Fix: After an Upgrade to 64 bit Windows 7, Programs Won’t Run & Can’t Open

Yesterday, I upgraded my 64 bit Vista machine to Windows 7. The installation went fine, however once it was finished and Windows 7 was up and running, I found that I could no longer run any program beyond a few of the built in operating system programs such as the control panel, windows explorer, notepad, etc. Opening other programs such as Firefox, Word, Photoshop and even Internet Explorer would hang for a few seconds after I double clicked their icon, but would never appear. When I checked the task manager, the executables were listed in the Processes tab, but windows for the programs would not display. I also occasionally received a delayed error message from Explorer.EXE “Server execution failed” after trying to open Internet Explorer. I uninstalled my antivirus software and VMWare just in case they might have anything to do with the problem, but this didn’t work.

Eventually, after a long Google search without any success and after considering trying to reinstall Windows 7, I came upon this forum, which described the same problem. It turns out there were two instances of a program “HsMgr.exe” which run on startup, and were somehow causing my programs not to execute. My fix was:

1. Click on the Start menu
2. In the search box, type msconfig and hit enter
3. Click on the Startup tab
4. Look for any item named HsMgr (such as HsMgr.exe or HsMgr64.exe) and uncheck these
5. Click OK
6. Restart your computer

Your programs should now be able to open. This problem seems to be due to lack of compatible drivers with 64-bit Windows 7.

[Update:] I discovered that the true problem had to do with my HT Omega Striker 7.1 sound card drivers. After installing a Windows 7 compatible driver update from HT’s website, the HsMgr programs can run in the background without preventing applications from opening.

Everclear – In A Different Light

Album Cover: Everclear - In A Different Light

Overall Rating:

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Album Review

Ever since I really started listening to music, Everclear has been my favorite band. Their perfect mix of rock, alternative, and pop combined with straightforward honest lyrics covering a full span of raw emotions makes their music applicable for any mood. Art Alexakis is the only remaining member of the original band, but as lead singer and songwriter, for all intents and purposes he IS Everclear.

“In A Different Light” features re-recordings of many of Everclear’s best songs from the 90’s and 00’s. It’s somewhere between a greatest hits album and a remix album, but rather than completely overhauling each song, the sound has been ‘tweaked’ to give a slightly different feel. In general, the lyrics to all the songs are identical (save for a few minor word changes), but the timing, tone, and emphasis are completely new. Most songs have a softer, stripped down feel compared to the originals, yet no so much so that they become dull. It is also refreshing to hear cleaner, polished versions of older grungy songs such as Santa Monica and Fire Maple Song, even if they don’t seem to convey as much emotion. Really, none of these updated versions can compare to the originals, but they are still very nice to listen to, especially for Everclear fans such as myself. This collection is almost a curiosity, but one that does not disappoint. Two new songs also accompanied on the album, At The End Of The Day & Here Comes The Darkness, and these are also pleasant to listen to. Everclear’s “In A Different Light” is a unique type of album, and those who are familiar with the songs reworked here will surely enjoy it.

I’d like to think I was the very first person to purchase this album, since I was able to buy it one day in advance of its release at the first show of Everclear’s latest tour, and I was pretty much the first person to arrive at the venue. Being the first to arrive also meant I was front row center for the concert and got to take home a guitar pick and set list as souvenirs. The next best thing about concerts, after seeing your favorite band play, is taking home memorabilia! Art Alexakis was also available to meet and give out autographs (he signed my album cover, as you can see above), which was actually really cool of him. Of all the concerts I have been to, the main act has never been available to meet. And as it turns out, he’s a really friendly guy. In all, it was an excellent concert, and I was glad I finally got to see them live, despite that the lineup is different than the Everclear I grew up on.

On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Would You Rate Your Life?

