Archive for the ‘Windows 7 sucks’ Category

My icon for the Auslogics Registry Cleaner, on my Windows 7 START MENU, got corrupted as soon as I had installed Auslogics Registry Cleanter on January 26, 2010.

I even posted a picture for you folks. I reported it to Auslogics.

I kind of got used to it … that being human nature when working with Microsoft.

Last night I went to invoke Auslogics Registry Cleaner. Something looked different. It was late. Past midnight. I wasn’t at my best. Severe neck problems. Talk about a pain in the neck. Yes, talk to me about a pain in the neck.

The icon on the START MENU was magically restored.

A miracle? Should I report this to the Vatican? << Talking of which, I am on the Newsweek Web site today, talking about the Catholic Church >>

Yes, I ran Registry Cleaner last week. Maybe it got restored at that point. I do not know.

But, it is scary that a START MENU icon that was corrupted gets restored … automatically.

By the way, the Auslogics stuff seems to work. Last night I got to run Auslogics Registry Defrag for the second time. Boy, was I excited. So far so good. I am using their Disk Defrag every couple of weeks. I do not miss System Mechanic. I still get solicitation emails from them. Screw iolo. They screwed me for long enough.

So …

Good luck. Check your Windows 7 machine. Maybe you have had a miracle too.

Anura Guruge

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Over the last few days there has been much made by a statement by a Microsoft blogger that claimed that Windows 7 SP1 will only include minor updates.

I think people are MISINTERPRETING what this guy said … and he … and Microsoft are happy to perpetuate that misnomer.

This Microsoft blogger is a Windows VIRTUALIZATION expert. His blog is mainly about virtualization.

I think what he meant was that Windows 7 SP1 will only contain minor updates to Windows 7 virtualization. Think about it. That would make sense. Windows 7 virtualization probably doesn’t require that many fixes right now.

In my opinion SP1 has to be somewhat significant. Lots of Windows 7 BUGS that Microsoft is not currently fixing with updates … the padlock on icons probably being the most annoying of these.

So, I think, and I could be wrong, that we need to be careful about this ‘only minor updates’ comment.

Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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In general it is fair to say that Windows 7 disk I/O isn’t as fast as one would have hoped. [The slow USB transfer issue is a whole different ball of wax and let us not touch that in this post].

Yes, Windows 7’s background search indexing will exacerbate I/O sluggishness further, and unless you spent much of your time searching for files I recommend that you disable search indexing.

To be fair to Windows 7, it now has to deal with much bigger disks, with many more files, many of them larger, than XP. I used to have dual 60GB drives on my XP system. I now have dual 750GB Western Digital Caviar Black SATA drives. These aren’t the fastest disks that I could have got, but they are also not, by any means, slouches  either. They are high-end, high-performance SATA drives.

I had noticed, from day one (i.e., October 23, 2009), that the INITIAL access to my non-system drive [i.e., drive D, as opposed to C] was unexpectedly slow. I think it is a caching issue. I think Windows 7 does some directory caching to speed up SUBSEQUENT I/O. But, it takes time to do the initial cache the first time you access a drive. You don’t see this on the C-drive because this most likely happens during system start-up.

Sometimes Windows 7 takes a few seconds to display the folder content thumbnails on drive D. Kind of amusing.

Yesterday, however, I discovered another small, but annoying, Windows 7 BUG. Yes, another one.

Succinctly stated, Windows 7 does not dynamically update the THUMBNAIL icon of files — in this case JPEG image files. Thus, the thumbnail does not reflect the updated image! Yes, YIKES.

Here is what I was doing.

It is my youngest daughters 4th birthday tomorrow. I was making her a 4 page booklet so that she will be familiar with the Chucke E. Cheese’s protocol on the day — though she is no stranger to that joint. I had moved half dozen or so of our pictures to this new folder … and I was then using PAINT.NET to takeout the background. I would then save the new JPEG without the background into the folder. The BASIC problem is that Windows 7 would NOT update the thumbnail image to show that I had removed the background. So my AFTER icon was same as my BEFORE icon! That is annoying.

Here … look at this folder view:

That was what I would see. Look at the TWO thumbnails in the middle of ROW 1. See how they look the same.

Now here is the same folder view, AFTER I increased the thumbnail icon size:

Look at the thumbnails on the TOP row and the last thumbnail. AGAIN, I STRESS, I didn’t change the files between these views. It is JUST a case of Windows 7 NOT updating the thumbnail icon to reflect what is in the file. So see the images … cropped and with background removed … in the 2nd view. But, if I hadn’t ENLARGED the icons I would have still seen thumbnails that showed me the BEFORE image.


Talk about NOT-WYSIWYG. Not good.

Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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As you probably know by now, I check the Web, daily, for Windows 7 information that maybe of use to US.

So yesterday, in Google News, I happened to see this InformationWeek article by a ‘Dave Methvin‘ that seems to sing the praises of the Windows 7 taskbar.

To his credit, Mr. Methvin states right up front that he started LIKING computers again … as of Windows 7 and that computers seem to like him too, of late. Lucky MAN. I hate computers. Have for 30 years. But, I have to use them, 7×12 at a minimum. So I guess that is what separates me from Mr. Methvin. I like red wine. Computers are a necessity. A tool. They are supposed to work.

I get a feeling that Mr. Methvin is not exactly what I would class as a power user. Because, if he was … he MIGHT have discovered, like WE have … that there are a NUMBER of rather serious Windows 7 bugs related to the taskbar.

Let us START with the disappearing taskbar icons. That is a pretty serious problem … a problem that we now know has been in Widows 7 since the Release Candidate. Mr. Methvin does NOT mention this. Lucky MAN. I wish I was that blessed. Taskbar icon problems have plagued me for months.

I won’t even mention the GHOST icons that persist in the taskbar when you have deleted a program. Oh, did I just mention that? Sorry. Old age.

Then remember that SOME taskbar icons perambulate on their own volition and you can’t pin them to the spot YOU would like. That is bloody annoying. Mr. Methvin hasn’t obviously seen that. Lucky man.

Mr. Methvin does RAVE about the taskbar icon displaying file transfer progress. We hit that way back in on Boxing Day … and I even showed you a picture because I can make Windows 7 snipper sit up and beg (and most days I do).

But, Mr. Methvin does NOT mention that Windows 7 still have problems calculating the time remaining to complete a file transfer.

All I can say is, IF you really think that the taskbar really is the most compelling feature of Windows 7 … you haven’t lived YET.

Yes, the taskbar is nice. It would be better if it didn’t lose icons, but then again … people will say I am unreasonable in my expectations. << smile >>

Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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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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Wow. Quite a slap in the face for Microsoft. Or is it more egg on face. But this confirms my continued rant that Microsoft is not serious about cracking down on pirated copies of Windows 7. If they were, they wouldn’t be so sloppy and half-hearted about making sure folks can’t bypass Windows 7 validation with ease.

The freely available Windows 7 Release Candidates (that you were able to download prior to the October 22, 2009 release) are supposed to start going into forced shutdown mode, for up to 2 hours at a time, starting on March 1, 2010. I have already talked about this.

These March 1 forced shutdowns were going to start happening at the same time that Microsoft was going to pushing the WAT (Windows Activation Technologies) update, KB971033, to SUPPOSEDLY crack down on pirated copies.

KB971033 has been available on a VOLUNTARY basis for three days. So, to keep YOU FOLKS appraised, I was checking the Web and blogs to see if KB971033 was causing any problems.

Found two things of interest. Somebody, albeit using a Virtual Machine, had tested KB971033 against a pirated copy of Windows 7. KB971033 didn’t flag it as not genuine! So much for WAT. As you can imagine the rampant software pirating community is already cock-a-hoop. But, they really don’t have to crow. Microsoft has NO INTENTIONS of cracking down on Windows 7. Having pirated copies of Windows 7 is the ONLY WAY Microsoft can claim the market share they desire.

The second thing that I discovered, to my amusement, is that somebody has already worked out how you can push-back the RC forced shutdowns by 30 days at a time! From the instructions provided, it is pretty simple too. Just three very straightforward and short instructions entered into the CMD field. Wow. So the Release Candidates can continue to function, unimpeded, for months … if not ever. Way to go Microsoft.

Well, that is the state of play today. Pirates: 1,000,000,000 Microsoft: egg-on-face.

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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Yes, I bit the bullet and did for YOU FOLKS.

I kept on checking last night and this morning … following yesterday’s report that someone using Windows 7 got clobbered once they installed the February 9 updates. But since then I could only find one other report of a problem. Though I am sure that MANY Windows 7 users have judiciously refrained from installing these updates, if there were innate problems related to Windows 7 we would have heard by now.

The Web is ablaze with reports that XP users really got clobbered with these updates. Microsoft even WITHDREW one of the XP updates! Nice move Microsoft. Real smooth. So they confirmed what I have always thought of them. No testing. Just throw the software over the wall. Joys of having no competition and having so much lobbying in D.C. that they know that the Feds will never look at them. Keep on saying to yourself, like a mantra, ‘Ballmer looks best in drag.’

OK. So far so good. That is not saying much.

