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  • Windows Secrets and Annoyances

    There's always some way to turn off something annoying that's hard to find, and there's always someone who knows what it is. Hopefully someone here has some answers.

    Most of my computers, I think the count is up to around ten here now, are running Windows XP and are pretty well housebroken by now. I have a couple that run Windows 7 setups for things that insist that they won't work under XP. They're pretty simple, 32-bit systems, but my friendly marketing person at IK Multimedia sent me a serial number for their new physically modeled virtual electric bass program - not because I play bass or even know anything about bass playing, or that I use a lot of plug-ins ("no" to all) but because I like things that have some practical application (to some people, at least) but are also good learning tools. So I offered to review it. The first thing I discovered was that it wanted the 64-bit version of Windows, so rather than mess up one of the stable systems I have running, I went to my friendly local used computer store and for $100, picked up a 3 gHz Core2Duo H-P with the refurbisher version (no bloatware) of 64-bit Windows 7 installed.

    My first problem was finding an interface that I could use with it. With obsolete computers, of course I have obsolete interfaces. I only have two that have USB connectivity, an Alva Nanoface and a Behringer UCA-202. I couldnt' get the Nanoface to work at all with it, and after half an afternoon, got the Behringer, using ASIO4ALL as a driver, talking to MODO Bass. I played around with it a bit as a stand-alone program, but knowing that for $300 you'd probalby want to be able to use it as a plug-in. But, being VST2, VST3, or AAX, it's too modern for any of my licensed software. I'll probably get Studio One Pro on the free 30 day demo, but I'm open to suggestions for a free program that will run these newfangled VSTs under 64-bit Windows 64.

    But anyway, to get to the real Windows annoyance . . . When installing new hardware, WinXP politely asks
    (1) Should Windows should look around to see if it already has an appropriate driver?
    (2) Do you have the right driver and know where Windows can find it (usually installed from a disk or downloaded file)
    (3) Should Windows search the Internet for the best driver?

    #3 never works, but #1 or #2 almost always work.

    In Windows 7, it just takes off and installs what it has that it thinks will work, and then (at least with what I've plugged into it) starts searching Windows Update for a better driver. There's a button to stop the search, but this sometimes means an incomplete or incorrect driver installation. So the related questions are:

    Is there a way to not start the Internet search for a better driver? Is there some way that Win7 can be set up so that the "new hardware" process works like it does on XP?

    A totally unrelated question, an one that comes up often on the web and always has answers that don't work has to do with access to folders on a Win7 system from other computers on the network. I've managed to get it so that I can get into "public" folders from other computers on the network, but no amount of clicking on "Sharing" options an turning firewalls off will let me get to a folder that I've made that isn't in the "library." Should I give up, or is there a way to make any folder visible on the network? Have they sacraficed conveninece for security? It only tells me to ask the administrator, but I'm tired of talking to myself about this.

    And a simple one - Does anyone know of an inexpeinsive audio interface - 2 channels is enough - that has both ASIO and WDM drivers for 64-bit Win7 that I can buy and quit fooling with? I don't want this new $100 computer to turn into a $500 computer that only gets used for the occasional review.


    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

  • #2
    I wanna say yeah sure, simply blah blah...
    Truth is maybe you should get a machine from the heart of the Win7 heyday with appropriate hardware, busses, specs and whatever else the thing depends on. I saw a Dell deal win7 pro i5 lotsa slots and expandability. $379 shipped.
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    • #3
      here. https://www.extremetech.com/deals/23...650-desktop-pc

      I think the spammers have taken control of me. lol
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      • #4
        The best place to find an interface is reverb.com. Here's an M-Audio M-Track for $65. Here's the product landing page, which says it does ASIO and WASAPI.

        As to the other questions, I don't have any Windows 7 machines any more. I installed W10 on one of them and dug it so much I installed it on my laptop and "studio B" computer. But most of the time with USB devices, you just run the driver software, and then when you plug in the USB device, Windows recognizes it and you're good to go.

        Regarding networking, I've been able to share between my Mac and Windows machines, but have never felt the need to network the Windows computers. But it's probably something I should figure out...meanwhile, I think you'll find this article helpful (assuming things haven't changed that much under Windows 10, but you never know), it's what I plan to follow.

