windows 8 en Windows 8 and 8.1 Finally Topple XP in Market Share <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_xp_bsod.jpg" alt="Windows XP BSOD" title="Windows XP BSOD" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />A once mighty giant has fallen</h3> <p>With so many people clinging to Windows XP despite Microsoft's repeated attempts to bury the legacy OS and the lukewarm (at best) response to Windows 8, it didn't seem like the latter would ever overtake the former in market share. Never say never, right? <strong>For the first time ever,</strong> <strong>the combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is higher than that of Windows XP</strong>, based on the latest data provided by Net Applications.</p> <p>Windows XP's share of the market has been slowing declining for the past couple of years, but the biggest plunges have only occurred recently. Here's a <a href=";qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=167&amp;qpnp=25&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">rundown</a>:</p> <ul> <li>August: 23.89 percent</li> <li>September: 23.87 percent</li> <li>October: 17.18 percent</li> <li>November: 13.57 percent</li> </ul> <p>Just five months ago, Windows XP was still found on a quarter of all PCs; now it's fast approaching just 1 out of every 10 systems. This recent rapid decline has allowed Windows 8 to catch up and surpass XP, at least if you factor in version 8.1 installs as well. The combined share for both platforms for the past four months looks like this:</p> <ul> <li>August: 13.37 percent</li> <li>September: 12.26 percent</li> <li>October: 16.8 percent</li> <li>November: 18.65 percent</li> </ul> <p>Data from StatCounter tells a similar story, though with <a href="" target="_blank">different numbers</a>. According to StatCounter, Windows XP's share of the desktop is down to 11.84 percent, trailing Windows 8.1 at 12.12 percent and Windows 8 at 5.42 percent, which combine for a 17.54 percent share of the market.</p> <p>Of course, Windows 7 is still the go-to OS for Windows users. Net Applications and StatCounter have Windows 7 sitting handsome at 53.71 percent and 55.75 percent, respectively.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Daniel Oines)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft net applications netmarketshare operating system Software windows 7 windows 8 windows 8.1 windows xp News Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:47:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 29015 at Microsoft Is Giving 100 Free Albums To Windows 8 And Windows Phone Users Through Music Deals App <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/music_deals_albums.jpg" alt="Music Deals" title="Music Deals" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Rock out with your Windows Phone or Windows device out</h3> <p>It wouldn't be fair to call Microsoft a Scrooge, not when the company is rolling out a pair of sweet deals for the holiday season, one of which includes 100 free albums. The caveat? You have to be a Windows or Windows Phone user. If you are, you can <strong>claim your 100 free albums from Microsoft by installing the company's Music Deals companion app</strong>. These aren't crappy albums, either.</p> <p>Some are obviously better than others, depending on your music preferences, but you'll find plenty of big names like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, Eminem, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, American Idiot, and lots more. And that's just one of the deals going on.</p> <p>Microsoft is also offering up 50 boxed sets at $2 a pop. Think artists and bands like the Eagles, KISS, John Lennon, and of course the list goes on. These sets typically sell for between $15 and $100.</p> <p>"Remember, albums you download as part of our Music Deals are all MP3s. You can download these albums, keep them, and play them on whatever device you have," Microsoft stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>You can grab the Music Deals app from the Windows Store <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> and from the Windows Phone Store <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft music music deals windows 8 windows phone xbox music News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:52:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28996 at Microsoft's Promises a Windows 10 Update for All Lumia Windows Phone 8 Devices <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lumia_1520.jpg" alt="Lumia 1520" title="Lumia 1520" width="228" height="249" style="float: right;" />No Lumia Windows Phone 8 device left behind</h3> <p>This time around, <strong>Microsoft isn't repeating its past mistake and will instead do Lumia phone customers a solid by committing to a Windows 10 update for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets</strong>. Microsoft made the promise in response to a customer's question on Twitter. The customer said he was interested in buying a Lumia 930 phone but wanted to know if it would get the update to Windows 10.</p> <p>"We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10," <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft responded</a>, with a smiling emoticon for good measures.</p> <p>It's not clear when Windows 10 will be finished and ready for deployment, though it's nice to know beforehand that Microsoft won't leave its customer base out in the cold a second time. Microsoft made that mistake when it announced that Windows Phone 7 owners wouldn't be getting an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 due to a kernel change (to Windows NT).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> lumia microsoft mobile operating system OS Software windows 10 windows 8 News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28930 at Fast Forward: Windows 8 Workarounds <!--paging_filter--><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><img src="/files/u187432/windows_8.jpg" width="325" height="183" style="float: right;" />My forced switch to Windows 8.1 broke some vital software that worked perfectly on Windows XP. Luckily, I’ve found workarounds—and they might save your software, too.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Often, Windows 8.1 simply refuses to run an old installer. In other cases, the installer seems to work, but the installed application won’t run. To make Windows 8.1 more cooperative, you’ll need your old system and some persistence.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The first victim I rescued was an old version of Adobe Photoshop. The installer balked, so I bypassed it by copying all the installed files from my XP system to my new system. Then I opened the Properties window for the Photoshop executable file, chose the Compatibility tab, and selected “Windows XP Service Pack 2.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Photoshop still failed to launch but named a DLL file it couldn’t find. I located the DLL in the Windows folder of my XP system and copied it to my new system. To avoid possible conflicts, I put the DLL in the Photoshop folder, not the Windows folder. Usually, programs look for their DLLs locally before searching elsewhere.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">When Photoshop failed to open again, another error message named a different missing DLL. As before, this one was in the Windows folder of my XP system. After I copied it and made another try, Photoshop said it couldn’t find <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">yet another</em> DLL. So I found and copied that one. After six iterations of this process, Photoshop finally launched. Now it runs fine, except it needs administrator-level permission before it opens, probably because it’s not officially logged in the Windows registry.