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Last post Author Topic: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7  (Read 15851 times)

tranglos

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Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« on: January 17, 2010, 09:31:26 AM »
Since installing Win 7 on Friday I've found a number of serious aggravations. Applications are often unable to store (or restore) their settings in userdata folders - this includes FARR losing its launch history every few reboots, for example. Worse, apps are often unable to write to my own folders on the secondary, non-system hdd, where I keep all my data: access denied. These are folders where I do my work. Crazy stuff, and some of it potentially dangerous, as in data loss.

But the annoyance I have come across just now really makes me want to go back to XP while I still can (before Monday morning, that is!): when an elevated application window (one that required a UAC confirmation) has focus, some system-wide hotkeys no longer work. When working in Regedit, TuneUp Utilities or Shadow Protect, for example, pressing Pause does not bring up FARR. Pressing Win+Space reverts to its useless built-in function (temporarily unhide desktop) instead of what I have configured it to do in AutoHotkey. Switch to another window and it works again. And the UAC-crippled windows are somehow exempt from Actual Window Manager, so its features are not available there, either.  WTF?  Even completely disabling UAC does not help. Completely disabling UAC and rebooting seems to have fixed the problem. If I needed one more reason to kill UAC, this is certainly it.

I feel like I don't control the system at all, and never know when something I rely on will not work. Not a happy user here.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 12:41:37 PM by tranglos »

cmpm

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 09:46:49 AM »
I had to disable UAC a couple of times for it to work.
Reset UAC to it's default, reboot, then disable and reboot.
Programs installed with UAC enabled will cause the problems I think.
Even after UAC is disabled, might require a reinstall as admin.

Or dropping the UAC default setting down one notch will stop the dimming of the screen, and not allowing any other things to be accessed.

I disabled UAC cause Synergy is killed when the UAC prompt is engaged, mainly....
+I really don't like UAC at all, except that it would show changes made to your computer in the details, if expanded. I suppose that's for compatibility and stability.

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 12:59:36 PM »
Some more...

I have two monitors. The graphics card considers one of them as primary - this is the one were boot-up messages are displayed, while the other monitor gets no signal until the system is up. My primary monitor is bigger, while the secondary is rotated to portrait orientation.

At some point during installation Windows 7 decided that the smaller, rotated monitor is really the primary one. The first install screens were shown on the correct screen, but half-way through, not even across a reboot, the installer switched to the second monitor. Since the monitor is rotated, and I can't easily restore it to landscape due to how my desk is configured :) , I had to go through the remainder of the installation, entering the product key, choosing language etc., with my head at a 90° angle... Okay.

Well, with the system fully installed, it still insists my secondary monitor is really primary (numbered 1), and my primary monitor gets number 2. There seems to be no way to change this. I can mark the monitor I want to be "main", and did so, but the wrong numbering remains. This gets annoying with applications coded to open on monitor 1 (which is secondary in my case) and it may be affecting the trouble many apps seem to have with restoring their position when restarted.

Sigh.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 01:03:32 PM by tranglos »

mouser

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 01:27:56 PM »
swap cables?

Stoic Joker

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 02:45:57 PM »
swap cables?
When dual monitor setups start getting cagey, that is (in my experience) the simplest option.

nite_monkey

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 03:00:58 PM »
Don't you just love window's awesome dual monitor capabilities? (end sarcasm)
I ended up disabling the UAC all together on my desktop and laptop, because the popup gets annoying, and it freezes up windows media center for about a second after I hit the allow button. so while I am watching tv on my computer, I get interrupted. Haven't missed the UAC one bit since disabling it.
[Insert really cool signature here]

Eóin

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 03:22:03 PM »
Haven't missed the UAC one bit since disabling it.

When you do miss it it'll be too late.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 03:33:21 PM »
Don't you just love window's awesome dual monitor capabilities? (end sarcasm)
I ended up disabling the UAC all together on my desktop and laptop, because the popup gets annoying, and it freezes up windows media center for about a second after I hit the allow button. so while I am watching tv on my computer, I get interrupted. Haven't missed the UAC one bit since disabling it.

Surely the issue is a BIOS issue - how can windows enable dual monitor access before it even starts up?

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 03:46:49 PM »
swap cables?
When dual monitor setups start getting cagey, that is (in my experience) the simplest option.

If I did that, then the video card would be showing startup messages on the portrait screen, since the card threats its port as secondary. Tweaking BIOS setup would probably be fun on the rotated screen, but I think I'll pass :)

The only solution I can imagine would be to wipe 7 and reinstall it, disconnecting the secondary monitor during the installation.

Eóin

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010, 03:47:06 PM »
Worse, apps are often unable to write to my own folders on the secondary, non-system hdd, where I keep all my data: access denied. These are folders where I do my work.

That's just a permissions issue, make sure the Users group has write access through the Security tab in the harddisk properties.

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 03:51:00 PM »
Haven't missed the UAC one bit since disabling it.

When you do miss it it'll be too late.

You know, I've never missed it on XP, either.

