Troubleshooting Windows 7 Programs and Features

2/25/2011 10:37:32 PM
When you run into these problems, please refer to this section for possible solutions for everything from installation to playback in Windows Media Player.

1. Resolving Problems with Programs and Features

Table 1 provides an extensive list of problems you may encounter while working with Windows 7. The table is organized alphabetically by program or issue, followed by details on problems you may encounter and possible resolutions to those problems. In some cases, the resolution details will also point to a specific page within the Microsoft Knowledge Base where you can look to find more information.

Table 1. Troubleshooting Windows 7 programs and features
16-bit DOS-based programs16-bit programs will not run under 64-bit Windows. On 32-bit Windows, some 16-bit DOS-based programs and the Command Prompt will not run in full-screen mode in Windows 7. This issue occurs because Windows 7 device drivers do not support running all of the DOS video modes. The device drivers are based on the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). To resolve this problem, you may need to install a Windows XP version of the video drivers for your video adapter.
Activation expiresYou see an error stating “Your activation period has expired” or that you have a “non-genuine version of Windows 7 installed.” If you have not activated Windows 7 in the time allowed or you are running a nongenuine version of Windows 7, Windows 7 will run in a reduced functionality mode. If you modify the computer hardware so that Windows 7 determines that it is running on a different computer, Windows 7 will also run in a reduced functionality mode. You’ll need to activate and validate Windows 7 as necessary to resume full functionality mode.
Activation failsActivation of Windows 7 fails over the Internet. If you connect to the Internet through a proxy server where Basic authentication is enabled, you will not be able to activate Windows 7. Change the authentication method. Alternatively, when the Windows Activation Wizard prompts you, click Use the Automated Phone System and then activate Windows 7 over the telephone.
Administrator accountThe Administrator account does not appear on the Windows 7 Welcome screen. In Windows 7, the built-in Administrator account is disabled by default and you cannot use it to log on to the computer in safe mode. However, during an upgrade, if the built-in Administrator account is the only active local Administrator account, Windows 7 leaves the built-in Administrator account enabled and puts this account into Admin Approval mode.
ATM network adaptersYou receive an error message when you start Windows 7 after you install an ATM network adapter. This error occurs because Windows 7 does not support ATM.
Audio playbackYou lose audio playback after you unplug a USB audio device, such as a microphone or headphones. This problem occurs because Windows Media Player does not detect that the USB audio device has been removed. To resolve this issue, stop and restart the media player or restart the computer after you unplug a USB audio device.
BitLocker Drive EncryptionYou see a “BitLocker Drive Encryption key needed” error message when your computer resumes from hibernation. This occurs because the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature expects the USB key to be inserted prior to you waking the computer. As prompted, insert the USB key and then press the Esc key to reboot. To avoid this problem in the future, insert the USB key prior to waking the computer.
Burning discsWhen you try to burn a disc, Windows Media Player doesn’t recognize your DVD-RAM. This error occurs because you can’t use Windows Media Player to burn DVD-RAM discs. You’ll need to use Windows Explorer to burn DVD-RAM discs.
Computer namesAfter you change the name of a computer, other computers can continue to access the computer by using the previous name of the computer. This occurs because the computer name is stored in the DNS cache. At an elevated command prompt (Start→All Programs→Accessories, then right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator), flush the DNS cache by typing ipconfig /flushdns.
Connecting computersYou cannot use a serial cable connection to connect a Windows XP–based computer to a Windows 7–based computer. To work around this issue, connect the computers using a network connection with Ethernet cables.
DHCPWindows 7 cannot obtain an IP address from a router or non–Microsoft DHCP server. This can occur due to a design difference in the way DHCP is implemented. See for more information.
Digital still camerasA digital still camera is not recognized. Windows 7 uses the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) standard instead of the Windows Portable Devices (WPD) standard to import pictures and videos. To resolve this problem, configure the camera to use the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) standard instead of the WIA standard. See the owner’s manual for the camera to configure the camera to use the PTP standard.
Digital video camerasWhen you are changing modes, Windows Live Movie Maker may incorrectly detect the mode of a digital video camera. This can occur if you quickly switch between the Camera, Off, VCR, and Memory modes. To avoid this problem, pause momentarily after switching from one mode to another and before switching to another mode.
