Strange “Recent Places” issue in windows 7 / Server 2008 R2.

Just a quick post about a funny little issue I saw recently.

First to give some background on this wonderful little folder. The recent places folder you see in the windows explorer Favorites menu is a collaboration of all the folders you have saved to recently. Windows compiles this folder view by first looking at your “Recent Files” in %userprofile%AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsRecent and then filtering the results by directory. Leaving you with a view of all the folders you have worked in recently.

In my case, when using mandatory profiles in Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, the Recent Places Folder in windows Explorer is spelled incorrectly. Instead of being “Recent Places”, it’s listed as “RecentPlaces” without the space.

When this issue occurs, the folder will correctly list the folders you have recently worked in, but the name will be incorrect for the duration of your session.

This will occur if active setup has not run on your profile, or as part of your profile creation. It seems despite following the Microsoft guide to the letter, active setup still needs to run on a Mandatory profile each time a user logs in…

The individual component of active setup responsible for many things including this profile adjustment is {89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4340} found in these registry locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftActive SetupInstalled Components
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftActive SetupInstalled Components

This active setup component run’s the following command:

C:WindowsSystem32regsvr32.exe /s /n /i:U shell32.dll

To fix the issue, reinstate the active setup keys you wrongfully deleted (bad admin) or run the above command.

Once you’ve done this the folder will be displayed correctly.

For a great explanation of Active setup, check out Helge’s write up over here.

If you still hate active setup (like I do) the above command can be run on  as part of a login script or better yet as part of a RES Workspace Manager “Execute Command” without the annoying active setup pause. This will then fix this issue each login before the user see’s it.

This command is actually really useful to be aware of and I’ll blog about this a little later in the week about some other applications of this seemingly routine command.

3 Comments About “Strange “Recent Places” issue in windows 7 / Server 2008 R2.

  1. Pingback: Strange “Recent Places” issue in windows 7 / Server 2008 R2. « Raj sharings

  2. Pingback: Active Setup – Stubpath Command Lines | Virtual Engine

  3. Tyw7

    I found out you had to force idle tasks to run for this fix to come into effect. Do this by typing running the following command: Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks


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