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*Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 start menu?*



 
 
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  #16  
Old May 17th 18, 01:27 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Suzuki Ichiro
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Posts: 20
Default *Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 start menu?*

On 2018/05/17, dadiOH wrote:

They hold the physical shortcuts to the programs listed on the
start/programs menu. There are at least two - one for all users another for
each user. Save them and you can replace them if need be. They have
nothing to do with the rest of the physical start menu.


If that's the case, then am I correct to assume you mean they hold the
shortcust for only the left side of the Windows 10 start menu, which is an
alphabetical listing of installed programs?

If so, thanks for explaining that half the Win10 start menu (the right half
only) is held in the "Database" hive at:
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\ in the "Database" directory

While the other half (the left half) of the Win10 Start Menu are those two
other directories:
Global: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
User: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

If that's correct, I'm going to add that to the strategy log that I'm
writing.

Thanks for that clarification.
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  #17  
Old May 17th 18, 03:07 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Jimmy Wilkinson Knife
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Posts: 61
Default *Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 startmenu?*

On Thu, 17 May 2018 12:34:58 +0100, dadiOH wrote:


"Suzuki Ichiro" wrote in message
news
On 2018/05/16, Paul wrote:


All I will say is that if the "Database" hive you kindly unearthed is
truly
what Microsoft uses for the Win10 start menu, then what the heck are these
ancillary locations for?
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
C:\Users\.\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
C:\Users\.\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\


They hold the physical shortcuts to the programs listed on the
start/programs menu. There are at least two - one for all users another for
each user. Save them and you can replace them if need be. They have
nothing to do with the rest of the physical start menu.


They contain EVERYTHING in my start menu. A program is either installed for all users, or just for me. It therefore goes in one of those two locations above (not three, the third is just a subfolder of the second).

--
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  #18  
Old May 17th 18, 04:26 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Suzuki Ichiro
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Posts: 20
Default *Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 start menu?*

On 2018/05/17, Jimmy Wilkinson Knife wrote:

They contain EVERYTHING in my start menu.
A program is either installed for all users, or just for me.
It therefore goes in one of those two locations above (not three,
the third is just a subfolder of the second).


A lot of people think what you just wrote, which is why I, myself, was
confused by the conflicting information on the net.

Luckily Paul instantly resolved the latent confusion when he found the
"real" tiled start menu location, which is, apparently, in a proprietary
database format, and mostly in a file named
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\ve datamodel.edb

Given what Paul kindly unearthed, here's my rough draft of a STRATEGY for
an efficient set of tactics for organizing a start menu on Windows 10.

If others have IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS, that would be most welcome, since
we can all learn from the experience of each of us.

***** *****
This is just a work-in-progress unfinished rough draft of my goal.

1. Create a folder for your menus that Windows & apps won't screw up.
For example,
cd C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\.
mkdir menu

Note that this folder is at the same level as the system folder:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\.

2. Then populate that menu folder hieararchy with your menu hierarchy:
WARNING: The Win10 StartMenu is limited to (2) bottom levels!
For example:
.\menu\archiver\compression\{7zip,winrar,izarc,etc .}
.\menu\archiver\encryption\{pgp,veracrypt,openpgp, etc.}
.\menu\browser\cmd\{curl,wget,bashshell,etc.}
.\menu\browser\torrent\{deluge,bittorrent,utorrent ,etc.}
.\menu\browser\web\{firefox,chrome,iron,etc.}
.\menu\cleaner\{ccleaner,bleachbit,jetclean,etc.}
.\menu\database\{googleearth,msaccess,cubrid,etc.}
.\menu\editor\pic\{pinta,photoshop,mspaint,etc.}
.\menu\editor\snd\{audacity,id3tag,goldwave,etc.}
.\menu\editor\txt\{vim,notepad,lemmy,etc.}
.\menu\editor\vid\{shotcut,handbrake,super,etc.}
.\menu\finance\{turbotax,taxcut,quicken,etc.}
.\menu\game\{steam,gtracing,jetpackjoyride,etc.}
.\menu\hardware\discauthor\{devede,dvdflick,bombon o,etc.}
.\menu\hardware\discburn\{imgburn,nero,cdburnerxp, etc.}
.\menu\hardware\driver\{dd,drvback,drivermax,etc.}
.\menu\hardware\hdd\{acronis,diskmon,partitionmagi c,etc.}
.\menu\hardware\ipod\{sharepod,syncios,itunes,etc. }
.\menu\hardware\printer\{hp2170,fineprint,posteraz or,etc.}
etc.

