I was beginning to think all the bugs that affected my machines were gone, after having worked for a couple of weeks to get a solution to my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 machine to come out of sleep without the dreaded BSOD.
After tracking the cause, I then proceeded to the Microsoft site where I had to jump through a few hoops to get a download for a hotfix that Microsoft only gives out to the incredibly persistent.
That took care of one more on the list of about twenty problems that I’ve had since October 2009, when I hosted a Windows 7 Launch Party.
I had thought that it was the last problem, and I was on to alleviating the annoyances only, which is a longer, but easier process.
Then, this morning as I was in the middle of writing something, I found that the machine gave me a message letting me know that I have too little memory to run 4 programs.
Funny, because those same programs under Windows XP ran wonderfully in 2GB on Windows XP Pro with SP3. And I haven’t seen a low memory message in Windows XP since around the time SP1 was released, perhaps before. The thing about that problem was, it was easy enough to alleviate it by making the swap file permanent and a bit larger, the same will not remedy the problem in Windows 7.
The programs in question were RSSOwl, an RSS reader, which is extremely frugal with memory, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Mail, and Opera, with only two windows open.
As I said, Windows XP could run these programs on its head, with about 500MB of the 2GB left. No muss, no fuss, no bother. Windows 7, with twice the memory, only has approximately 500MB left, and is popping up messages that interrupt my work flow. They also warn me that if I continue, I might lose information if the machine becomes unstable.
Though I paid nothing for my copy of Windows 7, I could have, and would be all the more upset that once again, Microsoft has not gotten the bugs out, and is still making these same mistakes which cause this trouble.
Before anyone should be willing to give the usual advice, the machine is fully updated (all 132 of them), all the software on it, such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Java, and the rest of the usual are all updated, and showing no problems on the other machines running Windows XP and Vista (!). The drivers are up to date. The antivirus used is MSE, as it is free and a 64bit version was available. There is no Quicktime applet on this machine, and all hardware is rock solid.
This is also one of those problems that is really hard to track down, even when using Process Explorer, and checking memory use. There is plenty of memory, there is no virus or rootkit (checked using a couple of things that have been efficacious in removing rootkits in the past on other’s machines), and there is plenty of virtual memory available (1.5GB).
This acts exactly like the stack errors in Windows 3.x and Windows 9x products, but we know those problems we remedied long ago, right?
This is something that should be impossible, from what Microsoft says about the way its operating systems run, yet this is not the first time that I have dealt with impossible errors on a Microsoft operating system.
Isn’t that fun?