Problems caused by recent Windows 7 updates

I don't now if this is the right community, but I hope that somebody can help me with the host of problems that recent upgrades have caused to my Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 installation on my Sony Vaio All-in-1 computer.

I returned from a recent vacation to find a whole list of updates, security and other updates to Win 7 including to .NET services v4. After the updates my system would no longer identify my WD NAS drive under 'Network' despite the fact that I could log onto the system using the web browser interface. A restore to before my vacation undid the problem, but this was promptly lost again when the Window updates were reinstalled, during which I lost the restore point that worked.

In desperation I did a clean install of Win 7 and all went well until almost the most recent updates were installed when the problem reoccurred. Hunting around on the web, I found some information that the problem could be caused by critical Windows services could being disabled. Using Black Viper’s Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Service Configurations ( a comparison showed that the Tcp/IP Netbios helper service should have been automatically loaded, but was disabled. I enabled the service and, hey presto, access to my NAS drive was reinstated. The only problem was that further Windows updates switched it off again - the updates have, for the moment finished and the Tcp/IP Netbios helper service is enabled. However, I do not know what else has changed, e.g. other services or in the registry as I have a number of other problems that remain:

1. The list of opened programs under the Start menu was emptied after one of the updates and since then none of the programs I open are listed under the start menu;

2. A number of programs now repeatedly give UAC pop-ups when using the default setting and even setting this to one level below the the default level does not stop these: e.g. Outlook 2007 now displays a UAC menu every time it runs. Furthermore the program does not appear to be fully functional, e.g. if I try to open an archive PST file it fails to open when selected.

One further piece of information, my services list two sets of services for .NET Framework services: 2 for Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727 - one for x64 and one for x86 that are disabled and 2 for Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319 again one for x64 and one for x86 that are enabled - is this the correct configuration?

Has anybody else had similar problems with recent windows updates or can provide any assistance in providing solutions to the two problems above (I have updated the windows updates that were installed when the problems started to occur). NB the only updates during this period were from MS - all other software updates were blocked so I know that the problems originate 'chez MS'.

I can provide further information if required, but at this stage do not know what further information might be helpful.


You are not alone. Windows updates in recent months have totally crapped up many computers I am aware of, including my own.

The UAC pop-ups on every program were a last straw for me. Couldn't figure out a way around it and no user settings (administrator privileges) or program privilege settings worked to prevent them. I finally set up the special administrator account and use it as my normal account. It is high risk because it could potentially give malware administrative rights to totally screw with your computer, but I was too fed up with dealing with the endless UAC prompts and tired of being denied access to my own computer. This is essentially a "super administrator" account that has full and absolute rights and privileges to everything and all other accounts. I won't specify here how to do it. If anyone else is crazy enough to do it, do your own research and heed all of the warnings. If someone knows how to correct the UAC pop-ups, I would love to hear it.

I also encountered the problems with Outlook 2007 (failing to recognize archived PST files, inability to manage PST files from within Outlook, plus other problems). I tried every available resource and could not prevent Outlook from frequently crashing. Every time it wrote to the PST file, the file became corrupted, and calendar appointments constantly crashed the program. I researched it from one end of the Internet to the other. The symptoms were common, the potential causes many, and none of the fixes worked. I even uninstalled Outlook, did a clean install, and skipped updates from the time problems first began. Nothing helped. It's like Outlook 2007 has a fundamental incompatibility with Windows 7 as currently updated.

I finally gave up on it and moved to Thunderbird (with Lightning for the calendar). I have been pleasantly surprised. So far, I have not found any Outlook function that is not replicated in Thunderbird. There are a few layout things that are not as convenient, but probably better practice, and some nice features that Outlook didn't have. The account setup wizards are fantastic. So far (several weeks), not a single error or problem. It is also just as fast, maybe faster.

If you are going to export your Outlook files for import into Thunderbird, leave out any recurring events and just recreate them in Thunderbird.. They were one of the things that were screwed up in Outlook, so I don't know if that was the source of the problem, but these didn't export as recurring events. Outlook wrote them as individual events (hundreds of them, which I had to filter and delete in Thunderbird).

Regarding your .NET Framework question--That looks OK.

