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Woe is the computer

Paragon, my computer, has been acting funky as of late.

First, it randomly thinks the F1 key is being pressed. This has the unfortunate side effect of opening the HELP window of whatever software I am in. I have renamed the Windows HelpPane.exe file so that can't open, but it's still a pain in Microsoft Office programs and in PhotoShop. They key itself is NOT stuck, I have in fact removed the key entirely. I can often interrupt the string of phantom key-presses by hitting another function key, but sometimes it starts right back up and I have to keep pressing F2 until the keyboard starts behaving again. I have purchased a replacement keyboard, but I have yet to take it to Best Buy for the replacement procedure. This will cost $140, and worse, I will be without Paragon for several days. There's also no guarantee that replacing the keyboard will fix the issue. I know it's technically possible for me to replace the keyboard myself, but I did try fiddling around with Paragon's innards and it's very complicated. I'd rather pay someone else to do it if I'm going to go that route, I just wish they offered same-day service.

But wait, there's more!

Corel VideoStudio won't open. There's an error in the event viewer. Some sources say a couple of windows updates disabled some software due to perceived (but nonexistent) security issues with said software. I uninstalled said updates but VideoStudio still won't open. I am now in the process of uninstalling all of the Windows updates since October. There are a lot of them, and they have to be uninstalled individually, as you can't select multiple updates to uninstall all at once. I know VideoStudio worked in October because that's the last time I uploaded an edited video to my YouTube channel. I am desperately hoping that once I get all of these updates uninstalled and reboot Paragon, VideoStudio will work again. I can then reinstall the updates one at a time (rebooting each time in between, which will be slower and more arduous than the uninstall...) and make sure VideoStudio keeps working. Maybe I can find the offending update. I did try uninstalling and reinstalling VideoStudio, but that didn't help, so at this point it has to be Windows. I don't know what else it can be. The Nvidia control panel says my video drivers are up to date, and haven't been modified in a while.

But wait, there's more!

I am also having issues with PhotoShop. Up until a few weeks ago, I could open the 32-bit version of PS and import video frames to layers. This allowed me to make animated gifs, which I was uploading to the Ren Fest Gallery on my site. Alas, PS will no longer import video frames. It pretends like it's going to, but it just hangs there indefinitely. I have to use Task Manager to shut it down. I am hopeful that this roll-back will resolve this issue as well.

Of course, I have been installing Windows Updates by hand, excluding all of the files that are essentially just a sneaky installation of Windows 10 files. Windows 10 allows unacceptable levels of spying on Microsoft's part, and I want nothing to do with it. Unfortunately several updates convert Windows 7 and 8 into the same behavior, so I have been researching each update by hand and excluding those that do so.

If this little project doesn't work, I'm afraid my next step is to do a clean install of Windows 7 and start over. I don't know what else to do. Not my idea of a good time.. But then, it's probably better to do a clean OS install every couple of years anyway, right?

Actually, that makes me wonder. The My Documents, My Pictures, and My Videos folders all point to the second (technically third, since there are two SSD drives combined as one in the "first" drive slot) internal hard drive. If I reinstall Windows on the primary drive, will it leave the second drive alone? I may not have to reload all my files from BackBlaze if that's the case, which would make the clean install much less painful. Still a little painful, as I'd have to reinstall all my software, but significantly less annoying. I'm not sure how that works though.


Edit: Uninstalling all Windows updates from October 2015 onward did indeed resolve the problem with VideoStudio. It now opens. PhotoShop still won't import video files, but at least with VideoStudio working, I have options.

Now to find the particular Windows update(s) that caused the problem with Video Studio. I'll have to install updates one at a time and re-open VideoStudio to figure out where the problem is, and then add that update to my "hide, and then re-hide if Windows tries to install it again" list. I will also have to test VideoStudio every time I install new updates to ensure they don't bring back the problem.

Well, at least I don't have to reinstall Windows from scratch!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2016 06:02 pm (UTC)
I had that "constant help popup" issue with a netbook I owned long ago. Never could get the thing fixed.
Mar. 27th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
Ouch! $140 just to replace it? Is that with the part, or just the labor?

I can't tell you much about your software issues, but laptop keyboards aren't usually very hard at all to replace. If you tell me what model it is, I can see if I can find a step-by-step guide.
Mar. 27th, 2016 10:08 pm (UTC)
$140 is just for the labor, I already bought the keyboard (for something like $60). I did find a video guide for my laptop on YouTube, but when I started trying to actually disassemble everything, it was quite difficult. Just getting all the screws out was a nightmare, and then I couldn't actually separate the plastic plate from the rest of the frame. It's an Asus G75VX, not sure if it's just a particularly hard model to take apart or what.
Mar. 27th, 2016 10:36 pm (UTC)
Looks like part of the difficulty is with the stupid little plastic latches that snap in place. An old credit card or spudger usually can handle those. Fingernails alone aren't usually sufficient.

This is what I found, it's for another model in the same series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9KHrJKInmA

This one shows that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otysJ5C9foI you don't have to remove the display/lid from the hinges, but it is tricky to get it up from under it if you don't.

Wish I could have been more helpful. These newer style laptops are a bit more of a pain to service.
Mar. 28th, 2016 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links!

I'm in the process of narrowing down which windows update(s) disables VideoStudio, and after that I'll see about poking around Paragon's innards again. I appreciate your help!
Mar. 29th, 2016 05:08 am (UTC)
Glad to help! Good luck with the software issues, I've had my share of those on Win10 as well.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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