Windows 7, is it really that bad???

DVDRW is not recognized, Samsung laser printer does not work, USB is slower than 1.0, movies cannot be played properly... Many conflicts, programs often don't work etc... It seems almost as bad as Vista.

W7 32b ultimate, AMD dual core, 2 Gb, etc.

Is this normal???

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Irock1486 years ago
I have never had a problem with any of my windows 7 computers NEVER
n3rdd6 years ago
Funny you should say that about DVDRW. I just burnt a DVD image to a DVDRW disc today.
My experience with it has been fine. No problems to speak of at all. Of course, mine came pre-installed on a new computer, so I didn't have to upgrade XP. This may be the difference, as Burf suggests.
In any case, given Microsoft's track record, I'd hesitate to claim that my experience is "normal", but I don't think yours is, either.
BobS (author)  RavingMadStudios6 years ago
It was the hardware! My power supply was killing hardware components! After replacing it , I had to repace the MB, a HDD and re-install Windows 7. Still getting used to the new OS, but it runs great now. The confusion was caused by installing a new OS, a new monitor (which fried an old graphics card), and subsequently a new MB, a replacement HDD, together with various re-installmenmts of XP and W7.
Wow, that's freaky. I'm glad you got it figured out, but yikes, what a pain.
BobS (author) 6 years ago
The PSU turned out to be causing the problems. It was destroying the MB, and has destroyed quite a few components later on. With a new PSU, and replaced components, it all runs great on W7. In this case, coincidence made me suspect W7.
windows 7 is great. I've been using it since its beta stage until now. I'm in dual os (7 64bit, XP 64bit) and for me Windows 7 > XP. Now about your problem, the best solution is to have a clean installation of windows 7 and let it find drivers for your hardware. Use windows update. It works.
BobS (author)  popblocker126 years ago
Since the network 'card' on my motherboard is not recognized, I cannot do ANY updates...
know the manufacturer and model number of your LAN Card. search for a driver for it (windows 7) using another working pc. after installing it, you should now be fine because windows 7 will gather the rest of the drivers for your other devices via windows update..
This is abnormal.  If you upgraded from Vista, you probably had a lot of corruption happening prior to the upgrade.  A clean install of Windows 7 would never see these problems (except, perhaps, for the laser printer).  Allow me to explain.

First, you cannot "upgrade" to Windows 7 from XP, because the core system files are too different (Microsoft's official stance is that if your computer is old enough to have XP it probably couldn't handle 7 anyhow, which is hogwash in at least half of the cases I've seen.  But I digress...).  Vista and Windows 7, on the other hand, have a lot in common.  This means that you can upgrade from Vista because the installer only has to modify or replace some of the files.

The initial compatibility checker only really looks at two things - hardware and installed software.  It checks to see if your computer is physically capable of running 7, then looks at installed programs to see if there are potential compatibility issues.  It does not, however, check to see if the OS itself is corrupt (since system files are subject to change by many programs and even user intervention, making this task nearly impossible).  Therefore, it has to operate under the assumption that your OS is clean and that you will, in fact, stop to remove incompatible software when warned before proceeding with the upgrade.

If you have a virus, the upgrade will not work properly.  If your anti-virus is too strict, it will not work properly.  If you ignore incompatibility warnings and mindlessly "Next" through it, the upgrade will be buggy.  If you had updates that did not complete properly and left hangnails through the life of Vista, the upgrade will not work properly.  If your registry was full of errors, your upgrade will be full of registry errors.

The best way to prevent this is to back up any and all files that you want to keep.  Next, perform a system recovery to initialize your computer to the factory installation of Vista.  Uninstall all the junk software that came with the machine, as well as the trial anti-virus.  Perform all updates.  Then, drop in Windows 7 and update it; you'll soon find it was everything Vista should have been (and could have been, if they'd spent a couple more years developing it).

