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HpqToaster.exe Functionality Discovered

Discussion in 'HP & Compaq' started by misterbk, Jun 13, 2010.

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  1. misterbk

    misterbk Notebook Consultant

    Oct 9, 2008

    I just searched all over the net trying to find out what HpqToaster.exe does. The net did not seem to have an answer.

    So, I figured it out using ProcMon and thought I'd share. (I would put it in the unsolved thread that shows up in Google but that is locked.)

    HpqToaster.exe is responsible for displaying the fancy GUI overlay you see when you use the volume buttons on an HP computer. I can tell because in Sysinternals Process Monitor, it shows a bunch of activity when those buttons are pushed, and no activity at any other time.

    It does not seem to be related to wireless at all. The wifi switch does not trigger activity in hpqtoaster.exe.

    HpqToaster.exe seems to be activated by another process when the volume buttons get pressed. If you kill it it will stay dead, but respawn when those buttons are pressed.

    The process that launches HpqToaster is a subprocess of QLBCtrl.exe (HP Quick-Launch Buttons) called VolCtrl.exe. If VolCtrl.exe is running, when you push the volume buttons that process will spawn HpqToaster.exe via a call to the DcomLaunch service.

    The volume works fine without VolCtrl.exe OR HpqToaster.exe. If you kill both of them, your volume will still work, neither process will restart, and you won't have the (slow-starting) volume graphic on your screen.

    Renaming HpqToaster.exe will allow you to keep VolCtrl.exe running but disable the on-screen volume feedback. When you do this though, VolCtrl will still be attempting to run the file on every volume event, it just errors out and doesn't succeed. If you're tweaking to eliminate every possible superfluous system call on your machine (have fun w/ that) you want to just kill VolCtrl.exe. All that seems to do is allow the QuickLaunch buttons to attach extra functionality to the volume buttons. (i.e. that on-screen feedback.)

    Again, contrary to some other threads that eventually decided "it might have something to do with wireless", HpqToaster doesn't seem to have anything to do with wifi or the wireless switch on laptops. It only seems to handle on-screen feedback for the volume buttons. (It might handle on-screen feedback for other things, but that's hard to know because only the volume buttons have any.)
  2. mathx

    mathx Notebook Geek

    Jul 15, 2007
    thanks very much for sharing your findings. i'm sure it'll help many people here that don't like that annoying on-screen volume bar.
  3. Shyster1

    Shyster1 Lazy as the Day is Long

    Jul 7, 2006
    Good detective work!
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