable but It's stealing focus as you mentioned. Would you mind posting your bat file?

Hi mate, not a problem
 

@echo off

taskkill  /f /im "" "C:\Windows\explorer.exe"

start /min "" "D:\Launchbox\Launchbox\Bigbox.exe"
timeout 30
start /min "" "C:\Windows\explorer.exe"

Then I followed the instructions here

This was one of those weird things for me that suddenly just started working even though it hadn't done previously, but it's worked exactly how I want it to since - my PC boots, you see the windows logon screen, then it stays black until my boot video loads into LB - explorer loads in the background and I retain the little things like volume functionality, etc

I never had much luck with bblean or whatever setting custom shells or whatever at all, it never behaved exactly how I wanted

Edited by Gimpy

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