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Top 13 Most Common Problems with Windows 7 and How to Fix Them

Windows 7 fix problems


Windows 7 problems7

Some of the most commonly reported problems with Windows 7 include compatibility with older programs, slow performance on low-end hardware, and trouble with the Aero theme and its features. In this article, I’ll show you how to fix these annoyances. Also you can use some of most used Windows 7 commands for deeper troubleshooting.

1. Windows 7 Seems Slow

Windows 7 is hungry for resources. It features many visual effects that draw heavy on your graphics card and system memory ( RAM ). If your system was slow out of the box, chances are you can easily fix that by turning off superfluous effects.

To do that go to Start and in the search field type performance. Select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows from the results. The Performance Options window will open. Under Visual Effects select Adjust for best performance. If you would like to retain a nice interface, select  Custom and check Use visual styles on windows and buttons.


2. Windows Aero Not Working

First , you should make sure that your graphics card supports Aero effect and that graphics driver is up to date. However, if your computer came with Windows 7 this should not be an issue. Finally, Aero effect could be disabled in your registry. Before I proceed to explain how to check and edit your registry, I must warn you! Editing the registry in wrong way and in wrong registry entries can cause permanent damage to your Windows installation. Please backup your registry  and be sure that you know what you’re doing.

Go to Start and type regedit into the  search field. Launch regedit and browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM. The value of the entry ‘EnableAeroPeek  should be set to 1, rather than 0.


3. Older Programs Not Compatible

Before upgrading to Windows 7, it is advisable to check which of your programs will be compatible and will run without problem. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor checks the most common programs. However, you may have to do a manual check at the Windows 7 Compatibility Center for many other programs. Now, if you have already upgraded and if it turns out that a your favorite program is not compatible, there is a way out: Windows 7 Compatibility Mode.

To install a program in Compatibility Mode, right-click its installation file  or Setup executable file and select Properties. In its  Properties windows switch to the Compatibility tab, check Run this program in compatibility mode for: and from the pull-down menu choose the latest version of Windows of which you know that the program was running on – it will be for sure Windows XP.


You may have to repeat this step with the program executable file itself once it is installed. Right-click the program icon, select Properties, switch to Compatibility tab, check Run this program in compatibility mode for:, and choose the respective Windows operating system. Furthermore, you can change the settings for the respective program and you should explore how the program behave, depending on the issue you’re facing.


Finally, if you have Windows 7 Professional or up ( Enterprise or Ultimate ), you can use Windows 7s XP Mode. It runs Windows XP as a virtual machine and you can install all programs that worked on Windows XP in this separate environment.

4. DVD Drive Not Found

Windows 7 can not find your optical DVD drive? This is another issue that involves editing the registry. The warning from point 2 applies about change the registry!

Then click  Start, type regedit in the search field and launch it from the results. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class‘. Under the class key, in different entries , find under the every entries in the right-handpanel and delete UpperFilters andLowerFilters‘, then restart Windows and see if the problem was resolved.

If not, click  Start, type in the search field compmgmt.msc and select it, then in the left pane select Disk Management. In the  Disk Management  window right-click on the  optical DVD drive icon and select Change Drive Letter and Paths‘. In the  Change Drive Letter and Paths window click the Change… button and choose a new drive letter. Restart Windows and hope the issue was fixed.

5. New Themes Change Custom Icons

So you switched windows themes and found that some of your custom icons where changed? That’s quite annoying, but it’s easy to prevent and to fix. Right-click  desktop, select  Personalize, in the control panel windows that opens click on  Change Desktop Icons, and in the  Desktop Icon Settings  window uncheck Allow themes to change desktop icons‘ .

Desktop Icon Settings window

Another common issue, which only seems to occur in older laptops ( maybe this will be a rare case – because older laptops does not have strong system configuration to support Windows 7), is that Windows 7 falsely reports an empty battery and subsequently shuts down. First, get to an administrative command prompt. Do this by either opening a cmd character-based session and pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER or from Start go to All ProgramsAccessories, right click on Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator.”

Once there, run the following command: Powercfg –setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENTSUB_BATTERY BATACTIONCRIT 0. This command changes the current power scheme so that even when Windows 7 thinks the battery is almost out of power, it won’t shut down the PC. Of course, if your battery is really close to running out of power, you may find yourself trying to work on a suddenly switch off laptop.

6. Missing Explorer folders

You can fix this issue by click on Start – Computer in Windows 7 Explorer and you’ll find system folders like Control Panel and the Recycle Bin are no longer displayed in the left-hand Explore pane. This seems like a backward step to us, but there’s a quick solution. Click Tools – Folder Options ( if you don’t see menu , maybe you must type ALT key and menu will appear), check “Show all folders” in navigation pane section, click OK and all your top-level system folders will reappear.

