Tuesday 15 January 2013

Windows 7 Aero Crashes, for no reason, a solution.

I had this long running problem for over a year, and it drove me NUTS.

Aero would stop working if I hibernated my PC, or switched user.

I Googled, a lot, learnt a lot, WDM (Windows Desktop Manager) service, etc. but nothing worked. Microsoft’s own tool said there was nothing wrong. Stop the WDM service, re-start it, nothing.
Log out, log back in all fine. But very occasionally, I’d just be using the PC, and Aero would stop. Yet I could run any game, no problems.

So I installed Windows 7 again to a different partition, and then tried that installation of Windows 7, again same problem!
Obviously all service pack and updates applied, no solution.

The graphics card was upgraded, from an ATI Radeon HD5750 to HD6850, STILL no change.

Then I tired one of my children’s NVidia cards, still no change.

Then I upgraded my hard drive, still no change.

Then I upgraded mother CPU and RAM, still no change!

I gave up.

And then, almost a year later, my EZ Cool PSU died (diagnosing THAT is another painful story).

I fished out an old 550W PSU, nice and noisy, and guess what, the Aero crashing problem is gone!

It was The PSU! I did think for few fleeting moments that it maybe sometime ago, and then thought, don’t be ridiculous.

But there you go, if your Aero crashes a lot, it maybe the PSU, as it was in my case.

But alas, for all my love of Aero, Microsoft has removed it in Windows 8. I am not grateful or happy at that. Then again, my thoughts on Windows 8, after trying it out for a few weeks are, well, quite negative. I have no intention of going for it, unless sometime in the future I end up with a laptop for which no Windows 7 drivers are available. Then again if the laptop won’t run the odd game (I play about 2 to completion in a year, Skyrim is the most recent) I want to play, I’d happily stick Linux on it (Mint, not Ubuntu, as its Unity UI is as sucky as Windows 8 IMHO, well NOT so IMHO).

Friday 11 January 2013

Stuff that died, recently.

So here a list of stuff that's not worked as it should, recently.

1. EZ Cool PC PSU - Dead, pain caused, significant wastage of time.

2. Corsair Force 3 SSD - Dead, pain caused, minor catastrophe, loss of last blog entry.

3. iPhone 4 - Son's sticky phone button, pain caused, considerable worry and a good few hours wasted.

4. Motorola Atrix(s) - dead ear pieces, pain caused, massive by Everything Everywhere and some time wasted fixing it.

5. Nintendo 3DS - Region coding issues, pain caused, time wasted browsing web trying to pin this down, only partially resolved.

So there we are, WHY I spend (waste?) time writing this, because all this stuff that should work,  dies.

Of course I have lots of stuff that is ancient and still works, an over 10 year old Hitachi 17" monitor, now used as our home CCTV monitor, maybe one or two failed pixels, but otherwise fine, though obsolete.

Then there are the Panasonic Plasmas, a 42", pre 1080p display, works fine, now about eight years old, and a 58" one that is now about 4 years old, and going strong.

Oh but then there's the rubbishy Hitachi 42" plasma, just about clinging to life, and my 3D Samsung 59" PS59D550, which has had its 'issues' shall we say, and still has one.

However the stuff that has died, well it shouldn't have if it was better built, and the time wasted on fixing and/or replacing these things, I would rather not waste. Anyway, gory details to follow, starting with the 3DS, in short I love the 3D, good product, but the 'Nintendo political region coding' is unforgivable. There are perils related to someone buying one as gift for your children, from abroad. Their regions are 'custom', not old the PAL, NTSC etc. one could live with, but wired, apparently undocumented, 'sub-regions'. More on that in the next entry.