Wow, this thread. Reminds me of late 90s forum bickering. Not sure if I like the cringe-worthy in-your-face company rep responses of back then or canned corporate handwaving sans action of today more.
I don't have time to troubleshoot Fences, but I'll contribute what I can in this post. Used Fences way back in v1.0 days, but eventually uninstalled it and just came back (Humble Bundle last month).
- Installed 3.0.5 and got the slow down after a couple days.
- Resembled a memory leak - increasing delay in response across ~3 hours.
- CPU load high, not unusually high - 1 or 8 'cores' (4 core w/ hyperthreading) @ 15-20%. Could hear my fans spinning, but definitely not at max.
- Checking Process Explorer, no obvious issues - memory of the svchost attached to Fences was slightly higher (~35MB private, usually <20MB), but no CPU or IO spikes.
Troubleshooting steps tried:
- Killing explorer had no effect on the problem.
- Shutting down every background program and stopping all third party services had no effect. Hardware and background programs listed at the bottom.
- Standard uninstall fences, reboot, delete remnants, reinstall sequence. No effect.
- Disabling Fences within the options (I assume it runs that ps1 script?) immediately resolved the slowdown.
State at the time (I think):
- 4 standard fences and 4 folder portals. Fences on Display 2 and portals on Display 3 (triple display setup).
- - - Standard fences: File counts were <25 each, a couple different views used, autosorting rules on (none custom), always visible @ 20%, fade to 90% on mouse over.
- - - Folder Portals: 1 portal had ~10 files. 3 portals had ~10 subfolders, ~20 files at root, 30-40 files per subfolder. All set to details view, navigation enabled, and roll-up tabs feature enabled.
- Desktop pages disabled, subset of fences and portals set to not hide with desktop double click, all snapping and spacing enabled (0 px), stored per screen layouts,
- Parts I'm fuzzy on - The views (swapped around between classic and medium for the fences and just about all of them for the portals. Exact file numbers varied +/- 10.
I did get things usable again. Responsiveness feels a bit more sluggish than without Fences (but we're talking <0.5 sec increase in icon selection time).
Not sure what squashed it, but it was definitely not disabling a third party program or Windows/driver update. I disabled the roll-up fences feature entirely, moved all fences to the same display, removed 1 portal, and reduced the number of files/folders actually on the desktop to <10 per fence. All fences set to classic view, all portals set to List. 2/3 portals allow navigation.
My suspicions were related to the navigation and details view. One or the other might get stuck updating or a file might get locked and set off a cascade. Or the roll up animation might not have exited cleanly or caused some trouble for explorer (generating thumbnails, etc.) I also thought it could be something related to the triple desktop setup - I know the displays can be enumerated differently between Windows and Nvidia, which could have caused some odd condition.
I've noticed that since performance improved, whenever I resize or move a fence or portal, the entire fence background and border disappear during the move and reappear on mouse1 release. Icons animate as if the fence is there, it just never renders. That was not the case when I was having trouble.
Hardware: i7-6700k, Asus Z270 (only drivers, no extra utils), 32GB, 512GB m.2 NVME (boot)/1TB m.2 NVME/6TB HDD, GTX 980Ti, 2x24" 1920x1200 (L and R), 1x4k (C), HTC Vive, Corsair keyboard (config util not running), Logitech G900 (LGS running). All drivers up to date and no changes during the problem period.
Software (relevant - often running, background, service, or running at time of problem): OneDrive, OneNote, Teamviewer, Plex, DropBox, Comodo Firewall (only basic, no sandboxing or other AV add ons), Resilio Sync, Rainmeter, LGS, Acrobat Pro, VS2017, VSCode, Notepad++, Chocolatey, Chrome, Intel IME, Intel Graphics, Nvidia drivers (no "Experience" installed). Windows 10 Pro 1709 (stable, non-Insiders). All up to date within 2 weeks on problem period.
Plenty of other stuff installed, but I wrangle my processes and services pretty harshly, though less so for OS components (but things like Mozilla maintenance service and Steam services at either disabled or set to manual).
So, that's what I can offer. I wish I had delved into it deeper when the problem popped up, but I didn't have time. There are probably MANY more people with this problem that have simply stopped using Fences or lurking, like I was. I came here and thought, "Oh, good. There's a long thread on the topic. I can't add much besides a 'me too' so I'll leave them to handle it."
Lastly, I want to respond to the 'beta comment', too. Win 10 can be a bit janky, but if there was ever a software type, besides drivers, where I would expect the developers to be on the Insiders Fast Ring, it would be stuff that hooks deeply into the UI. Even if MS explicitly stated they were shipping beta level software, still, a massive number of your customers will be updating (whether they want to or not), so that simply becomes your reality. Blaming MS doesn't make your software work better for me, and since this has been going on since April, I'm far more inclined to think the problem is with Stardock and not MS. They've fixed thousands of bugs and added hundreds of features, yet somehow none have had an impact on this problem with Fences. Even more damning is that going back to old versions resolves the problem, so who's shipping the beta software?
This isn't Object Desktop, which is arguably 99.9% for fun and efficiency be damned. Fences is more of a productivity tool and if it makes me less productive, that's like releasing Object Desktop with support for only hideous skins (biting tongue, biting tongue).
Good luck on the bug hunt.