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Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

My windows 7 desktop has "snapped" in half

A family member accidentally dragged her mouse beyond the edge of the Windows 7 desktop. The desktop suddenly split into two parts -a top half and a bottom half.

The family member then moved the mouse around and around in big circles on a real physical desk going all the way around the computer trying to get the desktop back into a single screen. That made things much worse with the task bar now going up the sides and across the top.

How do we get the desktop back to a single screen and the task bar back on the bottom where it belongs?

We've gone to the Ease of Access Center to "make the mouse easier to use" and checked the box that says "Prevent Windows" from carving the desktop into multiple small screens, but that hasn't corrected the original problem. The harm had already been done.

What now? Is there any way to undo this mess?



J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1

Re: My windows 7 desktop has "snapped" in half

Try restoring it to earlier date.


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

said by J E F F:

restoring it to earlier date.

That won't work on the machine in question. System restore is turned off as we have a backup true image, but the machine is hundreds of miles away and I'm here. The family member who owns the machine that is messed up is not quite competent to restore the True image. Hence I'm trying to help from over the telephone.

Is there another solution to "undo the split image"?

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Gem

It sounds like the user has just gone on an orgy of moving things around.

If you drag a window off the edge, it gets resized in some way (e.g., off side edge, the apps I tried got resized to max height).

I suppose doing that more than once gets the split-screen effect you describe.

If you drag the taskbar to a separate edge, it sticks on that edge.

Can't you just drag everything back?

By the way, "we have an image backup" is no reason to disable system restore that I know about. 2 different backup methods is always better than 1.



J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..
reply to Gem

Shouldn't it be in properties when you right click the desktop? As for the start menu (task bar) being on the wrong area, you should be able to drag it back down to the bottom.

I'm not at the PC at the moment, but I'll get back to it.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein



Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to Gem

I don't understand what you mean by snap in half..

I know they have a screen rotate and some other options but I think that's under display.


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to dave

Reply to Dave - attempting to drag the top half image away doesn't seem to so anything. Nor does attempting to drag the bottom half away do anything.

Dragging the taskbar back to the bottom should work, but it doesn't when the desktop is split into two halves with the taskbar on each one on the top and bottom. I figure we can get the task bar back to the bottom okay if we can just get rid of the split image for the desktop.

There must be someway to get out of snap once someone gets into it. I've just been unable to find out what that way is.

Yes, it does indeed that eliminating System Restore since we had True Image was not a good idea. That works well here, but not long distance.



Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to Gem

Have you tried to reboot?


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to J E F F

said by J E F F:

Shouldn't it be in properties when you right click the desktop?
I'm not at the PC at the moment, but I'll get back to it.

I don't think anything showed up in properties when the user right-clicked on Properties while in the desktop. I asked her to do that and she said she didn't see any option to revert to a single screen.

Please do check back after you get home Jeff. Maybe you can see something the family member missed.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Subaru

said by Subaru:

I don't understand what you mean by snap in half.

Yes, this was out of the blue for us, too.

When the mouse pointer is moved beyond the edge of the W7 desktop that the Windows screen will split in half - either top and bottom or side by side.

That feature can be turned off, but as we learned to our dismay it is "ON" by default.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Subaru

said by Subaru:

Have you tried to reboot?

Rebooting doesn't solve the problem. It still boots back into the split screens. That's true if it is a soft reboot or a full shut down followed by a full new restart.


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..

Disable Windows 7 Snap and see what happens: Here is the quick tutorial:

»www.techrepublic.com/blog/window···s-7/2720

Here is the quick and dirty (actually, clean) way to get start button back to its place.

»answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind···98fc0071
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein



PapaDos
Cum Grano Salis
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-08
Lasalle, QC
kudos:3
reply to Gem

I don't think Windows can do what you described by itself.
You must have an application that emulates multiple monitors (Virus ?).

Are the two "desktops" identical ?
When you open an application it shows in both ?

Could it be a video driver feature ?
What are the video card brand and model ?
--
Festina Lente



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to Gem

Could you take and post a screenshot?

Press the Print Screen button (usually upper right on US keyboards)
Click start and in the search/run box enter "paint"
Click the paste icon in paint
Click File, Save As, Png and save it.
Upload it here using Preview/Attach button.

Note: if you have any sensitive information showing on the desktop you can clear it using paint... just a reminder that this screenshot will be on the web and anyone can see it



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback


I think what is happening, you get 2 screens in 1, the top have will have the task bar at the bottom of it and the bottom half will be the top half.

I had it here once. I can't remember what I did to get it, nor the resolution, however i'd concentrate on uninstalling drivers and the graphics profile, do a clean and re-install the drivers.
I think it was in XP when it happened for me, but it should fix it.
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Gem

Big thanks to all of you who replied above. I'll call the family member this weekend and will walk through the solutions proposed. We'll let you know if anything solves the problem.

BTW, in response to the questions asked, the problem is on a 2012 HP laptop running Windows 7 and Microsoft Security Essentials so our best guess at this time is that it is not a virus.

Norwegian has described our split desktop perfectly. The family member says the split occurred right after the mouse pointer was moved beyond the edge of the Windows 7 desktop.

No new software or hardware has been knowingly installed on the computer since it was first set up a year ago.

Meanwhile, three more questions:

1) Do you have a link to a help thread that explains how to post images here?

2) Do we have a FAQ or other help page - here or elsewhere - that explains how to set up a remote assistance session? Perhaps that would work.

3) Can remote assistance be done from my XP computer to the remote and troubled Windows 7 computer?


