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Windows 8.1 Hangs, Crashes, Office 2013 Excel Crash

    General discussion

  • I'm an IT professional (over 20 years). I feel qualified to make these statements in this post.  I also know that the download sites for Windows 8.1 never give any warning as to what works, what doesn't, driver updates needed etc.  In fact it's being sold as the next best thing! Just download and upgrade.  There's even a tool I ran that told me my laptop was ready to go!

    My environment is an HP 6530B laptop that worked flawlessly on Windows 7 professional with IE10.  I upgraded to Windows 8.1 about 6 weeks ago (upgrade went flawlessly) and have had nothing but nightmares.  Here's the list, so beware.

    1. Blue Screens are frequently seen.  I was able to reduce them by clearing out all the UPDATEs and applying a select few of them.  How can updates make things worse?
    2. System Hangs, forcing a power down 3 to 4 times a day.
    3. IE11 crashes, sends a dump to MSFT and reboots itself at will about 5 to 7 times a day.
    4. Certain Monitors used as a second monitor that worked in Windows 7, cause the system to go haywire and become unusable no matter how many times you reboot.
    5. Automatic updates and manual update checks frequently don't work well.  If you press the Check Upates button multiple times, you will get different results.
    6. Some updates make matters worse
    7. There appears to be random memory leaks in the Service Host process
    8. Service Host process group frequently hogs memory 1.5 GIG or more. (These are all MSFT services)  It is believed that some of these processes have a memory leak.
    9. Office 2013 is unstable when using either Word or Outlook (will hang system)
    10. Excel 2013 throws errors when connecting to the TFS Team client to download Workitems, it can seem to interpret the data.
    11. Excel 2013 (issues, problems, crash) will crash on simple moves of area data from one group of cells to another.
    12. VS2012 will hang and WINDBG cannot be attached to debug the process
    13. VS2013 works much better!
    14. Starting up Cisco's VPN client 5.0.07.0290 will hang the system 1/2 the time.
    15. Some installed products such as Infor's EPAK crash and burn when used.

    The only good thing about Windows 8.1 is Google Chrome because it ran fine!

    To me this is the worst production roll out I've ever seen from the team that produced the platform we've adopted.  I can't flog anyone, but I can post an honest assessment of my experience.



    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!





    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:33 PM

All replies

  • 1. Are there any errors and warnings in logs (setup, update, event viewer, etc)

    2. You can take minidump to another computer and look at it with simple Nirsoft BSOD viewer

    3. For sure do diagnostics of HDD and RAM. Make sure that overheating is not the case.

    4. Disable add-ons and start Excel in safe mode

    5. I understand your pain but do not mix Chrome here.... Try to cool your emotions. This will help you come to good result :-)

    Regards

    Milos


    • Edited by Milos Puchta Thursday, November 28, 2013 10:28 PM
    Thursday, November 28, 2013 8:40 PM
  • Mr. Javaman II, that sounds bad.  I'm (thankfully) not seeing these issues on my desktop workstation.

    Just to be completely thorough...   Did you install Windows 8.1 as an in-place upgrade to what you were already running (i.e., "keep applications and settings")?  Or did you do a full, fresh install?

    As a software engineer of 37 years, it would never occur to me that installing an OS as an in-place upgrade to an older OS is a viable thing to do.  It simply isn't, for numerous reasons.   Yet that's exactly what Microsoft is pushing.  For most folks they don't even provide easy access to ISO files from which you could make a disc or USB drive and do a fresh install if you wanted to.

    My own Windows 8.1 installs are all fresh and clean, and they're running solidly so far (knocking on wood).

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Friday, November 29, 2013 12:39 AM
  • The event viewer is pretty much clean, there are plenty of errors but they seem to be logged when I am forced to power down the system!  Root cause errors are not apparent, it's almost as if there is a memory leak that just slowly knocks the system senseless.

    Most of the time I am unable to take minidumps because the system hangs at random times (frequently).

    I rely on TFS add ons for Excel to run Bug reports, so I can't disable add-ons because it crashes when using the add-on I need.  But it will also crash when not using any of them and simply moving one column to another location on a single spreadsheet.

    I've been through two or three diagnostic checks on HDD as the frequent need for me to just power it down when it's hung has forced the System Check program to scan the drive three or four times now.  Each time nothing showing up as problematic.  

    Why would I need to check RAM?  Remember this was an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 where everything was working perfect.

    IE 11 issues are most likely not directly related to Windows 8.1, it just sucks period.  

    I had to mention chrome for those with similar problems as mine.  It's the only browser that works and I use my browser for my job daily.

    Emotions aside, Windows 8.1 upgrade in-place from Windows 7 on an HP6530B simple doesn't work.  I've been totally screwed by MSFT and this experience.  


    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    Friday, November 29, 2013 3:28 PM
  • Noel;

      Yes I did an in-place upgrade but not before using their tool to see if everything was cool.  That tool green lighted the experience.  

