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I got a peculiar problem with an enduser today. He says for the past month or so, if he has a window open (not maximised) and he clicks the window below it (also not maximised), it won't switch to it. For example, if he is in Lotus Notes, and wants to go back to Firefox, and he clicks the Firefox title bar, the tasks don't change focus/switch to it. This doesn't happen for applications. Usually it is with Firefox but if he's in Matlab and goes to PADS for example, they switch fine. If you close the apps, and reopen them, it'll work, but about 30 minutes later the weirdness then resumes.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


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might be some software/malware causing windows to stay on top, like the desk pins do. – Ankit Mishra Sep 11 '12 at 16:19

I can't reproduce the specific issue you are having, but it may be because the foreground window is "modal". Modal windows are ones that are unable to be minimized until they are "dealt" with -- either closed, or the user takes some action to cause the window to go away. Could it be that Lotus Notes is taking a modal behavior at some times and preventing him from switching focus to another window?

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It is behaving like modal, but it isn't that. Since it isn't just Lotus, and with modal, Windows dings since you can't access the windows below since it is locked. You can click it, as focus goes to it, but the window above it stays above it. And it isn't just Lotus, its other applications, and it only happens after a certain period of time, which makes it very peculiar. – Jonathan Weinraub Sep 11 '12 at 15:37
I ran sfc /scannow found nothing wrong. Scanned for malware/viruses no dice as well. – Jonathan Weinraub Sep 11 '12 at 20:09
Any body have any other ideas? – Jonathan Weinraub Sep 13 '12 at 18:11
Try using Spy++ to see if anything is sending misleading or erroneous window messages? Just a stab in the dark... really have no idea... but window messages have a lot to do with things like focus... – allquixotic Sep 13 '12 at 18:32
Hmm, never thought to use Spy++, he has visual studio installed, iirc so I'll have to check it out. It is odd because it isn't always repeatable. The window below does obtain focus, but the window doesn't always come to front. If one closes the app, and reload it, it then seems to work, but for a short amount of time, which in itself is rather perplexing as to why. – Jonathan Weinraub Sep 13 '12 at 19:54

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