Archive for the ‘Windows 7 problems’ Category

Spine of "The Next Pope" Book by Anura GurugeTwelve days ago I got to see the little padlock icon beguilingly ‘appear’ next to a JPEG file icon — and then have the satisfaction of getting rid of it, using my instructions (albeit on the second try).

Happened to me TWICE toady, in quick succession — each time on files that were being created from scratch.

As with the incident 12 days ago, the first padlock today was yet again against JPEG I created from a PDF — using my fully legit Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.3.1. As in that prior instance I was creating JPEG of the cover of my latest book … from the final-form, camera-ready PDF. This time it was the spine … and it was for Amazon. << See right >>

As soon as I created it … BANG … padlock against the file icon … and I could see it come up because I had the folder it was being created open within an instance of Windows Explorer.

By now having encountered this problem so many times, I was not perturbed. Just annoyed. It is a waste of OUR time.

Again I fixed it quickly using the instructions I had got from Microsoft … and posted on this blog. It worked.

I know the problem. Since the file was created by Adobe Acrobat 9.3 Professional, Windows 7 was basically assuming that Adobe was the owner!

I now had to create a ZIPPED folder. I used the BUILT-IN capability within Windows 7, i.e., right-click on file or folder and select SEND TO COMPRESSED (ZIPPED) folder.

The zipping worked like a charm. I was happy and impressed. BUT I had a padlock against the zipped file! DAMN. Ballmer looks best in drag.

Followed the instructions again. Presto. Gone.

So our instructions do appear to work — consistently and well. For that I am glad.

So this definitely is a PERMISSIONS related issue — having much to do with WHO creates a file/folder. Obviously, it doesn’t happen when Adobe Acrobat creates PDFs … but does when it creates JPEG.

Happened when Windows 7 created a zipped file. I am sure that Microsoft uses 3rd party code for this. So there might be some other application ‘coded’ in there.

I know that a LOT of you have this same problem. I see search results, that end  up on this blog, on a daily basis that go “padlock icon Windows 7”. This is crazy. Ballmer looks best in drag.

I suspect that Microsoft, just to torment us, will not fix this until SP1.

Good luck.


Anura Guruge

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Last night I got to see the little padlock against an icon ‘appear’ — and then have the satisfaction of getting rid of it, using my instructions (albeit on the second try).

I am no stranger to the padlock on the left of icon problem. I first encountered it, against 7 files (in the same folder), on December 4, 2009. Microsoft support, to their credit, helped me fix it. I then saw this problem come back on two of the originally impacted files two weeks later. This time I just fixed it using the instructions I had got from Microsoft … and posted on this blog. In both these instances I only saw the padlock icons when I opened the subject folder.

But yesterday I actually saw an icon appearing, in an Open Folder (within Windows Explorer), as I created the file.

Seeing the padlock appear allowed to get a good ideas as to what had happened. Since the file was created by Adobe Acrobat 9.3 Professional, Windows 7 was basically assuming that Adobe was the owner!

The Next Pope Book by Anura GurugeThis was NOT a PDF file. It was JPEG created from a PDF using Adobe. Yes, you can do that. Using Acrobat you can save a PDF into a myriad of other formats, JPEGs and PNGs among them. Before Windows 7 gave me its very handy SNIPPER TOOL, Acrobat was one of my favored means of creating JPEGs (PowerPoint coming after that).

My latest book, ‘The Next Pope,’ is out. I was submitting it to Google Books so that you folks can look inside it — online.

Google books likes you to give them the front and back covers — typically as JPEGs. I didn’t have these as JPEGs. I had created a one-piece cover. Front-Spine-Back as one big Word file … then converted to a big PDF. So I used Acrobat crop to get the Front Cover … then Acrobat ‘Save As’ to create the JPEG.

Since I have dual monitors, I happened to have open the folder into which the JPEG was being saved. BINGO. Saw the icon appear with the padlock.  I was a bit annoyed. But, as I had done previously I immediately made a copy. No icon.

I went ahead and did all the Google book uploads and ‘paperwork.’ Pretty smooth. They provide a very slick, Java-based FTP upload tool. Very quick. Uploaded my 30MB PDF, of the body, across my 415KB uplink in about 10 minutes.