Yesterday I was bored waiting for my tires to be balanced & rotated at Costco, so to kill some time I decided to run a little social experiment that I had been meaning to do for a while. The experiment consisted of asking a single question, which I texted to almost everyone in my cell phone. The question was this:

Think- If you had to rate your life right now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the WORST imaginable and 10 being the BEST, what would it be? Text me back -BD

Before I sent it out, I decided that my own answer would be a “7” …pretty darn good, but not so much that it can’t improve in certain areas. In my mind, a “1” would be defined as ultimate low, where life just could not possibly get any worse, save for death. On the other hand, I would imagine a “10” being the ultimate perfect life, where nothing goes wrong, there are no regrets and no limitations. Both scenarios I would expect to be essentially impossible, but, hey, you never know. I was curious therefore, to see where other people would place their lives on a scale from 1-10. And so I sent the text to around 108 people. Of those, 62 responded back. Here is a histogram of the results, showing the number of responses for each category:

This survey turned out to be really interesting. Six people responded with a 10, while two responded with a 1. The mean and median were both 7, but the most popular response was 8.

Obviously, my idea of a 10 being 100% perfection was a little different from how some responded, but neither is right or wrong, the question was subjective.

I do wonder though, what it would take to bump up your rating one point. For example, what would one need to do to go from a 6 to a 7? Or from a 7 to an 8? I also wonder how one’s response would change over time, since it’s really dependent on current circumstances which constantly fluctuate. I want to try to ask this again, say, a year from now & see what differences there are.

Overall though, I gotta say, I must have some pretty happy friends! =D

Living On My Own: Part 2 – Things I’ve Noticed

Awesome

  1. Dirty dishes are always mine, so I can reuse them out of the sink if I want to. Before, I could never be sure…
  2. Music from my computer in my living room fills my apartment. I can hear it no matter what room I am in. This is great, because I love music, and I love being able to constantly listen to it no matter where I am or what I am doing.
  3. It’s very peaceful. There is no noise of other people moving around, doing things, or complaining that the entire internet is “broken” and that I should fix it.
  4. I have plenty of space to move around & do things. Such as roll around on the floor, if I so felt compelled.
  5. No one else is around to eat all the good cookies, except me.

Not So Awesome

  1. I’m not entirely positive how loud I can play my music without my neighbors hearing.
  2. My microwave, while I AM grateful to my cousin for letting me borrow hers, displays gibberish for numbers. As a result, I never know what it’s doing, so I press random buttons until it turns on, then guess at when the food is done.
  3. Having more than one room, now I have to walk all over my apartment to get things that used to be within arm’s reach in my miniature room at home. The same problem happens if I need to put those things away.
  4. When I lose things, there are more places I need to look.

Just Different

  1. A bedroom stash of food and drink just doesn’t make sense anymore.
  2. Things stay where you leave them. Now, this could be good if it’s personal items. But it’s bad if it’s trash.

Little Ways to Enjoy Life More

  1. Chill for a minute before you get out of your car and finish that song that’s playing.
  2. Stare at the stars. Think about how big the universe is & how lucky you are to be here.
  3. Without doing anything else, sit & listen to a song that you love in its entirety.
  4. At random times & places throughout your day, stop & look at the scene in front of you as if it were a photograph or painting in a museum. What details would you notice? What would make it “beautiful?”
  5. Play an instrument. Play whatever comes to you; don’t worry about if it sounds good or not.
  6. Ignore conventions; love something that no one else loves, & be proud of it.
  7. Forget worrying about what people think.
  8. Find a good comic strip that always makes you laugh & read it often
  9. Be honest with yourself. There is really nothing to lose.
  10. Once you are honest with yourself, figure out your weaknesses. Either accept them, or improve.
  11. Find the humor in unfavorable situations.
  12. Cheer people up. It’s easy to do since so many people are stressed about things.
  13. Always have a plan B, or a worst case scenario you can live with.
  14. Listen to classical music.
  15. Find answers to your questions. Unravel the mysteries of life.