Disk drives with large sectorsWindows 7 supports large-sector hard disk drives. Newer hard disk drives may contain physical sector sizes that are larger than the traditional 512 bytes per sector. If the drive uses an emulation mode to support these large-sector sizes, your applications should continue to work without problems. If the drive doesn’t use an emulation mode, some of your applications may not work. See for more information.
EAP-MD5Extensible Authentication Protocol-Message Digest 5 (EAP-MD5) doesn’t work. In Windows 7, EAP-MD5 has been deprecated and is not enabled. You can reenable support for EAP-MD5. See for more information.
Favorites in InternetExplorer In Internet Explorer, Windows 7 does not let you type a favorite name that is longer than 227 characters. Make sure that the name of the new favorite is no longer than 227 characters.
Fingerprint readersYou cannot use a fingerprint reader or another biometric device to log on after you upgrade to Windows 7. Windows 7 does not support the Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) components that the device requires. Install drivers for the device that are compatible with Windows 7.
FireWire devicesIn Windows Explorer or other interfaces, you cannot see a specific FireWire (IEEE 1394a) device that you’ve connected to the computer. To resolve this issue, see for more information.
GINA/biometricsCustom GINA modules do not work after you upgrade your computer to Windows 7. This occurs because GINA functionality that existed in earlier versions of Windows is replaced by a credential provider model in Windows 7. See for more information.
Help (.hlp) filesWindows 7 won’t display Help (.hlp) files. The Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) is not included in Windows 7. Windows Help is no longer supported. See for more information.
Hosts and LmhostsYou cannot modify the Hosts or Lmhosts file in Windows 7. This occurs because the program you are using must be in elevated mode to save the edited files. Before opening the Hosts or Lmhosts file, right-click the program shortcut and then select “Run as administrator.”
InstallationInstallation media is not recognized when you try to install Windows 7. If the media is damaged, you’ll need to obtain replacement media. Otherwise, make sure that the CD or DVD drive is configured as a startup device in firmware and that you are inserting the media into the appropriate CD or DVD drive.
InstallationDuring installation, you are unable to select the hard disk you want to use. This issue can occur if the hard disk partition contains an invalid byte offset value. 
InstallationDuring installation of Windows 7, you see an “Error: uncaught exception” message. This error can occur if there are problems with the selected disk partitions. To resolve this problem, you’ll need to remove the partitions, as discussed previously.
InstallationDuring installation of Windows 7, you cannot select or format a hard disk partition. If the partition is formatted with FAT32 or has other incompatible settings, this may be causing the problem. To work around this issue, you may want to boot to the current operating system, convert the partition to NTFS, and then restart the installation. As this could also be due to a problem with the drivers for the hard disk, you may need to boot to the current operating system, update the disk drivers, and then restart the installation.
InstallationDuring installation, you see a “This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk” message. This can occur if the disk has not been initialized for use or if the BIOS of the computer does not support starting the operating system from the selected disk. To resolve this problem, create one or more partitions on all the hard disks that are not initialized and then restart the installation.
Language/KeyboardOnly one keyboard layout is available during installation. If your keyboard language and the language edition of Windows 7 you are installing are different, you may see unexpected characters as you type. Select the correct keyboard language to avoid this.
Language/KeyboardSome user interface items are not displayed in the correct language after you change the display language. This occurs because Windows 7 cannot update language settings for currently running processes. To resolve this problem, restart your computer.
Language/KeyboardYou see an incorrect display language when you use elevated permissions to open a dialog box. This can occur because Windows 7 uses the preferred user interface language of the administrator whose credentials you provide. This language may differ from your preferred user interface language.
Live File SystemThe available space on a Live File System disc is less than the capacity of the disc. This issue occurs because the Live File System reserves a small amount of disc space to accommodate link-loss area. In contrast, the Universal Disc Format (UDF) filesystem reserves at least 10 percent of the reported capacity of the disc for sparing. See for more information.
Mf.sys devicesYou cannot install a device that requires the Mf.sys device driver in Windows 7. The Mf.sys device driver is not installed in Windows 7 by default. See for more information.
Network MapIn Windows 7, Network Map does not display computers that are running Windows XP. This occurs because the Link-Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) Responder component is not installed on most Windows XP–based computers. You can download and install this component on your Windows XP computers from the Microsoft website. See for more information.