I then decided to fix the icon. Used the posting on this blog. Since Adobe was appearing as an owner things looked slightly different. And I screwed up on my first try. No harm. The padlock just stayed on. Did it again. Using the same instructions. Was more careful. Bingo, as I typed in ‘everyone’ and hit OK … the padlock disappeared.

So at least we know we can get rid of that damn annoying padlock.

Good luck.


Anura Guruge

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Today ahead of tomorrow’s promised barrage, I was notified via my ‘Action Center’ that I had one IMPORTANT update — the usual (somewhat tedious) ‘Windows Defender’ update.

Since I tend to notice these things, I also saw that I had one additional OPTIONAL update. Was for my ASUS GTX 260 nVidia driver. Seems pertinent. So I opted to have that installed too.

Now, SINCE I was updating my video card driver I expected to be told to close all my applications etc. NO. Nothing.

So update is taking place.

I am responding to a rather urgent email from my printer when both my monitors RESET. They go … POOF. Black screen. Well I am not a total dummy. Just a partial dummy. I knew that this was nVidia.

POOF. POOF. POOF. Black. Just as I was reaching for my nitroglycerin pills for my heart attacks … the screens came back. But, I still took two hand fulls of nitroglycerin to be on the safe side.

Then, I get a message that a CRITICAL update failed.

Sacré bloody BLEU!

I had to take another hand full of nitroglycerin. My heart is shot. Windows 7 (on top of Adobe Acrobat) is KILLING ME. I so look forward to the day when I can RETIRE. Never have to use a computer again. Never. To me that would be the ultimate in bliss. But, at this rate I will not live long enough for that.

Says that the Windows Defender Update failed!

Come on. That is garbage.

Yes, I managed to get it to reinstall … without problem.

But, this does NOT bode well for the February 9, 2010 Windows Updates.

I will STRESS my earlier warning, DO NOT install the February 9, 2010 just because Windows 7 tells you to. WAIT 72 to 96 hours. I will keep you posted daily. More than daily, if need be.

I have seen ENOUGH decent, good folks burned with Windows Update KB977074. That has been an unmitigated disaster. Nice one Microsoft. Yep, you screwed us, and it wasn’t even April Fool’s day. But, I guess as far as Microsoft is concerned we are all fools … everyday. Just waiting to be screwed by Microsoft.

Good luck. We need it.


Anura Guruge

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If you have noticed that doing any kind of data transfer across USB with Windows 7 is somewhat slow, YOU are not alone.

This is yet another USB related problem in Windows 7.

Yes, we already know that Windows 7 has problems with un-powered USB Hubs … though I think some of these can be fixed by changing the Windows 7 Power Management option for that USB controller.

What I am talking about here is inordinately long times to transfer data, e.g., files or folders, across USB. This is most noticeable when you are trying to copy data to or from an USB key.

I noticed this the very first time I used Windows 7 … way back on October 23, 2009. But, since I was using a new 4G USB key I thought that it must be the key.

But, I kept on noticing this each time I tried to do something across USB.

I backup a 48MB folder to my USB key. This shouldn’t take long. But, with Windows 7 it does. I can transfer that same folder across 100Mb Ethernet to an XP machine in the time it takes to copy it to my USB key.

I have a high-end ASUS Rampage II Gene X58 motherboard. I have USB 2.0 ports. I have tried all of the ports.

Then the other night I Googled this. Voilà.

Yet another know problem. Worse still, as with the Task Bar and Start Menu problems, it was well known PRIOR to Windows 7 being released on October 22, 2009.

Geee, THANKS Microsoft. You guys are the BEST. Task Bar, Start Menu, USB.  These aren’t exactly marginal features. So Windows 7 shipped with known major problems affecting KEY features.

Windows 7 sucks.

Check the Web. People are complaining. But nothing appears to happen.

The KB977074 fiasco, and folks are still scrambling TODAY to recover from it, many are beginning to despair that Microsoft doesn’t give a hoot about Windows 7. The joys of not having any competition.