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I’ve used the same solution to salvage other vital programs that Windows 8.1 rejects. Sometimes it doesn’t work when I copy the software to Program Files, so I created a desktop folder called Programs for those cases. Persistence pays off!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> microsoft pc windows 8 From the Magazine Tue, 11 Nov 2014 05:35:34 +0000 Tom Halfhill 28881 at Windows 8.1 Market Share Finally Hits Double Digits <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Windows 8.1" title="Windows 8.1" width="228" height="200" style="float: right;" />Windows 8 and 8.1 combined share also at all-time high</h3> <p>The combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 looked to be <a href="" target="_blank">heading back towards single digits</a> early last month when Net Applications released its desktop OS usage data for the month of September, revealing that the already teetering combo had shed over a percentage points’ worth of market share to reach 12.26 percent. That appears to have been a false alarm as the <strong>latest data from Net Applications data shows an unexpected surge in Windows 8.1 uptake</strong>.</p> <p>Windows 8.1 finished October with 10.92 percent of the desktop market — the first time it has hit double digits. This sharp increase of over 4 percentage points was enough to help propel the combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to beyond the 15 percent mark — also a first. With a combined market share of 16.8 percent, these two versions of Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system are now within touching distance of Windows XP, which saw its share fall sharply from 23.87 percent to 17.18 percent in October. </p> <p>Still firmly entrenched at the top, Windows 7 also witnessed a slight increase in its market share. Per <a href="" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>, the popular OS ended the month with a 53.05 percent share, up slightly from 52.71 percent a month ago. The fact that October was the last month of Windows 7 consumer PC sales may have contributed to this small increase. </p> <p>With Windows 10 due out next year, it will be interesting to see whether or not Windows 8/8.1 will be able sustain this momentum. What do you think?</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> data Market Share microsoft net applications operating system Software windows 8 windows 8.1 News Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:06:33 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28825 at China Plans to Replace All Windows Machines with Linux Rigs by 2020 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/linux_penguin_0.jpg" alt="Linux Penguin" title="Linux Penguin" width="228" height="240" style="float: right;" />It's a "de-Windowsifying movement"</h3> <p>Most of the mainstream angst directed towards Windows 8 and 8.1 in the U.S. has to do with the Modern UI and little things like the lack of a Start menu. But while hopes are high that Windows 10 will be the OS everyone wanted Windows 8 to be, China's concerns run much deeper than the UI. As such, <strong>China reportedly plans to undergo a "de-Windowsifying" process in which its systems will be move to a state-endorsed version of Linux by 2020</strong>.</p> <p>"We call this a de-Windowsifying movement," Computer Science Professor Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering <a href="" target="_blank">told <em></em></a>.</p> <p>The 75-year-old professor went on to discuss his plans to bring together China's homegrown OS developers in an alliance to replace Windows within the next few years.</p> <p>"Now is the most vulnerable time for Microsoft in China, and the best time for homegrown software companies to beat it," Ni added.</p> <p>So far the effort has the support of 15 OS developers. None of them can take on Windows by going at it alone, but China's hope is that by pooling their talent and resources, they can rid the country's reliance on Microsoft's OS. It's also worth noting that China recently banned the use of Windows 8 on all government PCs due to spying concerns.</p> <p>"At the end of the day, I expect the 15 operating systems to merge into one or two operating systems, while the rest of the developers can shift into providing other relevant services," Ni said.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> china linux operating system OS Software Windows windows 8 News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:43:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 28823 at Patent Troll’s Bid to Benefit from Windows Live Tiles Falls Flat <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Live Tiles on a Windows Phone" title="Live Tiles " width="228" height="115" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>All patent claims ruled ‘unpatentable’</h3> <p>Microsoft is not the only company to have pinned high hopes on Windows Live Tiles and been let down. The user interface element that has come to be associated with Windows 8’s well-documented alienation of desktop users has been at the center of a patent lawsuit since 2012.&nbsp; A little-known Portland, Maine-based company named <a href="" target="_blank">Surfcast</a>, which inhabits the obscure realm of “operating system technology” design, suddenly shot to attention a couple of years back, when it filed a <strong>lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the latter of infringing on one of its patents with Live Tiles.</strong> The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on Monday gave its <a href="">final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) of patent 6,724,403 (the “'403 patent”)</a> and sadly for Surfcast, Live Tiles are just as difficult to make money from as ever.</p> <p>In its final written decision, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board declared as many as <a href="">52 of Surfcast’s patent claims “unpatentable.”</a> Now this wouldn’t have been such a huge problem had the total number of claims in Surfcast’s patent not been exactly 52. Ouch!</p> <p>“Microsoft has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 1–52 of the ’403 patent are unpatentable,” the board said in its decision.&nbsp; Further, the board also denied Surfcast’s motion to amend claims.</p> <p>Anyway, here’s an excerpt from <a href=";hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=IVhEVP2zIMGxuAS-zYGgDQ&amp;ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA" target="_blank">the ’403 patent</a> describing Surfcast’s proposed tiles-based interface:&nbsp; “The present invention comprises a grid of tiles that resides on the user's computer desktop. The grid of tiles provides a uniform, graphical environment in which a user can access, operate, and/or control multiple data sources on electronic devices. The graphical environment is uniform with respect to the source of accessed information and can manage multiple streams of content, entirely of the user's choice. For example, the invention presents video clips, e-mail messages, television shows, Internet sites, application programs, data files and folders, live video streams, music, radio shows, and any other form of analog signal, digital data or electronically stored information, to the user uniformly and simultaneously, regardless of whether the information is stored locally or available via modem, T1 line, infrared, or any other form of communication.