All Windows 7 problems rolled into one, from issues with wireless connectivity, the system not shutting down, and both volume and iTunes issues
As is the case with any operating system, whether it’s OSX, Windows or Linux, users are likely to encounter issues from time to time.
More often than not these problems can swiftly be patched up by an update of some kind, most likely released by the software’s creator.
A handful of the problems that followed the launch of Windows 7 include: wireless connectivity issues, problems shutting down devices, erratic volume control and some minor blips with Apple’s iTunes software.
We’ve rounded up some of the common issues that users claim to have experienced and try our utmost to offer working solutions.
Windows 7 Problems: Wi-Fi
Some users have reportedly encountered issues with Wi-Fi connectivity, claiming that internet connection dives when the computer goes into sleep mode – and only patches up once a restart is employed.
This is reportedly due to the ‘attached devices power management’ settings in Windows 7, which include the wireless card.
When the computer goes to sleep, Windows 7 cuts off power to the card, in turn, disconnecting it from the network. Unfortunately, even after users wake up their machines they will not reconnect to a wireless network.
To solve this issue, AboutDev has put together a quick guide to disabling Windows’ default control over power management to the wireless card.
Windows 7 Problems: Shutdown
Some users on the Microsoft forums have claimed that their machines won't shut down. Like a stubborn child, the machine refuses to go to sleep and continues running as normal.
According to reports, this could be due to the wireless card being set to 'Wake on Wireless LAN' mode, which basically means the computer will automatically wake itself up once it senses a strong wireless internet connection.
If you’ve disabled 'Wake on Wireless LAN' and still encounter the problem, try to reinstall the BIOS, the system’s basic settings, which will (hopefully) tell the system how to boot up and shut down.
Also check for regular updates from your computer’s manufacture to see whether they’ve upgraded their BIOS settings, as this will most likely fix the issue.
Still having issues? This next solution is more complicated but could possibly be the final fix.
A user on technet.microsoft.com has discovered that you can edit the registry file which may have been altered.
Another problem users are encountering is their machine taking its time to power off.
The problem could be a rogue process in the system that wants to stay awake all night (like an unruly 8-year-old).
Fortunately, a solution has been put forward by a user on the Windowsbbs forum, who goes by the name of BurrWalnut.
He/she says: “To check if a particular program is slowing the machine when you switch on or shut down, e.g. an antivirus program, go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Performance Information and Tools > Advanced Tools (in the left panel).
“On this screen the problem is sometimes shown. If not, click View Performance Details in Event Log (Event Viewer).
“Events in the 100 series are boot events and I believe those in the 200 series are shut down events. These can be followed up by double-clicking them, then clicking Event Log Online at the bottom.
“In XP and Vista, Microsoft’s Process Explorer is a boon. I haven‘t tried it in Win7 but I see no reason why it shouldn‘t work. There is an explanation and a link to Microsoft’s site here”
Determining the root cause of the problem is tricky as there could potentially be several processes that slowing download times (one user found it to be a help file from his speakers).
If your program isn’t intermittent and the problem occurs constantly each time you attempt to power down your device, you can completely disable the process that is stopping it by launching MSCONFIG and disabling the troublesome process forever (you can re-enable it later if you wish)
If none of the above work, then you can use the three possible solutions (listed here) to edit some settings which enables you to change the time your computer waits before killing an app, and how to create a fast shutdown shortcut.
Windows 7 Problems: Volume
Some users have been flooding internet forums to report their dismay at suddenly decreasing volume levels.
This is a feature that Microsoft bottled with Windows 7 which softens volume when communication is detected (Skype etc).
Unfortunately, it doesn't work as intended and either implements itself when it wants, or refuses to switch off after the communication (Skype chat, for example) is over.
Luckily, there are a quick fixes available which solve this problem, which you can read about here.
Windows 7 Problems: iTunes
Although it’s in Apple’s best interest to want to make its iTunes software play nice with Windows, unfortunately, this isn't always the case (though no deliberate fault of Apple’s, mind).
Users have reported several issues with iTunes on the Windows 7 platform including not being able to sync photos, the program not booting properly or users’ iDevices not appearing on the system.
The first fix should always be to download and install the latest version of iTunes as it will provide a more stable software experience.
Apple also provides its own troubleshooting page which has helpful tips, hints and solutions, which you can search to check if they have covered your problem.
Meanwhile, some users are reporting that iTunes refuses to open up in anything other mode than compatibility mode.
If it were a teenager, we would be pleased, unfortunately, 'compatibility mode' means that it won't work properly on Windows 7. You won't be able to add to your library or even edit song info.
To make sure that compatibility mode is switched off, a user on sevenforums recommends right-clicking the app icon and selecting properties, then navigate to the 'compatibility' tab and ensure the option is unchecked.
Rather worryingly, some users are encountering the problem after unchecking this box, with the warning dialog box cautioning them once more that iTunes is in compatibility mode.
There is a fix, provided by Rick Broida from PCWorld.com.