Note a Win10 StartMenu limitiation is 2 levels of hierarchy only!
That is, you can't have 3 or more levels of menu hierarchy:
.\menu\hardware\disc\author\{devede,dvdflick,bombo no,etc.}
.\menu\hardware\disc\burn\{imgburn,nero,cdburnerxp ,etc.}
But you must bring them up one level:
.\menu\hardware\discauthor\{devede,dvdflick,bombon o,etc.}
.\menu\hardware\discburn\{imgburn,nero,cdburnerxp, etc.}

Note: See steps below for locations to most existing app shortcuts.
Note: The actual hierarchy is immaterial - use what makes sense to you.

3. Optional: Add that combined hierarchical menu to your taskbar.
http://i.cubeupload.com/hk5fq8.jpg

Right click on the taskbar Toolbars New toolbar... Select Folder
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\your-menu\

Note: This combined menu hierarchy serves as an excellent backup
as it can be reproduced easily, on the same or other similar box.

4. Manually populate the Win10 Start Menu tiles based off of "your-menu".
a. For each program shortcut in the folder: Right click Pin to Start
b. To create a new group, slide a tile to an empty space.
c. To create a new sub-group, slide a tile on top of another tile.

WARNING: The left side of the Win10 start menu is comprised from:
Global: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
User: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

The right side of the Win10 start menu is the "edb" file hive at:
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\
http://i.cubeupload.com/LSBPGI.jpg

Specifically, the right side of the Win10 StartMenu is the "edb" file:
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\ve datamodel.edb
http://i.cubeupload.com/YRxNRK.jpg

5. Optional, add tiles with links to commonly used folder hierarchies:
C:\temp
C:\software
C:\data
C:\apps
etc.

6. Once done, back up the Win10 StartMenu binary database folder.
Temporarily enable the built-in Windows Administrator
Cortana Computer Management Local Users and Groups
Users Administrator (uncheck) Account is disabled
Apply OK
http://i.cubeupload.com/TkxzBC.jpg
Sign-out of your Windows 10 account.
Sign-in using another account or the built-in Administrator account.
File Explorer View Hidden Items
Navigate to C:\Users\ichiro\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\
Copy C:\Users\ichiro\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Databa se\
Paste "Database" to where you want the Windows start menu archived.

7. When needed, you can replace the Win10 StartMenu with your archive:
On another machine, as another account or the built-in Administrator.
Rename the existing "Database" folder to "Database.bak".
Paste your new "Database" folder in its place.

This mechanism has the advantage that is consistent, and easily backed up,
and easily ported from one machine to itself (after reinstalls) or to other
similarly setup boxes.

Improvement suggestions are always welcome.
  #19  
Old May 17th 18, 06:45 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Paul[_32_]
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Posts: 6,086
Default *Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 startmenu?*

Suzuki Ichiro wrote:
On 2018/05/16, Paul wrote:

You could use Linux, to convert the tiny file in the
"database" folder, into separate files, to better understand
what exactly is in there.

Even using a hex editor, like HxD, you can get some idea
what entries are in there.


Interesting idea to look inside the edb file:
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\ve datamodel.edb
http://i.cubeupload.com/YRxNRK.jpg

Do you think the "edb" is the critical file?
It's only 1MB (literally 1024KB, while the rest are literally double that).

The file sizes in that directory seem pre-ordained.
http://i.cubeupload.com/LSBPGI.jpg


In databases, generally a power-of-two quanta is used
to bump up the size of the main database file. Some databases
use 64KB quanta, others 256KB.

For example, a database with nothing in it, might be
256KB in size. If you write 256KB+1byte of content to
the database, on the last byte, the allocator bumps the
..edb file size to 512KB. So space is "reserved" in a sense,
before it is needed. The newly allocated chunk holds zeros,
until a write process decides to load non-zero content
into it.