I have a legit copy of 64-bit Windows 7 Professional installed from an OEM DVD that I got from newegg.com … on the day Windows 7 became available (Oct. 22, 2009). I had pre-ordered a few days earlier along with all the hardware to build a new system.

The updates require a restart. During the restart a screen comes up saying ‘Configuring the Updates.’ I was on tenterhooks. But, it said … ‘successful’ … and then restarted.

Since, being paranoid, I restarted again. SO FAR, SO GOOD.

It is up to YOU. YOU might want to hold out longer. I had to see if the updates would work with Windows 7. But, this was but one system. Doesn’t prove anything. So, if you are cool, MAYBE you should wait. All I can say is that it worked on this particular system.

Right now I have a few days ‘down time’ for the first time in 15 months. I finished my book, 322 pages, 150,000 words and send the PDFs to the printer Wednesday night. Had an email last night to say the proof copy is with FedEx. So, I would not have been totally out of my mind if this Windows 7 system got fried. I have two, maybe three, possibly four XP systems as backup … with all my files, backed up, up to date on them … as well as online (with GoDaddy). Did I tell you I am paranoid. So, I could have got by using XP until I got the Windows 7 system fixed.

IF you are interested here is a PREVIEW of the book. It is 11MB,so will take a few minutes to download.

No More Updates For ME Till April Fool’s

I have now TURNED OFF Windows Updates!

That is IT.

I do not want to be pestered with the February 16, 2010 WAT update for checking the validity of my Windows 7 copy. My copy is 100% legit, but I am not sure that Microsoft’s update will be legit. I just have a feeling that we might get another outcry.

I am fed up of the icons rotating on my Task Bar telling me I have updates. Leave me BE. I will check the Web to see what mayhem Microsoft is unleashing on us.

It now transpires that Microsoft ‘just’ discovered a major SSL/TLS bug on all versions of Windows. GREAT. SSL/TLS is what we all use when we ask for an encrypted session. So, Microsoft is now telling us that our encrypted sessions might be vulnerable.

‘Ballmer looks best in drag.’

On March 1 all the Release Candidate (RC) copies of Windows 7 will go into forced shutdowns. Many of the pirated copies of Windows 7 out there are based on RC code. Post March 1 we will have convulsions as the Windows 7 community gets bombarded with folks who will not understand why their systems are not working.

So it was time to batten down the hatches. I will of course keep you posted.

So, this was my strategy. Install the February 9 updates. Then turn off updates until at least April 1 and see what happens.

All the best. Good Luck.

Anura Guruge

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Shamelessly undeterred by all the problems users are having with recent Windows Updates, Microsoft, yesterday, announced that it is now planning to crack down on pirated copies of Windows 7.

As I tell my daughter, “Yep, pigs will fly.”

I have been railing for Microsoft to take some action against pirated Windows 7 since November 22, 2009.

On February 4, 2010, I called Microsoft unpatriotic for not cracking down on pirated copies of Windows 7. Giving Windows 7 away for free deprives the US government of much needed taxes!

Microsoft plans to start using ‘Windows Activation Technologies‘ (WAT), née Windows Genuine Advantage (WAG), starting February 16, 2010 to check for pirated copies of Windows 7.

But, it is a VOLUNTARY update! It is OPTIONAL.

Wow. Real bold Microsoft.

Microsoft is NOT serious about cracking down on pirated Windows 7.


Simple. Only way it can RETAIN market share is by giving away Windows 7  for free. If it cracked down on pirated copies of Windows 7 it will lose customers. So it is giving away FREE Windows 7 to maintain market share. They can fool most, but I have been around this block too many times.

Yes, yes, I know ALL about the timing. Last week Microsoft won the lawsuit against it that WAG violated user privacy.

Plus, MOST have forgotten. As of March 1, 2010, copies of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will start having ‘bihourly’ shutdowns. That means copies of Windows 7 RC will start automatically shutting down every 30 minutes or 2 hours. Nice. I bet MOST that are still running RC have forgotten about this and think that they are golden till June 10, 2010. So, starting March 1 there will be more pirated copies obtained and installed … and just read that a third of all pirated copies of Windows 7 are infected.

All this is a joke. Windows 7 is rapidly becoming a joke, THANKS to Microsoft.

Well, just in case you missed my point … DO NOT install the optional, voluntary WAT update to check the legitimacy of your copy of Windows 7. Given Microsoft’s current track record with
and KB978262 this WAT update will most likely KILL genuine copies of Windows 7 and leave untouched the pirated copies.

I am totally convinced that Microsoft is 100% committed to sustaining pirated copies of Windows 7 … to maintain market share … because idiot research firms like IDC (Incorrect Data Corporation) will report the pirated copies when they talk about Microsoft’s market share.

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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