If you have MULTIPLE (non-RAID) drives on your Windows 7 machine you will also notice that transfers to the non-system drives are a order of magnitude slower than to the system drive (usually ‘c’) — at least on the first attempt. This is also a known bug. Thanks Microsoft. I guess you folks didn’t realize that folks use multiple disks or USBs.

The February 9 Windows Updates will contain a USB fix — but just for nVidia USB controllers. That will not help many of us.

So, the next time you notice that data transfer with Windows 7 is slow … just remember … it is NOT YOU, it is not your USB key, it is not your USB port, it is not your computer. It is a bug in Windows 7.

Windows 7 sucks.

Good luck. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

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Microsoft, undeterred and shameless as ever, will unleash a total of 5 Windows Updates for Windows 7 next Tuesday, February 7, 2010.

All of them are supposedly to do with security though I saw one that had to do with nVidia USB chipsets.

Following the still disastrous KB977074 fiasco, I RECOMMEND that you hold off on installing these updates — though 3 will be tagged as CRITICAL vulnerabilities. In my opinion it is better to have a half-way working Windows 7 machine with vulnerabilities than one that is dead in the water. However, Microsoft probably thinks different. In their minds nothing could be more secure than a dead Windows 7 machine. That must be their new ruse … along the old adage ‘our system would be perfect if it didn’t have any users.’

Despite all these Updates it appears that a major vulnerability on IE is not getting fixed! But, I have little sympathy for those that insist on using IE. It isn’t as if it costs anything to get FireFox or even Chrome. So, if you still persevere with IE, we wish you GOOD LUCK.

So this is my recommendation. Starting next Tuesday we will see these updates coming in. IGNORE THEM.

I will, diligently, check the web for feedback. Having closely followed KB977074 I will be able to gauge how these updates stack up. I will keep yo posted DAILY as to what the reaction has been to the Feb. 9 updates. If after 72 to 96 hours, the sky has not fallen in … I will install the updates on my machine. Based on how that goes, I will give you a ‘YES’ or ‘NO.’

Is that fair? Only trying to help. I was real upset to see how many of you got burned with KB977074.

Here is Microsoft’s February 2010 Security Bulletin Advance Notification IF you are interested in reading it.


Anura Guruge

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With all the media attention devoted to the Toyota recalls and my latest woes with Windows 7 [viz. disappearing programs], I was thinking, IF Windows 7 was a car it would have to be the subject of a recall.

Well, I know that you can’t recall PC OSs. The Windows Updates are supposed to be the equivalent of recalls. But, Microsoft’s last update, i.e., KB977074, has proved to be a disaster. Eight days after this update people are still complaining about it.

Don’t tell me that bugs in Windows 7 are not the same self-accelerating Toyotas. There is a whole area of PC usage I need to look at … health issues [e.g., high blood pressure, heart attacks, anxiety attacks] caused by dickey computers. As an ardent cricket fan I know that people die, from stress, watching key cricket matches. [The same thing happens with soccer.] Well, do we have people going to ER saying “I got this terrible chest pain trying to work out why my PC was acting strange.” I don’t know, but with luck somebody has some stats on this.

Ideally I would like to see a Congressional Hearing on Windows 7. I am not joking. As Microsoft’s numbers showed last week they have already made BILLIONS off Windows 7. Windows 7 is a major US venture. Microsoft should not be allowed to screw with it … as it is doing. There is also the eternal anti-trust angle. Windows 7 per se does NOT have any real competition at the desktop. Macs are still too expensive and Linux suffers from not having critical mass. If Windows 7 had genuine competition we would not be where we are.

Plus, with Windows 7 Microsoft is being unpatriotic! At a time when we need everybody to do whatever they can to help our soldiers and our economy, Microsoft is, willfully, depriving the US treasury of much needed funds.

Microsoft is not helping defray the deficit. Microsoft is not helping our efforts in Afghanistan. Microsoft is not helping the relief effort in Haiti. Bill Gates makes a big deal about all the money he is donating to charity. But, what about all the tax revenues the US is not getting BECAUSE Microsoft is giving Windows 7 away for free.

