This morning, conventional wisdom doesn’t look so bad. Last night, the new Win 7 system started responding slowly. Norton Internet Security was doing a full scan at the time, so I didn’t worry about it much. I brought up the Task Manager and didn’t see anything untoward. But then I couldn’t close the Task Manager.
This morning, the Task Manager was still hung, as was a window left over from the installation of the Epson 3880 driver. I tried a restart, and it hung on the “Logging Off” screen. I power-cycled the computer. After the OS came up, it said it wanted to install 10 updates. I let it have its way. The ensuing restart was normal.
I tried to break the OS. I started the Adobe updater and opened and closed programs while it was running, which is never a good idea. No problem. I opened a lot of programs at the same time. No glitches.
There was a weird thing that happened during the stress testing. The first time I ran Word 2007 I got a Window saying Office 2007 was preparing for the first use, and two error messages appeared in the error log. The messages were especially odd in light of the fact that I’d been using Outlook 2007 extensively. After that, all the Office apps worked as expected.
I stopped trying to make it crash and started to fix things.
I removed the Windows Mobile Device Center and its associated updater. That got rid of the wmdc.exe error.
I opened the error log and noticed that the Apple software updater was throwing a bunch of errors. I removed it, and all the Apple software it was trying to update (Quicktime and iTunes). PrintService reported a print spooler error and complained of an unreadable registry key. The printer referenced was a remote shared printer that I didn’t want to use. I finally removed it, but it was not easy. The printer didn’t show up in the new “Devices and Printers” window (now accessible directly from the “start” button, like in XP but unlike Vista, where you had to open the control panel first). Finally, I found a link at the top of the devices and printers window that gets you to a print server window, where you can uninstall drivers for printers that have been removed, but are still hanging around zombie-like, screwing things up.
I removed the printer driver for the printer connection. The error messages continued. Finally, in exasperation, I removed the branch in the registry tree having to do with the printer connection.
I had a Microsoft management console set up with all the snap-ins I needed to manage the computer. Some of them didn’t work under Win 7, including the reliability monitor, which I had always thought was a good idea in principle, but never seemed to work out in reality — I note that there is no Win 7 version.
I removed the Xerox 6250. I tried installing a new printer driver using the Xerox web installation program. I refused to print the test page, and Word 2007 abended when I tried to print from it. I uninstalled the printer again and tried installing the Xerox 32-bit global Postscript driver. It looked like it installed OK, but couldn’t print a test page. I ran the troubleshooter, and it said it could communicate with the printer, but that the toner was low. I printed a test page from another computer. It printed fine. I used the print server window to remove the driver. Finally, I downloaded the Xerox regular printer driver, and ran the setup program locally. Problem solved.
I let the machine run overnight, and look at the error log in the morning. Aside from a time synch problem that I’ll look at later, the only things wrong were two programs had unsuccessfully tried to run a component. The first was FlexColor. That was easy: the version that I had installed was ancient. I removed it. The second was Roxio Creator. I poked around and found that I had two versions installed. I removed the older one. That didn’t fix the problem.
With the errors in a running machine pretty much under control, I started to tackle the boot and log-in errors. The list was pretty impressive. There were 31 errors, 19 of which were related the system’s inability to start the circular kernel context logger. I poked around on the web, found that this is a known Win 7 problem, renamed the setup.etl file to setup.old, rebooted, and only saw four errors, none of which were related to the circular kernel context logger.
To get a handle on how much to worry about four boot errors, none of which looked particularly dire, I examined the error log of a well-running Vista x64 system, and found 14 boot and log-in errors.
All, in all, I’m pretty happy with the in-place upgrade to Win 7.