Panic Button: Impulse

Thursday, July 10, 2008 by DorkCoffeez | Discussion: Stardock Support General

Panic Button
The support news letter of Stardock

Feature Article:  Impulse

In our continued efforts to improve support for all our customers we have created Panic Button, the support newsletter. This newsletter is designed to update everyone on the top most (top = reoccurring/popular) troubles that people are experiencing, and the solutions or work arounds that we can provide at this time. Please keep in mind that this is a generalized list and that all the info is subject to change due to updates after the date of posting. As always if you have any questions you can always contact us at If these solutions do not work for you please do the same.

    This feature issue of Panic Button surrounds support and questions about Impulse. As Impulse evolves and more features are added support for the software does as well. This article should be considered the latest in troubleshooting and previous suggestions should be disregarded at this time.  

Connectivity Issues
    (Including downloading troubles, updating troubles, or even error reading current account information)

    Previously to this writing support would often suggest clearing the XML data to clear the downloading troubles described above. Now under the current file structure that is no longer suggested. To get the same result only a few files need to be deleted and rebuilt by Impulse.

From within Impulse:

-Click the blue Help icon in the upper right.
-Choose 'Open Impulse ProgramData folder'
-When the folder pops up, navigate to \InstalledXML\impulse_main.ini and delete it. Close the window.
-Repeat the first 2 steps, but this time navigate to the \Temporary directory and remove the \DownloadQueue and \ExtractedFiles folders.
-Close impulse and relaunch it. You may notice a long update time, which is normal as it is rebuilding the deleted info.
If after these steps you still have troubles please contact support directly by email.

Known Bug

    There is an intermittent bug that occurs in some installs of Impulse where you will get an error message stating that you do not have enough space to install the software. This occurs because Impulse may not have updated correctly or could be checking the default location for installs by mistake. Not everyone experiences this problem but the instructions above for clearing files from the XML data should correct this for you. This will force Impulse to check updates, update itself, and check all current settings.

If this does occur for you and the XML data refresh does not work please let us know at

'How To' for common problems

Running WindowBlinds (or any software) calls for activation then crashes.

 In Impulse you can right click on an installed application and click on Re-Activate.  This will attempt to activate the installed product.  The product should then not try to activate again when it is run.


Cannot find backup/archive directories.

Click on the Stardock Orb in the top left corner of Impulse > Preferences.  Click Folders on the left hand side.  Archive File Location lists where the backup/archive directories can be found.


Impulse Help and FAQ gives the error: Page Cannot Be Found.

Use either of these links: for Help and for FAQ.


How to change the installation path of games.

Click on the Stardock Logo in the top left corner > Preferences > Folders.  At the top select My Games from the dropdown under Install Location.  Click Change and navigate to the folder you would like them installed to.  Click ok when you are finished.  You can also have Impulse prompt for the install directory on every install by checking "Prompt for install directory" on Preferences -> Folders. Once this option is set Impulse will ask you every time what directory you want to install to.

Side note to problems:
If you have repeat troubles with Impulse or you wish to install to an offline computer it is advised to get the full version instead of the web version of Impulse. Simply uninstall the software, restart your machine and download the current version from here:


-For people interested in the BITS system used by Impulse a new download code is in testing to get around BITS downloading if needed. Once the update is in place BITS will still be the default downloader. A option will be available under the Stardock Logo > Preferences > Connection and mechanism to change the option should you be having any trouble with BITS. Until this update is in place please be certain that BITS is running on your computer should you be having downloading troubles.

EDIT: This feature has now been implemented in the latest update.

To enable BITS:
-Click on Start and Select Run (or in Vista, Use the Start Search field)
-Type 'services.msc' and hit enter (No Quotes)
-In the window that appears, locate the Background Intelligent Transfer Service
-Right click on the entry and choose 'Start'
-Right click again and choose 'Properties'
-From the Startup type drop down, select 'Automatic'
-Click 'Apply'
-Click 'OK'
-Reboot your machine and try Impulse again.

Multiple Icons
-Some people have reported seeing two versions of SkinStudio in their Impulse My Desktop page. This is normal if you have purchased multiple versions of SkinStudio over the years. For instance if you have Skin Studio 5 Professional and Skin Studio 6 Professional on your account you will see one labeled as SkinStudio Pro and another SkinStudio 6 Pro. To add to that if you ever purchased Skin Studio Standard this will also have its own icon in Impulse.

