Windows Vista forum

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Is There a Magic Software Bullet?

by Confed / February 1, 2011 3:31 AM PST

There are numerous scams on the television and Internet. Many promise to eliminate the annoying blue screens and speed up one's computer. Balderdash!

Ever since upgrading to Service Packs 1 and 2, I've had nothing but blue screens. After backing up all my data, I began using my RegEdit program with reckless abandon. When I'd get a blue screen, I'd research it and then, if it was for a harmless application, I'd surgically excise it from my system.

When searching for various strings in RegEdit, I often found that there was no way to determine the various keys I was in (the icons in the left panel all looked the same).

Bottom line: I have Glary Utilities and I've tried other software, like SystemSuite -- and while they all look like they're doing something, I've NEVER had one solve any persistent problem I was having.

How effective are some of these driver scanning software programs -- the kind like Driver Detective, which searches your system for drivers? And do any of them work in SAFE mode? (My blue screens always happen while booting into regular Windows.)

Do any of you know of any software magic bullets that actually work? Even in SAFE mode with ADMINISTRATOR rights I found I could not delete certain files nor could I change the permissions. It's like my Windows has morphed into a Macintosh!

Thanks for any assistance!

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Danger Will Robinson
by Jimmy Greystone / February 1, 2011 9:41 AM PST

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

For starters, not too terribly long ago there was an astroturfing campaign going on here, and probably other forums, for Glary Utilities. All of a sudden every registry related post had a near identical post from a number of different accounts extolling the virtues of Glary Utilities. If you ask me, a reputable company with a solid product, does not need to resort to such tactics. The quality and utility of the product should speak for itself.

That being said, registry programs tend to cause significantly more problems than they solve, and while on the subject, I'll gladly lump in driver updating programs with them. They're both nothing but snake oil scams that prove P.T. Barnum right when he said there was a sucker born every minute. The only real question is, do you want to be that sucker?

BSOD errors are almost always the result of a hardware issue on XP/Vista/7. That or a buggy driver. It either has to be bad hardware or a program that runs with extremely high privileges that can trigger such an event on a protected mode OS like XP/Vista/7. The only programs that tend to have that kind of access are drivers and AV programs. So doesn't really matter how you approach the issue, all roads lead to Rome so to speak.

You want my advice, the first thing you should do is reinstall the OS and undo any damage you've done yourself or by running registry programs. The next thing you should do is forget you ever heard of the Windows registry. After that, you start troubleshooting your quite likely failing hardware. Start with something both obvious and easy, your RAM. Download a copy of memtest86+, start it before going to bed, let it run overnight, and even while you're at school/work if possible. ANY errors are too many for RAM. If it starts giving you errors, then you get to start testing each stick of RAM individually until you find the bad one, or that your motherboard has a bad memory bank. If that doesn't do it, look for any diagnostic tools for your HDD. If this is a brand name computer, see if there are any downloadable diagnostic programs for it. If not, the Ultimate Boot CD has some useful programs you may want to look into. Sooner or later you're likely to stumble across some bad bit of hardware that is the source of all your problems. Once you identify it, you can replace it and get on with a peaceful computing existence.

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Ohhhhhh, Please....Noooooo!
by Confed / February 1, 2011 10:21 AM PST
In reply to: Danger Will Robinson

Memory86 is the first thing I ran when I had the problem and there was no problem there.

But when you talk about reinstalling, there's more to that than just rerunning the install program and letting it repair a number of errors. It ultimately wants to start over. And when you have MS Office, all the data files that go with it, Photoshop, Quark, browsers, utilities, DVD viewers, copiers, converters, each with its own number, libraries, screenshot programs and about a billion other things, it easily turns into a project that takes weeks. And you can't go back to a previous restore point because your last two service packs obliterated them. And many of the billion aps you have need to be rebooted to be updated (and there are extra disks for those, too).

