Monday, October 26, 2009

Microsoft Knew Windows 7 Upgrades Could Paralyze PC's Back In July

Some people who are upgrading their PC's from Windows Vista to Windows 7 are finding the upgrade paralyzes their computers, leaving them in a never ending rebooting cycle, unable to use either operating systems.

Many users started to post the problem in a forum on Microsoft's own website on Friday, one day after the highly touted new operating system was released. As of this afternoon, 3 days later, there are still people posting the same problem and no fix from Microsoft for most of the users.

There doesn't seem to be any connection to how the OS was purchased, some users purchased Windows 7 as a digital download from Microsoft or Digital River, and some purchased retail boxed versions of the OS. It is affecting every version of Vista, from Starter to Ultimate.

Microsoft is putting some of the blame on Digital River and saying anyone who bought the OS from DR needs to contact them, not Microsoft, despite the same problem occurring to users who downloaded Windows 7 directly from Microsoft. Digital River is notorious for horrible customer service, including not returning emails asking for support. (If you are having problems with contacting Digital River, try calling their phone number which they don't like to share: 952-253-1234)

Users are predictably irate...

"I have the same issue, bought my copy (a download) from the microsoft store. Only thing I feel good about is that I'm not the only one having this issue, but this is a disgrace by MSFT. Has anyone had a successful install? Been trying to make this work since Friday night. Way too much time and trouble for this." (posted by Wesss)

To make matters worse, Microsoft was aware of this exact problem back in July, when it was posted on the Microsoft support website. The article is dated July 27th, 2009, or approximately 3 months before the public release of Windows 7, yet the problem wasn't fixed.

The article is entitled: "Continual reboot after attempting to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7" and includes:

"When attempting to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 the upgrade attempt may fail with the message “This version of Windows could not be installed, Your previous version of Windows has been restored, and you can continue to use it." However, the next reboot of the machine will launch the upgrade process again only to fail with the same message."

The article suggests users swap out the Windows 7 media and put a Windows Vista disc in, then select install Vista at the boot menu and follow the directions. However, many users do not have a Windows 7 disc to remove because the media is a digital download on the hard drive. Furthermore, many other users do not have a Windows Vista disc, and even if they did as one user posted, the Microsoft "solution" is useless:

"Microsoft is apparently aware of this now, but their solution does nothing for me. I don't have the Vista option in the boot entry menu as I'm sure many of you do not as well. Still waiting....No option to boot back to Vista. Endless re-booting loop." (posted by FJP57)

"Same here, I can't even boot into Vista as I have no option to." (posted by JSchnieder21)

So users who spent up to $320 to upgrade are trapped in the constant cycle of reboots, and no current solution. Thank you, Microsoft.

Apple's latest ad seems almost prescient:



Chimaera717 posted what most users dealing with this problem are probably feeling right now:

"How on earth is Windows 7 so poorly manufactured that there even NEEDS to be a solution to installation issues?"

Personally, I switched to a Mac a month ago and haven't ever been happier with an OS. I'm not going to beat you on the head screaming that you should switch, that's up to each individual person and their software needs. But if you are in the market for a new PC, why not at least go look at a Mac? The things that are blatantly different - simple things like closing a window or installing an application, you get used to after a day or two at most.

I used Windows in every different variation since the beginning. I'd even tried a Mac before, many years ago, around a G3 PowerPC, and it was slower than a snail. But since Apple switched to Intel CPU's, the hardware flies, and unlike Windows Vista or 7, OSX can run on 1gb of RAM just fine, 2gb is fantastic. Windows Vista and 7 have both touted switching to 64 bit versions to be able to use more than 4gb of RAM with the PC. OSX, like Linux, just doesn't hog resources like that. In OSX everything just runs and runs well. There's no lag, no crytic messages or software that you click on but never launches. OSX doesn't slow down because of constant scanning by malware and anti-virus software that have to protect you because the OS was poorly designed to begin with. And let's not even get into the lack of viruses or trojans on Mac's (yes, I know, they do exist, but like a Honus Wagner baseball card, they are rarely, if ever, seen - and I do have anti-virus software on my Mac and it doesn't slow things down like it does on my Vista or XP machines).

The main difference between OSX, Linux, and Windows, is that Windows is still based on very old software that uses a registry, which is like searching for one Christmas receipt in a box full of every every receipt from everything you've purchased for 30 years. It's tedious, and prone to errors. OSX and Linux do not use registries, which is another reason they have so few viruses.

I still have my Windows Vista 64 PC, but I haven't turned it on in a month since the switch to OSX. I do occasionally have to work on Windows systems for friends, family, and work, but it's so strange and even annoying having to deal with all of the built-in problems Windows presents on a daily basis to all users, from the most casual to the most advanced.

BTW, I had to attend a Microsoft training for Windows 7 last week for work and the Microsoft bigwig presenter, who was one of the designers of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, was having the same problems on his laptop that I and everyone I know who runs Windows has (programs crashing, not opening, and often not working properly when they do open) - and this was after he had just touted his "great" new HP laptop with 8gb of RAM and his fancy new Windows OS.

