Bug Report - installer & uninstaller causes popup warnings about "offline" shortcuts on Windows desktop

Bug Report - installer & uninstaller causes popup warnings about “offline” shortcuts on Windows desktop.

  1. During install & uninstall, QSPICE causes screen(s) to popup warning me about various desktop shortcuts being unavailable.
    Thus far I have noticed it happening for 2 different types of shortcuts on my desktop:
    A) Shortcut points at a directory that is currently offline, such F:\zzz on USB drive not currenlty plugged into computer.
    B) Shortcut points at software that was previously uninstalled.

  2. When I install QSPICE, the installer is located in a subdirectory on C: drive.
    When I install & uninstall QSPICE, no USB drives are plugged into computer at that moment.

  3. The easiest way to replicate this problem is…
    A) Insert a USB flash drive into the computer.
    B) Right-click on windows desktop, choose “New” then choose “Shortcut”.
    C) Click “Browse…” button, then browse to any directory on the same USB flash drive.
    D) Click in box to change name of the shortcut, such as “TEST”, then click “Finish” button.
    E) A new shortcut will appear on the Windows desktop named “TEST”.
    F) Double-click on the shortcut to ensure it opens the file browser at a directory the same USB flash drive.
    G) Eject the same USB flash drive, then unplug it from your computer.
    H) Install or Uninstall QSPICE.

  4. I am able to replicate this QSPICE problem on 2 different computers:
    Software = both computers have Windows 10 Home 64bit 22H2 with latest Microsoft updates.
    Hardware = both computers have different hardware: M/B, x86 CPU, GPU, RAM, drives, …

  5. The following is a screen capture…
    After starting an uninstall of QSPICE, I got this “Uninstall QSPICE” window.
    After clicking the “UNINSTALL” button, I got this “Problem with Shortcut” window popup.
    I right-clicked on the “offending” shortcut to show its settings.
    I moved the 4 items to be next to each other so I could create this screen capture.

Note - I first reported this issue in an email on May 30 (before I created an account on this forum).

You can ignore that message. Well, you know, it is a valid message because you have dangling links on your desktop, which usually one doesn’t want, so you might want to consider if you don’t want to remove the link(s).

I think it’s happening on uninstall because the uninstaller is checking for all desktop shortcuts for anything that points to something in the installation directory. If so, then those desktop links are deleted as part of the installation process. it’s mean to be a convenience for people who either renamed or created new links to QUX.exe.

However, I think that message won’t appear anymore, It’s part of the Microsoft CLSID_ShellLink framework. I might have been able to suppress that message.

Thanks for the reply, but it isn’t fixed.

  1. Today, I uninstalled QSPICE from the same Windows 10 Home computer
  • \Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Programs and Features\
  1. I temporarily copied a “shortcut to an offline-USB-drive” to my Windows 10 desktop.

  2. About 20 minutes ago, I downloaded the QSPICE online installer from Mike’s website again,
    then ran it. After the license screen came up, I clicked the “Install” button, then
    a warning screen poped up again, per the screen capture below…


Well, that means Microsoft Window’s CLSID_ShellLink API doesn’t allow the message to be trapped with the usual C++ try/catch/throw framework. I guess people smarter than me at Microsoft feel it’s important that you know you have a bad link on your desktop. Ultimately their call, I guess.

The only way I know of to “fix” it is to not even try to remove dead links to QSPICE on the desktop, but I’d rather not do that. Most people don’t have bad links on their desktop and would want to know if they did.

You can manually uninstall QSPICE by deleting the installation directory and any links you don’t want. There’s a Documents/QSPICE directory you can delete if you want to also delete all the work you did in QSPICE. The installer doesn’t do that.


Per 06/15/2023 comment in “QSPICE Revision History”,
I have validated that your fix does work when using QSPICE “UX Build Jun 15 2023 18:07:05”.
The Windows10 popup (per this bug report) no longer occurs during the install or uninstall of QSPICE.