I have decided to disable UAC after finding the problem with FARR and other system-wide hotkeys. This was just the little straw that broke this camel's back. It's utterly brain-deadly stupid to halt or cripple regular, non-threatening, configured system features simply because a UAC-flagged window has focus.

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2010, 03:59:27 PM »
Worse, apps are often unable to write to my own folders on the secondary, non-system hdd, where I keep all my data: access denied. These are folders where I do my work.

That's just a permissions issue, make sure the Users group has write access through the Security tab in the harddisk properties.

It does not seem to be "just" a permissions issue, Eóin, or permissions in 7 are seriously screwed up. There should be no issue to begin with. We are talking about a drive full of data that was present when 7 was installed. Surely the user account which installed the system should have full access to local drives present at the time of installation? Yet folders on that drive are now owned by some invalid, nonexistent account, designated only as a GUID number, which cannot be managed or deleted - it's just a ghost on the security tab in folder properties.

For some folders I have been able to fix it the way you describe. In some cases however, the operation is halted half-way through due to some other "insufficient permissions" error and there is no way to continue then. I have found out that what works is copying (not moving) the files from my old folders to new ones on the same drive. These newly created folders are now "owned" by me; then I can delete the originals.


cmpm

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2010, 04:07:10 PM »
Maybe this will help, I haven't tried it though.

http://www.nirmaltv....-files-in-windows-7/

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2010, 04:11:08 PM »
Some more...

Win+Up to maximize a window; Win+Down to minimize it. Great idea - so great in fact, that it had been implemented left and right by tweaking apps (Actual Window Manager or your favorite AutoHotkey script) before Microsoft came up with it. No problem.

Except that MS have managed to dumb down even this little thing and make it unusable. I knew 7 had this feature, so I disabled these shortcuts in AWM. Turns out, the way Win+Down works in Win7 is that if the window is maximized, Win+Down "restores" it first, and only minimizes on the second press. When you then restore the application, you restore it to the "restored" state, not the maximized state.

No matter how large the screen, I maximize most applications that I tend to spend a lot of time in; otherwise there's too much graphical distraction: Word, Firefox, etc. So the behavior of Win+Down is really inconvenient for me: first I have to press it twice to get the desired effect (minimize app), and then I have to manually maximize the window when restoring it. And of course there doesn't seem to be a way to configure the Win shortcuts in Windows.

It didn't seem a big issue, since Actual Window Manager should be able to override the Win+Up/Down features with its own shortcuts. Autohotkey can override anything Windows assigns to the Win key combos, so AWM should as well. Alas, I'm finding that Windows won't let go of those shortcuts, so I'm stuck with the unwanted, un-useful behavior.

Won't be stuck much longer though. Before the dawn breaks I'm going back to XP. It's going to be a big day!


tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2010, 04:13:18 PM »
Maybe this will help, I haven't tried it though.

http://www.nirmaltv....-files-in-windows-7/

Thanks! I actually saw that blog post in Google Reader when it was written. At the time I was collecting interesting Win7 posts and threads for later reference, but I thought nah, why would I need to "take ownership" of my own old data? What problem could I have with ownership? I really thought just that, and decided not to bookmark that post...

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2010, 04:35:06 PM »
And now for the final nail in the coffin...

What I described above as FARR sometimes losing its launch history after a reboot turns out to be an indicator of a much worse issue. It's not just FARR. I'm seeing other applications that randomly forget all their configuration after the system restarts. It's as if they were freshly installed, though I haven't yet bothered to go and look for the missing config data. In FARR the configuration is in disk files, but two other apps this has happened to use registry. All are fairly new, certainly aware of userdata space; I'm not talking about apps that try to write under Program Files.

My own KeyNote does of course just that (write under Program Files) since I wrote it on Win95 and wasn't exactly aware of what I was doing at the time. So I keep KeyNote installed in c:\MyOwnDamnFolder. If I start KeyNote, move it around the screen (or to the secondary monitor) and close it, it restores its position correctly when restarted. If, however, KeyNote shuts down with the system, then after reboot it opens in the "factory default" position, on the primary screen.

I think both scenarios point to the same issue somewhere. I'll give myself an hour to figure out what's going on, and after that I'll have just enough time to ShadowProtect myself back to XP, where things like these just did not happen, ever.

I shudder to think what other data I might be losing to Windows 7, and also, what's going to happen when I install some really old, and really crucial software, like Delphi 3 or 6. I should have known to wait for SP1 at least.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 04:37:50 PM by tranglos »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2010, 05:15:31 PM »
Is this a clean install of Windows 7 or an upgrade from Vista? I must say I have not noticed any of these remembering settings problems or file writing problem in Win 7 Pro on my laptop and I use it all the time.

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2010, 05:38:59 PM »
Is this a clean install of Windows 7 or an upgrade from Vista? I must say I have not noticed any of these remembering settings problems or file writing problem in Win 7 Pro on my laptop and I use it all the time.

