Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Small top margin/gap on Windows 7 desktop, Dell computer

If you have received a Dell computer recently, you probably notice that, when the UAC window pops up or you change the theme of Windows, all the maximized windows are not fit to the full screen any more. They shift down and leave a small margin or gap on the top.
Capture
Notice the space between the edge of the screen and the top of the title bar.

This is caused by a process called toaster.exe. This process belongs to Dell DataSafe Local Backup. One simple way is to uninstall this software. But it seems that this software is integrated into Dell factory image restore, I am not sure it is safe to uninstall. I checked the startup service shown in the msconfig, and found a familiar name, which is SoftThinks Agent Service. SoftThinks is the software vendor that provides this problematic software. So here is the way to get rid of the process toaster.exe and you don't need to kill it every time your computer starts:
  1. Open 'Control Panel'
  2. Double click on the ‘Administrative Tools
  3. Double click on the ‘Services
  4. Scroll down and find the ‘SoftThinks Agent Service’, double click on it. In the pop-up window, change the startup type to ‘Disabled’, and then click ‘OK’.
  5. Restart your computer, problem solved ;).
agent

The steps above can be also applied to disable the DataSafe program.

If you cannot find the SoftThinks Agent Service, you can choose to update or uninstall Dell DataSafe Local Backup

中文版: http://time360.blogspot.com/2011/07/dellwindows-7-toaster.html

34 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this solution.It's really very easy.You have described it very shortly and sweet.
    -computer services in los angeles

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  2. Note uninstalling the Dell Datasafe Programs in Windows does not effect the ability to restore your Dell system to factory settings.

    I have uninstalled the program and went back to factory settings by tapping F8 as I power the system on, selecting Repair my computer, then the dell datasafe, then to go to factory settings.

    In fact once you have used the program to create back up DVD media and a backup USB stick, the program serves pretty much no purpose (unless you pay for it, in this case it performs periodic backups).

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this. It took two seconds, was really easy to follow, and it solved my problem completely!

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  4. Worked for me, many thanks!
    Piotrek

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  5. Thank you so much. I had to do a lot of research to get to the point that I could search for toaster.exe - got kind of lucky thinking that toaster.exe was a problem child...but that allowed me to get here...and ultimately the above solution to my GF's laptop problem. Thank you SO much for helping us hout here. Oh, and BTW...I learned something here...I will NEVER buy another Dell product in my life. Thanks again.

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  6. Good info. I uninstalled the DataSafe software and the problem was fixed right away.
    Sweet!

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  7. Thanks! Been trying to fix this for a while!

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  8. Wow! Thank you so much, Night Walker! I've done days of research to finally get here, and your post is wonderfully clear and simple to understand. 非常感谢!

    Also, thanks Anon 1 (second comment). I've already made the disc, so I'm planning to remove it soon.

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  9. Thankyouthankyou!! Spent forever on the phone with Dell and he didn't have any luck. MUCH appreciated.

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  10. I damn near sent back my new Inspiron 15r which has been great except for the maximized windows problem. It was driving me nuts and many internet searches left me in the dust! I Eventually traced the problem to Dell Data safe backup and then to toaster.exe but to get to the 'hidden' softthink agent service I never would have figured out. Thank you for helping me solve this problem and actually enjoy my laptop. SCREW YOU DELL. I KNEW CALLING TECHNICAL SUPPORT WOULD ONLY RESULT IN TALKING WITH Punjab aka 'Steve' who would have me jump through hoops and waste all hours of my day. Glad I did not resort to that and luck for Dell I might not have to return this afterall :)

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  11. worked for me too!
    unreal how many internet pages I had to browse to finally find this solution...
    Thanks a lot Mister!

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  12. This was exactly what I was lookng for!

