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Total Commander Problems and Incompatibilities

After installing Windows security update KB824141, quick search no longer works correctly. What can I do?

Please update to Total Commander 7.56a! If you want to keep version 5.51, you can use a hotfix which contains a workaround to this problem. You can download it here. The hotfix contains just the new program totalcmd.exe and needs to be installed to the same directory as the installed version of Total Commander 5.51. The hotfix is not needed for Total Commander 6.0 or later!

When pressing Alt+Enter on some files (mostly EXE), Total Commander becomes unstable and even crashes. Why?

This can happen if you have a faulty shell extension installed. If you have WinRAR 3.0 installed, you can download a fixed shell extension here. Please unpack to the WinRAR directory. The replacement DLL was generously provided by the RAR author, Eugene Roshal, and will probably be included in WinRAR 3.1. (For those who are interested, the bug is in the load/unload code of Borland C++ Builder 5.0!) If you don't have RAR 3 installed, you may try to remove some of the shell extensions until the error disappears.

After upgrading from Total Commander 4.0 to 4.5, the start of Total Commander takes one minute instead of 1 second! What can I do?

This problem is probably caused by your virus scanner. Totalcmd.exe is packed with the EXE packer ASPack. Certain virus scanners seem to observe the startup of each program in single step mode, which is of course terribly slow. Solution: Exclude totalcmd.exe from the scan operation - Total Commander contains a built-in virus protection. We also offer (by support e-mail) an unpacked version of Total Commander to registered users if you cannot disable the scan of totalcmd.exe in your company.

When I start Total Commander, I get a warning within the first few seconds that totalcmd.exe is defective, probably caused by an unknown virus. However, my virus scanner doesn't find a virus!

Total Commander contains a checksum function, which checks at every program start whether the program has been modified. If you receive the above message, the checksum function has detected a modification. This may have several reasons:

  • In most cases this is caused by a new virus which is unknown to your scanner. You should immediately get the latest antiviral data for your scanner, and/or a second scanner.
  • Total Commander is located on a (network) ftp account in a directory to which you only have execute rights, but no read rights. Total Commander needs read rights too.
  • If the error only occurs from time to time, and you also have some inexplicable crashes, the reason is most probably a defective memory module (RAM).
  • After the installation of a new version of Total Commander, it can happen that parts of the old program are still in cache, which can cause this error. After a reboot, the error should disappear.

McAfee Antivirus 4.5 claims to find an unknown virus, but only when Total Commander is started through the startup group!

McAfee antivirus isn't fast enough to scan the file and aborts the scan with a (false) error message. Solution from McAfee:
In the registry (through Regedit.exe) under the key:
TVD\Shared Components\On Access Scanner\McShield\Configuration]

create or change the following DWORD value:

Why does it take so long to launch the 32-bit version on my 486?

Total Commander needs to load the OLE2 libraries to do drag&drop from and to explorer, and to show context menus and property sheets. These libraries are very big, and take a lot of time and space to load. You may prefer to use the 16-bit version on a 386 or 486, since it doesn't need the OLE2 libraries. However, it also doesn't support drag and drop from and to explorer, and does show its own simplified context menus.

The button bar background looks very strange (see image). What's the reason?

This is a bug in certain Nvidia display drivers. You need to install a new driver (version 23.11 or newer) to fix the problem.

When I close the Multi-Rename-Tool with the 'X' button, Total Commander freezes.

This is a bug in Total Commander 4.50, which has been fixed in newer versions.

Every time I start Total Commander, I'm getting the error message "out of system resources". After that, Total Commander runs normally!

This is a bug in certain display drivers. It was affecting cards of type NVIDIA TNT2. Solution: Get a newer driver from the homepage of the manufacturer of your card.

Sometimes when I delete or move directories on a Netware server, the network drive is disconnected!

This is a bug in the Netware driver. There seems to be a bugfix from Novell for it You need to get the file novellnp.exe from www.novell.com, and install it. It contains an updated driver. See document ID 2929518.
Novell writes the following about it:
>>This file contains the NOVELLNP.DLL for the intraNetWare Client 2.20 for Windows 95. It resolves the problem of losing drive mappings/connections when using a MS Office 97 application (see TID 2929518). This fix will be available in the ZENworks Client for 95, which is the next full client release.<<

If I run a DOS program or a DOS command from Total Commander's command line, I always land in c:\ (or another fixed directory) instead of the current directory!

There is a directory saved in the PIF file associated with the program. If you use Windows 3.1 or Windows NT, you can use the PIF Editor to change the files _default.pif and dosprmpt.pif (or 4dos.pif) in your Windows directory. The line 'Working directory' must be empty! In Windows 95 (or NT with the new shell) you can press ALT+ENTER on the PIF file to change it directly.

The symbols in the button bar look fuzzy and unclean.

Total Commander uses normal 32x32 icons in its button bar. To fit more icons on one line, Total Commander shrinks these icons. The size can be defined in the dialog Configuration - Button bar. If you don't like the fuzzy look, you can set the size to 32 to avoid shrinking the icons. Total Commander 32 bit also uses 16x16 icons if present.

From time to time we'll experience an error where the screen looks distorted, the mouse cursor freezes, etc. The error may be referred as an Access Violation under Windows NT, or expressed as a GP Fault or Illegal Operation under Windows 95/98. What can we do?

Often the bug isn't in Total Commander, but the video driver. This is a component of Windows supplied by the manufacturer of the video card. First you should see if the same problems occur with the standard VGA driver. If not, you should ask your vendor for a new driver, or look on CompuServe or on the Internet for an updated driver. If you experience the same problems with the VGA card and no other Programs are running when the error occurs, you should send me a bug report with the version of Total Commander and Windows you use, the exact error address and the name of the module where the error occurs. A DrWatson report would also be helpful.

When I run Total Commander I get a message that the file ctl3dv2.dll isn't installed correctly, but it's there in Total Commander's directory!

The file ctl3dv2.dll only works if it is either in your Windows- or Windows\system directory! Please copy it there and delete all other copies of ctl3dv2.dll, especially the one in your Total Commander directory! This will affect only the 16-bit version. The 32-bit version uses ctl3d32.dll.

If I use the wheel on a Logitech mouse, Total Commander crashes!

This is a bug in certain versions of the mouse driver. Solution: Deactivate the handling of the mouse wheel in Total Commander - it will still continue to work because the driver converts wheel movements to arrow key presses. Please add the following line to the file wincmd.ini (in the Windows directory) under section

Suddenly the program can no longer be started. After the double click on the icon the startup screen appears, but then it freezes.

Apparently you had a network drive displayed in one of the two file panels when you closed Total Commander, and the drive is no longer accessible, e.g. because the server has been turned off. Some network drivers seem to wait several minutes until they stop trying and report an error. Solution: open the file wincmd.ini in the Windows directory and look for sections [left] and [right]. If there is a network directory saved in one of these sections, change it to c:\

While working with Total Commander, the keyboard layout suddenly changes from my language to English!

Some versions of Windows allow to switch between multiple keyboard layouts with LeftAlt+Shift. So if you use a shortcut like LeftAlt+Shift+Enter, Windows can change the layout of the keyboard. To prevent this, open Control panel, Keyboard and open the page Input locales. Then remove the hotkey for input locales using Change key sequence.