4 comments:

Phishy said...

My windows 7 install works great. Clean install of course, upgrades are always sketchy.

But a few things. There are PLENTY of viruses for macs and linux. Hell, if you count security patches, linux, pick a distro any of them, wins for mose patched security holes.

I own a mac, several windows boxes, run a few different distros of linux, hell I even have a novel box.

windows 7 works great, all of my apps work 100% from XP to windows 7, any that have issues get resolved with compatibility mode.

And no, the registry has NOTHING to do with the amount of viruses available for the windows environment, that's an uneducated statement. Windows owns the lions share of the OS market, so it's only natural that people would code their nasties for it, and since it's a pretty simple platform, the best choice for a hacker.

There's an infinite amount of linux distros out there in any possible combination of setups and as such would make it a poor choice for a virus. Beyond that, to actually USE linux, you've got to be a little more savvy than the standard mac/windows user to begin with. you don't steal the car with an alarm and "the club" you take the path of least resistance.

there's not enough mac users to really warrant many viruses, but they do exist and as uninformed people like you advise people to switch because they are safer, will just compound the issue.

Microsoft should be ashamed at itself over this issue, and it's not going to look good on them. This in no way impacts on how the OS functions, and from the comments I've read here, none of you have actually installed or used it, simple as that, what programs don't open? What programs don't operate correctly?

You do realize that the OS only launched this month, and you would have been attempting to use software not designed for it, meaning you'd have to select compatibility mode for that program, selecting whatever os it was designed for.

Keep your complaints grounded in reality and stop spreading blatant lies and myths. the same BS was out around windows xp, and what did people find when they finally tried it? It was all BS and myths.

I'm in no way a windows fanboy, I use them all

Lennier said...

It's really hard to take you serious when you can't spell words like "most" and "Novell". He didn't say the registry was the cause of all the viruses, he said it contributes to the amount of viruses for the platform. It's pretty easy to see how it would, considering you have to run most everything on Windows as an Administrator for it to run right. You could write a few random bytes to the registry in just the right place and suddenly Windows doesn't boot or allow you to login any more. The "windows is more popular" argument for why there's more viruses is just asinine. Of course it's more popular, just admit the security in windows sucks and it allows viruses to do more damage. It's harder to break things on OSX or Linux when you're not running everything as root.

Probably the dumbest thing you said was "...you would have been attempting to use software not designed for it...". Well DDUUHHH!! Of course there's no software designed for Windows 7 yet, but that's not the point. It shouldn't have to be "designed for Windows 7" to actually work. The whole point is backwards compatibility, with the exception of 16-bit apps but you really should've upgraded those long ago.

He wasn't "spreading blatant lies and myths". He didn't have to, you did. I will never understand why people insist on defending Windows. What is so great about your computer being slow and having to constantly restart your applications? The fact that you even HAVE to worry about viruses and malware on a daily basis should be enough of a red flag to make you reconsider it. Sure, there are more applications for Windows because it's more popular, but that is quickly changing as people adopt other platforms.

Stop trying to defend Microsoft so much and just let them continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

Mentok said...

XP was basically the last MSFT product that wasn't predominantly offshored / outsourced and IT SHOWS, doesn't it?

http://www.businessinsider.com/ballmer-threatens-obama-says-hell-move-jobs-overseas-2009-6

This is a laugh. Most of MSFT is offshore anyway.

Dan said...

'It's really hard to take you serious when you can't spell words like "most" and "Novell" '

Fallacy - Trivial objections. Two typos that you were clearly able to figure out are not a sticking point for his argument.

'You could write a few random bytes to the registry in just the right place and suddenly Windows doesn't boot or allow you to login any more.'

With every OS if you do "X operation in just the right place" it stops working. Evidenced by the fact that OSX is always the first to drop at Pwn2Own and similar events. It's not just Windows.

'The "windows is more popular" argument for why there's more viruses is just asinine.'

As asinine as 90% of Apple users who buy into "security through obscurity"? I think not. Also, it's not an asinine argument to begin with.

If you have, say, 10 million people on Windows OSes and 75% of them are morons (which would be lowballing it) you can get a higher infection rate than the OSX install base. Why waste time with Apple? It might be 90% morons, but it's still a fraction of the virus penetration.

'It shouldn't have to be "designed for Windows 7" to actually work. The whole point is backwards compatibility'

Again, feel free to find me an OS that has zero compatibility issues when in its infancy. I'll wait. Is it still an issue? Absolutely. But pretending you're not going to have those issues elsewhere is a joke.

'What is so great about your computer being slow and having to constantly restart your applications? The fact that you even HAVE to worry about viruses and malware on a daily basis should be enough of a red flag to make you reconsider it.'

Only happens when you're entirely incompetent. Which is OS independent.

'Sure, there are more applications for Windows because it's more popular, but that is quickly changing as people adopt other platforms.'

Quickly changing? It's not 'quickly' doing anything when no contender has managed to take 10% market share in 15 years. Sorry.