Incidentally, DVD drives and USB controllers are things every version of Windows since 98 have known how to use without issues.  This strongly suggests to me that your version of Vista was messy beforehand.  For the printer, you will need to download the proper Windows 7 drivers from the manufacturer.  If your printer is more than two years old, you may have very little luck with this - but it's not Windows 7's fault, it's the manufacturer for thinking it's not worth the cost to alter the drivers.
BobS (author)  MahavishnuMan6 years ago
I did do a clean install. The problem was of course, that my motherboard (ECS V011012) and generic DVDRW (ultimate drw-2s81) were not properly recognized. Running up and down the stairs with a USB stick gets tiring after a while!

Anyway, considering the start-up time, in which plants can grow several inches, the apparent absence of the standby mode (fans running at full speed while in the 'sleep' mode, but impossible to revive from coma when wanting to start up), not to talk about the refusal to play some downloaded movies, which played well on XP, I've had enough! After almost 10 years, I hoped for some gain in performance, some wider compatibility, some increased user friendliness.. Of course it is not up to the manufacturers to provide existing model updates for W 7! When they provide the firmware info to Microsoft, it should have been incorporated!!! To not provide or not incorporate is stupid! People have valuable stuff out there, or programs, bought with lots of cash. What about my modded Vesta CCD webcam, beautiful hardware for planetary photography! 

I'm getting back to XP_!
The problem, quite simply, is that your motherboard is far too old for the manufacturer to bother writing new drivers.  It's not Microsoft's fault, nor is it Windows 7's fault.

Without more specific information, I'm unable to nail down just how old the motherboard is (searching Google had no results, and I can't find that model number on ECS's website); however, if I understand your statement correctly and the motherboard is really ten years old, you are in desperate need of a new computer... period.  At the pace with which technology moves, there's simply no reasonable way to expect a ten-year old computer to handle an OS like Windows 7, nor is it reasonable to expect a manufacturer to offer support for a computing product that long.

All the issues you have are symptomatic of incompatible drivers.  It explains the sleep mode issue and the inability to detect your DVD drive properly - it all goes back to the motherboard.  The speed issues you have may be due to insufficient RAM as well as the speed with which the CPU and RAM operate; computers a decade ago were barely breaking the 1 GHz barrier and using SDRAM, which is clocked at a leisurely 133 MHz.  Furthermore, I haven't seen a single motherboard using SDRAM that can handle more than 512 MB of RAM (including one which claimed compatibility to 1 GB but refused to boot with more than 512 MB).  At any rate, even 1 GB is cutting it darned close for Windows 7 (and XP, for that matter).

This is precisely the reason why Microsoft's official stance on upgrading from XP to 7 is that it shouldn't be done.  The logic is that the vast majority of computers sold with XP are simply too underpowered to handle 7 and have unsupported hardware.  Both these issues are usually too difficult to remedy without major upgrades that are almost expensive as just buying a new computer.

I can take an '81 Datsun 210 up to 250 HP if I modify the frame and drop in a new engine and transmission.  But then, I have to change the axles because the stock ones would torque clean off.  That also means modifying the suspension too, not only to accommodate the axles and such, but also to handle the extra weight of that engine.

Or, I can just buy a new car - and it'll work exactly like the manufacturer says.

Don't get me wrong.  The beauty of Instructables is that people, in the spirit of DIYing, modify old stuff to perform fantastic feats no one thought possible.  However, this case seems a bit of a lost cause.  I'd throw XP back in and call it a day, or buy a new computer.  Trust me, your experience with Windows 7 is far from typical.
BobS (author)  MahavishnuMan6 years ago
This is interesting, although I don't know were exactly the truth lies. The motherboard was part of a discount upgrade set of 2 years old. It carries an AMD dual core, PCI graphics card, SATA 2, and has always worked fast with XP. (the reason I switched to Windows 7 was a loose SATA cable, I thought it was some software problem (and was curious about Windows 7).
Yeah, sounds like a motherboard malfunction.  I have installed Windows 7 on a similar setup; nVidia nForce 4 series chipset, GeForce 6100, with an AMD dual core (AM2 socket).  Windows 7 found everything and provided generic drivers for each device (including the RAID) and worked flawlessly.  You should still update the drivers with what the manufacturer makes available for each device (particularly the integrated video, as the nVidia drivers optimize the shared memory usage and enhance speed and RAM consumption), but otherwise the installation for this motherboard should go without a hitch.

