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Doug's Mailbag: Troubleshooting Windows 7

Like Doug said, he's been having some Windows 7 issues, from printer problems to the occasional (OK, daily) crash. A couple of you wrote in to commiserate and offer some suggestions:

Windows 7 is only on my desktop, which I never allow to sleep; I still have x64 Vista on my laptop. (Well, I did 'til this morning when the roof in my office leaked water all over it and now it doesn't turn on.) Neither Firefox 3.5, Safari 4 nor Opera (even 10, the latest version) work in Windows 7 with Flash -- and I have no clue why. Maybe it's a ploy to increase IE 8 usage. My 'Net connection is fine; no idea why you are having problems. Fresh install? I had problems only when doing upgrades. No VPN issues, either.

But HP LaserJet 1505n doesn't work for me either; I put a mild amount of effort into it but gave up when I am able to print to my HP 2600n and my Brother 685CW.

I've got Flash working on my Windows 7 install. I had trouble at first but ended up installing Flash Player 10 ActiveX first, then the Flash Player 10 plug-in.

By the way, I've been using Office 2007 for a good while now and for the past year with it running on top of Vista. You'd have to pay me a bunch to go back to Office 2003.

I have been using Windows 7 since the betas started coming out for it. As for your network connection shutting down, check in the Device Manager of the adapter for any power settings. These devices usually have a setting under Power Management that you can uncheck that allows the computer to turn it off when it goes to sleep. That is one of the first things I turn off when I build a new computer.

As for Windows crashing, I have not had a single crash on Windows 7 or Vista yet. I have Vista running on my main desktop, backup desktop and a new HP laptop. I am running Windows 7 RC on a 4-year-old laptop without a problem. I would check into any application or hardware updates to try to alleviate the crashes.

And finally, despite Doug's (and others') IE 8 problems, Joe thinks it's a solid browser:

I firmly believe that IE 8 is extremely well-crafted and nothing to be afraid of. Perhaps it's simply a case of too many people not wanting to learn how to use it, much like they didn't with Vista, an extremely stable system (and with Windows 7, which I'm using at present and is even more stable).

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/15/2009 at 1:16 PM


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