Your PDF listing shows a lot of failed updates. That's typical when you have so many. Often, they must be installed in a certain order, which would have happened if they had been done timely, as they arrived. The failed ones should re-appear in the pending updates list. Just keep running updates and it will clear itself out.

Thanks for your speedy and helpful response. In a perverse way, I am heartened that its a more general issue as it is more likely to be addressed, but disheartened that it happened at all, in particular as further reading has shown that recently issues with Patch Tuesday releases appear to be worsening and that there is a really QC problem within Microsoft. Also disheartened as I could find no info on Microsoft's website on the issues, but hopefully the next Patch Tuesday will resolve (fingers crossed). :jaded:

I don't think Thunderbird is an option for me as I have an email archive in annual PST files that, I need to access regularly. So not sure what my options are as none of the available other email clients appear to support or be able to import PST files.

While it is only a minor irritant - is there a solution to the missing program list from the start menu - I presume that this is a registry setting that has become corrupted.

Regarding the Start menu--you're referring to the recent files list? I believe that was a recent issue someone else also posted. Do a quick search of the forum or a Google search. My recollection is that there is a setting that got turned off on some machines by a recent update.

On your archived PST files--I'm in the same boat. I reached a point where using my email was a higher priority than one-step access to my archives (plus Outlook was balking at opening the archives even though there was nothing wrong with them). If and when I need to refer back to them, I will use Outlook to export them, import them into Thunderbird, and re-archive them. Maybe I'll do it when I have a little time to kill. The process is pretty fast and simple, although it would be nice if Thunderbird could read the PST files directly. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a utility for converting the old messages to a CSV file, which is what Thunderbird imports.

I was hesitant to move to a new email program. I had decades of un-culled archives, a "rich" folder tree of current messages, a large contact list with lots of supplementary information, extensive calendar entries, etc. Plus Outlook is the preeminent email program and anything else would require a learning curve. When I finally bit the bullet I was sorry I had waited so long. Other than the hiccup with the way Outlook exported recurring calendar events, it was a piece of cake. Everything transferred seamlessly. At least you can reduce some of the stress of dealing with Outlook knowing that there is a good alternative available.

Thanks for the further info.

I have just installed Thunderbird - but not sure how to import mail from a CSV file exported from Outlook (do I need an add-on for this, if so which one). However, when I selected mail from the default installation's import option it imported my existing (default) Outlook PST without a hitch as well as my Hotmail folders. As I can open my archived PSTs via my VISTA laptop, I should be able to open them and then import them either directly or, if I can figure out how to import a CSV file this way. A potential convert in the making!

Senility setting in. It's been a whole couple of weeks since I set it up. The CSV file was for the calendar. Thunderbird imports mail directly by using Outlook, no conversion or import/export needed. My archives were in a different directory so I don't know if any PST file in the default directory gets imported or just the one named Outlook.PST. I didn't research how to import other PST files. Could be just putting them in the default directory, could be opening them in Outlook before you run the import wizard, could be renaming them one at a time to Outlook.PST. Whichever one of us does this first can share the research.

In terms of add-ons, Lightning will replace the calendar and task list of Outlook. I also added ImportExportTools becuase it looked like it might eventually be useful (haven't needed it yet), SQLite Manager because it looked like it might eventually be useful, SendLater to add the functionality of scheduling when to send a message, XNote++ which adds a handy feature of attaching a sticky note to a message, Account Colors which color codes your different email accounts, Repeat Borders which adds a dark border around recurring calendar events to make them easy to spot, and Folderplus. The last one fixes a "hole" in Thunderbird. If you have a complex message folder tree and search for messages, Thunderbird displays the resulting messages but doesn't tell you where it is stored. Folderplus will flag the source folder in the navigation pane.

Thanks for the clarification of the imports. Just tested the import of PST by placing a closed PST archive file in the default directory for my Outlook - doesn't import, i.e. the PST has to be open in Outlook for the import to Thunderbird to work. So if you can get a version of Outlook running somehow, then there is a relatively simple import route for archived PSTs.

Thanks for the info on the add-ons.

Now I just need to need to come up the Thunderbird learning curve and then convince my wife that it is the way to go. :serious:

Thanks for sharing the procedure.

What do you mean, "convince your wife..."? Doesn't she do everything you tell her? :ahaha:

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