Crashing on the Rocks of Windows 7

For the last three years, I haven't touched a PC. After years in the PC world, I decided to switch to the Mac, and I never looked back.
But recently, there was a software package that I wanted for the restaurant I co-own with my brother in law, Steve Welch (Oggi Gourmet in Harvard Square). I decided to buy a low cost laptop with Windows 7 to run that software.
I had heard many good things about Windows 7. I had heard that it came pretty close to a Mac experience. So I approached the whole thing with some excitement. Maybe this amazingly low cost laptop ($400 for 15" color Compaq CQ42-410US) would give me some Mac-like love on the cheap.
It started up pretty fast, and that was promising. But soon, it was clear that the Windows gremlins that I had come to know and dislike were lurking within this modern Windows 7 product. First up: How the heck do I get rid of the annoying HP "dock" that they cleverly float at the top of the screen?
Searched for the answer, and found this;
Re: HP Advisor / HP Dock launch at startup... How to Disable?

You need to turn it off in the background.

Go to Control panel/administrative tools/system configuration/startup and untick both HP Advisor and HP Mediasmart

Apply and restart


I tried to find this, but couldn't. Neither could some others:

Re: Disabling the HP Advisor Dock

This didn't quite work for me. When I get to the Startup window, there is nothing called HP Advisor. I have "hpsysdrv Application", "HP Remote Solution," and "hpwuschd Application." Which one(s) do I want to disable. I agree with the others on this list that HP Advisor is a pure nuisance. Thank you for your help.
Finally, I found this fix, which worked:

Re: HP Advisor / HP Dock launch at startup... How to Disable?

Here are step by step directions to help out with this if you cant understand from the others that said something similar.

Literally, step by step, and anyone should be able to do this.

1. Click the windows start button

2. in the text box where it says "search programs and files", Type run

3. Click on the run option, under the program header

4. Once the run box opens, type msconfig

5. Click the tab that says "Start Up"

6. Scroll through and find where it says "HP Advisor".  Uncheck the box

7. Hit "ok"

8. Restart
This is 2011! And I'm still messing with msconfig? I was truly amazed. But to get rid of that silly toolbar, I did it. And it worked. It did not give me a sense of satisfaction. No, it made me feel that innocent people are still being forced to do strange things with computers, just to solve simple problems.
But, it wasn't over yet. Each time I would reboot the machine, it would come up with no network. I searched the web again for how to make a Windows 7 machine automatically connect to a network. I got this little beauty:

open search, type "services.msc" open services.

Scroll down to "wlan auto config" right click, stop the service.

Navigate to

"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Wlansvc\ delete everything in this folder  leaving only a folder called "profiles" delete everything in the "profiles" folder except for a folder called "interfaces" delete everything in the "interfaces" folder)

Restart "wlan auto config" connect to your wireless network, enter

your passkey, (ensure the connect automaticly box is checked)
Restart your computer job done, your computer will now connect to your wireless network automaticly on boot.
I did this , and it worked. So now I have PC laptop that seems to be set up the way I want it. But I must say, I was shocked that Windows 7 (with a little help from HP) would still subject users to the things like I had to do. 
I admit I'm an Apple fan. But frankly, I had expected more from Windows 7. Did I miss something here? Windows fans: was there some easy way to fix these problems that I just didn't see, and I would have known if I was more used to Windows?
9 responses
When you're on Windows, it seems like you're always going down these 30-minute roads to fix simple problems... it becomes a way of life and you just end up thinking it's normal.

I'm not really a PC fan - I'm more of a PC user. I think there's a big part of the populate (like, my parents) that would love the Apple experience. But, the $400 laptop is too irresistible :-)


Sorry to hear of your HP dock removal experience. I recently installed VMWare Fusion on my MacBookPro and have been astounded by how stable and easy to use it has been. (Windows UI oddities aside).

But even more interesting has been my recent foray into the Google Android universe on my 4G HTC EVO phone from Sprint. Have you played with that OS? After years of frustration trying to synchronize across multiple devices with MobileMe, everything Android is seamlessly integrated in the cloud and seems as if it could be a real contender for ubiquitous OS of the future. It makes one wonder if desktop apps have seen their day?

Thanks for the post.


Can't disagree. I had a similar experience with an inexpensive Acer laptop which kept wanting to be helpful by snapping the cursor to what it thought was the active button, scrollbar, whatever, that it thought I was using. Even after I thought I had found out how to turn it off and gone through a similarly unintuitive path (but without msconfig, I'll admit) to achieve that, it would occasionally revert to that annoying behavior.

On the other side, my high school senior daughter's Macbook cost 3X, but they have TOTALLY stood behind it even after nearly 3 years when the logic board died and after a couple of attempts at fixing it they gave her a brand new laptop. Her reaction, "I guess you don't have to buy me a new laptop for college." The service at the Apple Store is great. I am impressed.

The problems you are having aren't a symptom of Windows 7, but a problem with Hardware Vendors who load up a stock Windows 7 OS with a ton of bloatware. It truly ruins an entire experience for users who are just trying to use their new system. There was an article on Slashdot just the other day addressing this very issue
one word Bill. Parallels.
Have to agree with Joshua - I've gone with Dells for years and have not had these types of issues. They offer a no "bloatware" version when you choose the OS as part of the build process. I usually go with their Vostro line and Windows 7 has been great.
Yeah, when an Adobe Reader update forces an OS reboot you know something is terribly, terribly wrong. Sure, it's not Microsoft triggering this, but no self-respecting OS in 2011 should permit some insignificant reader app to run the show this way.
Adobe Reader is hardly an "insignificant reader app" - check out what's included and why it needs SO many updates

Makes me think that I should uninstall it and install an insignificant reader app instead...

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