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Author Topic: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice  (Read 5758 times)

J-Mac

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Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« on: October 26, 2007, 07:52:46 PM »
I know this post isn't really a "General Software Discussion" topic, but I wasn't sure where else to post it.  (Jesse -Please move this thread if it belongs in a different forum - Thanks).

I've been using Roboform for my password storage/forms filler since it was initially released.  I used to know all the support techs there and could usually get things resolved quickly and easily.  But as they have grown as with most growing developers, their support has degenerated somewhat, and trying to get a real issue resolved can engender true Tier 1-type responses from newer support techs.

I currently use Roboform2Go, which is simply Roboform and its database on a USB flash drive.  It usually generates a pop-up when new a version is available but it hadn't done so in a while, so I performed a manual version check.  Or at least I tried.  When I clicked Help>New Version Check their download page opened in Microsoft Word!  I looked at all the files on the flash drive but none show the command for checking for new versions.  I wrote to Roboform Support and received a reply to check my default browser - it's Firefox.  I wrote back and said that wasn't the problem.  Next reply said that the data automatically submitted with the support form shows my default browser is set incorrectly and to contact Firefox if I don't know how to reset it. That didn't make me too happy.

I looked through the support data that goes with all support requests and saw that it shows my default browser is "msohtmed.exe".  Yet Firefox insists that it is set as the default browser!  I did a little research and that file, msohtmed.exe, is a part of Microsoft Office 2003, wihch has been installed on my PC for a few years now - since it was released.  But it is not set as a default browser anywhere that I can find.  I tried clicking on links to the Internet in every program I could for a good half-hour and all opened Firefox.  I set IE as default browser and tried again - Roboform still calls up Word.  I switched it back to Firefox - it still opens Word.

The only place I can find a possible clue is that Word is set in Internet Explorer as the HTML Editor.  (I have changed that on more than one occasion and IE always switched it back to Word the nest tome I open it).  I went all through my registry and find no reference at all to msohtmed.exe.  I cannot find any other application that looks for new versions in anything other than Firefox.  I checked all keys in the registry that can affect the default browser and none are pointing to anything else except Firefox.  Finally, in Roboform's Options, I changed the "Login Browser" setting to "Other" and then browsed to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe, and set that as the default browser.  Roboform still opens the download page in Word!

So I have come to the conclusion that this version of Roboform is NOT calling the default browser, but is instead calling Internet Explorer's HTML editor.  Mostly because I cannot think of any other possible reason fir Roboform to exhibit this behavior.  And to be the ONLY application on my PC that does so.

I wrote back to Roboform support and relayed all the above info to them.  After a half day they responded by saying that if I cannot figure out how to set a browser as my default browser, then I should reinstall Windows.  Yeah, right.  I can download the stinking latest release manually - that's not the problem now.  I want to know how and why the New Version Checker in Roboform is trying to open Word!  I would love to know how I can find within Roboform exactly where the code is that is supposed to call the default browser.  Mainly, at this point, just to show that I am setup correctly and that Roboform is the problem here.  Can anyone help by pointing me in the right direction?

Thanks.

Jim

edbro

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2007, 08:51:34 PM »
Well, your question prompted me to do a version check on my PortableRoboform. It found a new version and installed it for me. No problems here.

Darwin

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2007, 09:47:05 PM »
I just had the same experience as edbro, Jim. Very strange - what version of RobofromPass2Go are you using at the moment (not that I've ever had that trouble and I *think* I've updated each time an update has become available). Having said that, I sympathise with your annoyance at being treated like a twit by support - this is common and drives me bonkers. While it is probably safe to agree that the vast majority of PC users don't know their ram from their arm, it strikes me as foolish to ignore what power users are trying to say... I suppose the counter-argument is that if support staff took the time to determine whether or not each user knew what they were talking about or not, it would waste far more time than they would gain by listening to the minority of callers that DO know what they're talking about...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 10:10:32 PM »
Can you not just update to the latest version and see if that cures the problem?

J-Mac

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2007, 12:06:19 AM »
Edpro, Mike:

Thanks for checking.  If you can, please let me know what your setting is in Roboform options on the "Login Browser" tab:  Roboform2Go New Browser window is: Next are three selections - Default Browser, Internet Explorer, or Other with a place to show the path of another browser.  Also, if possible, look at Internet Explorer Options on the "Programs tab and tell me what is shown for HTML Editor. It will help me to determine just what is happening on my system.

I believe that Roboform is NOT using the default browser at all - at least it isn't on my machine.  I believe that it is for some reason looking only at Internet Explorer's configured HTML editor.

