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For the last few weeks, I've been happily using XBMC 10 to watch TV shows, movies and play music. The last few days however, while playing video in "true fullscreen", it happened several times that XBMC suddenly disappeared, I was returned to my desktop with a busy cursor for two seconds, and then a notification bubble reminding me "New updates are available" appearing.

I would say this is pretty undesirable behavior for a media center application, so I have to ask: what could be causing this apparent change in behavior?

Edit: For now disabling notification balloons relieved the problem, but if there is someone who could explain how to script that, or a real fix, I'd still love to know.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Actually, balloons aren't pulling you out of fullscreen mode, it only looks that way.

Balloon notifications are designed specifically to not rip you out of a fullscreen session and drop you back at the desktop just to pop up a balloon. Instead, if an application (such as Windows Update in this case) requests Explorer to show a balloon while you're in fullscreen mode, it patiently waits until you've exited full screen mode before it shows the balloon.

So what's happening here—much like was happening in Raymond's article—is that something else is stealing focus and dropping you back at the desktop. Explorer detects that you're back at the desktop, and after a couple of seconds it displays the queued balloon.

Despite its appearance after exiting fullscreen mode, the balloon (and the application it came from) likely has nothing to do with why XBMC disappeared. Relief by disabling balloons was likely coincidental.

You'll need to do some further investigation to find out what is stealing focus from XBMC.

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If that's true, it is very odd that it hasn't happened since I disabled balloon notifications. Will keep an eye on it for now. Thanks for the link. – oKtosiTe Feb 22 '11 at 19:48
Interesting. (1) How did you 'disable balloons,' and (2) what happens if you turn them back on now? – josh3736 Feb 22 '11 at 19:57

I've been using XBMC for a few years now. I loaded the windows version of APCUSD to monitor my APC UPS. By default it uses balloon notifications. The first balloon notification that I got from APCUSD caused XBMC to minimize. I promptly disabled the balloon notifications and have not had that problem.

I've never noticed that behavior with Windows Update Notifications

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