    I've already made the decision to downgrade which will be a pain for me personally.  However, I just wanted to get some Air-Time concerning this issue being that I work in QA, and often write bugs internally at my company.  Often times, folks can benefit from these reports and make a better decision than I did on doing the upgrade based on others experiences. 

      I am completely baffled by this upgrade because it's too encompassing.  But I will take your advise and try to avoid in-place upgrades in the future and also remember to follow my own rules of yesteryear which were "Don't do an upgrade until 1 or 1.5 years after it first comes out"...


    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    Friday, November 29, 2013 3:34 PM
  • Well, you could be forgiven for thinking Windows 8.1 is Windows 8's "1 or 1.5 years after it first comes out".  In other words a rough equivalent to "Service Pack 1".

    I can only encourage you to consider trying a full, clean install of Windows 8.1 (yes, I know how much of a pain that is).

    I put Windows 8.1 in fresh on my Dell Precision T5500 workstation.  I ran Windows 7 since 2009, and I have tested Windows 8 and 8.1 thoroughly in virtual machines first before making the plunge.  Now I have been through that pain, but fortunately after the dust has settled I have a reliable system that I've been able to get to work just as well as Windows 7.  I wish I could say better than Windows 7, but I can't.  It's not faster nor easier to use in any way.  Its only advantage is that it's current.

       

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Friday, November 29, 2013 4:18 PM
  • Turns out I have a computer that doesn't have a specific driver for MSFT's brillant move to change things up in Windows 8.1. This content came straight from Intel site.

    Which Intel graphics products have drivers for the Windows 8* and Windows 8.1* operating systems?

    Intel® Graphics: Windows 8 driver available? Windows 8.1 driver available?
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200 Yes Yes
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100 Yes Yes
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 5000 Yes Yes
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 4600 Yes Yes
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 4400 Yes Yes
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 4200 Yes Yes
    3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 4000 Yes Yes
    3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 2500 Yes Yes
    2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 3000/2000 Yes No
    Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760 with Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Yes (from computer manufacturer only) Yes (from computer manufacturer only)
    Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics Yes<sup>1</sup> (from Microsoft Windows Update only) No
    Intel® Celeron® Processors 700/800/B700/B800/G400/G500 Series (formerly codenamed Sandy Bridge) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes No
    Intel® Celeron® Processors 900/1000/G1000 Series (formerly codenamed Ivy Bridge) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes Yes
    Intel® Celeron® Processors 2000 Series (formerly codenamed Haswell) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes Yes
    Intel® Celeron® Processors J1000/N2000 Series (formerly codenamed Bay Trail M/D) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes Yes (64-bit only)
    Intel® Celeron® Processors P4000/U3000 Series (formerly codenamed Arrandale) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes<sup>1</sup> (from Microsoft Windows Update only) No
    Intel® G41/G43/G45/Q43/Q45 Express Chipsets Yes<sup>1</sup> (from Microsoft Windows Update only) No
    Intel® Pentium® Processors 900/B900/G600/G800 Series (formerly codenamed Sandy Bridge) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes No
    Intel® Pentium® Processors 2000/G2000/G2100 Series (formerly codenamed Ivy Bridge) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes Yes
    Intel® Pentium® Processors 3000/G3000 Series (formerly codenamed Haswell) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes Yes
    Intel® Pentium® Processors G6000/P6000/U5000 Series (formerly codenamed Arrandale/Clarkdale) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes<sup>1 </sup>(from Microsoft Windows Update only) No
    Intel® Pentium® Processors J2000/N3000 Series (formerly codenamed Bay Trail M/D) with Intel® HD Graphics Yes Yes (64-bit only)
    Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset Family Yes<sup>1</sup> (from Microsoft Windows Update only) No

    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    Saturday, November 30, 2013 3:17 AM
  • Go here to find MSFT driver updates.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/dn344644.aspx

    My chipset "the last one in the list" has neither Intel or MSFT drivers.  This is most likely the root cause of all my problems.  This particular chipset is native to the HP6530B laptop.  


    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    Saturday, November 30, 2013 3:20 AM
  • Ouch, I'm sorry to hear that, and I agree - that's quite possibly the reason you're having problems.  You'd think Microsoft's little upgrade advisor might have been so nice as to let you know that ahead of time, eh?

    I suppose you could petition Intel to push a driver through WHQL testing.  Perhaps if they hear from enough folks with your type of system...

    I take it HP didn't offer any help in the matter.  With laptops you generally have to go through the laptop maker for drivers anyway.

         

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, November 30, 2013 3:38 AM
  • . . .  IE 11 issues are most likely not directly related to Windows 8.1, it just sucks period.  

    I had to mention chrome for those with similar problems as mine.  It's the only browser that works and I use my browser for my job daily. . . . 


    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    I understand your frustration with IE 11.  IE 8/9/10 used to be my primary browser with Chrome as a secondary.  That is now revered with Windows 8.1 combined with IE 11; Chrome is primary with IE 11 being a far second (this response is drafted in Chrome).

