8th September 1999
So I do ALT-PrtSc to capture an image of the current window on my NT desktop, and then I think to myself that I'd like to take a look at the captured image - so I start the clipboard viewer, by going Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, Clipboard Viewer.
First thing it does it pop up a window containing my image - great!
But the next thing is that it prompts me to Enter Network Access Password, and the dialogue is application-modal (of course), so I can't use my image until I have satisfied the hungry demon.
So while I'm getting cross with this, and preparing to enter my password, a message box spontaneously appears, saying:
The ClipBook service is unavailable or is not started. Contact your system administrator to have this service started. (0x4000)
Ha ha! Those wacky innovators at Microsoft! (And by the way, what is a ClipBook when it's at home? It was called the ClipBoard on the Start menu.)
So anyway, I click OK to make the message box go away, but I still can't do anything with my bitmap (which by the way I can still see perfectly well around the edges), because of the system-modal ``Enter Network Access Password'' dialogue.
So like a fool, I try to enter my password, only by this time, the whole clipboard application has spontaneously gone into a frozen state, with the hourglass cursor and all, and I can't enter any characters into the Password area of the dialogue.
Not to worry, though, because after a while of this, the ClipWhatever gets bored and pops up yet another message box, this one saying:
The ClipBook service is unavailable or is not started. Contact your system administrator to have this service started. (0x4002)
Yes! Notice the subtle difference this time - the uninterpretable hex number has changed! Now that's what I call innovation!
So this time, I click OK to dismiss the dialogue and very very quickly mouse across to the Enter Network Access Password dialogue, where I type my password, click OK and get a third message-box - this one with the title-bar saying NetDDE, whatever that might be, and whatever it has to do with the ClipBanana application. The entire text of this message is Invalid Password (which it isn't: I've been through all this three times, typing very carefully, just to make absolutely sure.)
(By the way, as I am typing this sad tale, the text editor that I'm using to compose the message is in front of the Enter Network Access Password dialogue; but certain, seemingly random, mouse-movements cause that dialogue to rapidly flash up in front of, then disappear behind, my text editor. Good job my display adaptor is so fast! Better buy some more hardware.)
So anyway, I click OK to make the Invalid Password message box go away, which it does, leaving me back at the Enter Network Access Password dialogue (except that my user-name, which it initially filled in for me as mike, and which I haven't altered, has mysteriously mutated into MIKE, all upper case. But let it pass.)
So finally I give up and cancel the whole Enter Network Access Password dialogue. At this point, I get yet another message box, this one inscribed with the mystic runes:
An error has occurred. ClipBook Viewer cannot complete this procedure. (0x4009)
So, pausing only to wonder what the 0x4009 means, and how it differs from 0x4000 and 0x4002, I click OK to dismiss this message box, only to be rewarded by - you'll never guess - a fourth message box. This one says:
An error has occurred. ClipBook Viewer cannot complete this procedure. (0x4006)
Yes! A fourth different meaningless hex number! This is getting really exciting!
Well, I'm delighted to tell you that dismissing this message box left me with the ClipBadger application running just fine, seemingly quite unaffected by my failure to log in. Oh, except that I can't find a facility to save the bitmap that started this whole thing to a file. But surely that can't be related?
This whole episode, of course, leaves me with one burning question, and that is: how come there are two spaces before the Uninterpretable Hex Number after the service is unavailable message, but only one space before the Uninterpretable Hex Number after the cannot complete this procedure message?
``Where did you want to go yesterday? Only we're going to take you there tomorrow. Whether or not you still want to go.''
Just over three years after writing this rant, I got a helpful e-mail from Jean Luc Doat <firstname.lastname@example.org> who explains how to solve this problem:
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 14:33:32 +0200
From: Jean Luc Doat <email@example.com>
Subject: The Windows NT Clipboard Viewer
I have experienced the 0x4000 error as well. As a matter of fact, the Clipboard viewer was OK before I installed Windows 2000 SP3. and did not work after ... showing the popup window you mention.
I got this sorted out (after some headache indeed!) as follows (need to be an administrator):
- Open services (Start/Programs/Administrative tools/services)
- Double click the service "Clipbook"
- Select Logon sheet
- Under "Log on as" click the checkbox box "Allow service to interact with desktop" to set it to True
- Click OK
- Right click the Clipbook service and select "Restart"
Hope this helps
Ah! I see now! It's all so simple! All I had to do was turn on the ``Allow service to interact with desktop'' option. Because - of course the default behaviour is to have the ClipWhatever not interact with the desktop. After all, why would anyone ever want to do that?