Troubleshooting: Why isn’t my property handler getting indexed?

Having trouble getting your property handler working with the indexer?  Here are some troubleshooting tips. 1.       Verify that your propdesc file(s) are in a global location 2.       Verify that you registered your propdesc file(s) using absolute paths 3.       Verify that the event log did not record any failures from registering your propdesc file. 4.       Verify…


Property handlers and .NET

A reader asked: I’ve been reading up the issues with using .NET for property handlers. I know you can’t using .NET Interop to create a property handler without getting into issues with the version of the .NET framework. I discovered though that .NET Assemblies can be registered and used as COM objects. Could one implement…


Property Handler Decisions and Preparation

Viewed as a data flow component, a property handler has a single file stream input and outputs a one or more properties.  Unfortunately, writing one requires making many decisions before you even set eyes on the code.  Let’s look at a few of these preparations. First, pick a file type.  You’ll be writing a property…


Understanding the Role of Property Handlers

Knowing what you are trying to accomplish is the first step to using the property system.  Property handlers provide a specific set of services which support specific behaviors in the Windows shell.  So let’s delve into the role of a property handler and how it relates to other components. As a data flow diagram, a property…


Property Handler Terminology

In this series, I will be presenting Windows Vista functionality with a focus on the the file system namespace.  Feel free to ask questions, especially if you want to know how things work on XP or in other namespaces, since I’ll otherwise ignore those topics for now. But first, let’s get some terminology out of the…


What does a property handler accomplish?

A property handler is the piece of code that enables you to see the properties about your files as in the picture below.  Don’t worry about the ambiguity in this sentence; I will be much more specific concerning what component does what in later posts. Here I’ve created three .book files.  This is a file type…


Computer Science Exams

Graduate level courses are surreal.  Professors assign nearly impossible homework assignments and projects.  The exams make you break out in sweat just thinking about them.  At the same time, you are often able to just sketch out solutions since it is assumed you could carry out the details if you really wanted to; weeks pass where you just hold classroom…



I can’t bring myself to click the “compile” button on my property handler project yet… so here’s a little piece of geeky joy:  Viruwormy. -Ben Karas


Pandora and the Music Genome Project

A coworker recently turned me onto, a new music service backed by the Music Genome Project.  The concept is to create a radio station tailored to your exact likes and dislikes.  You tell it an artist you enjoy and it decodes what makes you enjoy that style of music.  What I like about this…


Code for Previous Blog Posts

Someone asked if I had a copy of the code I’ve been using in my blog so far.  Well, I didn’t as of 5pm today, so I went back and collected the code into 3 projects: propreader.exe <file> – Prints a list of all properties we know about the file propwriter.exe <file> <property> <value> – Writes a single…