A minimized window of a program that is hung (with a status
of "Not Responding" in Windows Task Manager) may not be restored correctly when
you click the Restore
button. Also, while the program is not
responding, a second minimized window may appear next to the original window.
You can move the second window, but the first window remains where the screen
has not been overwritten yet.
The Windows XP Ghost Window feature creates ghost windows on
behalf of a program when the program does not respond correctly to window
messages within several seconds and is considered to be hung. This feature may
not correctly restore the properties of a minimized window, and may create a
second minimized title bar window beside the original window but not overwrite
Service pack information
this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows XP. For
additional information, click the following article number to view the article
in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix. Note
If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note
The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language. The English version of
this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following
table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal
time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time.
To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time
tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Date Time Version Size File name Platform
15-Jul-2003 21:01 5.1.2600.1247 1,677,056 Win32k.sys x86
15-Jul-2003 21:01 5.1.2600.1247 5,619,840 Win32k.sys IA-64
You can use the Application Compatibility Toolkit to create
and install a custom Application Compatibility database to disable the Ghost
Window feature for your program. To download the Application Compatibility
Toolkit, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
To create a custom Application Compatibility database:
- Install and run the Compatibility Administrator tool (add
the /x switch to the command line for advanced features).
- Right-click Custom Database, and then
- Right-click the new database, and then click
- Type noghost as the name of the
- Right-click New Database, click
Create New, and then click Application Fix.
Type the name of the program to be fixed.
- Type the name of the program manufacturer.
- Locate and then click the appropriate program (.exe)
- Click Next.
- In the Compatibility Modes window, click
None, and then click Next.
- In the Compatibility Fixes list, click
- Click either Test Run or
Finish. Clicking Test Run starts the program
with the Application Compatibility setting. Clicking Finish
adds the compatibility fix to your database.
- On the File menu, click
Save to save the database. Or, copy the database to the
- Right-click the database, and then click
Install. Or, run the sdbinst
c:\windows\apppatch\noghost.sdb -q command to install the database.
The following information about the GetMessage
function is documented for the Ghost Window feature in Windows
XP. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
If a top-level window stops responding to messages for more
than several seconds, the system considers the window to be hung and replaces
it with a ghost window that has the same z-order, location, size, and visual
attributes. This allows the user to move it, resize it, or even close the
application. However, these are the only actions available because the
application is actually hung. When in the debugger mode, the system does not
generate a ghost window.
has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed
in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Microsoft
Windows XP Service Pack 2.