    I'm still trying to understand why MSFT decided to disable Windows from receiving updates when in Sysprep Audit mode.  This used to work wonderfully in Vista and Windows 7.
    Saturday, November 30, 2013 3:49 AM
  • I downgraded to Windows 8 for this HP6530B laptop,  Guess what, everything works flawless again.  Thanks a lot MSFT for your excellent QA work on 8.1.

    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    Thursday, December 19, 2013 1:59 PM
  • I did want to add what a disaster Windows 8.x is and I hope it dies a horrible death.  Worst thing Microsoft has ever created.  This makes Vista look good
    Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:04 PM
  • I agree with you totally. Windows 8 and 8.1 is a horor show. A totally hot mess. I'm trying to run a small office. Not show off how pretty my laptop screen is. Running at start up, useless crap. Useless. So useless that my HP printer is now not comparable. With HP Windows 8 /8.1 They don't recognize each other to work. What a pain. I was told go download a driver. Or buy a new printer. Down load a driver was windows 95. Wasn't it??? More expensive crap. Microsoft is getting worse instead of better. Come on. I can do more in my office with my IPHONE 4/4s/5/5s then I can with this piece of crap. Another piece of crap is NORTONS. Why do I have to by a PC/laptop and be stuck with NORTONS. Anti Virus. That you can not remove. Delete. Or stop from running at start up. WTF Microsoft. You can't have a PC that work so you stick us with more junk. NORTONS. When you don't use or turn on NORTONS. Ever notice how all of a sudden nothing works. And I am not talking caz I am not running a virus protection. It's caz it corrupts everything.... Starting with IE. There all so rich. No one gives a crap. Thanks.
    Thursday, January 23, 2014 8:09 PM
  • Kudos on the article!

    I am a developer, also having problems saving notepad documents in program file directories (I frequently need to save there). Also a pain trying to install my own programs.

    Windows 8.1 sucks. It's the biggest flop since Win ME.

    I would know, I was there ;-)

    Monday, January 27, 2014 6:53 PM
  • Jason, have you tried disabling UAC yet?  I mean really disabled it, via the EnableLUA value in the registry.  Then you're privileged all the time and can save things where you need.

    For knowledgeable users who need to do serious computing this is one of the single best ways to return Windows 8.1 to the functionality of yesteryear.  And, you lose the ability to run Metro/Modern applications - another plus.

    Add ClassicShell and Aero Glass for Win 8.1 and the desktop gets downright friendly again.

     

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, January 27, 2014 10:31 PM
  • Yeah, seems to suck for me too!  No X button is gonna cause so much grief to users!  Need to fix that, got the start button back kinda, but really need the x back.  Don't care what the rest of ya say cause it is the truth!  So lets close this one out!

    Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:57 AM
  • Thing is folks, Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 has just been released. give time to time. A LOT of updates for them will be thrown, believe me. Stay with Office 2007 or 2010, they are stable and work well. Now about OS. I guess the really good OS would be a mix of Windows XP look and features with Windows 7 or even 8 kernel and security (ASLR and UAC). But Microsoft folks can´t think of that, I guess. so simple!

    Windows 8 and 8.1 should go to smart phones not to desktops or notebooks, simple as that. Windows 7 is still great compared to Vista and 8 / 8.1 . Hope Windows 9 beats Windows 7!

    Friday, February 21, 2014 11:45 AM
  • Leo,

      I do understand what you are saying, but....  MSFT should NEVER release a product that kills entire platforms!  Especially when their own tools say "Your PC is ready for the upgrade"  In addition they tout their products with the sales pitch of "Upgrade now because you get this and this"  never giving ANY warnings.  This is just dumb and shows they've lost control of their QA practices.  They are more interested in due dates than in Quality. 


    JP Cowboy Coders Unite!

    Friday, February 21, 2014 1:53 PM
  • what i hate with 8.1

    more background usage...

    from 14% to 16% on Windows 8 to 24% to 26% on 8.1

    boot-up time...

    it now takes awhile when booting up and laggy when loading up tiles

    slow de-fragmentation...

    windows 8.1 is laggy and takes time on loading up now, so i thought during the update it caused fragmentation. i checked the disk and it says 19% fragmented! i was shocked! im de-fragmenting it now and it's only pass 1! with windows 8 it would have been finish de-fragmenting by now.

    now for gaming...

    i havn't played games yet after the update but i hope it doesnt affect gaming performance.

    what i like in windows 8.1...

    new look, more supported apps...that's all. performance? not so impressed. I think i will revert back to Win 8 after a week of testing.

    By the way, is there anyway where i can backup Windows 8.1 on a blank disk or usb? instructions says i need a disk or usb to install.. after downloading the update it didnt ask me to use a disk or usb for it to install, it just installed right away.

    Saturday, April 12, 2014 9:11 PM