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Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

SOLVED
matsr
New Contributor

Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

Hi all,

 

I have TestComplete 11.31.2420.7 installed on Windows 10. For some reason, when I start TestComplete from the Windows taskbar, a few other Windows apps start as well. These include:

  • Alarms and Clock app
  • Photos app
  • Movies and TV app
  • Settings app

The Calculator app and some others have also been opened, but not as frequent.

 

This does not happen every time. It only happens once in a while - seems like I have to wait a certain amount of time between the startups of TestComplete before it happens next. It also happens on two of my colleagues' computers that have the same setup.

 

I did some investigation using Process Monitor from Sysinternals, and found these six lines in the log around the time this happened:

 

10:09:25.9523417 12512 Process Create C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe SUCCESS PID: 13480, Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe" --resume-immersive-process "windows.immersivecontrolpanel_6.2.0.0_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy"

 

10:09:26.0850967 12512 Process Create C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe SUCCESS PID: 13596, Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe" --resume-immersive-process "Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost_10.0.10586.0_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy"

 

10:09:26.1971166 12512 Process Create C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe SUCCESS PID: 13684, Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe" --resume-immersive-process "Microsoft.Windows.Photos_16.325.12390.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe"

 

10:09:26.3139222 12512 Process Create C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe SUCCESS PID: 13848, Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe" --resume-immersive-process "Microsoft.ZuneVideo_3.6.19761.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe"

 

10:09:26.4209399 12512 Process Create C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe SUCCESS PID: 13924, Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe" --resume-immersive-process "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_1.6.1.52_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy"

 

10:09:26.5292572 12512 Process Create C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe SUCCESS PID: 14076, Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmartBear\TestComplete 11\Bin\aqdbghelpprocess.exe" --resume-immersive-process "Microsoft.WindowsAlarms_10.1603.12020.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe"

 

I highlighted the most interesting parts in red and blue. It seems like aqdbghelpprocess.exe is starting these processes (?).

 

This leads to a few questions:

  1. What is aqdbghelpprocess.exe and what exactly is it doing?
  2. What is the resume-immersive-process flag doing?
  3. Is there any available documentation on this file anywhere? Googling did not help and I got nothing from the command line.

 

 

Googling "windows 10 programs start randomly" led me to this question on superuser.com, where the top answer is to disable all these apps from running as background apps in Windows. This might fix the issue (will report back later), it might not - either way, should it really be necessary to do this to avoid TestComplete from opening all these apps?

 

This is not a big problem to me right now, but it is becoming increasingly annoying since it completely fills my screen with several apps (up to 4-5) that I do not want to use and have to close.

 

I have had this problem for a while in Windows 10 and I even tried formatting and reinstalling Windows, but that did not change anything. Right now I am a bit puzzled by this and I would appreciate any help on the subject.

 

Best regards,

Mats

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
HKosova
Moderator

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

Disabling background apps is not enough. You also need to disable the Superfetch service. Superfetch aims to increase perceived performance by preloading applications based on past usage. This means that Superfetch launches applications in the suspended mode from time to time. Even if you explicitly terminate a process, Superfetch can run it again an hour later in the suspended mode, because it expects that you'll want to use this application again. TestComplete just wakes up suspended apps, but it's Windows itself that actually starts them.

 

To sum up the workarounds:

  • Disable the Superfetch service.
  • Disable all background apps in Start > Settings > Privacy > Background apps.
  • If you do not need to test Windows Store apps, disable TestComplete option Enable support for testing Windows Store applications in Tools > Options > Engines > General Options and restart TestComplete.

Helen Kosova
SmartBear Documentation Team Lead
________________________
Did my reply answer your question? Give Kudos or Accept it as a Solution to help others. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6
Ryan_Moran
Valued Contributor

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

Hi matsr,

I have encountered this same issue with Windows 10 (for me it was the calculator). The short answer is that it's a bug with Windows 10 and not specific to TestComplete.

 

One example of the issue is listed here.


''-Praise the sun and Give Kudos.''
m_essaid
Valued Contributor

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

I have the bug with the calculator.

It's very annoying.

I spent some time taking control of System32 folder to rename calc.exe but it still launches untimely.

joseph_michaud
Moderator

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

I did a little digging into that a while ago, trying to figure out that same question.  There is a design constraint involved here.  The only way TestComplete can deal with all processes is to use a command that talks with all processes.  To communicate (without failure) means that every process must be active.  The newer versions of Windows allow for apps that can be "suspended".  Such apps are essentially put into hibernation.  (Their state is saved so that they can easily either be discarded or reactivated.)  However to talk with such an app means that it has to be woken up and that also means redisplayed.

 

I don't know all the technical details.  There are some aspects I don't understand, (like, why can't we let a communication time out?) but I suspect that there are also unavoidable restrictions to these aspects (like, timeouts aren't available and comm failures are fatal).

 

I do know the developers are aware of the problem.  Unless and until they can come up with a resolution, about all we can do is suggest ways to lessen the problem.  Disabling Background Apps is one of them.  On Windows 10, these are apps that can be suspended.  If you look at the Task Manager you can see that they are suspended some time after being minimized.

 

We also need you to tell us that this is a problem for you.  Forum posts like this are good.  Add to it.

 

-----
Joseph
HKosova
Moderator

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

Disabling background apps is not enough. You also need to disable the Superfetch service. Superfetch aims to increase perceived performance by preloading applications based on past usage. This means that Superfetch launches applications in the suspended mode from time to time. Even if you explicitly terminate a process, Superfetch can run it again an hour later in the suspended mode, because it expects that you'll want to use this application again. TestComplete just wakes up suspended apps, but it's Windows itself that actually starts them.

 

To sum up the workarounds:

  • Disable the Superfetch service.
  • Disable all background apps in Start > Settings > Privacy > Background apps.
  • If you do not need to test Windows Store apps, disable TestComplete option Enable support for testing Windows Store applications in Tools > Options > Engines > General Options and restart TestComplete.

Helen Kosova
SmartBear Documentation Team Lead
________________________
Did my reply answer your question? Give Kudos or Accept it as a Solution to help others. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

View solution in original post

matsr
New Contributor

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

 

Thanks for your detailed reply. It is a small problem for now, indeed. However, it seems like I have been able to stop the apps from popping up. Disabling the background apps did not solve the problem alone. I had to disable the Windows service called "Superfetch". After disabling this as well, the apps stopped appearing (at least for one full day). Note that I don't know if you have to disable the Superfetch service and disable the background apps. It might be that simply disabling the service is enough. I will no try though, as I am happy with how my system works right now.

 

Please note that disabling the Superfetch service may have a negative impact on your machine's performance. I am running on a fairly powerful desktop, so I have not really noticed this myself.

 

It would be interesting to hear if this works for others with the same problem.

matsr
New Contributor

Re: Why does startup of TestComplete cause other Windows apps to start in Windows 10?

Thank you very much for your reply, Helen. Seems like you posted your answer while I was writing my previous one. Yesterday I did exactly what you wrote and now the problem appears to be gone.

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