Each free copy of Windows 7 deprives us of tax revenue. That is why Microsoft is being unpatriotic. It is very simple. Microsoft, stop giving Windows 7 away for free. OK. Maybe, Microsoft is telling us something. You are stupid if you buy Windows 7. It is so worthless that we are giving it away for FREE.

Don’t you think we should have a Congressional Hearing to sort this out. It would make great theater.

Just think about it.


Anura Guruge

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This is beyond the pale. This really sucks. Even worse, as with some of the other problems, e.g., Media Player refusing to start or Task Bar icons disappearing, this bug was KNOWN before Windows 7 was released. I despair. This is duplicitous on the part of Microsoft.

I was looking for my Paint.net application last night to touch-up my “two glasses of red” award symbol.

I clicked on the START BUTTON and looked in the ‘All Programs’ menu. It wasn’t there. That was strange. It had been there. That is where I used to invoke it from.

I then did a ‘Search Programs’ (off the START BUTTON). Nothing! Just the standard, default Paint application. That wasn’t what I was looking for. THIS WAS BAD. This sucks.

Now a few weeks ago I had seen this ‘problem’ BUT at that time didn’t pay too much heed. My CPU Temp application had disappeared from the Start Menu (and the Task Bar).

Since I kind of know what I am doing, I knew where to find the application. Yes, of course, it was in my ‘Program Files’ folder. Went there, created a Task Bar icon, and Bob was my uncle again. And yes, after I invoked it, it is back in my Start Menu. Windows 7 sucks.

I then did a quick Google. Bingo. As with the other problems others had encountered it in spades well ahead of me. That is what really irks me. There are posting going back to March 2009 when Windows 7 was still in ‘Release Candidate’ mode. But, Microsoft didn’t think it had to fix this SERIOUS problem.

Possible Fixes or At least Workarounds

This problem only appears to happen when you add new programs. Well as it happens I had done so recently — the Auslogics applications. [And let us not forget the corrupted icon. Windows 7 sucks.]

So here are my recommended workarounds.

  1. Find the lost application in the ‘Program Files’ or ‘Program Files (x86)’ folder. Invoke from there.
  2. Right click on the Application .exe and tell it to PIN it to the START MENU.
  3. While you are at it, PIN to your Task Bar too. Now, with luck, you have two ways to start the program and maybe Windows 7 will only lose one of them. < Windows 7 sucks. >
  4. Right click on the START BUTTON. Select ‘properties’. Select the Start Menu tab. Hit the CUSTOMIZE link. Towards the bottom you will find a counter as to the number of programs that will be displayed on the Start Menu. Default is 10. Bump that up to 15 or 20. This might help.

Hope this helps. Windows 7 sucks. Did I already say that?

Good luck. We need it.


Anura Guruge

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KB977074 continues to confound a growing number of users. I can’t ever remember seeing as much frenzy related to a periodic update — especially given that per Microsoft it was only trying to fix three relatively innocuous problems. I am not alone in believing that MSFT probably tried to do something ‘cute’ with KB977074 that backfired. I have seen some speculate that with KB977074 MSFT was trying to lay the groundwork for potentially trapping pirated copies.

The KB977074 uninstall instructions I posted seem to have helped. At least one reader has confirmed that he was able to roll back the update using the built-in uninstall update capability.

I have been checking on a regular basis to see if MSFT is responding to this increasingly anguished outcry against KB977074. They haven’t as yet — at least from what I can find.

But I found this POTENTIAL workaround for Windows update problems. It is recent. Last updated January 5, 2010. Some of the suggested workarounds fall into the ‘make sure your computer is powered on’ category BUT there could be SOMETHING in here that applies to YOUR situation.

IF YOU could PLEASE share feedback, it will help others — given that MSFT, obviously, is not that interested in helping us.

Thanks. All the bets. Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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Wow! Something seems to have gone awry with yesterdays KB977074 update. I haven’t, touch wood, had any problems as yet or at least, anything that I am aware of.

As said yesterday, it seemed somewhat of an innocuous, half-hearted — even flaccid — initiative by Microsoft. The three problems that it CLAIMED to fix did not appear to be even CLOSE to the more serious ones being experienced by Windows 7 users.