Networking programsThird-party networking programs that use NDIS drivers no longer function after you upgrade to Windows 7. To resolve this issue, you must reinstall the networking program. This will ensure that the third-party NDIS driver is installed and configured correctly.
Playing DVDsA DVD+RW or DVD-RW video disc that was formatted on a Windows 7–based computer is not recognized by a DVD player that supports DVD+RW or DVD-RW video discs. This problem can occur if Windows 7 uses a version of the UDF that the DVD player does not support.
Playing DVDsA video DVD does not appear in the correct aspect ratio in Windows Media Player on a Tablet PC. This problem may occur when you view the DVD in portrait mode. To resolve the problem, set the display to landscape mode.
RAW image filesYou cannot view RAW image files after you copy them from a camera to your computer. This issue occurs if you do not have a RAW image codec for your camera model installed in Windows 7. To resolve this issue, install a Windows 7–compatible RAW image codec that either supports the camera model or is from the camera manufacturer.
Recording DVDsYou cannot record more data to a recordable DVD after you format and then eject the disc. This issue occurs because Windows 7 automatically closes a disc when you eject it. Closing a disc lets you use it in another computer or device. 
Slide show playbackOn a Tablet PC, the screen goes black when you switch the screen orientation during slideshow playback. To resolve this problem, exit the slideshow before you change the screen orientation, and then restart the slideshow. Or press the Esc key to restore the original screen orientation.
Sound RecorderYou do not hear any sound when you play back a recording that was recorded with the Sound Recorder. This can occur because the default volume of microphones is 0 dB. 
Speech RecognitionSpeech Recognition does not appear to be using the correct language. Speech Recognition is only available in U.S. English, U.K. English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese versions of Windows 7. Because of the way in which Speech Recognition is integrated into the operating system, the feature cannot be removed from versions of Windows 7 for which Speech Recognition is unavailable.
Speech Recognition commandsYou cannot use Speech Recognition in Windows 7 to select commands on floating toolbars in Microsoft Office. With Speech Recognition, you can select commands on docked toolbars in Microsoft Office. Dock the toolbars to resolve the problem.
USB audio devicesYou are unable to hear the audio from a newly connected USB audio device in Windows Media Player. To resolve this issue, restart Windows Media Player.
USB drivesA USB drive does not appear in the Windows Connect Now window. This behavior occurs if the USB drive uses the NTFS filesystem format and you do not have permission to write to the root directory of the drive. To avoid this problem, use a device that uses the FAT filesystem format. 
USB storage devicesA connected USB storage device does not appear when you click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area in Windows 7. This problem can occur if the USB device has an embedded USB hub. In this case, you may be able to manage the device in the Computer console or you may need to shut down the computer before removing the device.
User Account ControlYou encounter an unexpected error or behavior when you try to perform a task that requires elevated privileges. This issue can occur if UAC is turned off. 
Windows CompleteRestore PC You receive a version error message when you use the Windows Complete PC Restore program to restore a computer. If you try to restore a computer using a 64-bit version of Windows 7 using a 32-bit installation disc, you will see an error stating “This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of Windows.” To resolve this issue, start recovery using a 64-bit installation disc.
Windows Explorer menu barWhen you view files and folders by using Windows Explorer, the Windows Explorer menu bar is not displayed. To display the menu bar, press the Alt key. Press the Alt key again to hide the menu bar.
Windows Media PlayerYou see an “Invalid File Format” error message when you play a file in Windows Media Player. This can occur if you are trying to play a file type that Windows Media Player doesn’t support. It can also occur if the file is damaged. If the file is in a supported format and is not damaged, you may need to reinstall Windows Media Player and then reinstall or upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft DirectX. See for more information.
Windows startupIn a dual-boot configuration, Windows XP does not start if you subsequently format or delete the partition on which Windows 7 is installed. This occurs because Windows 7 uses a different startup method than Windows XP does. To resolve this problem, you’ll need to repair your Windows XP installation by starting an installation and selecting the Repair option. See for more information.
Windows 7 startupWindows 7 won’t start after you install an earlier version of the Windows operating system in a dual-boot configuration. 
Wireless adaptersWhen running on battery, you experience connectivity or performance issues when you connect to a wireless access point. This can occur if the wireless access point doesn’t support the 802.11 power save protocol. To resolve this issue, connect the computer to a power source or change the power saving options for the wireless adapter to use the Maximum Performance power saving mode.