        I totally understand having a system that works and keeping it in that state as long as humanly possible. I've gone to the other extreme and have gone all in with 64-bit everything, Windows 10 automatic updates, etc. It's well worth it for heavy-duty music productions. For example with WASAPI drivers and Windows 10, I'm getting 6 ms round-trip latency with a laptop's internal sound card. That's huge - it means I don't need to carry around an ASIO interface any more when doing seminars and workshops. Also using SONAR's virtual controller, there's no delay playing virtual instruments.
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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        • #5
          Mike - to change Win7's default hardware installation behavior, hit the Win7 key, then type in "change device installation settings". You'll get a box with options to stop the auto-install features and other choices.

          I check the box "never install driver software from Windows Update" to keep Win7 from going ahead and re-installing my drivers during the OS update procedure.

          I don't have a way at the moment to see if doing the above will give you back the old XP polite "ask first before installing" choices during hardware installation. But I suspect it will do something along those lines, because with Win7, MS has tied hardware driver installation to the overall OS update process.

          Hope this help -

          nat whilk ii

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          • #6
            Great tip, Nat. You can get the option in Windows 10 by typing "change device installation settings" in the search box.
            N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nat whilk II View Post
              Mike - to change Win7's default hardware installation behavior, hit the Win7 key, then type in "change device installation settings". You'll get a box with options to stop the auto-install features and other choices.
              I knew there was something, if only I knew what it was called and where to find it. Thanks. What's the Win7 key? Is that the "Windows" key on some keyboards (the one I have on this computer doesn't have that one)? Anyway, I found it from the Start menu, which, as I recall, is what you get when you press the Windows key.

              with Win7, MS has tied hardware driver installation to the overall OS update process.
              That's another question. When I've set up old/new computers, I'd start Windows Update and it would usually suck down loads of stuff. On this one, I've left it overnight scanning for updates, and it never finds anything. That's hard to believe. I did that with the Windows that came on the computer and got update results. Thinking that might me an oddball installation, I swapped out the hard drive and installed Win7 from the same (builder) disk as my other two Win7 setups only choosing 64-bit this time and got the same result with Windows Update, and that disk is from 2010 with the Service Pack 1 update. Surely there must be some updates from there. When I look at the Update History, all I see there is Windows Update Agent dated the day I ran the Windows Update. Maybe there's something in there that tells Updates that I'm not entitled to any with the version of Windows that I have.

              I looked at another Win7 computer I have from that same installation disk, and that history shows only two updates - definitions for Windows Defender.
              --
              "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
              Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
                I wanna say yeah sure, simply blah blah...
                Truth is maybe you should get a machine from the heart of the Win7 heyday with appropriate hardware, busses, specs and whatever else the thing depends on. I saw a Dell deal win7 pro i5 lotsa slots and expandability. $379 shipped.
                I had thought about that, and if I was a famous reviewer like Craig Anderton and got paid enough for writing reviews that would pay to update gear to support what I was reviewing, I'd do it in a minute. But I post reviews on my web site for free and don't make any money from it. The computers that I have are fine for payng the work I do.

                Honeslty, I don't think that the age or the specs of this computer I'm working with has anything to do with the problems I'm having here. There's no reason why it isn't cooperating. It's the age of the user that's the problem. I don't keep up with these things because I don't have to.

                --
                "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                  Regarding networking, I've been able to share between my Mac and Windows machines, but have never felt the need to network the Windows computers. But it's probably something I should figure out...meanwhile, I think you'll find this article helpful (assuming things haven't changed that much under Windows 10, but you never know),
                  This is what I've done. I can share files that are in the "library" but I can't, for example make an easy-to-find folder c:\SneakerNet, follow the path to the "share" window, click on the right things, and it remains invisible to other computers on my network. The're all in the same Workgroup, so they're all visible to each other, but I never understood Homegroup (and the XP computers don't have that anyway) so I never bothered with it.

                  --
                  "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                  Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In my experience file transfers and streaming between PCs is only worth doing for hard wired Ethernet connections. Wifi is frustratingly slow. The best solution I've found is a 2TB USB (about $50 these days) drive carried from PC to PC via sneakernet (the old term for walking while carrying a data device).

                    A USB stick can work too, but is also annoyingly slow for large files.
                    Last edited by philboking; 12-18-2016, 01:47 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post
                      And a simple one - Does anyone know of an inexpeinsive audio interface - 2 channels is enough - that has both ASIO and WDM drivers for 64-bit Win7 that I can buy and quit fooling with?
                      The Behringer ones are cheap and I had no problem installing my UMC404HD :
                      http://www.music-group.com/Categorie...o%20Interfaces

                      It does have Win7 drivers but I'm on Win10 so YMMV

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post
                        There's always some way to turn off something annoying that's hard to find, and there's always someone who knows what it is. Hopefully someone here has some answers.