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to J E F F

said by J E F F:

Disable Windows 7 Snap and see what happens: Here is the quick tutorial:

»www.techrepublic.com/blog/window···s-7/2720

Here is the quick and dirty (actually, clean) way to get start button back to its place.

»answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind···98fc0071

We disabled the "Snap" feature following the instructions from Tech Republic, JEFF, but the desktop still stays split after doing so.

We'll try again right clicking from a blank space within the taskbar to unlock it and will again try to move it. Nothing happened the last time that was tried - don't know why.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to Gem

It's one of those mouse gestures you never thought you did.

1. Printscreen button and then open paint, paste then save as a jpeg or gif, then use Preview/Attach button in a reply, and on the top left is + upload attachments | Choose file | Upload
It is simple enough once you start the process

2. If they can use Logmein

»logmein.com/

3. Yes
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to norwegian

said by norwegian:

I think what is happening, you get 2 screens in 1, the top have will have the task bar at the bottom of it and the bottom half will be the top half.

Ahh like a raster overrun? I can recall seeing that a long time ago with a CRT that was failing... very weird!

If it is driver/failing video hardware related the screen grab might look normal to us as it would be grabbing the frame buffer... would be a hint as to what is happening.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback


I hadn't thought of that - the screen shot may indeed look like nothing is wrong.


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to norwegian

#1 - Understood. Just tested one. Images are posting fine now.

#2 - I'll look into log-me-in. Does that require that the other person install a program on their computer or register as a user at logmein? If so, that might be a problem for them to grasp. I can handle my end okay.

#3 - Good to know logmein would work with XP to W7. What about using the native Windows Remote Assistance tool? Does that work easily from an XP computer to a troubled W7 box?



Kramer
Premium,Mod
join:2000-08-03
Richmond, VA
kudos:2

said by Gem:

#1 - Understood. Just tested one. Images are posting fine now.

#2 - I'll look into log-me-in. Does that require that the other person install a program on their computer or register as a user at logmein? If so, that might be a problem for them to grasp. I can handle my end okay.

#3 - Good to know logmein would work with XP to W7. What about using the native Windows Remote Assistance tool? Does that work easily from an XP computer to a troubled W7 box?

Remote assistance is something of a bad dream to get working behind a NAT router. Log Me In, Teamviewer, etc. are much easier.


Zupe
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-29
New York, NY
reply to Gem

As posted earlier, as far as I'm aware, this isn't a feature of Windows 7. From Googling, a frequent cause seems to be bad/corrupt drivers. As suggested, I would reinstall up to date video drivers.
--
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Pinky: I think so, Brain, but "Snowball for Windows"?


Quattrohead
Premium
join:2005-02-09

Use Teamviewer, its free and you can run it rather than installing it.
Simple enough to talk anyone through it on the phone.



Mr Anon

@k12.il.us
reply to Gem

A picture would help.

This doesn't sound like something windows can do by its self (the desktop) is it just the picture in the background or the whole shebang? Coursor stops halfway, so do icons, full sized windows etc etc.

the taskbar:
Right click a free spot on it and select properties. In the new window select from the first drop down box "bottom" Hit okay.

For the desktop I'd have to see it and know if you have any right click options on the desktop, things like "Catalyst control denter" "Nview" or "graphic options" You can always reset the default theme in personalize and check settings in screen resolution.


SHOtime

join:2001-12-04
Bedford, IN
reply to Gem

My Win8 with multiple monitors occasionally does this on bootup. It can be anywhere from just slightly split where the very bottom of the screen is at the top or split into 4 somewhat equal pieces across all 4 corners.

The fix for mine is to go into the resolution settings. Make sure it is set for a single desktop and not extended. You may even need to change the resolution to something lowerand then back again to get it to readjust.


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

1 edit
reply to Kramer

Thank you, Kramer. That is extremely good to know.

And thank you to everyone else who helped. Many of you got the diagnosis of the problem right.

And the solution - capturing the taskbar and moving it back to the bottom where it belonged.

As to the screen. It really was "cut in half" by the taskbar that first moved up to the half way point and then to the left hand side and across the top.

It also really was two screen views on the desktop. One on top and one on the bottom. The top was blank and the bottom what the program the user had open.

Moving the task bar back to the bottom let the main program expand back up to fill the whole screen.;)



sivran
Seamonkey's back
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to SHOtime

said by SHOtime:

My Win8 with multiple monitors occasionally does this on bootup. It can be anywhere from just slightly split where the very bottom of the screen is at the top or split into 4 somewhat equal pieces across all 4 corners.

The fix for mine is to go into the resolution settings. Make sure it is set for a single desktop and not extended. You may even need to change the resolution to something lowerand then back again to get it to readjust.

I've never seen this and have had 8 installed on a dual monitor system for a few months now.
--
Think Outside the Fox.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

It can happen. It obviously happened to us. We didn't make it up.

As for how it happened, it turns out there is more to the story. On the laptop the user has a wireless mouse that is used with the right hand.

The user's left hand sits in a normal touch typing position with the left hand thumb sometimes resting on the touchpad just below the spacebar. The user's thumb then moved across the touchpad at the same time that the mouse pointer moved beyond the desktop screen borders. That's when the main desktop window split in two and also when the taskbar repositioned itself.

Disabling the touchpad as well as disabling the "Snap" feature in Windows is said to prevent this problem from happening again.

Googling "how to disable snap in Windows 7 (or 8)" will come up with hits on how to disable snap, but not how to eliminate the split screens that snapping creates. Snapping is also called "docking the window" in some settings.



sivran
Seamonkey's back
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1

Do note who my reply was directed at.