Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Windows 7 RTM feedback...

I decided to go ahead and buy a TechNet subscription so I could "evaluate" Windows 7, and am now running Windows 7 RTM on both of my computers. One was an upgrade from Windows Vista 64-bit, the other was a (sneaky) forced upgrade from Windows 7 RC.

In the spirit of "evaluating" Windows 7, I thought I might post some of the issues/problems I have encountered in the RTM version:
  • The upgrade process reset the date modified attribute for all the directories in my user folder. That was one of my favourite things to sort by, so definitely an annoyance.
  • The installer asked me to remove Avira AntiVirus which wasn't actually installed anymore. It was in fact complaining about some old left over driver which I had to manually remove - but how they expect the average user to work that out I don't know.
  • I had a printer shared on the Windows Vista installation. I had renamed the share (to change a space to an underscore, because I was trying to make it accessible from another Mac OS X computer). After upgrading from Vista to 7, the share was still there but it didn't actually work anymore. In Devices and Printers, the printer wasn't marked as shared so I had to share it again. Unsurprisingly, I couldn't use the old share name. I am now left with two printer shares, one of which doesn't work. I thought I would try and remove the dead share using the "net share" CLI command, but I just get: "System error 1801 has occurred. The printer name is invalid." Lovely.
  • This one was on the machine I did the naughty upgrade from Win 7 RC on, but I can't say if that was related to the problem or not. I had .NET Framework 4 beta 1 installed on Win 7 RC, after upgrading to Win 7 RTM I ended up with a broken .NET Framework installation. The solution here was to uninstall .NET Framework 4 and then reinstall it.
  • When dragging an object from an external application (say foobar2000) Windows Explorer windows no longer automatically scrolls when you are near the edges of the items area.
  • When dragging an item over an empty area of the task bar, it no longer shows the desktop automatically. This is probably due to the fact that you can now pin items to the task bar - my view though is that it could very well do both. You can now go over to the show desktop button, but that is all the way in the bottom right corner..
  • This is definitely annoying, it happens on my desktop with a WUXGA monitor. Since it is reported on both AMD ATI and nVidia graphics cards, I'm reluctant to blame the graphics card driver (which is the latest version).
  • When connecting say an SD Card, it doesn't prompt you to view the files or do something with it. I think they have changed this in Vista now also. There is probably some way to change this, I will have to have a look, but generally I want to look at the photos or something when I put in the card from my camera..
  • I wrote about it before, but the removal of the columns header in the Windows Explorer views other than Details is a major step backwards. You now can't at a glance see the current sort order. Sorting by the reverse order of another criteria now takes a lot more work.
  • I wrote about this before, but I still think the Show Desktop icon should be near the bottom left of the screen. The desktop icons are usually on the left of the screen, and also I like liked to blindly click in the bottom right to view the calendar.
  • Amazingly, the Windows Photo Viewer doesn't handle smooth (Microsoft) mouse wheels correctly. It falls into the category "doesn't react unless you scroll the wheel exceptionally fast", and the bug I believe is a is a carry over from Windows Vista. My post on WM_MOUSEWHEEL failings is currently the fourth result on Google.com for "WM_MOUSEWHEEL", so hopefully I've made the world a better place regardless :p
  • Some of the changes to Windows Update seem a step backwards to me. On the page where you select which updates to install, the published date column has been removed, so you have to click on each individual update to see the date. There is also now no "Install" button on that page, you are returned to the previous page to click on install which is a bit more mouse work.
  • Somehow this UI glitch wasn't spotted:

    Yes it is minor enough (the "System" text overlaps the mouse over background), but surely you would notice that from the get-go?
  • The new calculator also tends to slow me down. Vista essentially has the "Scientific" and "Programmer" combined in one, and as I use both views all the time this was really useful. They are separated in Windows 7 which means constant switching of the view, which also causes you to lose your current number (it did before, but I never needed to change view). If they had a toolbar with buttons to change the view, that might help. Animations that weren't quite as annoying after the tenth time would also help. As I mentioned previously, the swapping of the View and Edit menus is also a nuisance. (Some of the new parts of the calculator are useful though, for example the binary display in Programmer view).
  • It really seems unnecessary/mean to remove the Vista Ultimate Extra games (Hold 'Em etc.) when upgrading to Windows 7. It should provide compatible versions.
  • The best is saved until last: On the Windows Update restart reminder, the "Remind me in" time defaults to 10 minutes. If you click on the drop down (mouse left click), press down a few times to four hours (keyboard down arrow), click on the drop down again (mouse left click) and then click on Postpone (mouse left click) it will prompt you again in 10 minutes - not four hours. Not the first time mixed keyboard and mouse navigation has caused issues. This was probably an issue in Windows Vista too but I only recently worked it out. At least I now know why that prompt annoyed me to no end!
OK, I think I got most of it out of my system :p


Anonymous said...

About this "Update restart reminder" dropdown. I believe that it is normal dropdown combobox behavior: when you navigate the listbox using keyboard and then click on combobox area (instead of hitting Enter key), then the listbox part loses focus realising mouse capture, and initial user selection is ignored.

DisplayNameHere said...

No, it doesn't affect the standard common controls combo box.

Even if you were right, it should then revert to the old selection! But it ends up displaying one thing and doing another :/

Big B said...

upgrading from a release candidate? i just think is a bad idea in the first place... i understand you probably didn't wanna reinstall/config it all, but most stuff you can backup via internal routines, ini files, exporting registry keys, etc. i had to do it, from xp. but i ran the RC in a virtual machine and waited for RTM to hit technet until i 'went for it'. the framework 4.0 prob? c'mon... it's beta 1? what do you expect from beta software?

the restart prompt can be killed via a registry entry or group policy edit. i forgot which one, but mine no longer does it. the 'dirty' way is to just stop the windows update service temporarily until your next reboot, then it'll auto-startup again. and.. as for the "aero peek", why not just pin a shortcut to "show desktop"; old school. the old quicklaunch toolbar still is there-> C:\Users\(You)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch -- you probably can't pin it at first.. but you can get around that. or just create a new toolbar, point it to the quicklaunch location above, and you have quicklaunch back. I've got all kinds of neat shit you can do that I've all put into .reg files so that in the future i can just double click to change/add/remove stuff. let me know if you want to know some. actually, for a good start, check the URL in my post out.. you'll dig it.

Big B said...

btw... great work on your foobar ipod plugin. i wanna use it but i'm scared haha.. you know how apple screwed with the DB format in iTunes9. well. didn't know that. plus i'm one of the unfortunate P55 chipset owners... intel branded board. no BIOS fix yet. argh. shouldn't the makers of the chipset have the BIOS update out BEFORE the secondary OEM's? i mean wtf. uh.... oh yeah. damn A-D-D. is your player compatible with iTunes9, or no? i want to get rid of that POS for good. (itunes). your plugin could be my answer. i just am scared i'll use your plugin and then the DB is all corrupted (not because of you, because of apple's BS). thanks again! keep up the good work.