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I often start Calculator by pressing the little Calculator button on my MS keyboard - but for some stupid reason it always starts minimized - meaning I have to restore it first before I can use it. Any idea why it would do this?

It appears to start fine if I start it any other way.

Update: I've just realized this only happens when Visual Studio 2008 is in focus - which is a lot of the time on my machine. Weird! Still annoying though.

Update 2: OK, so it's not just Visual Studio - but Calculator starts without focus in all programs. Some programs it starts under, and some programs it starts over the top, but still not focused - so you have to click on the program itself or on the taskbar.

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what version of windows are you using? –  lexu Aug 20 '09 at 4:43
    
Man... I so want to say "Because you touch yourself at night." or something... really, that's an odd problem to have. I suggest remapping the calculator button and see if that fixes the problem. –  Mark Aug 20 '09 at 4:47
    
Using Vista x64 Business Edition. I know it's odd - I even tried remapping it to start calc.exe manually, but it just does the same thing :| –  wows Aug 20 '09 at 4:50
    
Interesting. Any other programs launch minimized when VS is in focus? IE, Outlook Express? –  hyperslug Aug 20 '09 at 5:05
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5 Answers

One was this could happen is if that key is mapped to a shortcut with Run set to Minimized. What kind of MS keyboard?

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It's a standard MS Digital Media keyboard - nothing special. I've looked in the Microsoft Keyboard settings and all the calculator key does is start Calculator. No other options there (such as start minimised, etc). –  wows Aug 20 '09 at 4:47
    
I can confirm I have the same keyboard and have never experienced this problem. –  Diago Aug 20 '09 at 7:01
    
But how does it start the calculator? Does it run calc.exe or does it just “run calculator”. What exactly is displayed in the configuration dialog? –  Synetech Apr 5 '10 at 16:05
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I had the same problem with Windows 7 x64. I fixed it by creating a command file calc.cmd with the following lines:

start C:\Windows\System32\calc.exe 
exit

Then I assigned the key to run the command file, and calc now starts in the foreground.

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Also a work-around. Let’s try to fix the problem. –  Synetech Apr 5 '10 at 16:04
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You can use an AutoHotkey fix:

WinWait, Calculator
WinActivate

or compile the following script, drop it into system32 and rename calc.exe to calcX.exe and name this compiled script calc.exe.

Run, calcX.exe
WinWait, Calculator
WinActivate
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not sure which key AHK uses for calculator in specific, or i'd have a solution to map that key to the above. I know the scan code for the calculator button is E0_21, but I don't know what the AHK authors named it. –  John T Sep 21 '09 at 2:44
    
That is just a work-around and doesn’t really address the problem. The OP already has a work-around (restoring the calculator after running it), so it would be better to figure out what the problem is and fix it. –  Synetech Apr 5 '10 at 16:04
    
-1 Replacing system files is dangerous. –  kinokijuf Aug 26 '12 at 15:36
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It looks like there is not going to be a straightforward answer for this. It is going to require investigation and debugging of your system. Fortunately most of us here love doing exactly that, so let’s start. :)

Try mapping it to something else, say Notepad for example. What happens? Try mapping a different extended button to the Calculator. What happens then? The goal of this step is to see if it is the calculator that is the problem or the specific button.

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That's not only the case of calculator, actually every single program that I start using keyboard shortcuts, like web browser, communicator, music player, and even folders like my documents, my music, my pictures - they're all always start unfocused. A picture of buttons that I'm writing about: i.imgur.com/3Jtka.jpg , key assignment: i.imgur.com/sTUXl.png –  Lord_Blizzard Mar 1 '12 at 8:21
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  1. Windows start menu;
  2. All Programs;
  3. Accessories;
  4. Calculator;
  5. Right-Click Calculator and select Properties.
  6. Under the Shortcut tab half way down is the Run attribute; change its property to “Maximized”.

Run your normal shortcut key to open the calculator in maximized state.

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he doesnt want to start it maximized. –  Keltari Sep 3 '11 at 18:10
    
@Keltari: Did you actually read his answer before commenting? –  Tom Wijsman Dec 5 '11 at 14:09
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