Windows 10: Run Dialog Box dysfunctional (Invisible text and doesn't always work) Solved

  1.    02 Feb 2017 #1

    Run Dialog Box dysfunctional (Invisible text and doesn't always work)

    First things first, hey everyone! I'm a complete noobie to forums altogether, and usually i just spend time on them reading other ppls problems/solutions but i've never actually made a post myself (cause i guess i never really needed to ?), since most of them have already been solved by someone somewhere.
    Sadly, i looked everywhere for a solution to my current problem but to no avail.

    I don't know if i should proceed as they do in stack exchange (define the problem and then what i've personally tried to do ? but i guess that could be a good start).

    Problem : The run dialog box doesn't display the text and icon usually present in it. Moreover, by opening multiple run dialogs, there's an inconsistancy where some of them will all run with administrator privileges by default; while others will only have the check box to let you choose if you want to or not [can be seen on the following screenshot by the red arrow]. And usually, for the latter, if it's not ticked the run dialog would just keep spawning again and again until I run it as administrator. Here's the screenshot to help describe most of my problems with the Run command : Click image for larger version. 

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    Things i've tried (in order) :

    • Reinstalling windows (the new default win10 option that lets you reinstall windows while keeping your personal files) [since i'm lazy i thought that just afk reinstalling windows before trying anything else might solve the issue. I couldn't be so wrong].
    • Reinstalling windows, but this time removing all my personal files.

    And after each of these reinstallations, the problem wasn't there initially but eventually surfaces again while i was reinstalling my personal programs (hence one of the applications i have might be causing this ? I have no clue how to verify that)

    • I tried using the command
      sfc /scannow
      but nothing came up
    • Eventually since sfc wasn't working I went for the new windows DISM tool for help :
      DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
      , and again to no avail.
    • After a while, i thought that maybe task manager uses the same code as the run command (when we go to File > Run New Task) but sadly when i tried checking the command lines executed by each i found only the one used by the run dialog box and couldn't for the taskmgr's one (maybe cause i'm still really bad at using Sysinternals' Process Explorer >..<)

    The default run command is :
    rundll32.exe shell32.dll,#61
    (so maybe i have an issue with the shell32.dll ?)

    Here's a screenshot of the Taskmgr's "Run New Task" dialog in case they really are related : Click image for larger version. 

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    Overall, I think i tried everything i could using my own knowledge (which is already quite limited) and I hope that some of you have more technical expertise to be able to figure out what the hell is wrong with this stupid dialog box >.>.

    If you managed to read this far, thank you for taking some of your personal time to go out of your way to help an ignorant user such as myself. I appreciate it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    02 Feb 2017 #2

    the problem wasn't there initially but eventually surfaces again while i was reinstalling my personal programs
    Hi, thanks for your very useful level of detail.

    Here's how I've gone about this sort of thing long ago. This assumes you neither have useful restore points nor disk images.
    I'm also assuming this problem is not resolved by a clean boot - i.e. is related to something installed rather than running.

    A. From where you are now.
    1. Create a disk/system image of what you have now, so you can always restore it.
    2. Progressively uninstall programs preferably in the order in which they were installed.
    3. Test the run box each time.
    4. Thus you may (but not necessarily) identify the cause.
    5. If successful, restore your image, and uninstall the particular program.
    6. Check your Run box.
    7. If this arises because more than one program causes this, you may need to repeat the above.

    B. Starting from a fresh installation of Windows.
    1. Install Windows.
    2. As soon as you have all drivers functional and all is well (but you have not installed any programs) create a system image.
    3. Enable system restore (as you might be able to use that to recover).
    4. Install, say, 3 or 4 programs, checking the run box.
    5. Update your disk image
    6. Repeat 4 & 5 until the problem recurs.
    7. You now have the problem related to just 3 or 4 programs. Try uninstalling each in turn and check the Run box.
    8. If you cannot identify the culprit, restore the most recent image, check the run box is ok, install 1 program, and check the run box. Repeat for the others until you identify the program responsible.

    We strongly recommend the use of disk imaging: here's my script on it:
    Creating disk images lets you restore Windows and all your disks and partitions to a previous working state, quickly and probably without technical help.

    You can recover from:
    - a failed disk drive (restore to a new one)
    - ransomware (which encrypts your disk)
    - user error
    - unrecoverable problems from failed updates to problem programs
    - unbootable PC (hardware faults aside)

    Images also act as a full backup- you can extract files too.