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> inter partes review lawsuit live tiles microsoft patent Patent Troll surfcast UI windows 8 windows 8.1 windows phone News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:34:08 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28744 at Windows 8 Market Share Headed Back Towards Single Digits <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_1.jpg" alt="Windows 8" title="Windows 8" width="228" height="222" style="float: right;" />Windows 10 will go up against Windows 7, not Windows 8/8.1</h3> <p>Now that Microsoft has <a href="">unveiled Windows 10</a> and is even <a href="" target="_blank">serving up a Technical Preview</a> for curious folks to check out, Windows 8 is already feeling like old news. Some felt that way even before Microsoft's announcement, which might explain why <strong>Windows 8 lost market share in the desktop OS market in the month of September</strong>. At this rate, it won't be long before Windows 8's share drops back into single digits.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Net Applications</em></a>, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 fell to a combined 12.26 percent of the desktop OS market by the end of September, down more than a percentage point from 13.37 percent at the end of August, which is the highest it's ever been.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how things shake out from there. On one hand, it's possible that Windows 8/8.1 peaked in August and will never see a higher share of the market now that Windows 10 is on the horizon. However, it's also possible that Windows 8/8.1 will see a small surge as companies continue to migrate away from Windows XP, though the numbers don't yet support that notion.</p> <p>Since having support pulled back in April (except for firms who pay for extended support), Windows XP has dropped less than 3 percentage points, going from 26.29 percent at the end of April to 23.87 percent at the end of September, a decline of 2.42 percent. During that same time, Windows 8/8.1 has gone from 12.24 percent to 12.26 percent, or virtually nowhere.</p> <p>Windows 7 is the one that's benefiting from XP's demise -- it's share of the market has gone from 49.27 percent at the end of April to 52.71 percent at the end of September, a bump of 3.44 percent. Barring an extreme turn of events, Windows 10 will find itself competing with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8/81.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> net applications operating system OS Software Windows windows 8 windows 8.1 News Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:13:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 28654 at Windows 8 Shows Signs of Life (Just in Time for Windows 9) <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ekg.jpg" alt="EKG" title="EKG" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Too little, too late?</h3> <p>With each new passing day, more Windows XP users are pulling the plug on the legacy operating system and upgrading to either Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. We can see evidence of this in the market share trend dating back to April, which is when Microsoft stopped supporting XP. Since then, <strong>XP's share of the desktop market has dropped from 26.29 percent to 23.89 percent, while both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 continue to make gains</strong>.</p> <p>Windows 7 held a 49.27 percent share of the desktop market at the end of April. With August having just recently come to a close, Windows 7's share now sits at 51.21 percent, which is virtually unchanged from July (51.22 percent). It's by far the most popular desktop OS, according to data provided by <a href=";qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=164&amp;qpnp=24&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>.</p> <p>However, it's Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 that have shown a pulse in the past month. Windows 8 crept up from 5.92 percent in July to 6.28 percent at the end of August, while Windows 8.1 went from 6.56 percent to 7.09 percent in the same time frame. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is now at 13.65 percent, up from 12.48 percent in June and 12.24 percent in April.</p> <p>At the rate Windows XP is falling and Windows 8/8.1 is climbing, the latter would likely overtake the former in less than a year, except for one little thing -- Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold). Microsoft is <a href="">reportedly planning</a> to unveil Windows 9 this month, followed by releasing a Technology Preview for eager users to play with.</p> <p>Rumor has it Microsoft will <a href="">get rid of the Charms Bar</a> in Windows 9 for desktop PCs. The forthcoming OS is also expected to bring back the shutdown feature on Start, along with other welcome features for mouse and keyboard users. If Windows 9 returns to its roots like users have been asking for, and does it without giving up the speed and security of Windows 8/8.1, then it could quickly find its way onto a significant number of desktops.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS softwware windows 8 windows 8.1 windows 9 windows xp News Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:33:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28469 at Moving On: Microsoft Confirms No More Major Updates for Windows 8 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_0.jpg" alt="Windows 8" title="Windows 8" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Bring on Windows 9!</h3> <p>As Kenny Rogers famously advised a legion of country music fans, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, known when to run." Microsoft isn't quite to the point of running away from Windows 8, though it is ready to walk away from putting time and resources into major updates. <strong>There will be no Windows 8.1 Update 2</strong>, which seemingly suggest Microsoft is now looking ahead to Windows 9.</p> <p>Microsoft tried to address consumer complaints in Windows 8 with Windows 8.1, and then again with its first major update for Windows 8.1. However, Windows 8/8.1 isn't grabbing market share the way Microsoft hoped it would, even with Windows XP taken behind the shed.</p> <p>That reality must have finally hit Microsoft like a ton of bricks, and now the firm is changing gears -- rather than release another major update to Windows 8.1, it's going to add any upcoming changes to its monthly update schedule, better known as Patch Tuesday.</p> <p>"Rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of 'Update Tuesday.' So despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 'Update 2,'" Microsoft stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>That means the next truly major update to Windows will be a brand new version. It's currently codenamed Threshold and is expected to be called Windows 9.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft Software threshold windows 8 windows 8.1 windows 9 News Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:30:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28317 at Windows 8 Market Share Stands Pat as Windows 7 Gains Ground <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_ultrabook.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Ultrabook" title="Windows 8 Ultrabook" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Windows 8 may have hit a brick wall</h3> <p>Not much has happened in the Windows space this summer, though what little movement there's been indicates that <strong>users are still trending more towards Windows 7 than Windows 8/8.1</strong>. