XP Spider Solitaire stops working in Win7


J

Jeff Layman

Win7HPx64

When I got Win7 at the end of 2009, I did not like the appearance of the
games MS included. So I copied over the Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and
Minesweeper exes, plus cards.dll from my old XP PC to the Win7 laptop.
All have worked perfectly for 3 years, but about a month ago the Spider
Solitaire stopped working correctly.

If I double click on spider.exe, a Spider tab opens on the taskbar, but
the main game screen does not appear, only the "Difficulty" dialog box.
Clicking on OK or Cancel closes the dialog box, but the Spider tab
remains on the taskbar. Right-clicking on the tab and then clicking the
X to close, either causes the tab to close (if "Cancel" had been the
dialog box choice) or opens another dialog box asking if I want to save
the game before closing it (if OK had been the dialog box choice), with
the usual choices of Yes, No, or cancel.

I tried restoring two older versions of spider.exe from 12 and 24- month
old backups, and also restored an old version of cards.dll, but the
problem still persists. FWIW, the Win7 versions of the games have
always worked without problem, and continue to do so, as do the XP
versions of Solitaire and Minesweeper.

Any idea what's going on here?
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

Joe Morris

Jeff Layman said:
When I got Win7 at the end of 2009, I did not like the appearance of the
games MS included. So I copied over the Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and
Minesweeper exes, plus cards.dll from my old XP PC to the Win7 laptop. All
have worked perfectly for 3 years, but about a month ago the Spider
Solitaire stopped working correctly.

If I double click on spider.exe, a Spider tab opens on the taskbar, but
the main game screen does not appear, only the "Difficulty" dialog box.
Clicking on OK or Cancel closes the dialog box, but the Spider tab remains
on the taskbar. Right-clicking on the tab and then clicking the X to
close, either causes the tab to close (if "Cancel" had been the dialog box
choice) or opens another dialog box asking if I want to save the game
before closing it (if OK had been the dialog box choice), with the usual
choices of Yes, No, or cancel.

I tried restoring two older versions of spider.exe from 12 and 24- month
old backups, and also restored an old version of cards.dll, but the
problem still persists. FWIW, the Win7 versions of the games have always
worked without problem, and continue to do so, as do the XP versions of
Solitaire and Minesweeper.

Any idea what's going on here?
My guess, not based on any testing, is that the Spider window is completely
out of the display area.

You might be able to recover it by blindly moving the window. Make the
Spider window current (using ALT+TAB to cycle through current applications),
then invoke the move option by pressing ALT+SPACEBAR, releasing both keys,
then pressing the M key. Your cursor keys now control the movement of the
window. (Experiment with this with a window that *is* in the display; that
way you can see what the move option does.)

Press the left arrow key 10-15 times; did the window appear? If so, press
ENTER to accept its new location; if not, press ESC to cancel the
relocation, then press ALT+SPACEBAR M again and try the right cursor
key...if no luck repeat with the up arrow key, then with the down arrow key.
This will often (but not always) recover an off-display window, although it
won't find a window that's on a diagonal from the display.

I've not tried (and don't plan to try) moving the XP games to Win7, but if
the above doesn't work try deleting (or renaming, which has the same effect)
the Registry entry that saves your history for the Windows XP version of
Spider:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Spider

While *not* running Spider, rename the end node to something else (when
experimenting with the system I prefer to rename rather than delete...it's
easy to undo a change by renaming but more difficult to undo a deletion...).
Try using Regedit to rename "Spider" to "Spiderx" or some other name, then
start Spider. Are you back in business?

Joe
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Joe Morris said:
Jeff Layman said:
When I got Win7 at the end of 2009, I did not like the appearance of the
games MS included. So I copied over the Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and
Minesweeper exes, plus cards.dll from my old XP PC to the Win7 laptop. All
have worked perfectly for 3 years, but about a month ago the Spider
Solitaire stopped working correctly.

If I double click on spider.exe, a Spider tab opens on the taskbar, but
the main game screen does not appear, only the "Difficulty" dialog box.
Clicking on OK or Cancel closes the dialog box, but the Spider tab remains
on the taskbar. Right-clicking on the tab and then clicking the X to
[]
My guess, not based on any testing, is that the Spider window is completely
out of the display area.

