When Windows 98 came out, everyone was a bit skeptical and it took a while before people started using it in earnest. Eventually however it became a very stable operating system that is still in use by some people today. Windows ME by comparison was somewhat poor, and it wasn't until XP arrived before hardcore Windows 98 users were tempted to upgrade. Similarly, when Microsoft Vista arrived on the scene, there was much skepticism, and rightly so as Vista turned out to be buggy and disappointing. Now of course we have Windows 7 that thankfully seems a stable platform worthy of an upgrade from XP. However there are still things to iron out in the Windows 7 operating system, as anyone who has carried out a Windows 7 troubleshoot will tell you. Here are some of the more common issues that come up from time to time:
- Problems with XP Mode
Thoughtfully, Microsoft has included a Windows XP compatibility mode into Windows 7. This is designed so that if you have older software that was written for Windows XP, you should be able to fire it up under Windows 7 and get your old software working. However, faults with XP compatibility mode are commonplace and are the topic of many a Windows 7 troubleshoot.
Solution - You need to make sure this feature is enabled in your system BIOS. Reboot your computer and enter the BIOS screen (it can be accessed in various ways depending on your computer manufacturer). Browse the settings and look for any mention of AMD-V, Intel VT or VIA VT virtualization. If you find one, turn it on and save your BIOS settings before rebooting your computer. If this doesn't help, you may need to check that your CPU supports XP mode. You can determine this from the Microsoft Support website.
- You may experience problems with HP multifunction printer support
Users who have a Hewlett Packard multifunction printer could be in for a shock if they upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7. A common topic when performing a Windows 7 troubleshoot are when drivers and registry settings aren't copied across correctly, causing printer buttons to stop working, or more seriously, for unpredictable printing results to occur.
Solution - When you upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, it's fairly common that not all the HP printer files and registry settings are copied across correctly. If this is the case you may not even be able to reinstall the original HP software to solve the problem. In this case, you will need to download and install the latest version of HP Solution Center from the HP support website.
- File Extensions are hidden
Whereas in older Microsoft operating systems file extensions are normally visible, Microsoft in their wisdom have decided that it's a lot easier for users if file extensions are hidden. In reality, we'd really like to know if the file we're using is a JPG or a PNG file, and it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to resort to a Windows 7 troubleshoot to work out how to turn the feature on.
Solution - To make file extensions visible, open an explorer window and click on "Tools" followed by "folder options", and then "view". There will be a check box that says, "Hide extensions for known file types". Clear this box and you should see file extensions for all files from now on.
- File Crash Dump files have Vanished
Even Windows 7 will crash from time to time, it seems unavoidable. Many who can run their own Windows 7 troubleshoot would like to see a crash dump file to work out where everything went wrong. But where are they? It seems that Microsoft don't want us to know why our systems have crashed.
Solution - If your computer isn't on a domain (most home PCs aren't), or you have less than 25GB of space left on your hard drive, Windows 7 may not save a crash dump file. You can force it to create one by running "regedit" from the start menu, and finding the registry key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl". You then need to create and new DWORD key in this section called "AlwaysKeepMemoryDump". Set the value of your new key to "1". This will tell your computer to always save a crash dump file.
- Hibernation won't turn off
Hibernation is where your computer can save it's current state onto your hard drive before powering down, enabling a quicker start-up when the system is needed again. Unfortunately the design of Windows 7 makes it difficult to turn off this feature if you don't need it. It often takes a Windows 7 troubleshoot to find out how to do this.
Solution - You can permanently turn off hibernation on your computer by running "regedit" from your start menu and finding the registry key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power". You should see a key in this section called "HibernateEnabled". Set the value of this key to "0", and hibernation will be turned off permanently.
- Problem with upgrading from Vista
Before you even get a chance to use Windows 7, you may find you have trouble upgrading from Vista. Without a workable install, you can't even run a Windows 7 troubleshoot from this point. Fortunately there is documentation on this, so you may be able to fix your Vista install so that a subsequent upgrade to Windows 7 will work.
Solution - One of the most common problems with the Vista to Windows 7 upgrade is when it hangs at 62%. If you restart your computer when this happens, your computer will revert to Windows Vista. You will then need to visit the Microsoft website for the official fix. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/975253
- Video Quality isn't what you expected?
As a result of Windows 7's performance optimizing system, you may experience poor video quality. This is because power options have compromised video quality to save power. A quick windows 7 troubleshoot will improve video quality and possibly save battery power too if you're using a notebook.
Solution - You may need to alter your power plan settings for when displaying video. You can do this by going to the Power Options section of your control panel and clicking on "Change Plan Settings" for the plan that is currently enabled. Find "Advanced Settings" and then find the "Multimedia Settings" section. Ensure that when playing video the setting is set to "Optimize Performance".
- Issues with your Taskbar
Many people are resorting to Windows 7 Troubleshoots due to quirky taskbars. There are many different settings for the taskbar, such as the ability to combine items that are similar, or pin shortcuts. Some of these settings can be confusing.
Solution - If you are finding it difficult to operate your new Windows 7 taskbar, then you can revert back to the old Vista or XP style taskbar with the quick launch functionality. To do this, right click on your existing toolbar and click on "Toolbars" and then "New Toolbar". Then type, "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" into the folder box and then click "Select Folder". You should then have a quick launch toolbar.
- Your iPhone just won't Sync!
On some systems, particularly those running the 64-bit version of Windows 7, iPhones will be discovered automatically but problems arise when iTunes won't sync properly. This seems to be a problem with USB power management, and is a common reason for running a Windows 7 troubleshoot.
Solution - You may need to turn off USB power management, as this sometimes interferes with iTunes' ability to sync devices. Click on "Start" and type "devmgmt.msc". You then need to click on "View" followed by "devices by type". Find the section called Universal Serial Bus controllers and select each USB Root Hub. You will need to right click each one and go to power management properties and uncheck the box saying, "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power". Reboot your computer after doing this, and your devices should now sync with iTunes properly.
- Your DVD drive cannot be found
Even if your DVD drive is visible in the BIOS; it may not appear in Windows 7 due to problems in the registry. This can be a frustrating problem, with many people resorting to a Windows 7 troubleshoot to solve this problem.
Solution - There are a couple of different methods to solve this glitch in Windows 7. The first involves editing a line in the Windows registry. If you run "regedit", you will need to browse to a key called "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class", you will see two entries for "UpperFilters" and "LowerFilters". Deleting these should allow your DVD drive to be found. Alternatively you can go to "Disk Management" in your Control Panel and change the drive letter of your listed DVD drive. You may need to reboot your computer afterwards, but your DVD drive should now be shown in Explorer.