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Last post Author Topic: Need Desktop icon to run Brother Control Center 4 (CC4 system tray program)  (Read 2927 times)

timmy2

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Brother printers equipped with scanning ability come with a program called Control Center for using the scanner. It used to be that this was a standalone program one could run from the Desktop. But as of version 4 (ControlCenter4) it is only accessible from the System Tray/Notification Area.  Moreover, left- or right-clicking on it there reveals a popup menu that includes an Open command, which will then open the program. It is possible to open the program by double-clicking on this icon if you configure the Taskbar to always make it visible. Even then, some users forget that it's available, thus my desire to add a Desktop icon. See this old Experts-Exchange post (not by me) as an example.

skwire

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1. Right-click the taskbar and open the Windows Task Manager application.
2. Launch the Brother program from the tray icon.
3. In the Processes tab of the Task Manager, find the Brother scanner application executable in the list.  If you can't find, or don't know, the executable name, use the Task Manager Applications tab to right-click the task and choose "Go To Process" which should take you to the executable name in the Processes tab.
4. Right-click the executable and choose Open File Location.  A Windows Explorer window should open with the executable already highlighted.
5. In this Windows Explorer window, right-click the highlighted executable and choose "Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)" from the menu.

Of course, this set of steps assumes that the Brother scanner program has its own executable.  Please let us know if that's not the case.

timmy2

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Thank you skwire. I had tried finding the executable prior to submitting my post but I followed your steps and ended up where I have already been.

In Program Files (x86) there's a folder for ControlCenter4. In it are 3 possible "Applications" with .exe extents: BrCtrlCntr.exe is the filename for the currently open ControlCenter4 window. But if I right-click on BrCtrlCntr.exe and select Open, nothing happens. I closed the existing instance and tried opening the same exe, and still got nothing.

I chased down the program that is used at startup to load the icon in the System Tray and it is a different exe file in the ControlCenter4 folder: BrCcBoot.exe.  The third and last exe is named BrCcUxSys.exe.  If I disable "Start ControlCenter on computer startup" in its Preferences and reboot, -- so after bootup there is no instance of it running -- opening any of the above exe's does nothing.

As far as I can tell the only way to get ControlCenter4 to appear at all is to set it to load at startup in its Preferences.

Last bit of evidence: while the ControlCenter window is open (having opened it from the System Tray), if I right-click on its Taskbar button there is no option to save it as a Desktop shortcut.


skwire

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I did some testing around in a virtual machine and here's the best I could come up with:

1) Right-click the CC4 icon in your tray, choose Preferences, and enable both options: Start ControlCenter on computer startup & Open the main window on ControlCenter startup.  Click OK.
2) Right-click the CC4 icon in your tray and choose Close.
3) Create a shortcut to BrCcBoot.exe and put the shortcut on your desktop.  Right-click the shortcut, choose Properties, and a /autorun parameter to it.  Basically, make the Target line look like this (your actual path might be different):  "C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4\BrCcBoot.exe" /autorun
4) Click OK in the Properties window but do not start up the CC4 application yet.
5) Click your Start button and type in msconfig.exe and run that application.  Go to the Startup tab and uncheck the Brother Industries entries: Status Monitor Application & Brother ControlCenter.
6) Reboot your computer.  After rebooting, that desktop shortcut you created should launch the app and display the main window.  The only caveat is that you will have to exit the application via the CC4 icon and the Close option.  If you click the X in the CC4 window, it just closes the window and leaves the process running in the tray.  With it running in the tray, running the application from the desktop shortcut doesn't do anything, i.e., it doesn't redisplay the window.

If this method is unacceptable, and you don't mind the CC4 application running in the tray at all times, I could probably write a tiny app that you could launch from a desktop shortcut that would simply display the CC4 window once it's been "closed" to the tray.  Does that make sense?  Either way, let us know how you want to go from here.

timmy2

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I did some testing around in a virtual machine and here's the best I could come up with:

1) Right-click the CC4 icon in your tray, choose Preferences, and enable both options: Start ControlCenter on computer startup & Open the main window on ControlCenter startup.  Click OK.
2) Right-click the CC4 icon in your tray and choose Close.
3) Create a shortcut to BrCcBoot.exe and put the shortcut on your desktop.  Right-click the shortcut, choose Properties, and a /autorun parameter to it.  Basically, make the Target line look like this (your actual path might be different):  "C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4\BrCcBoot.exe" /autorun
4) Click OK in the Properties window but do not start up the CC4 application yet.
5) Click your Start button and type in msconfig.exe and run that application.  Go to the Startup tab and uncheck the Brother Industries entries: Status Monitor Application & Brother ControlCenter.
6) Reboot your computer.  After rebooting, that desktop shortcut you created should launch the app and display the main window.  The only caveat is that you will have to exit the application via the CC4 icon and the Close option.  If you click the X in the CC4 window, it just closes the window and leaves the process running in the tray.  With it running in the tray, running the application from the desktop shortcut doesn't do anything, i.e., it doesn't redisplay the window.