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  13. Thanks ... I was having the same problem
    WORKED FOR ME
    THANKS A LOT
    Dell at least should fix it

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  14. I admit I stumbled on the toaster.exe with my Nvidia dual graphics setup on my dell xps15 as a running program. This new way of using both onboard intel graphics and my "nvidia ???540m?" 2gb graphics card which uses the new "multiple threading on the new intel i7" to conserve battery power on the laptop and upto this point never being able to actually see the system switch over and use the "real" graphics card. Heck for me the laptop is operated on ac 90% of the time - i do not need the dual saving anything crap - yes i called dell - joke. thier fault - no not really as this is an intel beast..... dell just doesn't understand it!!!

    As far as knocking dell?? Not fair as all the makers are doing the same things - they are adding advertizment and extra crap because they are paid a few pennies per install - add up the number of computers they pump out and it becomes a serious point of a revenue stream that never stops........ but then again dell is one of the least expensive options to purchase which is why you and I bought our Dell systems.

    I admit i have bigger things to deal with - but great for anyone who noticed a 1/32" black bar on the top of the screen!!!! And to think of returning a system for that??

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  15. Thank you. It works like a charm.

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  16. Great. Thank you very much. Finally. It works.

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  17. Thanks .... It works
    I chated with Dell and they said there's no issue with their Dell DataSafe

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  18. I just bought an Inspiron 15R, the activity log in the DataSafe Local Backup shows failed attempts of performing a Full System Backup every time Windows starts. I do not have the Premium Service. Dell Tech support is of course clueless. Does anyone know what's going on and if it is harmless? Thanks so much.

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  19. You only need the DataSafe to backup the factory image. Then it can be disabled or uninstalled.

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  20. I uninstalled the SoftThinks Agent Service from System Config; I also disabled the DataSafe ONLINE service from both Service and StartUp.
    Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the checkbox to disable DataSafe Local Backup anywhere. I still have the gap, and the attempts to back up my system everytime I start Windows by Dell DataSafe Local Backup. Please help. Thank you so much!

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  21. Simply uninstall the software.

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  22. This is a fantastic solution, however, prior to finding it, I was told to uninstall Dell Datasafe Local back up, which I did, which did not fix the problem. Now when I go to implement your solution, I do not have the files, Softhinks. I have search services and system config. I have also tried to re down load Dell Data safe but it can only be gotten at the point of sale.

    Any ideas or am I stuck with it now? thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Quinn, uninstalling Dell Datasafe Local back up should fix the problem, or you can update it to the new version. Make sure you restart your computer after uninstallation. Softhinks is the company that provides the Dell Datasafe Local back up.

      Alternatively, you can back up your data and perform a Dell factory image restore, then follow the solution above, or update the Dell Datasafe Local back up by clicking the question mark on the top right corner of the Dell Datasafe Local back up interface.

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  23. Thanks for your kind help. That solved my problem rather smoothly. :-)

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  24. YES thank you very much for this

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  25. SUGGESTION: everyone please use the Google + thingie at upper left page to improve this page's search ranking results. I had to sift through a lot of BS before I got here and this is the best solution to the Toaster.exe bugware problem.

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  26. I have the same problem on a Dell Latitude E6420, but my computer has none of the items discussed on this page:

    - no SoftThinks Agent Service in services (nothing by SoftThinks there)

    - no Dell DataSafe Local Backup in installed programs (Lots of other Dell backup things, but nothing with the word DataSafe in the name)

    - no toaster.exe among the running processes

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    Replies
    1. Have you updated all your software that comes with your computer? Have you updated your system?

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  27. I just got a refurbished Dell Latitude D630 and I have this gap at the top of my screen, but in my "Services" there is no SoftThinks Agent Service, nor can I find Dell Data Safe Local Backup so I don't know what to do.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, you can update or uninstall Dell DataSafe Local Backup instead.

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    2. Thanks but neither DataSafe nor SoftThinks were ever installed on my bot.

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    3. If you can see the process toaster.exe, the software may have different names, but it is the one used by Dell to perform backup.

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    4. I had this problem on the left margin. Somehow the full screen left a margin on the left. I have disabled the Dell Webcam service and am now enjoying unhindered full screen! HTH somebody!

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