I hope this has helped everyone!
Should you need any further help please contact us at


Support: Shirley, Milksama, Highlander, Seabass

First Previous Page 1 of 2 Next Last
Reply #1 Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:10 PM
I love this Panic Button page,a nice review of current issues.Btw,I just got ODNT in April,yet I show three SKS entries as available.SKS6 Pro,SKS Pro and SKS Standard Is one SKS5 and one SKS6?I was going to install one ,but now I'm confused.
Reply #2 Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:27 PM
You are correct. The SKS6 is the newest, SKS Pro is the previous 5 version, and SKS Standard is exactly that.

Most people will only have to deal with the first two but this is how things are for the moment. I just wanted everyone to know that nothing was wrong.
Reply #3 Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:52 PM
Thank you for clarifying that for me. Who knows,I may make a WB someday.The mods could use a good laugh.
Reply #4 Friday, July 11, 2008 12:05 PM

top = reoccurring/popular

Popular, as in some people like the issues?

Reply #5 Friday, July 11, 2008 5:36 PM
What about multiple copies of IconPackager appearing? That's what I have - not sure why. Also, it has activation issues with IconPackager frequently, but not with any other apps.
Barry Zakes
Reply #6 Saturday, July 12, 2008 9:16 AM
Love this format. Should my Apogee Icons be appearing in Impulse? I've got them backed up but I noticed that they don't appear while everything else that I've purchased does. Best regards bz
Reply #7 Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:07 PM
Love this format. Should my Apogee Icons be appearing in Impulse? I've got them backed up but I noticed that they don't appear while everything else that I've purchased does.
Check the registration section to see if they are there.  I see my apogee in impluse
Reply #8 Monday, July 14, 2008 9:42 AM
Yes Apogee should be listed. I too have them in my Impulse.

PM me your account email for the Icon Packager double listing. That bug was cleared already. Also if you would like try uninstalling and reinstalling with the full version listed above. It might have been that it simply did not update correctly.
Reply #9 Monday, July 14, 2008 5:29 PM
As an update some ISPs (internet service providers) blocked part of the updates out to Impulse. If you read the portion of the Panic Button article about BITS and choosing alternate methods of connecting the tools I described in that post are now there. Depending on what ISP you have you likely did not see these in the update. That problem has been fixed now and should not come up again.

As always if you have further troubles please let us know here or at
Reply #10 Monday, July 14, 2008 6:07 PM
Icon Packager double listing. That bug was cleared already.

I must have missed that fix.What do I need to do to get it down to one? TIA
Reply #11 Tuesday, July 15, 2008 12:55 PM
Have you tried downloading the full version yet?
Reply #12 Thursday, July 17, 2008 6:36 PM
Wizard did the full version correct the problem you were having?
Reply #13 Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:29 PM
Nope, I just hid it in Impulse,nbd.It doesn't bother me any,but if I knew if an uninstall and reinstall of IP would fix it,I'd give that a try.
Reply #14 Tuesday, July 22, 2008 2:50 PM
A clean install on my home computer was able to clear the issue for me. I would give it a try.
Reply #15 Tuesday, July 22, 2008 5:32 PM
Actually I was able to replicate the issue this time on a test machine. I am doing a follow up with the developers with my new information. I will let you know what I find out.
Reply #16 Tuesday, July 22, 2008 7:00 PM
Thanks for the update.
Reply #17 Friday, July 25, 2008 2:02 PM
I'm happy to report that I now show only IP4 in Impulse.The "evil twin" is gone. Thank you Team Stardock.
Reply #18 Friday, July 25, 2008 4:03 PM
Excellent! Is that of the update this morning then?
Reply #19 Friday, July 25, 2008 4:05 PM
Apparently so,I checked it soon thereafter.
Reply #20 Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4:09 PM
It's good to have this available. But right now, I can't even get Impulse to install successfully. Even with the full version of setup, it breaks, and I get Windows error reporting window popping up part way in. And every time I try to start Impulse program itself, it breaks automatically.

I have WinXP, is the latest version only Vista compatible then?

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