Clean install, yes. There is no upgrade path from XP anyway. The system C drive was wiped clean by the installer. The only "holdover" is my secondary drive where data lives (the drive where Windows thinks the files are not "mine").

Now I'm going to see how well ShadowProtect does its job! I'll see you on the other side, hopefully safe back in XP :)

I've only seen one impressive thing about 7: the bootup speed and how soon the system becomes responsive after logging in. It seems to apply to starting applications as well I had never seen Firefox start so fast, weighed down as it is by tons of extensions, thousands of bookmarks, and months of browsing history. Sometimes, right after a reboot, Firefox would come up within a second or two, max. OTOH, that was only after I uninstalled Kaspersky (a problem I have omitted from this thread, because this is about Windows, not 3rd party apps, it was slowing things down a lot.)

However, one thing to have been impressed about isn't a whole lot, and I am downright scared by the "memory loss" in some apps. That it is completely random makes it worse yet, pretty much impossible to investigate, unless I want to spend a day rebooting.

tranglos

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2010, 05:53:02 PM »
Two more quickies before I go. I could actually spend the night describing all the inconvincing occurrences I've had with 7 in the last two days :)

You can now "pin" applications to the taskbar - this is supposed to replace the Quick Launch bar, whatever. Obviously no-one at MS has ever seen True Launch Bar, or they would know how to do it right. Anyway, the pinned apps can be activated with Win+digit keys. I actually happen to have Win+1 through Win+7 assigned to folders on TrueLaunchBar, so there was a conflict. Somehow TrueLaunchBar managed to override those assignments, thankfully. But would you believe that when that happened, you could not start the pinned apps by clicking on them, either? Instead, Windows displayed a helpful error message about a missing file. I can't imagine how the pinning had to be implemented for it to fail in response to a mouse click just because the native hotkeys were not available, but it must have been taken some doing! Does Microsoft still hire temps to do most of the coding?
 
Lastly, one more tiny little crazy thing I once saw. When I installed 7, by default it put the "Language Bar" on the taskbar. Maybe it happens in localized versions only. Anyway, I didn't bother disabling it. Once, right after a reboot, the Language Bar began to dance. All over the taskbar. I'd have to record a video, but to describe it: the language bar is normally located on the right side of the taskbar, to the left of the notification area. Well, when I saw it, it was oscillating between that location and the far-left side od the taskbar, next to the Start button. Jumping from one location to the other about twice a second. Locking and unlocking the taskbar didn't help. My taskbar is double-sized, maybe that caused it, who knows. I had to disable the language bar though control panel. I've just re-enabled it to see if that dancing thing would return, but sadly, no.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2010, 06:35:21 PM »
Is this a clean install of Windows 7 or an upgrade from Vista? I must say I have not noticed any of these remembering settings problems or file writing problem in Win 7 Pro on my laptop and I use it all the time.

Clean install, yes. There is no upgrade path from XP anyway. The system C drive was wiped clean by the installer. The only "holdover" is my secondary drive where data lives (the drive where Windows thinks the files are not "mine").

That's your problem then because permissions aren't consistently copied from one installation to another.

Have you got the same network name for your PC and the same user name and password? If not the permissions on files on your secondary drive will be wrong.

This happens a lot when you try to transfer data from one computer to another and is especially tricky when you are changing OS version too.

4wd

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2010, 07:07:09 PM »
You can now "pin" applications to the taskbar - this is supposed to replace the Quick Launch bar, whatever. Obviously no-one at MS has ever seen True Launch Bar, or they would know how to do it right.

That lasted about 90 minutes before all the crappy pinned stuff was removed, (just long enough to do a Google to fix it and install some basic apps to replace them), and the Quick Launch was reinstated.

Some more annoyances with Win7 I've found:
It is the slowest of all Windows versions to do a simple Restart.
Why?  Because it insists in turning off the HDDs before doing it, so upon rebooting the HDDs spin up one by one as the controller addresses/identifies them.  It takes about 2 to 3 times longer to do a Restart than an initial system boot.
Can't Microsoft tell the difference between a Restart and a Shutdown?

And this might be subjective but Win7 seems to be slower at connecting to a network at boot than XP ever was.  Win7 actually defaults to an APIPA IP before finally getting a DHCP assigned IP, something XP never did at boot.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 07:16:24 PM by 4wd »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2010, 07:13:16 PM »
4wd - not my experience. Restarting and network connections seem to be fast on my system than XP or Vista

4wd

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2010, 07:20:16 PM »
4wd - not my experience. Restarting and network connections seem to be fast on my system than XP or Vista

Maybe your controller ignores the order to spin down the HDDs and you're running Win7's firewall?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2010, 07:36:42 PM »
Yes I am running W7 firewall.

Strangely even wireless connections connect fast under Windows 7 for me (faster than wired on my XP based computer - which is weird).

4wd

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Re: Just discovered a HUGE annoyance in Windows 7
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2010, 08:27:09 PM »
Well, running the same hardware and Outpost Security Suite on both XP and Win7 - XP was faster to connect here.