Folder Options

7. Missing applets

Windows 7 installs quickly and takes up less hard drive space than you might expect, but appliance like – Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and other applets are no longer bundled with a standard Windows installation. Instead you must download the programs you need from the Windows Live Essentials SIte.

Installing Live Essentials will also get you potentially unnecessary extras effort, though, like an ActiveX control to help in uploading files to Windows Live SkyDrive. And the Windows Live Sign-In Assistant, which can be useful if you want to switch between multiple Windows Live accounts. If you have only one Windows Live account, and no plans to use Live SkyDrive, then these can safely be removed from the Control Panel – Uninstall a Program applet.

Windows Live

8. XP Mode doesn’t work

If you’ve ancient software that won’t work under Windows 7 then in theory you can use Windows XP Mode, a virtual machine ( rudimental Virtual PC ) with an installation of Windows XP that should be more successful. In practice, however, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Problem No 1 is Windows XP Mode requires hardware support from the CPU. The “Microsoft Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool  can check your system to see if it’s compatible.

Problem No 2 is that the feature must be enabled in the BIOS. Microsoft has some instructions , but essentially you just need to browse to your BIOS setup program looking for an AMD-V, Intel VT or VIA VT virtualization  setting and ensure it’s turned on – for virtualization support.

Unfortunately Problem No 3 is that some laptop manufacturers have previously disabled this setting for “security” reasons. Sony Vaio-s had the feature turned off for a while, prompting some to recommend ways in which you can edit their firmware to restore the setting, although Sony seems to have restored it recently. If hardware virtualization is turned off on your system then check with the manufacturer – a BIOS upgrade may fix the problem. And if all else fails, just use a package like  VirtualBox lor maybe VMPlayer link  that doesn’t insist on hardware support. You will need to provide a licensed copy of XP (or whatever other version you want to use) to install on it. This tools for creating Virtual Machines is not bad idea.

Microsoft Hardware Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool

WINDOWS 7 XP MODE: Good news – this CPU is up to the task of running XP Mode

9. Can’t disable hibernation

Windows 7 doesn’t make it easy to turn off hibernation, annoying if you never use it as you’ll permanently have a “hiberfil.sys” file taking up a sizeable portion of your hard drive. To rectify this situation, click Start button, in the search field type regedit and lunch it, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power, and set HibernateEnabled to zero – 0.

10. Poor video quality

The new Windows 7 power options plan settings affect more of your software than ever before. If you notice video playback quality seems poor, for instance, then click Start, type PowerOptions and click the Power Options link. Click Change Plan Settings for your currently selected plan, click Change Advanced Power Settings, expand the Multimedia Settings section and make sure “When playing video” is set to Optimise video quality”. Alternatively, if you often play video on a laptop, then change the new setting to “Optimise power performance” and you may see an improvement in battery life.

11. Where’s Software Explorer?

If you’ve ever played with Windows Vista then you’ll have probably noticed the Software Explorer feature, a very useful way to find out and control exactly what’s launched on your PC when Windows starts. So it’s a little disappointing to see this has disappeared in the latest version of Windows 7, leaving you with only the aging ( but effective ) MSCONFIG to control your startup programs.

We’d recommend you download and use Autoruns   ( from good old Sysinternals) instead. It’s rather more technical than Software Explorer, but nothing else provides quite as much useful detail on the add-ons and extensions you’ll be loading when Windows, Explorer and your browser are launched.

Sysinternals Autoruns

START UP: Autoruns shows all the programs that will load when your computer starts

12. Explorer navigation

The Windows 7 version of Windows Explorer has partly split its two panes, so if you’re double-clicking your way down a complex set of folders in the right-hand pane, the left hand tree won’t always expand to follow you. This may improve performance a little, but it also means that you won’t always be able to see the complete folder structure unless you expand it manually, which seems a bad idea. If you agree then you can set it up this, click OrganizeFolder and Search Options, check “Automatically expand to current folder”, and click OK to restore normal operations.


13. iPhone won’t sync in Windows 7

Irritated iPhone users are beginning to report major difficulties in getting their iPhone to synchronized with Windows 7 systems. Particularly for 64-bit Windows 7 systems, based around the P55 chipset. The iPhone is usually (though not always) recognised , but  iTunes then complains that it can’t connect to the unit because of an “unknown error”, usually (though again, not always) 0xE8000065.

Disabling USB power management appears to be one solution. Click Start, type DEVMGMT.MSC and press Enter to launch Device Manager, then click View  – Devices By Type. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section of the tree, right-click each USB Root Hub entry in turn, select Properties -  Power Management, and clear “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.

Reboot your computer after this configuration and try again. This works for some, but if you’re out of luck then check the Apple Discussions thread for other ideas.