Friday, June 15, 2012

Problems with Computer Updates

So I'm on the computer and as is common, Windows asks me to perform an update. Being a responsible tech person, I stay on top of these things and oblige the update followed by a restart. Next Adobe pops up and asks for the same favor for its Flash player. Again I accept the request and go through with the Flash update. So far, it's a bit of an annoyance, but not a big deal.

A bit later I'm watching videos on Youtube and I notice I can't adjust the volume using my keyboard buttons. It just freezes. If I click off the window I can adjust it, but somehow the newest Flash update (11.3.300.257) did something to disable my ability to adjust the volume. This was incredibly frustrating as I use audio a lot for video and music. A test of Flash music players online yielded the same error.

So I weigh my options and figure I'll try a system restore and that should undo the latest changes. I go into Windows settings and select the restore point. It goes to restart but before it can load up again, I get an error (LogonUI.exe) saying that an important file (crypt32.dll) is missing. I can't do anything but force quit and restart. Still it won't let me even start up Windows. WTF! At this point I get worried thinking I am going to lose everything. Luckily I do back up my files, but I only had like 95% backed up and even the 5% would be very hard to replace.

Again luckily I had a spare laptop to hook up and browse the internet for solutions. The best fix was to put in the system repair disc which I had made months back. After another restart, I managed to get the cd into the drive and boot from disc. From there I tried the Start Up repair option as that was the problem, but it did not work. Further discouraged, I opted to try undoing the system restore. This went through but at the end said it was unable to make the changes. Crap!

To my relief, even though it said it didn't work, I was able to start up windows and it seemed to be ok. I tested out the flash player volume issue and it was still freezing up. Very annoying, so I figure it must be a problem with the latest Flash player update.

I decide to uninstall the latest update. It uninstalls Flash completely. No big deal. I go to Adobe's site and manage to find an archive of older Flash versions. I get the one before the last and download it. The file is big because it comes with versions for all operating systems. When that was done I found the right version and installed it. I go to test out the volume adjustment and success! It worked!

My overall take on this is that all these components and programs such as Windows, FireFox, Flash, Java... need to stop updating so much. They are all interconnected and dependent on each other but they don't collaborate well when they all keep changing. I know they have to stay current and progress technology, but it seems like more often then not, updates cause problems rather than solutions.

Morals to be learned include: Back up your files now and don't put it off. Also make sure you have repair and recover discs available for your operating system. Then after all that, be cautious of new updates. If it ain't broke don't fix it!

UPDATE 10-0-12
I tried installing the newest version of Flash 11.4... to see if they have fixed the volume freeze issue, but it still doesn't work.  I managed to submit a bug to Adobe about it.  I say managed because just the sign up process to log in, yes you have to log in, was very difficult.  I had to try like 5 different user names and a couple emails before it let me in.  Seriously how many people are actually registered on Adobe?  Anyway, we'll see if they take a look at it and hopefully are able to fix it for a future version.  Otherwise I'm sticking with version 11.2 because it works. 

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