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in July was 12.48 percent, down a sliver from 12.54 percent in June and 12.64 percent in May. All of those figures are up slightly from the 12.24 percent share Window 8/8.1 held in April when support for XP ended, but nothing to brag about.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Windows 7 continues to inch forward month after month. Here's how the market share numbers have been playing out for Windows 7 since April of this year, according to data from <a href=";qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=163&amp;qpnp=25&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>:</p> <ul> <li>April: 49.27 percent</li> <li>May: 50.06 percent</li> <li>June: 50.55 percent</li> <li>July: 51.22 percent</li> </ul> <p>That's a 2 percent bump since Microsoft yanked support for Windows XP. And speaking of which, the legacy operating system is still installed on about a quarter of PCs around the world at 24.82 percent, which is down from 26.29 percent in April.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software windows 7 windows 8 windows xp News Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:21:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28287 at Still Committed to Small-screen Windows Tablets, Lenovo Insists <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Lenovo Miix 8" title="Lenovo Miix 8" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Company recently diverted ThinkPad 8 inventory meant for the States to other markets</h3> <p>On Thursday, a report quoting a Lenovo spokesman claimed that the <a href=",1" target="_blank">Chinese PC vendor had decided to stop selling sub-10-inch tablets in the States</a> “due to lack of interest” and was going to divert any remaining inventory of the ThinkPad 8, which debuted in January with a starting price of $449, to countries like Brazil, China, and Japan where demand for such 8-inch tablets continues to remain strong. The company has now issued a statement clarifying that the <strong>withdrawal of the ThinkPad 8 should not be construed as an exit from the market for sub-10-inch Windows tablets in the States.</strong></p> <p>“We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday,” the company said in a <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a> Friday. “Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business as was reported by the media. In short, we will continue to sell both 8 and 10 inch Windows tablets in both the U.S. and non-U.S markets.”</p> <p>This means those contemplating buying a small-screen Windows tablet will have one less vendor to choose from for the foreseeable future — not an ideal situation considering there’s not a lot to choose from anyway.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> Hardware lenovo miix 8 tablet thinkpad 8 windows 8 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:44:15 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28199 at Microsoft Testing Automatic Update to Fix Windows 8.1 Upgrade Woes <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_start_4.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1 Start" title="Windows 8.1 Start" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Let's everyone cross our fingers</h3> <p>Microsoft first offered up its free update to Windows 8.1 (from Windows 8) for the general public back in October of last year, though there are still many users who have been unable to make the leap. If you're one of the unlucky ones pulling your hair out wondering why you can't get the update to install, hang tight, a fix might finally be forthcoming. At long last, <strong>Microsoft has released an automatic update that's supposed to solve the Windows 8.1 upgrade issue</strong>.</p> <p>Hopefully this works better than the original implementation. For whatever reason, Microsoft made the Windows 8.1 upgrade available through the Windows Store. Not everyone was able to install it, however, and this fix Microsoft is rolling out is considered a pilot program.</p> <p>"This (Windows RT) pilot program is an example of ways we're experimenting to help ensure more of our customers benefit from a continuously improving Windows experience," a Microsoft spokesperson said, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Paul Thurrott</a>. "Similar to how the Windows 8.1 Update [1] process works today, the pilot program will automatically update consumer Windows 8 and Windows RT machines for free to Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update in select markets."</p> <p>The update is intended to fix whatever issue is preventing PCs from upgrading to Windows 8.1. If you'd rather not wait for it to be rolled out to your system automatically, you can manually <a href="" target="_blank">grab the download</a> and try your luck, at least for the Windows RT version (we're not aware of a manual download link for the x86 version yet). Please note that you must first install <a href="" target="_blank">update 2871389</a> regardless of whether you're running Windows 8.0 or Windows RT 8.0.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software windows 8 windows 8.1 windows rt News Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:33:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28107 at Acronis Disk Director 12 Adds Support for Windows 8 and 8.1 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dd12.jpg" alt="Acronis Disk Director 12" title="Acronis Disk Director 12" width="228" height="201" style="float: right;" />Handy disk management tool for manipulating partitions</h3> <p><strong>Acronis on Wednesday rolled out Acronis Disk Director 12</strong>, the newest version of its disk management and data manipulation software. Disk Director's 12 core library support was developed by Acronis Labs, the company's $10 million high-tech R&amp;D center launched in 2013. Using the provided tools, users can partition, format, manipulate, clone, install, share, convert, boot, span, merge, split, resize, copy, and move data or disk partitions without losing files.</p> <p>"Since it first hit the market 13 years ago, Acronis Disk Director has been a leading disk management tool and has remained a must-have for technical users who want the most complete disk partitioning and data manipulation solution available," <a href="" target="_blank">said Nat Maple</a>, Senior Vice President &amp; General Manager, Global Consumer Business, Acronis. "But data protection needs have evolved dramatically over the last decade. With most computers now shipping with one large single partition hard drive, the most basic form of data protection available is to create different logical partitions for the operating system and your personal data, protecting your data in the case of an issue or infection of the operating system."</p> <p>The new version offers extended Windows support, including for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, along with earlier versions going back to Windows XP. It also supports newer Unified Extensible Firmwar Interface (UEFI)-based BIOSes. Acronis says Disk Director 12 users can create bootable media and boot into a recovery environment on UEFI systems.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Acronis Disk Director 12</a> is available now for $50 MSRP; three-license packs are available for $80 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> acronis disk director 12 Software windows 8 windows 8.1 News Wed, 28 May 2014 16:00:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 27894 at Blue Screen of Death Survival Guide: Every Error Explained <!