If this method is unacceptable, and you don't mind the CC4 application running in the tray at all times, I could probably write a tiny app that you could launch from a desktop shortcut that would simply display the CC4 window once it's been "closed" to the tray.  Does that make sense?  Either way, let us know how you want to go from here.

Thank you for the detailed and working solution, Skwire.  It worked for me, though running it again is the catch. 

For the elderly people who will be using these PCs it would be much better if they could simply double-click on a Desktop icon and see the scanning solution appear.  Controlling how they close it is unpredictable. If it's not a big project could you please try the "tiny app" approach?

By the way, though my profile indicates I'm not a subscriber I actually purchased a Lifetime license several years ago. I just found the 2016 email from Mouser where he tells me how to try applying my license code under my gmail account so I'm going to do that now.

skwire

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For the elderly people who will be using these PCs it would be much better if they could simply double-click on a Desktop icon and see the scanning solution appear.  Controlling how they close it is unpredictable. If it's not a big project could you please try the "tiny app" approach?

http://www.dcmembers.../snacks/CC4_Tool.zip

Download that zip file and extract the EXE into a folder and create a desktop shortcut to that EXE.  With the CC4 program running in the tray, running that little app should make the CC4 window appear.  Please let me know how your testing goes.

timmy2

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Thank you for your effort, but I regret to say that nothing happens when I open your app or create a shortcut to it and open that. I tried putting your app in C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4, creating a shortcut to it, and running that shortcut but still no joy.


skwire

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Thank you for your effort, but I regret to say that nothing happens when I open your app or create a shortcut to it and open that. I tried putting your app in C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4, creating a shortcut to it, and running that shortcut but still no joy.

Do you have the CC4 program already running in the tray?

timmy2

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Yes, running in the tray.

skwire

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Would you please tell me which version of the Brother software you're using?

timmy2

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4.6.21.1

Can I help troubleshoot. Find in Task Manager? PID?

timmy2

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Would you please tell me which version of the Brother software you're using?

Can I help troubleshoot this problem?

skwire

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Apologies. I've been on business travel this week but plan to get back to this this weekend. Thanks for your patience.

skwire

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  • Please download this: http://www.dcmembers...s/misc/WindowSpy.zip
  • Run the WindowSpy.exe in that archive.
  • Open the CC4 scanner window and focus it while you can still see the WindowSpy window.  You should see the WindowSpy's fields show some data.  I need the data in the top field.

It should look something like the following:

ControlCenter4
ahk_class ControlCenter4_AdvMainWndCls
ahk_exe BrCcUxSys.exe


For what it's worth, this how the scanner windows appears on my test virtual machine:

2018-08-11_211250.pngNeed Desktop icon to run Brother Control Center 4 (CC4 system tray program)

Does yours look anything like that?

timmy2

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Success!

Window Spy revealed that my having chosen "Home Mode" instead of "Advanced Mode" changed the class to:

ControlCenter4
ahk_class ControlCenter4_HomeMainWndCls
ahk_exe BrCcUxSys.exe

After changing the Mode to Advanced your shortcut app worked perfectly. So two shortcut apps are needed, one for Home and one for Advanced. Simple as that.

If you wrote it in Autoit or AutoHotKey would you mind sharing the source? I'd love to see how you did it.

cyberdiva

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I recently had a similar wish to have a desktop icon that I could click on to get quick access to Control Center 4. I tried a number of things that seem similar to what timmy2 described at the start, and like timmy2, I had no success. My husband then suggested simply going into the Start Menu's All Programs and clicking on Brother (our printer). This produced a list of items, one of which was Control Center 4. I then just dragged that item to the desktop, and voilĂ , I had a desktop icon.  When I click on it, it produces the box I want with icons for the 4 Scan options: Image, OCR, E-mail, and File.  I should add that the CC4 version is 4.2.461.1, and my computer runs Windows 7 Prof. 64-bit. CC4 is apparently in the Startup menu, but I have not given it permission to start at the computer's startup, and Win Patrol assures me that it is currently not running.

I hope this may prove helpful.

skwire

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After changing the Mode to Advanced your shortcut app worked perfectly. So two shortcut apps are needed, one for Home and one for Advanced. Simple as that.

No need for two shortcut apps; I combined it all in one.  See below.

If you wrote it in Autoit or AutoHotKey would you mind sharing the source? I'd love to see how you did it.

