Recently, subscriber Bethany Peacock wrote me to ask about a problem she was having with her sound card’s toolbar:
Thanks for all your updates and newsletter!
Before I shut my pc down last night, the Creative EAX tool bar popped up. I tried to click it closed, but it does not have a close button, nor does it have a minimize button. I heard people talking and music coming from my speakers all night. I tried dragging it off the screen, but I can get it only so far and then it pops up to the top of my screen, hiding everything there. HELP!!! How do I close this?
As I wrote back to Bethany, you should be able to Control-Alt-Delete and shut down any application, including a toolbar like this. Sometimes, they’ll be shown in the “Applications” tab, while other times, they will be in the “Processes” tab.
Personally, I hate sound card and video card toolbars and their entries in the Windows Status bar. These things are useless and/or unused by most people.
You can prevent it from starting by using a program like WinPatrol, which is my choice for maintaining control over these auto-starting programs . Read more in my article Free Software Review – WinPatrol. By the way, I have no affiliate relationship with WinPatrol and/or WinPatrol Plus — I’ve found them incredibly useful and reasonably priced, too.
WinPatrol is completely free (How’s that for reasonably priced?
If you want the added features of the Plus version, it’s about $30, which gives you a license for you and your family’s PCs. There are a few things that WinPatrol Plus will do that the free WinPatrol won’t.
For me, the biggest value to the Plus version is the access to the online database for identifying what various programs are, which includes recommendations on whether a program is “safe” or whether it should be removed.
WinPatrol Plus is my favorite tool for figuring out what programs are, especially ones that are set to start up automatically.
Back to Bethany’s problem, you should never have to put up with noise all night. You could click on the speaker icon in the Windows status bar and click Mute.
Or, you could unplug the speaker wire from the computer.
Finally, for the worst case, you can turn off the computer.