--paging_filter--><h3>Every Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) deciphered (Updated!)</h3> <p>If you're returning here by way of bookmark, first off, please accept our condolences. There's only reason you spend time reading a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) article, and that's to try and solve a problem you're having with your own system. If we could give out a teddy bear stuffed with cash to each person that visited this article, we'd do it. Sadly, we don't have teddy bears, and what little cash we have is usually spent at the pub.</p> <p>Secondly, you must we wondering, "Oh snap! I see change, and I hate change! Where's the old BSoD article I bookmarked?!" Not to fear, we realize you hate change, which is why come hell or high water, you're sticking it out with Windows XP even after Microsoft stopped supporting it on April 8, 2014. We have your back, and the original article is still here. All of it. So what are we doing here?</p> <p>The first is we're updating verbiage where necessary. If there was something that seemed difficult to understand before, it should now be easier to decipher. The second thing we've done is added some new information. You see, BSoDs are far less common in the Windows 8/8.1 era, and that was true in the Windows 7 days as well. We've updated this article to explain what happened and what's changed.</p> <p>Finally, we've added a picture gallery. No, it's not filled with cute fuzzy kittens and lolcats, though we're not opposed to either one. It is, however, populated with some of the most embarrassing and comical BSoDs to have ever occurred. Hopefully you'll get a chuckle out of it, or at the very least come to realize that the BSoD you're dealing with isn't as bad as could be.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/bsod_screens.jpg" alt="BSOD Errors" title="BSOD Errors" /></p> <p>Sound like a plan? Great! Let's get started!</p> <p>Picture this: It’s late at night, you’re sitting at your computer playing a game or working on a project when, suddenly, Windows freezes completely. All your work is gone, and you find a blue screen full of gibberish staring back at you. Windows is dead, Jim, at least until you reboot it. You have no choice but to sigh loudly, shake your fist at Bill Gates and angrily push the reset button. You’ve just been visited by the ghost of windows crashed: The blue screen of death.</p> <p>Also known as the BSoD, the Blue Screen of Death appears when Windows crashes or locks up. It’s actually a Windows “stop” screen, and is designed to do two things: tell you the reason for the error, and to calm your nerves, hence the use of the color blue (studies show it has a relaxing effect on people). Though Blue Screens are difficult to decipher, all the information you need to figure out what caused it is right there in front of you in blue and white—and that’s where we come in. We’re going to show you how to dissect the blue screen error details, so you can fix the problem that’s causing them.</p> <h2>BSoD 101: A Crash Course</h2> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Main.png" width="397" height="279" /></p> <h3>Error Name</h3> <p>There are many parts to a BSoD, but the most important is right at the top. The actual name of the error is presented in all caps with an underscore between each word. In some cases this will be all that’s needed to get to the root of the problem (thanks to the handy guide you are about to read). Most of the time, however, more information will be required.</p> <h3><strong>Troubleshooting Advice</strong></h3> <p>Nearly every BSoD includes a portion of text with some basic troubleshooting advice, the first of which recommends restarting your computer. Gee, thanks for the tip Microsoft. Before you restart, copy the exact all-caps error code and hexadecimal values shown above and below this portion of generic text. The next paragraph provides sound advice, alerting the user to check to make sure their hardware is installed properly, or to undo any recent software or hardware upgrades.</p> <h3><strong>Memory Dump</strong></h3> <p>Every BSoD is accompanied by a memory dump. What this means is when Windows crashes, it dumps whatever it is holding in system memory to a file, and saves the file on your hard drive for debugging purposes. If you contact Microsoft for technical assistance, they’ll want to know the contents of this file.</p> <h3><strong>Stop Code</strong></h3> <p>The “technical information” section portion contains the actual Windows stop code, in oh-so-easy-to-read hexadecimal form. Despite appearing unintelligible at first glance, this combination of numbers and letters is instrumental in determining the cause of the crash. Pay particular attention to the first set of numbers and letters. It precedes the other four, which are enclosed in parenthesis. If a specific driver is associated with the crash, it will be listed on the very next line.</p> <p>Click <a title="page 2" href=",1" target="_blank">here</a> to continue reading the article. &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>I Run Vista, so I'm Immune to BSoDs, Right?</h2> <p>Unfortunately, no. A common misconception is that blue screens don't even exist in Vista, but not only are they still there, but we're here to tell you we've seen them first hand. The good news is Microsoft put a lot of work into how Vista handles critical errors and other glitches that in previous OSes would cause a system crash. Most of the time, if a problem occurs, Vista will attempt to fix the problem without any interruption. For example, if your videocard crashes, you may see a message saying "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered." In XP and previous OSes, this almost always would have resulted in a system crash.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Recovered.png" width="415" height="322" /></p> <p>In some cases, Vista will be unable recover on its own, and the result is a blue screen. By default, Vista will reboot itself after briefly flashing the blue screen. It happens so fast you might miss it, but once Windows reloads, you'll be greeted with an error message similar to the above. You can try clicking the 'Check for solution' button, just as you can try your hand playing the lotto. Neither one is likely to result in anything.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Restart.png" width="415" height="237" /></p> <p>Instead, scroll down and take note of the blue screen codes. Armed with this information, you can perform your own detective work. Alternately, if you'd prefer to see the actual blue screen rather than automatically rebooting, right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop, select Properties, and click on Advanced System Settings. In the System Properties window that appears, select the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery, and uncheck the box that says 'Automatically Restart.' The same steps also apply to XP.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Problems.png" width="415" height="300" /></p> <p>In another nod towards streamlining the troubleshooting process, Vista's Problem Reports and Solutions wizard can save you oodles of time in PC detective work, and may even alert you to potential conflicts you weren't even aware existed. You can find this applet by name in your Control Panel, or just type Problem Reports and Solutions in Vista's search box. Once loaded, click 'Check for new solutions' in the left-hand column. If Vista finds any conflicts, it will list them in the main window, along with any potential resolutions.