This blog with its 92 posts, to date, bears adequate testament that I have tried to be very objective when it comes to Windows 7 and possibly sometimes even a tad gung-ho. Irrefutably, it is the best MSFT OS to date.
But over the last 36 hours I have had a couple of incidents that I have rattled me a bit and made me question the much vaunted and hoped for ‘resilience’ facet of Windows 7.
Yesterday, yet again, I could not start-up Windows 7 Media Player. I had encountered this problem on November 9, 2009 as well. Whatever I did, Media Player would not activate. If I tried to invoke it by clicking on a video file I would get a cryptic message that Windows 7 could not activate the server. Now, I don’t use Media Player that often. I probably hadn’t used it in 2 weeks, though this Windows 7 rig is used, heads-down, at least 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. If I listen to music, which is not that often, I do it using YouTube … using a FireFox tab on my 2nd (left-hand side) monitor. So I don’t know how often Media Player goes on strike. But, that Windows 7 couldn’t start it for me … dispirited me, somewhat. Hhmmmm.
One of my favorite features of Windows 7 is the RELIABILITY HISTORY. So when I despaired of being able to start Media Player … I checked the Reliability History. Nothing. Tells me that my system has been clean since way before December 21, 2009. Not true. I couldn’t start-up Media Player, supposedly an integral component of Windows 7.
So, in my eyes, that was TWO STRIKES. Media Player not starting and Windows 7 not recognizing that it was having a problem.
Today, something went haywire on this machine. I had two instances of FireFox, about 16 open tabs across two monitors and one instance of Word 2007. I stopped using Word and jumped onto my Web mail (from GoDaddy) to send some emails to my editors. I could hardly type. The system was beyond sluggish. Checked the desktop CPU utilization gadget. I was at 17%! That for this i7-920 system, with 12GB, is high. Usually it runs this, my routine workload, without breaking a sweat — typically at under 5% CPU utilization. Yes, Avast was doing some checking … but that stopped. CPU utilization was still ‘high.’ Opened up Task Manager. Yes, CPU utilization was spiking all over the place. Checked applications and processes. Nothing untoward that I could see. I recognized all of them. None appeared to be hogging CPU. But, CPU utilization was fluctuating like crazy, with spikes.
Yes, it was most likely FireFox (3.5.7). I couldn’t close the two instances. That makes me even more certain that this was yet another FireFox glitch with Windows 7. But, I would have HOPED that Windows 7 could have saved me from FireFox (which does not claim to support Windows 7, the last time I looked).
Had to restart. So two forced restarts, one for Media Player and one due to FireFox in 24 hours.
Reliability History says all is fine. Sorry, all is NOT fine. For a minute this afternoon I seriously thought about installing XP on this Windows 7 machine!
So, right now … I am cautious. On guard.I hope you folks are having better luck.