You might be able to recover it by blindly moving the window. Make the
Spider window current (using ALT+TAB to cycle through current applications),
then invoke the move option by pressing ALT+SPACEBAR, releasing both keys,
then pressing the M key. Your cursor keys now control the movement of the
window. (Experiment with this with a window that *is* in the display; that
way you can see what the move option does.)

Press the left arrow key 10-15 times; did the window appear? If so, press
[]
Interesting bit of lateral thinking!

After selecting the application (alt-tab or clicking on it in taskbar)
and pressing alt-space, if instead of M for move, you type X for
maximise (!), this will prove more quickly whether this is the actual
problem, without wondering in which direction it has gone. Assuming,
that is, that that application is capable of being maximised: I know
some aren't, and some of the built-in games such as solitaire can't:
hang on, I'm running XP, so will look ... Spider Solitaire _can_ be
maximised, so try it. If it doesn't appear (fill the screen), then I
suspect it isn't just off-screen.
 
J

Jeff Layman

My guess, not based on any testing, is that the Spider window is completely
out of the display area.

You might be able to recover it by blindly moving the window. Make the
Spider window current (using ALT+TAB to cycle through current applications),
then invoke the move option by pressing ALT+SPACEBAR, releasing both keys,
then pressing the M key. Your cursor keys now control the movement of the
window. (Experiment with this with a window that *is* in the display; that
way you can see what the move option does.)

Press the left arrow key 10-15 times; did the window appear? If so, press
ENTER to accept its new location; if not, press ESC to cancel the
relocation, then press ALT+SPACEBAR M again and try the right cursor
key...if no luck repeat with the up arrow key, then with the down arrow key.
This will often (but not always) recover an off-display window, although it
won't find a window that's on a diagonal from the display.

I've not tried (and don't plan to try) moving the XP games to Win7, but if
the above doesn't work try deleting (or renaming, which has the same effect)
the Registry entry that saves your history for the Windows XP version of
Spider:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Spider

While *not* running Spider, rename the end node to something else (when
experimenting with the system I prefer to rename rather than delete...it's
easy to undo a change by renaming but more difficult to undo a deletion...).
Try using Regedit to rename "Spider" to "Spiderx" or some other name, then
start Spider. Are you back in business?

Joe
Bullseye!

Thanks, Joe - I would never have thought of that. It was way off to the
right. I have no idea how this happened. Although I rarely use the
cursor keys, I can only assume that somehow I had pressed Alt-space M
with Spider restored on the screen, followed by several right cursor
keys. But then why didn't I see it moving off the screen?

All I can say is that in 20 years of using Windows, I have never come
across this before.
 
S

Stan Brown

Win7HPx64

When I got Win7 at the end of 2009, I did not like the appearance of the
games MS included. So I copied over the Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and
Minesweeper exes, plus cards.dll from my old XP PC to the Win7 laptop.
All have worked perfectly for 3 years, but about a month ago the Spider
Solitaire stopped working correctly.
[details snipped -- but thank you for being specific, because it
helped me eliminate other possibilities]

My guess is that some Windows update, or some program you installed,
updated a common control that the game depends on, and it can't work
with the new version. Common controls are in various places,
including C:\Windows\system32, and many program installers as well as
Windows updates can change them.

The only option I can suggest, if you have a spare Windows XP
license, is to use Virtual Box to make a Windows XP virtual machine,
and run the game in that. I did that for several of the Windows
Entertainment Pack 3 games that wouldn't work in my 64-bit Windows 7,
such as TriPeaks.

There's also the free DOSBox. I don't know whether Spider Solitaire
will run in that environment, but it's designed for legacy games so
it might be worth a trial since it doesn't need a Windows license.
 
Ad

Advertisements

S

Stan Brown

My guess, not based on any testing, is that the Spider window is completely
out of the display area.
Ingenious -- I hope for the OP's sake that I'm wrong and you're
right, because the fix is quite simple if that's what happened.

It's a long time since I've moved a window off screen, but I remember
how baffling it was.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top