</p> <p>Click&nbsp;<a title="page 3" href=",2" target="_blank">here</a>&nbsp;to continue reading the article. &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h2>IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (0x0000000A)</h2> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_IRQL.png" width="415" height="169" /></p> <p>The most common cause of this conflict is improperly installed drivers for a piece of hardware you recently installed. For example, if you’ve installed a webcam two weeks ago, and have been getting BSoDs ever since, start your investigation with the webcam. First, disconnect the hardware, and uninstall the drivers for it completely. If that fixes the blue screen, you can search for updated drivers or contact the manufacturer.</p> <p>If you haven't installed any new drivers recently, you'll need to do some more detective work. Start by examining the blue screen to see if it lists a specific driver. Looking at the blue screen, check the text at the very bottom of the screen. You'll probably see a file name. This is the driver that caused the problem. If, for example, the driver in question is named nv4_disp.dll (an nVidia-related file), and you've recently switched from an Nvidia videocard to an AMD part, then it's reasonable to assume that either the old driver was not uninstalled correctly, or the new drivers weren't properly installed.</p> <h3>Swapping Videocards</h3> <p>If you've narrowed your search of offending drivers down to those associated with your videocard, turn off the system, disconnect the power, and remove and reseat the videocard. Next, go into the BIOS (press F2 or Delete when your BIOS prompts you to do this, or consult your user manual or motherboard manufacturer's website) and check the bus speed for your videocard. We typically recommend leaving the PCI-E frequency set to Auto in the BIOS, but if you've overclocked your system, it can inadvertently knock the bus speed beyond a stable spec, which can cause blue screens. If that's the case, manually set your PCI-E frequency to 100MHz.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Uninstall.png" width="415" height="311" /></p> <p>You're more like to experience this IRQL error when switching form one videocard brand to another, as the drivers will conflict with each other. The safe way to swap videocards is to completely remove all remnants of your old videocard drivers. On older systems, you can try <a href="" target="_blank">Driver Cleaner</a>, or the freebie alternative <a href="" target="_blank">Driver Sweeper</a>&nbsp; To begin the process, open up your Control Panel, select Add or Remove Programs in XP or Programs and Features in Vista, highlight the videocard drivers, and click Uninstall. Reboot the computer, holding down the F8 key to enter safe mode. Run the Driver Cleaner utility to scrub away any remnants of the previous drivers that a typical uninstall overlooks. After you reboot, install the appropriate drivers for your new videocard.</p> <p>It's not entirely necessary to use a third-party utility, though if problems linger when trying to uninstall drivers on your own, it's worth a shot.</p> <h3><strong>Some Sound Advice</strong></h3> <p>When the error is related to an audio driver, take note of the program that was running when the BSoD occurred. Make sure the offending application's sound options are configured correctly -- it's especially important that it uses the correct audio device -- and download any patches available that address known issues. You should update your soundcard's drivers as well.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Soundcard.png" width="415" height="343" /></p> <p>If you're using an add-in soundcard, verify that the motherboard's onboard audio is disabled in the BIOS, so the two audio drivers don't conflict with each other.</p> <h3><strong>Change Doctors</strong></h3> <p>System services known to cause this error include virus scanners and backup utilities. We've had good luck sticking with the major players, such as AVG, Norton, Kaspersky, AntiVir, and Nod32 for our antivirus scanning, and Norton Ghost and Acronis TrueImage for backup duties. Do not run more than one antivirus application on your computer at the same time!</p> <h2>DATA_BUS_ERROR (0x0000002E)</h2> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/RAM.png" width="415" height="150" /></p> <p>This is one of the easier BSoDs to diagnose, as faulty memory sticks are almost always to blame. If you get this error, think for a second: Are those DIMMs you just added compatible with your motherboard? Your motherboard manufacturer's website will have a list of specific brands verified to work with your particular board, although these are often incomplete.</p> <div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Memory_Slots.png" width="415" height="311" /><br /><span style="font-size: xx-small">(Image Credit: Corsair)</span></div> <p>Next (and more importantly), are they installed in the correct slots? Some motherboards are more finicky than others when it comes to proper slot placement, and the situation is compounded when dealing with a dual-channel, tri-channel, and quad-channel configurations. Most motherboards that run dual-channel require that you install matching sets of RAM in the same-color slots, while others, such as some MSI boards, require that you install them in alternate slots. And if you have a Core i7 setup, you may need to install your RAM starting with the slot farthest from the CPU. When in doubt, poke your head in the user's manual.</p> <p>Once you've verified that your RAM is installed correctly and is compatible with your motherboard, check to make sure they're running within spec. It's possible you may have set your memory's latency timings too aggressive, or maybe the sticks can't handle the frequency you're trying to run them at. Your BIOS could also mis-read the SPD settings. Whatever the case, look up the correct parameters for your RAM and try manually setting them in the BIOS.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Memtest.png" width="370" height="295" /><br /><span style="font-size: xx-small">(Image Credit:</span></p> <p>If the problem persists, the the problem is likely a bad stick. To find out which stick is bad you can simply remove one stick, then run your system for a while to see if the blue screens stop. Then swap the sticks and run your test again. If the machine blue screens with one stick, but not the other, you've found your culprit. You can also run a diagnostic program such as <a href="" target="_blank">Memtest86+</a> to help determine which stick is defective. If you're running Vista, you can also use Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool. Type the name of the program in Vista's search box, and once selected, it will run the next time you reboot. Because most RAM sold today includes a lifetime warranty, be sure to check with your vendor before you toss out a bad stick.</p> <p>Click&nbsp;<a title="page 4" href=",3" target="_blank">here</a>&nbsp;to continue reading the article. &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h2>NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM or FAT_FILE_SYSTEM (0x00000024 or 0x00000023)</h2> <p>While many blue screens can be traced back to a new hardware install or bad memory, this particular error screams in capital letters that something is fishy with your hard drive. The error that gets displayed depends on the file system your OS is using. In most cases, the file system will be NTFS. With really old systems, the error will read FAT16. If you get this error, be sure to do one thing immediately, before you even being to contemplate its cause: Back up your important data.