                        Most of my computers, I think the count is up to around ten here now, are running Windows XP and are pretty well housebroken by now. I have a couple that run Windows 7 setups for things that insist that they won't work under XP. They're pretty simple, 32-bit systems, but my friendly marketing person at IK Multimedia sent me a serial number for their new physically modeled virtual electric bass program - not because I play bass or even know anything about bass playing, or that I use a lot of plug-ins ("no" to all) but because I like things that have some practical application (to some people, at least) but are also good learning tools. So I offered to review it. The first thing I discovered was that it wanted the 64-bit version of Windows, so rather than mess up one of the stable systems I have running, I went to my friendly local used computer store and for $100, picked up a 3 gHz Core2Duo H-P with the refurbisher version (no bloatware) of 64-bit Windows 7 installed.

                        My first problem was finding an interface that I could use with it. With obsolete computers, of course I have obsolete interfaces. I only have two that have USB connectivity, an Alva Nanoface and a Behringer UCA-202. I couldnt' get the Nanoface to work at all with it, and after half an afternoon, got the Behringer, using ASIO4ALL as a driver, talking to MODO Bass. I played around with it a bit as a stand-alone program, but knowing that for $300 you'd probalby want to be able to use it as a plug-in. But, being VST2, VST3, or AAX, it's too modern for any of my licensed software. I'll probably get Studio One Pro on the free 30 day demo, but I'm open to suggestions for a free program that will run these newfangled VSTs under 64-bit Windows 64.

                        But anyway, to get to the real Windows annoyance . . . When installing new hardware, WinXP politely asks
                        (1) Should Windows should look around to see if it already has an appropriate driver?
                        (2) Do you have the right driver and know where Windows can find it (usually installed from a disk or downloaded file)
                        (3) Should Windows search the Internet for the best driver?

                        #3 never works, but #1 or #2 almost always work.

                        In Windows 7, it just takes off and installs what it has that it thinks will work, and then (at least with what I've plugged into it) starts searching Windows Update for a better driver. There's a button to stop the search, but this sometimes means an incomplete or incorrect driver installation. So the related questions are:

                        Is there a way to not start the Internet search for a better driver? Is there some way that Win7 can be set up so that the "new hardware" process works like it does on XP?

                        A totally unrelated question, an one that comes up often on the web and always has answers that don't work has to do with access to folders on a Win7 system from other computers on the network. I've managed to get it so that I can get into "public" folders from other computers on the network, but no amount of clicking on "Sharing" options an turning firewalls off will let me get to a folder that I've made that isn't in the "library." Should I give up, or is there a way to make any folder visible on the network? Have they sacraficed conveninece for security? It only tells me to ask the administrator, but I'm tired of talking to myself about this.

                        And a simple one - Does anyone know of an inexpeinsive audio interface - 2 channels is enough - that has both ASIO and WDM drivers for 64-bit Win7 that I can buy and quit fooling with? I don't want this new $100 computer to turn into a $500 computer that only gets used for the occasional review.


                        Well you eventually lost me at the "win xp asked me....." But as to before that and as to the purpose of demoing Modo on a functioning 64bit os platform......

                        1.You have a non-bloatware 64bit win7 dedicated machine now. Great
                        2.You connect an interface. Maybe the Maudio as mentioned or any other fine interface the world ignores (us366 for example)
                        3.You install the interface drivers for win7 from the including install dvd or downloaded from the mftr site Win7 ain't asking you nuthin cuz you installed the driver FIRST, before connecting up the new interface you bought ... or are about to buy.

                        All the above stuff, you're infinitely up on. At this moment, there is none... zero interaction with your other 9 machines. You just wanna demo Modo.

                        4. Install the 64bit trial of Reaper. Takes about 30 seconds. Buy it now or later.
                        5. Install the Modo bass program.

                        If you hadn't yet bought an actual 64bit machine night before last or whatever, I would've suggested you remove the C drive from whatever of your 9 machines you have now that are 64bit capable, and stuck in a new empty drive, done a fresh install of win7 (which you have anyway from earlier), and then built out from there. Although maybe your old win7 wasn't 64bit. Didn't quite catch that part.

                        Anyway, everything you typed after "win xp asked me......." didn't make any sense to me cuz we're talking about a brand new Win7 64bit box that doesn't have xp anywhere in the immediate galaxy. So maybe I missed something in that sentence. Which it doesn't take much to lose me. But anyway, it seems the 5 steps above gets you where you seem to wanna go. Unless I'm missing a chunk of info.

