Original Article Date: 2015

That's it. I am sick of all of these ridiculous problems with the Microsoft Windows operating system that many don't report, and even less get fixed. For all I know, people may not be reporting them since they already know that the issues they report won't get fixed.

Well, someone has to keep track of these issues, and that is exactly what I'm going to do. This is The Annoyances & Infuriations of Windows.

Now, look: I am aware that Windows gets many things right, but there remains a fact. No matter which way you slice the cake, these problems stick out like sore thumbs amongst the otherwise-good operating system. If you can avoid the problems, Windows can whip Linux's glibc symbol versioning back into the deep pits of fire that they came from, but, when you can't, it makes you want to give up on the computer.

Windows' Power (Un-)Management §

The Unpredictable, Inconsistent Sleep Timer §

Few things annoy me as much as dozing off while my computer's still on, waking up, and finding that it never idled to sleep. What happened? Windows' disgraceful sleep timer happened, now that's annoying. However, this is also the fault of flawed programs that misuse Windows' power management features.

These issues can often be traced with Windows' powercfg utility, but if you know that your computer's got insomnia, and you see nothing in powercfg, good luck trying to find your way out of that dead-end, because you've got next to no means of doing so.

The reverse problem also exists, and it's even worse! Imagine this: you're moving a metric butt-load of files from one hard drive to another, and you go to sleep. You wake up, and you find that the majority of the time you spent sleeping went to waste by having the computer sleep as well, instead of getting work done while you slept! Now that's infuriating!

Powercfg Request Overrides §

If you're dealing with at least one program or device that likes to keep your computer awake when it shouldn't, you'll need to learn how to create a powercfg request override. A powercfg request override simply tells Windows' power management to ignore what a program or device tells Windows about whether it can let the computer idle or not, be that to shut off the screen, or to put the computer to sleep.

Unfortunately, powercfg is somewhat cryptic, and creating a request override through it is worse. Not only do you have to be sure that you got each argument ordered, spaced, and quoted correctly, but it still may not work, even if you are sure that you did it right, because you may still find your computer to stay awake!

Is it because you actually didn't define the request override correctly? Is it because powercfg is simply not listening to your definition? Is it because something else is interfering as well? powercfg won't tell you!

Windows Update §

Poorly-timed Shutdown Updates §

Let's face it: only a poorly-made operating system forces you to wait for automatic updates, while on battery power. Bonus points if it's dozens of updates. Really nice going there, Microsoft. Some people have important work they need to do on time, but you, Microsoft, choose to delay it with your dumb updates, which jeopardizes peoples' schedules.

Maybe if your operating system wasn't such a convoluted and broken mess, then you wouldn't have to shove so many updates as quick as possible to your user base to begin with.

Automatic Updates During PC Usage §

Oh my goodness, is this the worst.

One nice and quiet morning, you fire up your computer to do your average blah-blah-something. A few minutes pass by, and everything is fine.

All of a sudden, the hard drive starts going CLACKITYCLACKCLACKALCKALCKALCKALCKLACKACLAKSKFJSDKFJSDJGHDSGHDSJFJHXVS! Your computer's fans start to get crazy, making loads of racket, as they desperately try to cool down the boiling processor inside.

Alerted by the craziness, you attempt to launch Task Manager, by moving your cursor to the taskbar, right-clicking it, and selecting "Task Manager".

Except it doesn't.

Instead, you notice after a couple of seconds that your cursor has moved exactly two millimeters from its original place, and, ten seconds later, you see your cursor slowly DRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG itself to where you already wanted to go, like a Pentium II computer with 32MB of RAM, struggling to run Windows Millennium Edition.

What is this madness?!

Skipping several seconds here, you finally manage to get it to open Task Manager, and you see it...that devilish little TrustedInstaller.exe.

Ohhhhhh, you rotten little thing.

Since you know your computer's useless, you simply rise from your chair, say "Alright then, Windows. So be it.", and you then leave the room, to go continue the rest of your day off of that dumb wreckage that was your computer.


So really, now, you think that this is a good operating system design? I don't, and I've observed this happening to a Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet. That's not low-end hardware; it's got a Core 2 Duo SL9400 processor, and 2GB of RAM, running a fresh blasted copy of Windows 7. Fresh, barely modified.

Is this just a dumb way to make people throw out their otherwise-good computers quicker than they should, not that anyone should even be dumping computers to begin with, or what? Gosh, Microsoft, and yet you rich people don't understand why people won't move from XP to newer versions of Windows? Don't make me explain it to you, Microsoft; this is nothing short of ridiculous!

