A Windows Tale of Woe: Error 0x80004005

Until just a few days ago, prior to late July 2011, I had a nice routine for importing and managing photos from my camera. My procedure included setting several properties of the photo files in Windows Explorer. I described the process in Camera to Internet – organizing, enhancing, sharing photos -one approach–part 1. Microsoft has made many changes this spring and summer and my “part 2” kept getting revised. And then even “part 1” was made obsolete.

PDemo-06It started recently when I could no longer apply properties in Windows Explorer. Each time I tried I got an error message. “An unexpected error is keeping you from applying properties to the file. … Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error”

I tried my laptop, a six-year old machine but up-to-date and now running Windows 7 Ultimate, with no problem.


In the illustration here you can see the same image. Setting an author name, or other properties works as it always has. You just click on the parameter in the Windows Explorer Details pane, enter the new text, and click Save. Works as expected on the laptop.

Why the problem all of a sudden on my new desktop machine (Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit on a six-core AMD Phenom II X6 1100T)? I checked Microsoft Answers. Others report this problem, but no fix. A search on the Internet did not come up with a solution. Microsoft still has this page up: Change the properties for a file – no hint of the problem. Two system restores did not correct the problem.

Then came the hullabaloo about the new Microsoft codec: Photo Gallery now supports raw format   (get it here: Microsoft Camera Codec Pack ) – It made matters worse. But at least that was a hint to the problem. Take a look at what I saw:


The Windows Explorer Details pane now showed even fewer of the properties and allowed none to be changed. I uninstalled the new codec. The Details pane (pain might come closer to the proper spelling) now showed no properties at all, it shrank to this:


I reinstalled the Nikon codec and got back to my original problem.

So it may not be that my computer is broken, can it be that Microsoft broke Windows Explorer with updates and the new codec? Progress?

One amusing note in this dire story: In the past, with no codec installed for my Nikon RAW photos, Windows Live Photo Gallery took me right to the Nikon codec download page. Now it takes me to the new Microsoft codec.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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