PDQ Library:  Windows Task Scheduler Problems

Have you noticed that every once in a while your Windows 7 system starts opening web pages (file extensions HTML, HTM) using Google Chrome instead of Mozilla Firefox and the icon showing web pages is suddenly the Chrome icon not the Firefox icon? Have you also noticed that your system slows down at odd times?

Google Chrome updates might be the problem. Instead of removing Chrome from your system entirely, you can either disable the updates or change the schedule for checking for updates from every time the computer falls idle to weekly - a bit more reasonable.

The updates are controlled by the Windows Task Scheduler using tasks called GoogleUpdateTaskMachine and GoogleUpdateTaskUser. To run the Task Scheduler to change this behaviour, click on:

Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Task Scheduler

Or you can just click Start and type Task Scheduler into the search field.

Next you have to restore the original browser that used to open these files. In Firefox, click the Tools menu and select Options. In the left pane, select Task Scheduler Library. Look for GoogleUpdateTaskMachineCore and GoogleUpdateTaskMachineUA. If you already run an update service such as Secunia, you could disable (or delete) both of these in the Actions pane (or menu).

If you just want to check for updates less often, double-click on the two names and select the Trigers tab. To change or delete a Trigger, double-click on it (or click Edit button) and change it. Uncheck the "enabled" box to disable a schedule. Click OK twice to accept changes and close the windows.

Disappearing File Icons

Have you noticed that suddenly the icon showing your web pages (file extensions HTML, HTM) appears as a blank white document icon? This is more difficult problem to track down - and I've been searching the forums. I have found solutions but they appear to be temporary, as the icon eventually returns to the blank icon. Deep in the Windows Registry are dozens of links between programs such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc. and HTML file types such as FirefoxHTML and ChromeHTML. Changing these manually is a dangerous game.

File Types Manager is a free application that can be used to change the icon displayed for any file type (extension) but it's only a temporary solution. I'm still looking for the cause of the problem. (Maybe it's also a Google Chrome problem, which I could test by uninstalling it.)

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