    You can even use images to help you move more easily and quickly to a new PC.
    Can be used with Laplink software to transfer your build automatically to another PC

    Imaging can even help you sleep at night knowing you have a second chance.

    Many here recommend Macrium Reflect (free) as a good robust solution and more reliable than some others. It’s
    - more feature rich
    - more flexible
    - more reliable
    than Windows Backup and Restore system images.

    It's well supported with videos, help and a responsive forum.

    There are other such programs, free/commercial, some with simpler interfaces, but Macrium R is one of the most robust and reliable.

    How long does it take?
    SSD+ USB3 - maybe 15 mins for the first system image, less thereafter
    HDD + USB2 - maybe 40-50 mins
    That’s with little personal data, few programs installed.
    - of course, depends how much you have on C:
    (You can and should image all your partitions and disks)

    Once you've created your first image, keep it updated with e.g. differential imaging- which images just changes from the first image, more quickly, and creates a smaller image file.

    You need a backup medium - say- twice as large as the total amount of data you are imaging to keep a reasonable number of differential images. This will vary dependent on the number of images you keep, so is only a rough practical guide.

    Some comment that system restore isn't always reliable; if it works and solves the problem, great. But sometimes restores won't work or fail. And of course a restore point only covers a limited number of aspects of the system. That’s where disk imaging comes in.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    02 Feb 2017 #3

    First of all, thank you for the really quick reply.

    This assumes you neither have useful restore points nor disk images.
    I'm also assuming this problem is not resolved by a clean boot - i.e. is related to something installed rather than running.
    Yes you are completely right. Hence, I thank you for the amazing level of detail and explanations on disk imaging as i'm fairly new to this approach.

    I shall try your approach for now, and post any problems I run into or outcomes when i'm done.
    I just felt like I had to at least post a reply to thank you again for your precious time and amazing help & guidance. ^^,

    Cheers !

    P.S. :
    Your best friend should probably be a search engine or a disk imaging program.
    This is the best phrase/motto i've ever came across ! =)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    02 Feb 2017 #4

    Ok after re-reading your post a few times, i realized that i wasn't thorough enough when i was trying to understand the cause/reduce the scope of the problem.
    In hopes of being thorough enough, I wanted to be sure that the assumptions made were correct, and this one in particular :
    I'm also assuming this problem is not resolved by a clean boot - i.e. is related to something installed rather than running.
    made me want to try booting into safe mode to check. (I should've done this from the start, I'm really stupid.. Sorry >..<)
    Hence I used the msconfig tool to boot into safe mode using the 'minimal' setting; and in safe mode, the run dialog had no issues whatsoever !
    Here's the screenshot to prove : Click image for larger version. 

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    From here :
    I guess it's now safe to assume that it actually is a running program that's causing the issue ? =o
    And if we still consider the methodology of your approach, all i need to do now is just kill the currently running programs gradually until i find the one causing my Run dialog to get messed up ?

    I'm sorry if i ask too much, i want to be sure that i didn't miss any other possible outcome =O.

    Thanks again for your precious insight !
    (And obviously for teaching me about disk images, which will eventually be lifesavers from now on!)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    02 Feb 2017 #5

    Oh my god. I'm a disgrace to all human beings with computers.

    Before I re-installed windows again, my run dialog box was not working at all (win+r never popped the run dialog whatsoever).
    So as a work around, and since i use AutoHotkey a lot, I made a small hotkey that actually did the same thing as the default win+r to run the Run command as an easy way to somehow 'repair' it using this line of AHK code:
    #r::Run, rundll32.exe shell32`,#61
    But since i re-installed windows, the run dialog box started working again (and the default win+r combination as well!), so the AHK script that i had with this line of code was actually breaking my now working run dialog box..
    I just removed that line and everything works perfectly now.

    I feel so bad having wasted your time on something so useless & utterly stupid.

    Thanks again for everything!
    Last edited by LorenzoM; 02 Feb 2017 at 19:34. Reason: Adjusting link
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    03 Feb 2017 #6

    That's ok- glad you solved it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    03 Feb 2017 #7

    Well, considering my limited knowledge and capabilities, i would've never figured that out without your guidance.

    Thanks again for evrything!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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