Please download this again and try it.  It should work with either the home or advanced mode.  I've also included the extremely simple source file.  BTW, you can rename the EXE filename to something other than CC4_Tool if you so desire.

http://www.dcmembers.../snacks/CC4_Tool.zip




« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 12:02 AM by skwire, Reason: New source at the end of the thread. »

timmy2

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Thank you, thank you, thank you skwire.  :Thmbsup:

In the event another Brother CC4 user finds this thread I should add that your shortcut will not open CC4 if it hasn't already been opened at least once since booting into Windows. To overcome this I went to ControlCenter4 Preferences and enabled "Open the main window on ControlCenter startup". This does cause CC4's program window to open during Windows startup, but that's a small price to pay to have it loaded and ready to use like any other program.

skwire

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Thank you, thank you, thank you skwire.

You are very welcome.  Happy to help and thank you for your patience on this one.

I should add that your shortcut will not open CC4 if it hasn't already been opened at least once since booting into Windows.

This is easy enough to add if the path is consistent across different computers.  If so, let me know the path and I can adjust the code accordingly.  Alternately, I'll see if the path is in the registry as well.


timmy2

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I think it's safe enough to count on this path: "C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4\..." but how will you "add" it (I presume you me run it) and achieve anything different from using its built-in preference option to "open main window at startup"? As I wrote previously, the only catch is that the main window does indeed open on the desktop, which is a little disconcerting to a user who has no immediate need to use CC4 and must close the window. Now, if it could open minimized, especially minimized to the system tray, that would be a neat trick.  What are you proposing?


skwire

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I've modified the program to check for the existence of "BrCtrlCntr.exe" first.  If that process doesn't exist, it starts up the CC4 tray process, waits for the window to be created, and then activates it.  If the process already exists, it simply shows the window as before.  In other words, you can disable the "Open main window on startup" option since the program now does it for you on its first run.  Please download again, test, and let me know your results.

http://www.dcmembers.../snacks/CC4_Tool.zip
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 07:56 PM by skwire, Reason: Removed source in lieu of new source below. »

timmy2

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Thank you for the additional effort, skwire. The new exe does not do anything discernible. I've been out and busy, and still am, but as soon as I can i'll look at your source to see if I can help troubleshoot what's going on.

skwire

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Thank you for the additional effort, skwire. The new exe does not do anything discernible. I've been out and busy, and still am, but as soon as I can i'll look at your source to see if I can help troubleshoot what's going on.

I tested it over and over in my test VM and it seemed to work fine.   :huh:

timmy2

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I feel you. Do you have "Start ControlCenter on computer startup" enabled in preferences? How about "Open the main window on CC startup"?

If you actually open CC4 and click on the Configuration button, which Mode are you using: Home or Advanced?

Lastly, I believe you made your latest app contingent on the path(s) of one or more programs. Please share those with me and I'll verify here.

I'll try it on another PC here and see what happens on it.

skwire

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Do you have "Start ControlCenter on computer startup" enabled in preferences? How about "Open the main window on CC startup"?

In my current version below, both options can be left unchecked.  If the CC4 tray app isn't running, it will be started.

If you actually open CC4 and click on the Configuration button, which Mode are you using: Home or Advanced?

The program below is designed to work with either mode.

Soooo...more testing revealed some really, really, really inconsistent behaviour so I've tried another tack.  Please redownload:

http://www.dcmembers.../snacks/CC4_Tool.zip

  • Unzip that to its own folder.  There are now three files: CC4_Tool.ahk (source file), CC4_Tool.exe (program), and config.ini (settings file)
  • Launch the Brother Utilities application.  Make note of the printer name in the dropdown list.  On my test VM, it's: MFC-L8850CDW LAN
  • Open up the config.ini file in a text editor (Notepad, etc., not Word).  Change the Model=MFC-L8850CDW LAN line to match your printer name and save the config.ini file.
  • Run the CC4_Tool.exe application.  Let me know if it works now.

Source:
Code: Autohotkey [Select]
  1.  
  2. IniRead, myModel, % A_ScriptDir . "\config.ini", Settings, Model
  3.  
  4. GroupAdd, myCc4WindowsGroup, ahk_class ControlCenter4_AdvMainWndCls
  5. GroupAdd, myCc4WindowsGroup, ahk_class ControlCenter4_HomeMainWndCls
  6.  
  7. Process, Exist, BrCtrlCntr.exe ; Check to see if the process exists.
  8. If ! ( ErrorLevel ) ; Process does not exist, start the process and activate window.
  9. {
  10.     Run, "C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4\BrCcBoot.exe" /model="%myModel%", "C:\Program Files (x86)\ControlCenter4"
  11.     WinWait    , ahk_group myCc4WindowsGroup, , 5
  12.     WinActivate, ahk_group myCc4WindowsGroup
  13. }
  14. Else ; Process is already running so show the window.
  15. {
  16.     WinShow    , ahk_group myCc4WindowsGroup
  17.     WinActivate, ahk_group myCc4WindowsGroup
  18. }
  19.