Another thing that makes this so bad, is just how difficult it is to stop and prevent. If you disable Automatic Updates, you're at least supposedly in for a security risk. Okay, so what if I don't want to be in for a security risk? I'm instead supposed to tolerate my computer being blasted unusable.

Abuse of the Update System §

There's a good chance you've noticed the stupid little Windows 10 icon in your system tray, unless you've already upgraded downgraded to Windows 10. Herp derp, get Windows 10, it says. This was distributed through Windows Update as the infamous KB3035583. See? I've got that memorized, since I need to be alert for it. To remove this nagging program takes some tweaking. I've made a script called GWXPurge which removes and blocks this nonsense, which means you can run it on an infected computer, or a healthy one.

Yeah, I said "infected", because this nag program is essentially malware. Windows Update as a whole might as well be malware. Actually, Windows 10 as a whole might as well be malware, too. This isn't a "Windows 10 Sucks" article, though, as I'm leaving that to this article.

Windows Explorer §

I bet you four nigh-dead CR2032 cells that I can count on my fingers how many times Windows 9x's explorer.exe has crashed on me, while not being able to the same for 8's. Windows Explorer is so unstable, it's a shame how things like this get passed through quality con--NOPE, no such thing, is there? "It compiles!! Ship it!"

It also suffers bad problems with file transfers. In fact, it was the anger of discovering Windows Explorer keeping my desktop computer awake during an interrupted file transfer that drove me into creating this article!

The Stupid Folder Selection Dialog §

A folder selection dialog.
(Not my picture.) This dialog annoys me so much! Why does it even exist? There are actually multiple folder selection dialogs, and this one is the worst one. Wanna know why? There's two reasons why: first, because you can't paste a path, and also, like some "smart" phones, despite being smaller, it's more clunky to use than its bigger counterpart! What a mess-up.

Sometimes, the programs that open these windows actually come from will let you specify a path, but this shouldn't depend on the program. There should be only one folder select dialog, and that's the Proper one!

Another folder selection dialog, this time providing a place to paste, and even search.
(Not my picture, once again.) Yeah, now that's more like it! So much better.

Single-click to Select's One Annoyance §

I prefer to use single-click to select, because double-click, as a whole, is a stupid idea that refuses to die; should people seriously have to click twice to open things? Why not click once to run, and either hover over an item, or tick its check-box to select it?

That aside, there is one artificial problem with single-click to select that Microsoft could fix, but is too busy marketing Windows 10 to bother with. When you're saving a file, a pre-made filename is likely made for that file in the program you are using. For instance, picking where to save a file for download.

When single-click to select is enabled, hovering over any file in the list will set your filename to that file's name! Come on, what in the world is the benefit of that? Worse yet, you can't even undo the change, so you either have to recall the pre-made name, or cancel and redo the saving action!

Windows 8's Taskbar Behavior with Windows 8 Apps §

On computers with wide (16:10 or 16:9 aspect ratio) screens, I prefer to put the taskbar on the right side of the screen, rather than the bottom, giving me more vertical room to work with, making it a little bit more like a 4:3 screen. It's especially beneficial when using using a larger taskbar, like taskbars by default in Windows 7 and up.

One stupid side effect of this, though, is that, in Windows 8's Apps view (Windows 8's equivalent to "All Programs"), you can no longer shove your cursor to whichever side of the screen your taskbar is on to move through the apps screen, because the stupid taskbar pops up in front of it! Seriously? I guess Microsoft didn't anticipate any people who'd miss vertical room.

Windows 8's Apps screen, with the taskbar jutting in from the right, overlapping the Apps screen.
Really, Microsoft?

Internet Connection Sharing §

ICS is unreliable, and provides no clear means of viewing a log of its DHCP server's operation, if any.

Windows Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) §

When Windows COAs were originally introduced, they were laminated, so that they were protected from whatever would rub up against the bottom of the laptop, usually someone's legs, as just about any laptop keeps itself properly elevated when used on a flat surface.

When Windows Millennium was introduced, however, Microsoft stopped laminating the COAs, and they were all left exposed to the elements, quite likely out of interest to have people buying more Windows copies; once the system's recovery partition was lost, or if the whole hard drive failed, and if you have no recovery discs, be they self-made or otherwise, you were toast.

However, commendably, with the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft changed this, so now pre-built systems no longer use COAs, as their Windows keys are now flashed to the system's BIOS. At least they fixed something on this list!

Note to system builders: put the COA in a place that it is protected by something, even if it's behind sticky tape!

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