A few hours after my post I noticed I was getting lots of hits from folks doing a search on “KB977074 failure” or similar. So, I Googled it too. Wow. Lots of entries. Lots of concerns.

Lot of people were asking HOW they can uninstall the KB977074 Update. Though I have never uninstalled an update, I can help.

I had seen this option many times given that I like to spend time checking out the Windows 7 Action Center.

Basically you can get to this UNINSTALL UPDATE option from the Action Center or the Control Panel. << Use the highlighted ‘sequence’ above if you have to. >>

Or, easier still just go to the Action Center. Bottom, left-hand … you should see ‘Windows Update’. Click on that. On the next screen, bottom left AGAIN. ‘Installed Updates’. That would get you to what I show above. Select KB977074 and click uninstall. In theory, Bob will be your uncle.

I assume, and I could be wrong, that Microsoft does this uninstall by going to a RESTORE POINT prior to applying the update. I am not a great believer in going back to old restore points. But, in this instance, I would think about doing a manual restart from a prior restore point than letting MSFT do this uninstall. That is only my opinion.

For a second yesterday, based on some phrases I saw on blog postings, I thought that MAYBE KB977074 only worked on legit copies of Windows 7. Not so. MSFT, as we know, is COMMITTED to fully supporting any and all pirated copies of Windows 7. Given this largess on the part of MSFT one has to ask why anybody would now BOTHER to buy a legit copy of Windows 7. Per MSFT, legit or pirated … no difference. Only old, honest CHUMPS like me pay for Windows 7. That is OK. On a day the stock market is down 2%, $149 spent on an OEM copy of Windows 7 Professional feels like mere bagatelle.

Well, good luck. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

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This is is a list of the re-creatable bugs (as opposed to annoyances) I have found with a legit,  $149 OEM copy of Windows 7 Professional (pre-ordered DVD from newegg.com, delivered the day after the official release of Windows 7) running on this fairly high-end, resource-rich rig, with 12GB of physical memory.

  1. Windows Backup does not work. November 9, 2009. Acknowledged bug. Very IRONIC. It does not occur in the ‘free’ Release Candidate. It is ONLY found in copies cut close to the Oct. 22, 2009 release. Talk about bad Karma. Microsoft sticks it to its paying customers.
  2. Windows 7 Media Player refuses to start. Requires a restart of Windows 7. November 9, 2009 January 10, 2010.
  3. Windows 7 will not recognize ‘un-powered’ USB hubs. Could possibly be fixed by adjusting the power management settings for the USB hub. Known problem. November 24, 2009.
  4. Erroneous display of padlock against file icons. December 4, 2009. Got a temp. fix. But problem can come back requiring fix to be applied again. Click here for the fix, December 13, 2009.
  5. Windows 7 within its ‘Action Center‘ tools will not recognize installed and active, bona fide antivirus programs such as Avast. December 6, 2009. < Also see this Comment about iolo System Mechanic System Shield 4. Same problem. >
  6. Difficult, sometimes impossible, to invoke CHKDSK against the Windows 7 system disk, from the Disk Properties Tools, to check the disk for errors. December 21, 2009.
  7. Desktop shortcuts disappear. Others are having this t0o. In my case it was ‘network’ shortcuts to 4 of my XP systems. January 1, 2010. No fix. Have to manually recreate the shortcuts from scratch.
  8. Task Bar icons (like the shortcuts above) will disappear. Once reinstated (manually) they will refuse to be moved to a desired ‘spot’ on the Task Bar. January 14, 2010.
  9. Resilience vis-à-vis application failure and restart is POOR. Have had numerous hangs of iolo System Mechanic and FireFox. Windows 7, by and large, will not even recognize that the application has failed. This is very disappointing and frustrating. Please refer to ‘FireFox 3.6’ and ‘System Mechanic’ CATEGORIES on this blog for a list of the hangs, and the version numbers of the application involved.
  10. Windows 7 does not automatically remove the Task Bar icon when IT uninstalls an application, in this case System Mechanic 9.5.5. January 22, 2010.

This list will be regularly updated.

Hope it helps. Thank you. Good luck. You will need it.

Anura Guruge

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