That will help account for the "nice round numbers" you
see for .edb file size.

Then, what do I check for ? The .edb can never be zero bytes
in size - if it were, it would mean no software is running
to manage the file. If the file is "min_size", it could
be empty, having from 0 to 256KB of content. If the file
is 1024KB, then we know the real content size is between
768KB and 1024KB.

That's a hint that *something* is stored in there. And if you
only needed 1KB of information per entry, then you could
store a thousand entries in that much space.

Using a database dumper, would attempt to use the schema
information inside the database file, to dump the contents
in a semi-intelligent fashion. The database dumping process
doesn't tell you the relationship between internal chunks.
For example, to piece together the names of all the files
scanned by Windows Search, requires reading two dumped files
in tandem to make sense of what's inside the database.
The database is relational, and when you tear a database
apart with a dumper, the relations could be lost, and you
have to use your noodle to figure it out then.

In Firefox, multiple sqlite files are tied to one
another by index numbers. The "schema" used to be available
as a ball-and-stick drawing, showing which files referred
to which other files. The purpose of showing this to
people, is so they won't be tempted to just "erase"
a part of a single file, because that makes the file
set "inconsistent". And there will be trouble. In the
case of your database project, there's only one database
file. So edits to the database, only have to be internally
consistent (and for the same reasons as in the Firefox case).

The Windows.edb, the dumper converts it into *40* files.
To give you some idea how complicated it is. And just
two of the files, allow you to create a list of
scanned files to date. Some of the files are
huge and contain the inverted search index.

Paul
  #20  
Old May 17th 18, 07:02 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Suzuki Ichiro
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Posts: 20
Default *Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 start menu?*

On 2018/05/17, Paul wrote:

That will help account for the "nice round numbers" you
see for .edb file size.


I don't disagree, Mr. Paul, where both the file size and file dates seem to
be pre-ordained in that orthodox (aka right side) Windows 10 tile menu you
found.

I'm curious how you found that database, because I didn't find it in my
searching, where all I found were (as noted in the OP) allusions to the
binary proprietary database.

Of course, once you KNOW the names and locations, it's easy to find on the
net, but how did you find that orthodox tile-menu hive so easily, when I
couldn't (and when nobody else here seems to have known about it).

Did you ALREADY know about that orthodox hive before I had asked?

That's a hint that *something* is stored in there. And if you
only needed 1KB of information per entry, then you could
store a thousand entries in that much space.


There are plenty of hints on the net that the Win10 orthodox tile-menu hive
is limited to 500 entries, which would seem to indicate that each entry is
a certain size, and only 500 are allowed.

The odd thing is that the date of the file doesn't change when you change
the orthodox Win10 tile menu. That's an indication that something 'secret'
is underfoot - don't you think?
  #21  
Old May 17th 18, 07:26 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Suzuki Ichiro
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Posts: 20
Default *Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 start menu?*

On 2018/05/16, Suzuki Ichiro wrote:

*Can someone shed light on how best to copy a Windows 10 start menu?*
Googling, I find this very confusing answer:
https://superuser.com/questions/9604...-in-windows-10


So that all always benefit from every action of the team, just now
I updated that thread, anonymously, to add the following information:

It's true that the (some say silly) proprietary binary Win10 StartMenu
database is located at:
- **Orthodox:** %HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\

But that's not the whole story (AFAICT).

There is a right (orthodox) side to the Windows 10 start menu (groups &
tiles), and a left side (alphabetical words) ... where that left side
comprises at least two components (user and global).

So that makes for three locations, if you consider both the alphabetical
and orthodox portions of the Windows 10 Start Menu.

Left side (alphabetical app names):
- **Global:** %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
- **User:** %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

The orthodox (right side tiles) of the Win10 startmenu is the binary hive
at:
- **Orthodox:** %HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\ve datamodel.edb

Note that this orthodox tile-menu hive is of fixed 1024KB size (which
likely explains the reputed limit of 500 entries) and fixed date (which
likely indicates the purported secret things going on inside of Win10 that
I can't myself explain but maybe others can explain).

