• Review: FixWin – repair common Windows 7 (and Vista) issues and problems

    Today I was looking at the FixWin tool and see how easily can help us with minor issues and problems on our Windows 7/Vista operating systems.

    According to the description on the thewindowsclub.com this utility can help you refreshing the Recycle Bin, re-enable the  right click context menu in Internet Explorer or re-enable your task manage or cmd or your Registry Editor after a malware attack…

    The first window of FixWin explains that a System File Checker (sfc /scannow) and a Restore Point should be done before any further action. But after you’ve done with the sfc and you’ve created the restore point and your issue is still there, you can start by looking at the left side of FixWin where you’ll find five categories:

    1. Windows Explorer

    2. Internet & Connectivity

    3. Windows Media

    4. System Tools

    5. Additional Fixes.


    Here you have a list of all the repair options:

    Windows Explorer:

    • Recycle Bin icon missing from desktop
    • Reset Folder View settings to default
    • Game Explorer is not working
    • Enable Folder Options in Tools menu and Control Panel
    • Fix show hidden files, folders and drives. Helpful if malware has changed the settings and prevents restoration in the folder options.
    • Restore the Windows Sidebar
    • Fix Recycle Bin icon, if it does not refresh automatically anymore
    • Repair Explorer.exe so that it starts on system boot
    • Drive icons (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) missing or not recognized by Windows or programs.
    • Fix Thumbnails not working in Windows Explorer

    Internet And Connectivity

    • Internet Explorer icon is missing on the desktop
    • Skip the Internet Explorer Run Once wizard, that sometimes appears more than once.
    • Enable access to Internet Options
    • Increase Internet Explorer maximum connections from two to download more files at once.
    • Fix ability to change homepage in Internet Explorer
    • Repair Runtime Error Dialogs appearing in Internet Explorer
    • Repair Internet Connection and reset TCP/IP settings to default values
    • Fix Font Style and Blurry Text in Source window in Internet Explorer 8
    • Reset IE settings to default
    • Enable right-click menu in Internet Explorer

    Windows Media

    • Repair An internal application error has occurred when starting Windows Media Player
    • Fix Windows Media Player stops responding after installing a third party product that registers its own wmp.dll file
    • Repair the slideshow in WMP
    • Fix missing right-click context menu entries for media files that are associated with Windows Media Player
    • Repair Windows Media Player Composition Mixer
    • Fix Windows Media Player is not installed properly and must be reinstalled
    • Reset Windows Media Library and fix library sync issues
    • Enable automatic updates for WMP
    • Flush and rebuild Windows Media Center database
    • Enable flash content to be displayed in Windows Media Player while visiting online stores or the media guide

    System Tools

    • Repair Task Manager, fix Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator.
    • Enable Command prompt, fix the command prompt has been disabled by your administrator
    • Enable Registry Editor, fix Registry Editing has been disabled by your administrator.
    • Repair MMC Snap-Ins, some viruses disable MMC Snap-Ins to prevent access to Group Policies, Local Security Policies, Disk Management and so on.
    • Reset Windows Search to default, especially helpful in Vista if the message Search Failed to Initialize appears when using search.
    • Reset System Restore to defaults. Aids for instance if the message System Restore has been turned off by group policy appears.
    • Repair the Windows Device Manager not working properly, or not showing devices.
    • Repair Windows Defender, resets all Registry settings and services to their default values.
    • Fix Action Center and Windows Security not recognizing Antivirus and Firewall, or identifying the installed software as old security software.
    • Repair the Turn Windows Features on or off dialog

    Additional Fixes

    • Repair Hibernate and Hybrid Sleep feature, fix Hibernate missing from Shutdown button options
    • Restore Windows Sidebar gadgets, if sidebar gadgets missing from Gadget panel.
    • Restore sticky notes delete warning dialog box
    • Repair Windows Update, to prevent a blank page when visiting the update page
    • Repair the help system in Windows, so that the Windows Help file opens when accessing Help.
    • Fix corrupted desktop icons, clear and rebuild corrupted icon cache and increase the icon cache limit to 5000
    • Fix Taskbar Jumplists missing or do not store MRU file lists
    • Repair Aero Snap
    • Repair Aero Shake
    • Repair Aero Peek

    One last interesting point… Not only this software is freeware, but is just one executable, so you can bring it with you on your favorite usb key  and launch it anytime!

    Incoming search terms:

    • common windows 7 issues
  • Windows XP / Vista / 7: missing, lost or not found DVD drive

    One of the most common issues using Windows 7 is that sometimes it seems that your CD/DVD drives disappears and there is no way to have them back!

    This not only used to happen on Vista previously, but it was happening in Windows XP as well…


    Missing CD or DVD

    So, how do you fix this in XP?

    Easy, you open the Registry Editor and in the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:


    In the right pane, you should have UpperFilters. Click on it. You may also see an UpperFilters.bak registry entry but you do not have to remove it. Click UpperFilters only. On the Edit menu, click Delete and confirm the deletion by choosing “Yes“. If you do not see the UpperFilters registry entry, you still might have to remove the LowerFilters registry entry. Again, click on Edit and delete it.

    At the end you can close the Registry Editor and reboot the machine. Problem solved…

    How do you fix that in Vista? Well, in the same way… And how do you fix it in Windows 7? Mmm, again, in the same way.

    So why is this happening? Is something that has not been properly fixed by Microsoft?

    To be honest these keys are not normally created on a standard Windows 7 machines, but are actually related to Filter Drivers that allow the existing Microsoft CD/DVD drivers to use external modules to perform specific operations. Typical example is the filter driver installed by burning software. This kind of software needs to perform special operations that are not covered by the standard Microsoft drivers and that’s why they need to extend those functionalities.

    In fact by deleting those keys you may then notice that some function of your 3rd party burning software is not performing as expected or that is not working at all. Reinstallation of the software will restore those keys and fix the driver (module) used to extend the standard Microsoft’s driver.