</p> <h3>Call the Cable Guy</h3> <div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_SATA.png" width="415" height="288" /><br /> <span style="font-size: xx-small"><span style="font-size: xx-small">(Image Credit: Tomshardware)</span></span></div> <p>The easiest solutions are often the most overclocked, but they can also be the most effective. Checking your hard drive's cable connections falls into this category. SATA cables are notorious for working themselves loose --we've had this happen to us on many occasions. If using a SATA drive, make sure you have only one power cable connected, not two (many SATA hard drives include a SATA power cable and a legacy four-pin connector). With a PATA drive, remove the ribbon cable and look for any bent or broken pins. Carefully line up the cable and push it securely into place. You might also have a bad cable, so if you have a space cable lying around -- one you know to be good -- swap it with the one in your PC.</p> <h3><strong>Check Please!</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Chkdsk_0.png" width="415" height="178" /></p> <p>Now it's time to check your drive for errors. To do this, we'll first run a diagnostic scan. In XP, click Start, then Run, and type <em>cmd</em>. In Vista, simply type <em>cmd</em> in the Start Search box, then right-click cmd.exe and select Run as Administrator.. At the flashing command prompt, type chkdsk /f /r and reboot the system if prompted. The /f and /r switches attempt to fix file-system errors, then look for an mark any bad sectors before automatically rebooting when the scan completes.</p> <h3><strong>Change Drivers</strong></h3> <p>Even though we don't really think about hard drives as needing drivers, the controller's they're attached to most certainly do. A buggy SATA controller driver can wreak havoc on your data. Your motherboard's chipset drivers include specific drivers for the IDE/ATA controller tha the hard drives are connect to, so you'll need to install the latest version for your motherboard. To find your chipset drivers, you'll need to go to your motherboard manufacturer's website and search the support section, or head directly to your chipset manufacturer's website.</p> <h2>UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP (0x0000007F)</h2> <p>If you see this blue screen, you're probably overclocking your CPU, but this is not always the case. The 7F error is known to attack indiscriminately, lashing out at more than just overclockers. This particular BSoD can rear its head in response to bad RAM, a faulty motherboard, or a corrupted BIOS.</p> <h3><strong>Overzealous Overclocking</strong></h3> <p>If you've overclocked, the first thing you should do to isolate the problem (or any problem, for that matter) is to revert your overclocked components to their default speeds. If the blue screen goes away, then your overclock was too aggressive. The best way to ensure that your overclock is stable is to stress the hell out of your PC. To do this, many enthusiasts turn to the torture test named <a href="" target="_blank">Prime95</a>. This utility stressed your rig's CPU and memory subsystems. If any errors are found, it's a good indication that your system is not completely stable.</p> <h3><strong>Hot Potato!</strong></h3> <p>This BSoD could also be generated by an overheating PC, so it's a good practice to monitor your system temps on a regular basis. There are several temp monitoring programs available, such as <a href="" target="_blank">Core Temp</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Real Temp</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">SpeedFan</a>, and many others.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_Core_Temp.png" width="346" height="383" /></p> <p>As far as temperatures go, most CPUs can get very hot without incurring any damage. Temperatures of 75C under load aren't unheard of for hot-running CPUs, though most newer chips probably won't get as high. In general, it's a good idea to keep your CPU below 70C, and below 50C at idle. This will vary by processor make, model, and even steppings (revisions) of the same chip.</p> <p>If a processor is running hot, examine your case's airflow and see if there are any obstructions. Check your fans for dust buildup, including the top of the heatsink that's cooling your CPU. A high-quality cooler will also bring temperatures down. And you should always have some sort of thermal paste between the CPU and the cooler. Finally, verify that all fans are spinning. If the fan is plugged in and still not spinning, replace the defective fan immediately.</p> <h3><strong>The BIOS Beckons</strong></h3> <p>If your BIOS is corrupt or has trouble with a new component, such as newly released processor core, your first order of business is to update to the latest version. Before updating the BIOS, you should change its settings back to default (there is usually a "reset to default" setting in the BIOS that makes this process easy, or you can simply clear the CMOS via the jumper on your motherboard). You should never attempt to update your BIOS on a system that is overclocked and unstable. A sudden reboot in the middle of the BIOS-flashing process will destroy your motherboard, turning it into a fancy doorstop. And remember: Never, under any circumstances, restart or shut down the system while you're flashing yoru BIOS. You can download the latest BIOS from your motherboard manufacturer's website.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/BSOD_BIOS_Update.png" width="363" height="370" /></p> <p>When there are several different versions to choose from, skip right to the latest release rather than updating incrementally. Some motherboard vendors include utilities for updating the BIOS from within Windows. This makes the process easy enough for even novices to undertake, but for obvious reasons, we recommend avoiding this route when a system is prone to blue screens.</p> <h3><strong>Mating Memory</strong></h3> <p>Mismatched or bad memory sticks can also cause this blue screen. To scratch this one off of the troubleshooting list, run a single stick of RAM that Memtest86 has verified to be error free. If this solves the problem, replace the bad stick. If not, move on to the next step.</p> <h3><strong>CPU is Kaput</strong></h3> <p>We don't see this often, but another known cause for this particular error is a bad processor. Most people don't have the means to test the CPU in another system, so your options here may be limited. Local computer repair shops are sometimes willing to run the processor for a night or two for a nominal cost, but you can also contact AMD or Intel for a replacement if it's within the warranty period.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/bent_pins.jpg" alt="Bent Pins" title="Bent Pins" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Click <a title="page 5" href=",4" target="_blank">here</a> to continue reading the article. &nbsp;</p> <p align="center">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h2>Other Notable BSoDs</h2> <h3>PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA</h3> <p>Faulty hardware, including RAM (system, video, or L2 cache).</p> <h3><strong>INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE</strong></h3> <p>Caused by improperly configured jumpers on PATA hard drives, a boot sector virus, or incorrect IDE controller drives, which can also occur when installing the wrong chipset drivers.</p> <h3><strong>VIDEO_DRIVER_INIT_FAILURE</strong></h3> <p>Caused by installing the wrong drivers for a videocard or rebooting before driver installation could complete.