More PowerArchiver-bungled file association fun

  • A long time ago, I suggested that PowerArchiver back up master file type information when taking over file associations, so it can restore them later, if need be. It still doesn’t do that.

    But in PowerArchiver 9.11.01, I’ve found another problem, under WinXP at least, and this one is worse. I’m not sure if it’s a bug or just a really, really bad design, but it’s definitely one of the two.

    The problem is that PowerArchiver obliterates existing file associations, even when it’s not taking them over. And the “Associate Now” button just doesn’t work properly at all. Here’s how to reproduce:


    1. In Regedit, go to “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes.001”, or create that key if it doesn’t exst already.

    2. Double click the (Default) value of “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes.001”, and set it to something–anything–such as “TestAssociation”. Just so long as it isn’t associated with PowerArchiver. (Since the whole point is to show how PowerArchiver will screw it up.)

    3. Open PowerArchiver 9.11.01, and go to the “File Formats” tab of the Configuration dialog.

    4. Now, the file type that applies to “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes.001” is “RAR spanned archives (*.001, *.01)”, but leave that selection unchecked.

    5. Click the “Associate Now” button, but leave the Configuration dialog open. Do not click OK yet.

    6. Flip back over to Regedit, and hit F5 to refresh. Notice how the (Default) value of “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes.001” has now changed to PARAR, even though the “RAR spanned archives (*.001, *.01)” file type was deselected? Not good.

    7. Flip back over to PowerArchiver and its Configuration dialog. Without changing anything, and with “RAR spanned archives (*.001, *.01)” still deselected, click OK.

    8. Flip back over to Regedit, and hit F5 to refresh. Notice how the (Default) value of “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes.001” is gone completely now? Yes, this means that even though you didn’t ever mean to associate PowerArchiver with .001 files, that file association is broken now.

    On another note, but not nearly as important, notice how PowerArchiver creates empty, totally useless keys for file extensions, even if you don’t associate them at all. For example, you’ll see “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes.01” (notice the single “0”) get created, even though it’s a dead association. More poor design.


    Can anyone reproduce this? I’ve been around long enough to know this isn’t the type of problem that is likely to be peculiar to my system. Which leads me to wonder how–I mean really, how–does a problem like this go unnoticed, by so many users? I installed PowerArchiver 9.11.01 a matter of minutes before discovering this.

    I know I sound negative here, but someone needs to be honest and point out these things. I don’t see anyone else doing it.

  • conexware


    I know I sound negative here, but someone needs to be honest and point out these things. I don’t see anyone else doing it.

    there is nothing negative about a valid bug report. I personally did not notice this one before, but people usually dont report things that are not show stoppers, and I have noticed that valid report time for these kind of bugs is around 3 months after bug was first detected.

    Reality is that if “you” do not report it, then it will take a while for someone else to do it :-).
    A lot of people just assume that it will be noticed and fixed automatically and dont bother reporting it until annoys them - and you probably get annoyed sooner than average people :D .

    Thanks for the report and we will check it out for 9.2.

  • conexware

    p.s. “01” association is noted together with “001” in Config screen, it is not “dead” association since there are RAR multivolumes floating around with that association. Just FYI.

  • The .01 file type would in fact be dead, in those cases where PA created that key as I described–without the association being set to PA itself. Take my system for example: I have .001 files associated with another application (MasterSplitter). I’ve never had .01 file types defined, and don’t want them associated. But when I configure file types in PA, the key for .001 gets cleared out (i.e. MasterSplitter is deleted), and the key for .01 gets created, even though I’m telling PA not to associate itself to .001/.01 files.

    So basically, PA creates the .01 key with no master file type specified for it. Even though I am not associating .001/.01 files to PA, PA insists on creating the key for .01–and it does so without assigning a master file type. Hence, a dead association.

    The same thing happens for all the others (and that’s quite a few of them). PA creates all the keys, even if they’re dead associations. And it wipes out existing, valid associations, too.

    I know this is terrible writing, but I’m so tired I can barely move my fingers, sorry…

    Sorry, I do get annoyed with this sort of thing… I can’t comprehend how I can discover this sort of thing instantly, but no one else notices or cares. As for why it has annoyed me… Well, I have one particular file type that I’ve had to keep manually resetting, because PA keeps blowing it away without reason. That, and I’m strangely anal retentive about my precious registry. :)

  • conexware

    I know - i do understand it is an bug, I just thought that you thought that 01 does not/should not exist. We will check it out for 9.2.


  • I’ve noticed problems with PowerArchiver & zip associations in the past. More often than not I’ve had to re-register the association with Explorer in order to view them as folders after installing Power Archiver, even though I’ve not selected zip files as a type to associate with Power Archiver. This didn’t seem to be a problem when installing 9.11 on a fresh XP SP2 install recently, although now for some reason Explorer won’t open zip folders in the same window any more. It will open them in a new Window, but I can’t work out how to change the default action back to ‘Explore’ rather than ‘Open’.
    I can only assume that Power Archiver caused this problem.

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