Posts tagged ‘windows 7’

I love Windows 7 and am Exhausted with Microsoft's Efforts to Make Me Switch

We all have learned to live with the constant Windows 10 upgrade boxes, but the Microsoft upgrade campaign is becoming more insidious.  Last week I got a message on my home (windows 7) computer that I as going to be upgraded in 3-4 days.  For a while, I thought I had accidentally given them permission, but it turns out that MS is now upgrading computers to Windows 10 without permission.   Only if you note the text of this email and explicitly stop it can you prevent the "upgrade" from occurring.   From PC World:

Reports of unwanted Windows 10 upgrades have been circulating for the past few days on Reddit and Twitter, after the last Patch Tuesday. These users say they never approved or initiated the upgrade, and were dragged away from their Windows 7 (or perhaps Windows 8) installs anyway.

This is all part of Microsoft’s plan, of course. Last October, the company announced that it would reclassify Windows 10 as a “Recommended” update from older versions starting in early 2016, at which point many more users would get the upgrade without explicit permission. That reclassification began on February 1, and auto-upgrades have been rolling out ever since. If complaints are reaching a higher volume now, perhaps it’s because the rollout is getting more aggressive.

Here’s what the Recommended update looks like, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley: First, users will receive a notification saying their PCs are scheduled to receive Windows 10 in the next three or four days. Users can click a small link to cancel or postpone the update, but simply closing the window will cause the notification to appear again one hour before the scheduled update time. If users don’t cancel or postpone within that timeframe, the update will begin automatically.

Hard Drives in Windows 7 Randomly Appear and Disappear

Long-time readers will understand immediately that this is not a post for regular readers but is meant to be found on Google by people with similar problems.

I installed Windows 7 home premium 64-bit on a new Asus motherboard with an Intel Z97 chipset.  I have a couple of hard drives and a couple of RAID's connected by eSATA.  Once the installation was complete, I noticed one of the hard drives was missing from the drive listing.  Not only was it not recognized by Windows, it was not recognized by the Windows disk management utility or even by the BIOS.  So I rebooted, and found that this drive now appeared but another disappeared.  This kept happening over and over.  Some reboots I had them all, and some I did not.

I did all the usual stuff.  I swapped cables, swapped drives, etc.  I even RMA'd the motherboard when I got desperate, thinking there was an issue with the drive controller.  But it kept occurring on the new board.  I considered switching the drives from AHCI to IDE in the BIOS, as some people reported this fixed the problem for them, but I really wanted to avoid that**.  I updated the chipset drivers and all the other drivers (sound, graphics, etc) in case there was some IRQ conflict, as some people have reported that this fixed their problem.

I finally found a fix, and thought I would share it.

  • Check your power plan in Windows control panel.  Even if the computer is set never to sleep, your hard drives may be set to sleep (this is in fact the default in windows 7).  Go to the power plan advanced settings, look for hard drives, and set the time to sleep to 0 which causes them never to sleep.  I am not sure this is necessary but others report some success with this.   I may go back later to see if I can change it back -- I don't necessarily need my hard drives spinning all day.
  • It turns out that installing the Intel chipset driver is not enough.  I had thought that since the SATA controller is part of the chipset, the chipset driver would cover it.  However, once I installed the Intel chipset driver, when I checked the SATA / AHCI controller in device manager, it still showed the driver to still be a Microsoft driver.  Turns out this is the problem.  You need this to be an Intel driver
  • The drivers I wanted for the Z97 were right there on my motherboard support site and were called:
    • Intel AHCI/RAID Driver Path for Windows Win7 32bit & Win7 64bit & Win8 32bit & Win8 64bit & Win8.1 32bit & Win8.1 64bit.
    • Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver software V13.1.0.1058 for Windows Win7 64bit & Win8 64bit & Win8.1 64bit---(WHQL).
  • I had originally thought these were some sort of utility (and a utility is included) but these are essentially the eSATA drivers I needed.  Once installed, checking device manager now showed an Intel rather than a Microsoft driver.

And that fixed it.  Ugh.  Hours and hours of frustration.  My apologies to Asus who got a returned board that was probably just fine.


** By the way, the reason switching to IDE probably fixed the problem is that it is a different driver.  But one gives up capabilities and a bit of performance going AHCI back to IDE.  Also, the switch is not entirely straightfoward and the switch back, if one ever wants to make it, is complicated.

Screaming Pre-Order Deal On Windows 7

I have been a frequent detractor of Windows Vista.  However, after playing around with the Windows 7 beta for a while, I am very encouraged about this new OS.    For a limited time, Microsoft is offering pre-order sales of Windows 7 home and pro upgrade packages (these require you to already have Windows on your computer).  Prices are $49.99 and $99.99 respectively, which represent a 50% discount to the planned prices of these products at roll-out.  I already bought 3 copies from Amazon  (that is the limit, apparently, that Amazon is setting).  Delivery is not until some time in October.

Amazon links:  Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade.

Windows 7 Release Candidate Available, Unlimited Beta Keys

Get all the information and download links here.  I am going to try this on my extra PC this weekend.

Encouraging News on Windows 7

Most of my readers know that I have been a Vista hater  (I still am by the way -- I have one machine running Vista SP1 and it drives me crazy -- just last night I had to reboot three times, each time just to be able to clear some permission state that would not let me delete a file).

The early returns look good for Windows 7, particularly for those of us looking for a home media sharing platform (the only reason I use Vista at all is because I have been toying around with Vista Media Center and a media extender, but more on that in a future post).  Here is Engadget:

The mood at Microsoft seems (understandably) high about this release. It's clear that lots of folks see this as the big, shiny band-aid for many of the Vista woes that people have been experiencing -- and in many ways, that's exactly what it is. If you're at all curious about what Microsoft has been up to, you should absolutely grab this install and take it for a spin (when you can); there is a metric ton going on here, and it's certainly worth taking a second look at. Bottom line, though? This is still Windows, and it's still got a lot of Vista in it. If you weren't feeling it the first time around, there may not be enough here to convince you otherwise. However, this is a valiant effort from Microsoft and it shows that the company does understand it's burned some bridges throughout the last three years -- this is a big step for them both in technique and tone, and that's certainly not lost on us.