</p> <h3><strong>BAD_POOL_CALLER</strong></h3> <p>Caused by a faulty or incompatible hardware driver, particularly when upgrading Windows XP instead of performing a clean install.</p> <h3><strong>PFN_LIST_CORRUPT</strong></h3> <p>Caused by faulty RAM.</p> <h3><strong>MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION</strong></h3> <p>A bad CPU -- or one that is too aggressively overclocked, or an underpowered or faulty power supply.</p> <h2>An End Run Around the BSoD</h2> <p>Reading blue screens of death is fun and all, but there's another, easier way to discover what your PC's problem is: the Event Viewer. When an error occurs in Windows, the OS adds a note to the system's log files. These logs are accessible through the Windows Event Viewer, and they contain all the information we need to know what ails our poor computer.</p> <p>In XP, go the Start menu and open the Control Panel. Click Administrative Tools, then double-click the Event Viewer icon. Alternately, select Run from the Start menu and type <strong><em>eventvwr.msc</em></strong>, which will bring you right into the Event Viewer. In Vista, just type Event Viewer in the Start Search box.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/event_viewer.jpg" alt="Event Viewer" title="Event Viewer" width="620" height="411" /></p> <p>On the left-hand pane, highlight the application or system icon (under Windows Logs in Vista). On the right-hand pane, you'll see up to three different events labeled Information, Warning, and Error. These are sorted by the time in which they occurred. Scroll to the approximate time of the last system restart and double-click the events.</p> <p>This brings up a Properties window detailing information that should clue you in on any problem. For example, if one of the events contains a bugcheck message with 0x0000002E, we know this is a DATA_BUS_ERROR, and is usually indicative of faulty RAM. On the other hand, there might be several events pointing to a specific driver, such as nv4_disp.dll. This tells us we should focus on the videocard and any recent changes related to the display hardware.</p> <p>Armed with this information, we're ready to begin the troubleshooting steps outlined previously. If typing the event ID into Google and Microsoft's Knowledge Base (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>) doesn't help, head over to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. This site contains a repository of comments and errors from other users, as well as the steps they took to alleviate their problems.</p> <p>We recommend you familiarize yourself with the event viewer, even if your system is healthy. Rooting out minor problems before they progress will ensure your Windows install keeps humming along uneventfully.</p> <p>Click <a title="page 6" href=",5" target="_blank">here</a> to continue reading the article. &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h3>The Rare Red Screen of Death!</h3> <p>Here's a fun fact. You may have heard about a Red Screen of Death (RSoD) and thought to yourself it was a hoax. It actually exists, or at least it did. As was explained by Microsoft employee blogger Michael Kaplan (the blog has since vanished from the web), very early builds of Vista (then referred to as Longhorn) would spit out a red screen for more serious errors. Here's what it looked like:</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/rsod.jpg" alt="Red Screen of Death" title="Red Screen of Death" width="620" height="448" /></p> <p>Not very soothing, is it? That's why we're pretty sure it never made it out of the Longhorn beta and into the final build of Vista.</p> <h3>Do BSoDs Still Exist?</h3> <p>It's unlikely you'll ever see a BSoD in Windows 7, and especially in Windows 8/8.1. Why? BSoDs mainly occurred during the Windows XP and Vista days because of faulty or poorly coded device drivers.&nbsp; These were the main causes of crashes prior to Windows 7, so it makes sense that BSoDs are now rare.</p> <p>Notice we said "rare" and not "non-existent." That's because you might still run into a problem, even in Windows 8. To be fair, Microsoft has done an incredible job researching driver issues and coming up with ways to prevent them from happening, and the result is a much more stable Windows than ever before. However, you might see something like this:</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_error.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Error" title="Windows 8 Error" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p>No more gibberish. Microsoft wanted to make Windows 8 as user friendly as possible, and if you're going that route, you can't bombard users with a bunch of complicated text if something goes wrong. Instead, in the rare case that Windows 8 runs into a serious problem, it spits out an emoticon as if to say, "Ah shucks!" before automatically restarting. Like the RSoD, you'll likely never see this one, either.</p> <p><strong>Olympic Size Fail</strong><br />At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, an XP system failed during the opening ceremony. That would have been fine, except that the failed system was beaming images in the Birds Nest for all to see, and what everyone saw was an Olympic sized BSoD! <strong>Presentation Gone Wrong</strong><br />Bill Gates could do nothing by smile awkwardly during a Windows 98 presentation that quickly took a turn for the hilarious. While trying to demonstrate how easy it is to install a scanner via USB, the <a href="" target="_blank">system crashed</a> into a BSoD in front of a live audience. Do'h! <strong>Denver, We Have a Problem</strong><br />Flickr's a great place to look up BSoD errors, and this one shows an alarming error screen in a Denver airport. Hopefully any would-be passengers who saw this weren't afraid of flying. <strong>Hey, At Least It's Free!</strong><br />It's nice that a company is offering passersby free Internet service. What's not so nice is the BSoD that reared its ugly head and ruined the experience for anyone hoping to hop on the web to check their email. Oh well, that's what smartphones are for, right? <strong>Touch of Fail</strong><br />In Microsoft's defense, there's nothing particularly brilliant about a feature phone. That said, Samsung couldn't have been too happy that this electronic ad that crashed into a BSoD, though it obviously didn't prevent the company from selling a quintillion phones since then. <strong>Bilingual BSoD</strong><br />Ever seen a BSoD in German? Well, now you have, and ironically enough, most will find it just as illegible as the English version. <strong>Well, That Explains Steam OS!</strong><br />Gabe Newell hasn't been bashful about his contempt towards Windows 8. What's with all the hate? If we're playing armchair psychologist, we'd say Newell still harbors deep seeded resentment from when a BSoD left him flustered at an awards ceremony. <strong>Your Money is Safe! No, Really!</strong><br />Did you know that most ATMs are running Windows XP, the same OS that Microsoft is getting ready to stop supporting? Hopefully it won't lead to displays like this being commonplace, lest we have to start hiding money in the mattress again. <strong>All Aboard!</strong><br />This display was supposed to be showing people ads as they entered the subway. Instead, it showed pedestrians an error message for several days before someone got around to rebooting the system.</p> blue screen of death BSOD microsoft operating system OS Software troubleshooting Windows windows 8 Features Wed, 14 May 2014 21:25:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 6066 at