As a proof to myself, I changed the HTML editor setting to "Notepad". It is normally set to use Word.  Now Roboform is set to use "Other", and I show the path to firefox.exe in Program Files.  Guess what?  Clicking New Version Check opened Notepad this time.

Carol,

Yes, I can just install the newer version - I already downloaded it.  But I am curious as to what is causing this on my PC.  It is apparent that it is NOT calling the default browser. At least not this time on my machine.  And I like to know why whenever something out of the ordinary occurs.  Just for kicks I clicked on "Check for new version" on 30 other programs during the course of the day (Most all use the same basic script - version-check.html).  All 30 either checked online silently without actually opening a browser page (8 did this) or opened a page in Firefox (19 did this).  The other three opened a dialog that said there was a newer version and showed a link to go to their download page - and then opened Firefox when I clicked on the link in that dialog.

I think that the problem with Roboform is that they are not calling the default browser but instead are looking at Internet Explorer to see if it accepts the call or defers to another browser that is designated as the system default. That it how applications USED to call the browser five or six years ago; it is rare for any to do this nowadays.

I believe that this may be the case with Roboform.  And since I have Microsoft's XML Editor installed and XML files associated with that program for editing only, and I also have Office 2003, which introduced the add-on msohtmed.exe, that causes Internet Explorer to automatically set Word as the default HTML Editor - which also makes Word the default XML editor. (However Word uses the XML Editor add-on I installed).  So Roboform is actually calling the Default HTML Editor in Internet Explorer.  If you don't have Microsoft's dedicated HTML Editor installed Internet Explorer normally would look to the default browser setting.  I cannot find another program that works this way, though.

Anyway, simply installing the new version of Roboform will not change this problem if Roboform engineers have not changed that method.  But I'd like to see what others are seeing before I do that - I'm curious!!

Thanks all!

Jim


Can you not just update to the latest version and see if that cures the problem?

Darwin

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 12:15:22 AM »
Hi Jim - mine's set to default browser, which in my case is Maxthon 2...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 01:34:50 AM »
Found my answer the hard way. Whew, they try to make it tough!

Instead of calling the default browser, they are calling the default HTML Handler from the registry - which may be the default browser, or then again it may not.  It's a one parameter call, which is rarely used today. Should always at least use a two parameter call.

Basically they look at the following Regkey:  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\HTML Handler, which in my case is not the default browser - meaning I have an HTML Editor. BTW, that has nothing to do with what program opens HTML files for viewing - mine all open in Firefox for viewing. It is what you use to edit HTML and/or XML files.

If they are going to call a RegKey they would have more consistency calling HKLM\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet  or  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\http\shell\open\command.  They will respond with the true default browser almost every time.  The reason it hit me this time around and never before is that I installed Microsoft's XML Editor, I think.

Anyway, now I know; therefore I am happy again!!   8)

Thanks again.

Jim

tinjaw

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 09:00:39 AM »
Good detective work there J-Mac. We should call you J-Mac-CSI !!  :P

Darwin

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2007, 09:05:13 AM »
Glad you got that sorted out, Jim  :Thmbsup: and thanks for letting us know what you discovered.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2007, 01:38:58 PM »
I learn the most useless things sometimes, attributable completely to stubbornness and thickheadedness.  (Guess my mother was right after all those years!)

Jim

tinjaw

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 06:45:26 PM »
But Jim, this is one of those things that somebody will Google for at some point in the future and you will save them tonnes of aggravation.

J-Mac

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2007, 11:54:02 AM »
But Jim, this is one of those things that somebody will Google for at some point in the future and you will save them tonnes of aggravation.

That's true - I really hadn't thought about that.  Actually, that's exactly how I have found my way out of many issues in the past; seeing other posts on Google and finding others had encountered and solved the issue.

Thanks!

Jim

Darwin

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2007, 02:51:45 PM »
Hmmm... This gives me an idea  - maybe whenever somebody comes across a problem and it is resolved we could have a separate board in which the problem is summarized along with the solution? We could have some sort of a standardized format for both the posting and the title/subject to maximize the possiblity that search engines will tag them properly. Just a random idea.... Thoughts?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Weird Issue with Roboform - Need Some Advice
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2007, 02:58:35 PM »
Er... PS, goes without saying that the above idea relates to problems that were posted about, discussed, and resolved in the forum. The summary could point to original thread. The idea is motivated by having gone through this process innumerable times myself - wading through pages of google hits and the frustration of incomplete threads (ie problem posted with no response or with no clear resolution) and bloody Experts Exchange, which now requires a paid up subscription before you can view any of the SUGGESTED solutions.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin