The last few times I had to reboot my Windows XP laptop, I noticed a little hesitation.
There was a window that didn't want to shut down right away. It came up with one of those this program is not responding dialogs. But it always seemed to clear itself pretty quickly. Well, I kinda like to know what is running on my system, so I looked at the title before it could disappear. It said WindowsFormsParkingWindow.
What in the world is a WindowsFormsParkingWindow? Of course, I headed to Google. After reading a few pages, I got a better understanding of what it was.

It seems it is a special hidden application window created by dot net (".net"). When a program is finished with a control (OLE, ActiveX - things like check boxes, dropdown boxes, etc) in dot net, it can dynamically release it back to the system. But with dot net, it goes to this hidden application first. Why is it getting jammed when I reboot all of a sudden? I'm not sure. The most likely reason is it is in an application that I've installed or updated recently. Possibly it is BHODemon or even more likely it is the updated version of Norton Anti-Virus. NAV is showing up with some new icons during updates just lately, so that makes me give that a high likelihood. That and the fact that you would think NAV should be an early-in, late-out driver.

I found some interesting information about it at: WindowsFormsParkingWindow a.k.a The devil. It seems this WFPW thing has been making some programmers lives rather unpleasant. It seems like it has something to do with making sure a control releases it's focus before removing the control.


Anonymous said...

Your analysis of WFPW was slightly more informative than "aka the devil" to this newbie, zero-skilled as I am at programming. But I still don't know how to get rid of the damned thing, or what caused it. Is there a simple, non-techie, layman's description of a process I can follow that will at least let me find the offending program, and at best correct the problem?

Anonymous said...

You're right! The WFPW is Norton's Antivirus related. I had major problems with the download of NAV 2006 and finally with Norton's/Symantec's extreme lack of support, I had to uninstall the software and find another Antivirus software to use. I have not seen the END PROGRAM WINDOW-WFPW since that day!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with WFPW but I do not have Norton. I have McAfee Virus Scan. So it's got to be something else.


Anonymous said...

It is not because of norton at all. It's because of mcaffee..
and im not saying this because mcaffee sucks.. Its because mcaffee has 30 damn processes.. Stupid mcaffee!

Anonymous said...

It's HP Image Zone, Damn IT!
Another Shitty Program Like Mcaffee. I Agree above^

Frustrated said...

I have just started getting this thing too. I have an HP laptop and this started just after the last HP update. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

I Have this same problem. I don't have Norton, but I do have HP and McAfee. How do you get rid of the windowsformsparkingwindow thing? And what is it exactly?

Anonymous said...

Same here, don't have any of those applications running, just the free version of AVG. I do however have a couple of HP apps for scanner/printer so I suspect it's one of those...this didn't occur until a Windows update which included .NET stuff.

Anonymous said...

ok folks i don't know how you got your parking window.. however i know exactly where my lil devil showed up! It was in the software for my HP printer and my way around it is pretty simple, go to start then to run type in msconfig and click on the start up tab at the top and uncheck the hp boxes then click apply, you'll be prompted to restart your computer, do so, and it will let you know you've changed the start up config ..well duh so click yeah whatever dont tell me again lol..this stops it from showing up durring the startup cancelling the parking window alltogether, now from what i understand this lil devil comes in a bunch of different ways but for those of you with the hp printers try this i hope it helps..tc

snow said...

Guys wfpw has nothing to do woth an antivirus. wfpw. is pretty much a program that provides configuration utilities for the graphic devices . simplified a program ur video/graphics needs to work at its best.

Anonymous said...

Mine started in earlier in October soon after my Dell had AVG Antivirus added. Or was it that recent .Net 2.0 patch from MSFT? Anyway, the first error is NotifyAlert.exe via Dell Support Alerts. Then when shutting down the WFPW message pops up for smax4pnp.exe which is some Analog Devices sound file I think.

Joe C said...

I have the pain in having to deal with this stupid problem in our code (again), and I commented on the 'aka the devil' set of posts a couple years back too - so I will comment again since they have been lost in the ether.

Note, I am a software developer - but I will explain what is happening and why you see this problem.

