Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

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H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g
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Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#1 Post by H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g » 16.01.2018, 13:15

At first, thank you very much for providing that invaluable software! We are using it since some days now and are still excited about it. However, we have encountered a weird problem.

The version we use is: FreeCommander XE 2017 Build 740 32-bit public
Our O/S is: Windows 7 Pro x64 English, all patches applied (as per the time of this writing)

The problem:

FC spans multiple Fccontextmenu64 processes. When saying multiple, I am meaning several dozens in the course of a normal working day. These are visible in the systray as well as in the task manager, i.e. they are not just symbols which haven't gone from the systray due to a bug in the graphics driver or such things, but are real processes consuming CPU and memory. Of course, this is a show stopper which would keep us from further using FC if it can't be fixed.

Possible cause for the problem:

We are using FC in a very unusual way. At my workstation, I am using a user account which has administrative privileges (i.e. it belongs to the local "Administrators" group), but which is not the Administrator account itself. I am running one instance of FC normally (i.e. as the normal user of that account), and I am running one additional instance which has been started as Administrator.

In other words: I am starting one instance of FC by double-clicking on its icon (this instance is then running with my normal user privileges), and then I am starting a second instance of FC by running the following command:

Code: Select all

runas /user:Administrator "<PATH_TO_FC_EXE>"
(this instance is then running as local Administrator).

I strongly suspect that running two instances of FC as two different users at the same time may be the reason for the multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes, but of course, I am not sure.

Do you consider this a bug? Will you fix it? Unfortunately, we can't work another way; this working method is the result of long discussions we had in the past months.

Thank you very much,

Binarus

Marek
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Re: Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#2 Post by Marek » 17.01.2018, 19:09

I have a solution for your problem in the next public release - current month.

H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g
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Re: Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#3 Post by H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g » 18.01.2018, 08:54

Hi Marek,

thank you very much! That was really fast.

We are excited that you did take care of our problem although our working method which is probably the root of the evil is quite exotic.

As an information for you (which might be interesting because probably only a few people have tried it):

The method I have described in my first post works like a charm (besides the Fccontext problem). We have configured the "normal" FC instance to show a white background in the files and folders list, and the "Administrator" instance to show a yellow (or even red) background. Thus, everybody is warned immediately if using the "Administrator" instance.

We are using this to manage files on the server. The "normal" instance (i.e. the normal user) may add files and folders to the server, but is forbidden to change or delete them. The "Administrator" instance (running as Administrator) may also change or delete files on the server (which is necessary only in rare cases). For daily work, the "normal" instance is used. The "Administrator" instance is used only for the special cases. That way, the likelihood that somebody accidentally deletes or changes files on the server is greatly reduced, and ransomware running as the normal user has no chance to alter files on the server; it would have to abuse ("hack") runas.exe or FC to get the administrative privileges on the server to be able to change or delete files there.

The best thing is that you obviously have developed FC in a very clean way, consequently storing the options for each user separately. We have tested this multiple times. The options for the "Administrator" instance and the "normal" instance can be set independently which made the different background colors possible. This is ingenious!

Thanks again,

Binarus

Marek
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Re: Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#4 Post by Marek » 23.01.2018, 21:21

What you need is to use different process for FcContextMenu64.Exe.
In FreeCommander XE 2018 Build 770 you can
- add the following line to the [Form] section of the freecommander.ini
FcContextMenu64Exe=FcContextMenu64adm.exe
Additionally you must create a copy of the file FcContextMenu64.exe with the name FcContextMenu64adm.exe
Make the changes for admin call.

H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g
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Joined: 16.01.2018, 12:44

Re: Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#5 Post by H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g » 28.01.2018, 15:40

Dear Marek,

thank you very much for your help and your hints.

The new version (FreeCommander XE 2018 Build 770 32 bit) did not solve the problem. It changed the behavior, but introduced a new bug. After having installed the new version, and after having followed the additional steps you mentioned very carefully (change the INI file and make a copy of FcContextMenu64.exe), the following is happening now:

As a starting point, I am closing all FC instances and all FcContextMenu64 instances by closing the respective Windows and tray icons and by checking in the task manager that all instances are closed.

Then I am starting the normal instance of FC and the admin instance of FC (the one with the manipulated INI file); I am just starting them and doing no further actions at this point.

From then on, the behavior is weird:

- If I first activate the context menu in the normal instance, one tray icon and one FcContextMenu64 process appears. Again activating the context menu in the normal instance does not make additional icons or processes appear. But when I then try to activate the context menu in the admin instance, this is not possible; the right click is just ignored, no FcContextMenu64adm process appears, and no additional tray icon appears.

In summary, this makes the normal instance usable, but makes the admin instance unusable (because the context menu cannot be used there).

- If I instead first activate the context menu in the admin instance, one FcContextMenu64adm process and one tray icon appears. Again activating the context menu in the admin instance does not make additional icons or processes appear. But now, each time when I activate the context menu in the normal instance, an additional FcContextMenu64 process appears, as well as an additional tray icon. In other words, when having right-clicked five times in the normal instance, I am having five FcContextMenu64 processes and 5 additional icons.

Furthermore, activating the context menu in the admin instance works unreliably (more often fails then works) after having activated the context menu at least one time in the normal instance.

In summary, this makes both instances unusable. The context menu won't show up when right-clicking the admin instance in most cases, and right-clicking in the normal instance will produce a new FcContextMenu64 process and tray icon each time.

I am understanding that this might be difficult to debug. I am not sure if I have expressed myself clearly enough in my initial post. I am not running the admin instance by choosing "Run as Administrator" from the context menu, but by using "runas /user:Administrator ...". This is a big difference.

I am offering to share my desktop with you (preferably using Teamviewer) so that you can exactly see what is happening. If you are interested in debugging the problem that way, please send me a personal message so we can arrange the details.

Regards, and thank you very much,

H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g

Marek
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Re: Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#6 Post by Marek » 29.01.2018, 19:13

Could you please try again with the new version of the FcContextMenu64?
With the release 770 the FcContextMenu64adm will be not automatically closed if you close FC.

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Re: Multiple dozens of Fccontextmenu64 processes

#7 Post by H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g » 31.01.2018, 10:31

Dear Marek,

thanks for your fast reply, and please forgive me that I couldn't do the test yesterday.

The new version of FcContextMenu64 indeed did solve the problem.

I have copied the new version into the program folder, again did copy / rename it as per your instructions, and changed the .ini file for the admin instance as you proposed.

Now, if using the two instances (normal and admin), there are two fccontextmenu64 processes as soon as I have activated the context menu in each instance at least one time (as expected, the task manager shows that one of them belongs to Administrator and one belongs to my normal account), and there are two tray icons. Regardless of how often I activate the context menu in the two instances, and regardless of the order when doing this, and regardless of which instance is started first, no additional processes / tray icons are created. This is exactly how it should be.

I did not notice other problems with the new version of Fccontextmenu64 (but have it used heavily for only an hour so far). However, I think there will be no additional problems. Once again, THANK YOU!

By the way, I personally won't be hurt if FC does not terminate the Fccontextmenu64 process when being closed :-) Actually, I think this shouldn't be a problem for anybody.

Do you plan to include the new version of FcContextMenu64 in the normal download package?

Regards, and have a great day,

H5JCa3y4quRpwN0g

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