                        Aside from everything I said, and in regards to the stuff I didn't follow, wushowhide is the ms program that lets you tell win7, win8, win10 what to NOT TOUCH EVER. I can't remember if it applies to xp as xp would let me pick and choose updates ala carte. Maybe that part is useful for some of your delimma.
                        Last edited by bookumdano4; 12-18-2016, 03:30 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bookumdano - Yeah, I might give the new Reaper a try since it supports the right flavor of VST. I followed the instructions to the letter for installing the driver for the Nanoface, probably about three times, and it just plain didn't work. Nor did its control panel work (I got an error about something not configured - maybe it was talking about the interface not configured since it didn't work). Today I dug a Firewire card out of the closet, installed it, as well as the driver for my Mackie 1640i mixer (which is supposed to work with Win7-64bit). The driver appeared to install correctly, but crapped out when I connected the interface. I had put a note in the bag with the interface "questionable" which may mean that it didn't have a chipset that was one that was known to work with the Mackie mixers. Or maybe the combination just doesn't work.

                          I must have lost you about the WinXP stuff because I couldn't understand what you were writing about it. I simply wanted to make Win7 behave more like XP when plugging in a new piece of hardware that doesn't have an install-it-first driver. And as far as Windows updates go, I always set that for "just tell me what's available and I'll choose what to download and install." That worked with XP as long as there were updates. With the Win7 machines, though, it just never seems to find any updates even though I'm sure there must have been some. No big deal. I probably didn't need them anyway.

                          And as far as the new chassis vs. swapping another disk drive into an existing chassis, trust me on this one. A new chassis ready-to-go for $100, and including a mouse, keyboard, and a monitor nicer than the one I use on my workbench was well worth not opening up a working system that has a purpose in life.
                          --
                          "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                          Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post

                            I knew there was something, if only I knew what it was called and where to find it. Thanks. What's the Win7 key? Is that the "Windows" key on some keyboards (the one I have on this computer doesn't have that one)? Anyway, I found it from the Start menu, which, as I recall, is what you get when you press the Windows key.

                            That's another question. When I've set up old/new computers, I'd start Windows Update and it would usually suck down loads of stuff. On this one, I've left it overnight scanning for updates, and it never finds anything. That's hard to believe. I did that with the Windows that came on the computer and got update results. Thinking that might me an oddball installation, I swapped out the hard drive and installed Win7 from the same (builder) disk as my other two Win7 setups only choosing 64-bit this time and got the same result with Windows Update, and that disk is from 2010 with the Service Pack 1 update. Surely there must be some updates from there. When I look at the Update History, all I see there is Windows Update Agent dated the day I ran the Windows Update. Maybe there's something in there that tells Updates that I'm not entitled to any with the version of Windows that I have.

                            I looked at another Win7 computer I have from that same installation disk, and that history shows only two updates - definitions for Windows Defender.
                            Yeah, the "Windows" key if you have one. Start menu is all that is.

                            Your update history question is a bit of a puzzler. I'll throw out an idea - if you are logging on as someone besides the Administrator, it might be that the updates are hidden from you, since updating is something that can only be done from the Admin level.

                            Also, if you haven't already, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update. In the left column there's a "restore hidden updates" choice. Follow that, see what you get....

                            I would doubt that your builder's version of Windows would somehow be too lowly to deserve updating...it could be that a lot of updates are simply not "IMPORTANT" updates, but MS should still be supporting your version for at least all the important updates.

                            Best 'o luck - which is how fixing computers gets done most of the time.

                            nat whilk ii



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nat whilk II View Post

                              Your update history question is a bit of a puzzler. I'll throw out an idea - if you are logging on as someone besides the Administrator, it might be that the updates are hidden from you, since updating is something that can only be done from the Admin level.
                              When I set myself up as a (and the only) user, I gave myself Administrator rights - at least I think I did. I made myself a member of the "Administrator" group, and verified that all of the boxes were checked in the "privileges" box.

                              Also, if you haven't already, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update. In the left column there's a "restore hidden updates" choice. Follow that, see what you get....
                              Did that, and the only one that shows up there KB976902. When I looked up that one, apparently there was a lot of controversy over it. It's described as a "prerequisite for installing SP1." Google it and maybe you can make something out of it, if you have the time. I just discovered this, so I haven't read all of the commentary. There's a hint that perhaps it can inhibit updates, and there was a replacement for it. Maybe I should remove it? Or maybe I should look up the replacement? Or maybe I should just forget about updates?.

                              Best 'o luck - which is how fixing computers gets done most of the time.
                              Sometimes it seems that way.
                              --
                              "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                              Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                              Comment













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