2. Restoring the Windows 7 Boot Sector

Windows 7 won’t start after you install Windows XP or an earlier version of the Windows operating system in a dual-boot configuration. This occurs because Windows 7 uses a different startup method than Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows do. You must restore the Windows 7 boot sector and allow dual boot by following these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Accessories, right-click the command prompt, and then click Run As Administrator.

  2. Restore the Windows 7 boot code by typing the following command at a command prompt: DriveLetter:\boot\Bootsect.exe -NT60 All, where DriveLetter is the actual letter of the drive on which Windows 7 is installed.

  3. Allow booting of the earlier operating system by typing the following commands at a command prompt, where DriveLetter is the actual letter of the drive on which Windows 7 is installed:

    DriveLetter:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit -create {ntldr} -d "Description for earlier
    Windows version."
    DriveLetter:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit -set {ntldr} device partition=DriveLetter:
    DriveLetter:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit -set {ntldr} path \ntldr
    DriveLetter:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit -displayorder {ntldr} -addlast

  4. Restart the computer.

3. Changing Disc Close on Eject Settings

In Windows 7, closing a disc session lets you use it in another computer or device. If you don’t want Windows 7 to automatically close sessions, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Computer.

  2. Right-click the writable DVD drive, and then click Properties.

  3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Recording tab, and then click Global Settings.

  4. Clear the “Automatically close the current UDF session when” options and then click OK twice.

4. Removing Disk Partitions During Installation

During installation, you may be unable to select the hard disk you want to use. This issue can occur if the hard disk partition contains an invalid byte offset value. To resolve this issue, you’ll need to remove the partitions on the hard disk (which destroys all associated data) and then create the necessary partition using the advanced options in the Setup program. During installation on the “Where do you want to install Windows?” page, you can remove unrecognized hard disk partitions by following these steps:

  1. Press Shift-F10 to start a command prompt.

  2. At the command prompt, type diskpart.

  3. To view a list of disks on the computer, type list disk.

  4. Select a disk by typing select disk DiskNumber where DiskNumber is the number of the disk you want to work with.

  5. To permanently remove the partitions on the selected disk, type clean.

  6. When the cleaning process finishes, type exit to exit the DiskPart tool.

  7. Type exit to exit the command prompt.

  8. Restart the computer, and then start the Windows 7 installation.

  •  Windows 7 : Getting Help and Giving Others Assistance
  •  Windows 7 : Recovering After a Crash or Other Problem (part 3)
  •  Windows 7 : Recovering After a Crash or Other Problem (part 2) - Restoring Previous Versions of Files & Recovering Files from Backup
  •  Windows 7 : Recovering After a Crash or Other Problem (part 1) - Recovering Using Restore Points
  •  Windows Server 2008 : Installing and Configuring FTP Services (part 2) - Configuring the FTP 7.5 Features and Properties
  •  Windows Server 2008 : Installing and Configuring FTP Services (part 1) - Installing the FTP Server & Creating a Secure FTP 7.5 Site Using SSL
  •  Windows 7 : Creating Backups and Preparing for Problems (part 2) - Scheduling and Managing Automated Backups
  •  Windows 7 : Creating Backups and Preparing for Problems (part 1) - Configuring System Protection
  •  Windows 7 : Detecting and Resolving Computer Problems (part 3) - Resolving Problems with System Services
  •  Windows 7 : Detecting and Resolving Computer Problems (part 2) - Tracking Errors in the Event Logs
  •  Windows 7 : Detecting and Resolving Computer Problems (part 1) - Solving the Tough Problems Automatically
  •  Windows 7 : Scheduling Maintenance Tasks
  •  Windows Server 2008: DHCP/WINS/Domain Controllers - Exploring Global Catalog Domain Controller Placement
  •  Windows Server 2008: DHCP/WINS/Domain Controllers - Planning, Migrating, and Maintaining WINS
  •  Windows Server 2008 : DHCP/WINS/Domain Controllers - Installing and Configuring WINS
  •  Windows Server 2008 : DHCP/WINS/Domain Controllers - Reviewing the Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS)
  •  Windows Server 2008 : DHCP/WINS/Domain Controllers - Securing DHCP
  •  Windows 7 : General Maintenance Tools (part 3) - Checking Your Disks for Errors & Optimizing Disk Performance
  •  Windows 7 : General Maintenance Tools (part 2) - Cleaning Up Your Disk Drives
  •  Windows 7 : General Maintenance Tools (part 1) - Updating Your Computer
    Most View
    Turn Your Smartphone Into A Safe
    HTC Desire SV Review – A Shining Mid-Range Dual-SIM Smartphone
    Plantronics Marque 2 M165 - Bluetooth Headset
    Sony KDL-40HX853 - Superb DVD Upscaling
    Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition - Battery Is A Disappointment
    G-360 And G-550 Power Supply Devices Review (Part 3)
    Photo Editors: From Professional RAW Tools To Simple Library Management (Part 3)
    Introduction to Windows 8 Administration : Windows 8 Architecture
    Six Ways To Pump Up The Volume
    iOS 6 Maps - What Went Wrong?
    Top 10
    ASUS Tytan – Tytanfall (Part 2)
    ASUS Tytan – Tytanfall (Part 1)
    Corsair Obsidian Series 350D Case
    Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
    CPU Buyer’s Guide - Hunting For Brains (Part 2)
    CPU Buyer’s Guide - Hunting For Brains (Part 1) : AMD A10-6800K, AMD FX-8350, AMD’s new FX-9590
    Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit - High-Performance Memory
    Epson WorkForce M1 O5 Printer - No Color Here
    EVGA Z77 Stinger - A New Mini-ITX Motherboard
    Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan Graphics Card