Category Archives: synergy

Windows 7 – Unable to start or stop services

If you’ve read past posts, you know that I run Synergy to connect my Windows 7 desktop to my Linux desktop, with the Windows box being the Synergy server. Although previously I found a way to not make my entire game minimize when my mouse crosses systems, I still need to disable it from time to time, because especially in some FPS games, moving the mouse to the right will cause the cursor to move to my Linux system and then in the game I’m playing, my character freezes until I move it back. Effectively I’m unable to turn or sometimes look to the right.  To prevent this, I disable Synergy.  After a recent fresh reload of Windows 7, I attempted to disable or enable Synergy, and received the following message:


Now the first obvious question was “Is my account an Administrator?” and yes, it certainly was. After some unfruitful searching, I noticed another uncommon sight. On the “Processes” tab, the button that says “Show processes from all users” was available:


The shield icon told me that Administrator privileges were required. I clicked the button, which of course showed all processes, and then tried to disable Synergy again — and this time it worked! It turns out that clicking that button somehow authenticated my ID within the Task Manager application, so now I had enough access to start and stop all the services I want. For some reason, every time I open the Task Manager, I’m still presented with that button, and it must be clicked in order to accomplish my goals — why it doesn’t persist between invocations is still a mystery — that’s how my previous Windows 7 installation performed. Either way, it’s a quick fix to a big issue.



Using Full Screen Applications with Synergy in Windows

I’ve been a big fan of the Synergy Project for quite some time. I use it for my main desktop (dual boot Windows 7 and Linux) and another Linux system that I use for IRC, Crashplan Backup, and a few other household apps.

One of the things I struggled with for literally years is when I’m running a fullscreen program in Windows, and unless I’ve disabled Synergy, if I move my mouse too far to the right, my fullscreen program will minimize to the task bar. Sometimes this is a big deal to me (mainly multiplayer gaming). I tried Googling for how to disable Synergy for use with fullscreen programs because certain ways I stop it (stopping the service, killing the process) sometimes causes Synergy to never start again correctly, and I wanted to see if there was a best practice. What I found was even better: an option within Synergy that will allow me to use the Synergy functionality (ie switching to my Linux machine to the right) without minimizing my fullscreen program. That option is called:

“Don’t take foreground window on Windows servers”

Once I selected this option, I loaded up one of my favorite fullscreen games, Spelunky, and tried to move the cursor to the right to get to my Linux IRC window, and viola! The foreground stayed there while I was able to type into a Linux terminal. Once I moved the mouse back into the Windows screen, I could again play the game.

The only thing left to test is for first-person games where you use the mouse to look around. I suspect the turning to the right will be affected, but we’ll see about that!

Thanks to the people over at Next of Windows for the link!