As proof of concept, (as admin or another user) you can COPY the entire
binary orthodox "Database" hive, and then change your Windows 10 orthodox
menus, and then copy back your archived orthodox hive, and you'd get your
old menus back.
  #22  
Old May 17th 18, 07:51 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Mr. Man-wai Chang
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Posts: 1,654
Default Suzuki Ichiro's method of setting and archiving Win 10 Start Menu

On 5/17/2018 11:26 PM, Suzuki Ichiro wrote:
On 2018/05/17, Jimmy Wilkinson Knife wrote:

Luckily Paul instantly resolved the latent confusion when he found the
"real" tiled start menu location, which is, apparently, in a proprietary
database format, and mostly in a file named
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\ve datamodel.edb

Given what Paul kindly unearthed, here's my rough draft of a STRATEGY for
an efficient set of tactics for organizing a start menu on Windows 10.

If others have IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS, that would be most welcome, since
we can all learn from the experience of each of us.
.....
This mechanism has the advantage that is consistent, and easily backed up,
and easily ported from one machine to itself (after reinstalls) or to other
similarly setup boxes.

Improvement suggestions are always welcome.


Could someone script this whole thing? I think we need a special program
under a special user account to do it1

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  #23  
Old May 17th 18, 08:53 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-10
Suzuki Ichiro
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Posts: 20
Default Suzuki Ichiro's method of setting and archiving Win 10 Start Menu

On 2018/05/17, "Mr. Man-wai Chang" wrote:

Could someone script this whole thing? I think we need a special program
under a special user account to do it1


I think this is a good idea, where there are "stages" but only in the FIRST
stage is there difference between people. But I'm no programmer. So it
won't be me (I do this stuff manually).

Even so, once you have stage 1 done, everything else should be easy.
Stage 1 = organize your apps how you like (everyone organizes differently).

I organize mine by function (i.e., what do they "do") but people have all
sorts of ideas how to organize - and that's just fine, as long as they are
organized.

So pick any hierarchy you like (it's like organizing your tool drawers,
where one drawer is screwdrivers, another is wrenches, another is pliers,
etc.). It's up to you if you want to separate the Phillips from the
Flathead screwdrivers, for example (e.g., I separate privacy browsers from
regular browsers and I separate dvd burners from dvd creators, for
example).

Organization is up to you.
(Although I posit that we all do exactly the SAME THINGS on our boxes!)
(Just like we all do the same things in our kitchens and garages.)
(And yet, we all organize differently.)

Once you have *that* organized hierarchy though, the rest is *easy* because
the rest is purely programmatic; so, let's assume you have stage 1 done,
and, for the sake of argument, let's assume this is your organization.

cd "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\menu\"
mkdir menu\archiver
mkdir menu\browser
mkdir menu\cleaner

The first thing you do is "populate" the archiver with your archivers,
which might be, for example, your 7zip.lnk, winrar.lnk, & izarc.lnk
shortcuts.

Then you populate the browser hierarchy with, for example, your
firefox.lnk, chrome.lnk, and iron.lnk shortcuts.

And you populate your cleaner hierarchy with, for example, your
ccleaner.lnk, bleachbit.lnk, and filedup.lnk shortcuts.

(Remember: The hierarch decision is the hardest part of this process - but
that's what organization is all about - you have to decide where to put the
spoons, and the forks, and the dishes, and the glasses in the kitchen too).

Once you have that hierarchy, notice that you *already* have a portable
hierarchy that works on all machines, simply because you're likely to do
the same things using the same tools on all machines (and I put things in
the same spots, which, I should note, uses the *same* hiearchy, but that's
just fineesse. You can use the default hierarchies for installed
programs.).

The rest is easy as you populate your Win10 orthodox tile menu with the
SAME hierarchy.

The hard part, of course, is HOW to do that, which I can't help with, but
if there was a way to program the orthodox tile menu, then it's easy as the
blueprint is the shortcut-hierarchy folder (which is really the MASTER
folder).

So the key question is how would someone create the orthodox tile menu from
the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\menu\ menu?

You need some kind of API into the proprietary orthodox tile menu hive,
don't you?

Mr. Paul? This sounds like a job for your Mr. Phelps!
 




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