OK, so in the last couple of days I upgraded my main workstation to Windows 7. Part of the reason is that I simply wanted to have the latest and greatest, but the real reason is that under Vista I’ve had random BSODs. As I upgraded I ran into a couple of problems, including BSODs. The thing that peeved me the most until I started searching though was a really odd issue with Photoshop CS5. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one suffering from it. I’m first going to complain about the pressure sensitivity issue because that’s mostly been resolved:
Photoshop CS5 x64 bit Pressure Sensitivity Problem
While I was upgrading Windows I figured why not upgrade to 64 bit Photoshop CS5. I’d been using CS3 and been perfectly happy with it, but I always felt that Adobe did a great job updating Photoshop and I’d already missed one cycle of upgrading. Immediately after the install I ran into an issue, I’ve seen lots of people having the same problem, and no solutions. Check out the image below:
I have no explanation for what’s happening with pressure sensitivity. I’ve removed and installed the Wacom driver, next I’m going to try to revert to an old driver to see if that’s causing the problem. I installed GIMP for Windows and it didn’t suffer from this issue at all. Every stroke in the image above was applied in quick succession, sometimes pressure sensitivity is lost so I get a very hard line instead of the softer line I intended. This is extremely disruptive and basically makes the program unusable for digital paining. I’m going to keep hacking at it and post the results here but I’m very frustrated at this stage.
My system: AMD Phenom 2 X4, 8 GB RAM, nVidia 8800 GTS 512, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Wacom Intuos 3 9×12 Tablet
I did find a thread on the Wacom forums that discussed the same identical problem I was having. It’s linked here:
As you can see the symptoms being reported here are identical to the problems I was having. After reverting to a driver I was using since 2009 my problems went away. Still no explanationa s to what was causing this issue.
Windows 7 Crashes into a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) because of Firefox
Just as I’m posting this I’ve recovered from my first BSOD under Windows 7, so whatever was happening under Vista happens here too… Under Windows Vista I had isolated this down to Firefox usage causing the majority of my crashes. It had gotten so bad that I stopped using Firefox under Windows Vista, though I never bothered trying to find out what was happening that had caused the problem in the first place. Now that I’ve just installed a new system I was paying closer attention to the way things played out.
Immediately after installing Win 7 I downloaded and installed Firefox. I’m not a Firefox fanatic but I use it on all other machines, in linux and at work, so I’m a bit partial to having a single closs platform browser that works well. Everything was running fine at first, especially while I was doing my battle with Photoshop described above. Then there was a massive Windows update which I forced, something like 52 updates downloaded and installed at once. Shortly after rebooting once those updates were installed is when I had my first BSOD. I sat there a bit peeved, the system came back, it generated some error report that makes no sense to me and clicking the “Try to solve this problem” button generated nothing.
Then I started searching, and almost immediately I stumble onto this thread:
Then searching through other forums I found more info and responded in the mozilla thread. It turns out I’m not the only one suffering from this issue though. Out of the dozen systems I regularly operate this machine, with this hardware and OS version, is the only one suffering from this bug. I tried the font workaround described in this thread, this resulted in the system running for 24 hours without a BSOD but eventually it happened. The problem isn’t completely resolved and I’m going to have to keep searching and trying to resolve this if I want to use Firefox on this machine.
As I’m wrapping up this post I’m typing from IE 8. Windows 7 is kind of cute but in no way a drastic improvement over what Vista was. Frankly I’m not so sure why folks bashed Vista so much and 7 got high praise. Very minor differences to the bottom desktop bar and slideshow wallpapers available by default are the only things that jump out at me. Maybe the OS is a tad lighter in terms of memory usage but I’m not convinced. Both Win 7 and Win Vista take more than 1 GB of RAM after booting up on my machine. I’ll continue to update this post as I find out more info about the topics.