Finally, if I'm going to have to start over, what sane person would want to put Windows Vista back on a system? There's "spyware," then there's "myware," and both are obnoxious soul-destroying things, as you noted. I wish I could just reinstall Vista without destroying the precious registry entries that go with my essential programs. Why can't you just keep the stuff you want and then "repair" the damn thing?

If I had to reinstall, I'd have to throw good money after bad and put on Windows 7 and curse MS the entire time. But putting Vista back on -- I'd just soon install Windows 95!

First I'll try uninstalling my video card or maybe getting a new card. That may get me back to booting without going to the blue screen! I'm disappointed that the Driver Detective software wasn't likely to work. Sounded like a good idea, but apparently not.


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The choice is yours
by Jimmy Greystone / February 1, 2011 11:47 AM PST

The choice is yours. You can certainly go on living with BSODs all the time, or you can accept that some time and effort spent now will save time and effort in the future.

Besides, I was not talking about a repair install, I was talking about formatting and starting over from scratch. You also can't rule out the possibility of malware or a virus until you format. Very few things can survive that.

In any case, it's up to you whether or not you'd rather live with the problem or spend the time to find the source and fix it. I'm just presenting your options, which one you choose to take is up to you. I don't have to use your computer, and none of my computers have any such issues. For the year or so I used Vista, I had absolutely no problems with it. It had absolutely no compelling features to justify upgrading from XP, but when UPS manhandled my computer forcing me to buy a new one with Vista, I had no complaints. Windows 7 is really just a minor set of refinements over Vista anyway. They tweaked the taskbar to look and act even more like Mac OS X's Dock, and tweaked the priority of some of the UI elements to give the illusion that the OS is faster, but it's still essentially Vista. Just like XP was still basically Windows 2000. So many people get their panties all in a bunch about Vista, while at the same time talking about how great Windows 7 is, when at the core, they're the same OS. And let's not forget how much people hated XP when it first came out. You name a complaint people had about Vista, you can find something similar for XP, and probably every major Windows release for decades. Everyone hates one release, and then loves the release that comes immediately after it, which is basically a (barely) warmed over version of the one people said they hated. It gets a little old for those of us who have an attention span longer than a fruit fly with ADD.

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Yes, I Know....
by Confed / February 2, 2011 4:05 AM PST
In reply to: The choice is yours

You're right in everything you say. But the thought of starting over is terrifying. I have an earlier version backed up, so I may just put that version back on and go from there. Everything went south when my router software wouldn't install without a Service Pack upgrade. So I did the upgrade and immediately the BSODs started.

Are you saying it's not worth getting Windows 7? I was under the impression that Windows 7 was far more stable than Vista. In fact, Vista is supposed to be very buggy from what I've read.

I know there's no repair function in Windows. I wish there was. Backups are the only way to go.

Thanks, again, for your assistance.

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I didn't say that
by Jimmy Greystone / February 2, 2011 9:23 AM PST
In reply to: Yes, I Know....

I didn't say that, I just said that Vista and Windows 7 are basically the same OS where it really matters. There are a lot of people out there who have little to no skill diagnosing computer problems, not that it stops them from blaming everything on Windows. Never mind that all the problems started after doing something like opening an email attachment claiming to be nude photos of some celebrity, or that the problems only seem to crop up when one specific device is attached. No, much easier to just blame Windows. Then there are the people who are almost as infuriating, who just run around regurgitating and perpetuating these myths. Never mind that they personally have never experienced a single problem, OTHER people say that Vista sucks, so surely it must.

It may not have been Microsoft's best Windows release ever, and there are plenty of good reasons to dislike it, but my point is more that 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% of people who say Vista sucks have absolutely nothing to back it up with. Or if you actually spend 5 minutes (or less) looking into the problem, it will quickly become apparent that the issue might be related more to that RAM you got a heck of a deal on from someone on eBay, not Vista.

Too many people like to play armchair technician when they have absolutely no aptitude for it. And too many people take what these idiots say at face value, then go forth and spread this misinformation.

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