Incidentally, I'm dual-booting XP and Ubuntu Studio.  I will say that Linux had almost all my drivers without an issue; however, the stuff it didn't find was a pain in the butt to install manually.

Your new motherboard should work just fine, so long as there aren't any defects in manufacturing that creep up.  Anything that works with Vista should work just fine for Windows 7; not only are the components new enough to have recent drivers, but Windows 7 and Vista are so close in how they are written that many drivers are universal between them.  The only incompatibilities are imposed artificially by the manufacturers themselves.

It was a lesson learned from the release of XP.  Most users were upgrading from 98, and XP (being based on the NT kernal), was far too different for existing Windows 98 drivers to operate properly.  However, because the manufacturers didn't write a routine to halt installation for an unknown OS, the drivers would blindly install - the results were driver malfunctions so severe that, in some cases, the only way to start was in safe mode.

So, device manufacturers now write drivers to check for known OS's first; if it finds you have something new, they stop and claim they're incompatible to prevent any issues.  Vista drivers, by and large, are perfectly compatible with 7 however - the installer just doesn't know it.
BobS (author)  MahavishnuMan6 years ago
Considering your feedback, I looked at the motherboard again... Loose SATA cables? Perhaps, but the now newly installed XP did not start up at all! I guess the motherboard is indeed the cause...... So I ordered an older (cheap) ASRock motherboard (I really don't have much to spend...: ASRock AliveF6G-VSTA nF410 RGVSM).


And will be  installing Windows 7 together with XP again, in the hope it will show some performance increase! Updates will follow!
BobS (author)  MahavishnuMan6 years ago
Just found out the real motherboard code (too many numbers on them). It is a cheap Taiwanese model: Geforce 6100pm-m2, which had many bad reviews, but always worked fine with XP...
Burf7 years ago
I don't use Win7 (Ubuntu for me)  but I have read in some of the forums I visit reports of driver issues from users upgrading (?)  from XP or Vista.  It seems that the most effective solution is to go to the specific hardware manufacturer's site and download any new drivers they may have that are compatible with Win7. 
BobS (author)  Burf6 years ago
I probably never will be a Linux man, never been able to get anything working but the standard package...

But still: A very small package, like puppy linux, manages to see almost all hardware; motherboard, DVD and printers.

The new, top of the line commercial OS fails to do that??? Unflippingly unbelievable!
lemonie7 years ago
Microsoft has a well-established legacy of producing defective-products, one should never expect the latest one to be completely fit-for-purpose.
You just have to weigh-up whether you're better with 7 or something old and patched like XP.

My experience is that XP is the only version of Windows that really worked.
BobS (author)  JavaNut136 years ago
After about 3 weeks, it irreversibly froze up! Since it did not recognize my generic DVDR, I had to delete the 'windows' file by means of puppy linux. I wish I could restore the 'windows old' file. I leave it intact for now.

At this moment, it is churning the old Thai XP media center CDs to set up XP again. I sure hope I can retrieve all my stuff, it would be a pain to search through all the backups!!!
98SE was the best they got out of that series. After that your NT series was better. Old and patched we know about, and we can say it worked/works (or not).

revelae lemonie7 years ago
I have 7 and it works fine, I had vista before that, worked fine most of the time, and when it didn't it was usually just small little things like a button being moved somewhere else.
Oslove7 years ago
Having used Win 7 since it first came out I have not had any problems worth mentioning.
Yes it surprised me going on Microsofts track recoerd, they may of got something right this time.
I did a clean install on a spare hard drive keeping XP on another just in case.
All device & there drivers were found.
Was up & running in less than 20 mins.
JavaNut137 years ago
I have Started edition on my netbook, I only used it to download Ubuntu but it worked OK..
Sorry, starter edition.