You will see this problem when one of the applications or background tasks on your PC are written using Microsoft .Net

Applications which have a user interface which are not presently visible yet are still running when the application tries to quit will exhibit this behaviour. (hence when shutting down)

You (as an end user) can not change this situation once the software is installed on your PC, only the original vendor/programmer can do that. The only workaround you have is to not run the affected software in the first place.

The thing which makes this bug really hard to diagnose is it seems to occur when certain applications are run in combination; seems to originate from something about the .Net UI handler - not necessarily the code that is seeming to be 'causing' the error.

Hope this helps to clarify the origin of this error.

Pookie said...

I have had this same problem but it only appeared after I installed Microsoft Office XP. I don't have NAV as my antivirus program; I use PC-cillan. I also got a message for ShellIconHiddenIcons. Any one know what this referes to?????

Pookie said...

Ok, so after reading some more postings I see people are having this problem with many programs. I don't use MadAfee or NAV but still have the problems. I have two HP printers; inkjet 3820 and an all-in-one. Never had the WFPW end program window with either of these. I read Joe C's comment but still didn't understand what is going on. I know you are a software developer, but there are a lot of us folks out here in cyber space that don't understand the "legalese" explanation for this problem. Some of us need a it in really simple layman's terms.

Keith said...

In simple terms, it relates to programs that are written using the newest version of Microsoft's programming environment (dot-net). If a program creates buttons, icons, control or the like off-screen, dot-net creates a generic holding space for them called 'WindowsFormsParkingWindow'.
It is a hidden common window to hold buttons and controls not currently being displayed.
This can be for any application, not just anti-virus or printer drivers. But something that runs in the background, and stays in the system longer, is more likey to have items stored in the hidden window until the last minute on shutdown. That explains why it is more likey to show up with anti-virus or printer drivers.

It sounds like these background applications could and should be written better to not leave things in the hidden window like that.

The worst part is that it seems like there is absolutely nothing the end user can do about this situation. We can just understand it, and wish there were better solutions.

Happy computing!

pookie said...

Ok folks, I solved my problem with the WFPW end program window popping up when I tried to shut Windows down. I talked to a real technician and he told me to go to Programs/Startup and check to see what was in there. It SHOULD BE EMPTY, so if you have program showing up in "STARTUP" delete them. I had Kodak, HP, and two or three other in there, deleted them and have NOT had the WFPW end program window come up when trying to close windows.
Also, read Keith's posting at 4:45 pm. He explains what this window is; you can't get rid of it, but you can keep the end program window from coming up.
And to prevent it from happening again, when you install a program, check NO when it asks if you want to put an icon in your "startup" menue!!!

Anonymous said...

My wife ran into this problem after updating internet explorer. It would appear that this is a problem distributed by windows. It's the only software we all have in common, and in every case, it was the result of an update of something.

Anonymous said...

Just did a format / clean install of XP SP2 on my file server, and installed:
-ATI / AMD video driver
-JRE - latest version
-Promise RAID utility
-Diskeeper 2007 Pro Premier
-AVG antivirus - latest version
-ZoneAlarm - latest version

Damned thing hangs on shutdown with the WindowsFormsParkingWindow thingie after updating to current on Microsoft Update. .NET updates seem to set this off. Since this is an on 24-7 box, it's not a huge issue for me, but more FYI - has nothing to do with HP code, Norton, McAssffee, PC_Cillin, et. al. Thought this might shed some light.

Anonymous said...

This thing has to do with one of Microsoft's updates, because I have a number of issues, including the WFPW that have started happening and start to happen affer downloading and installing some of their updates. no one may want to admit it, but from what I have been quietly observing, that's where the issues truly is. If you have in some way gotten rid of it, it or something else will reappear in it's place.
Stop talking just to here yourselve and face the facts, thats the problem with this industry, !to much chatter! "that block out those who truely are real visionaries".

Gareth said...

this is how i got the little devil.

I installed something called a bricopack. i have my pc set to autostart at a certain time so i can record tv while away from my pc but in order to do this i need to autologon. so i did the xp autologon trick but then after restarting i get autologgedon to a completely virgin desktop(i can logoff then logon to my old dektop but whenever i restart i get autologgedon to the virgin desktop).
Everytime i logoff or restart on the virgin destop i get the"windowsfornparkingwindow" error message.
Its not really a problem, more a ain in th buttsky. least i can record my tv shows i suppose.

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