Sounding off over software

Columnist Norman Silverstone’s new Windows 8 DVD is going back to where it came from, after the program didn’t work. - Submitted photo
Columnist Norman Silverstone’s new Windows 8 DVD is going back to where it came from, after the program didn’t work.
— image credit: Submitted photo

This is a story of my tedious little episode with Windows 8.

By now you are aware that I am a Mac user by choice and a Windows user not by choice. Because I teach Photoshop, iPhoto, cameras, pro photography and MS Word one-on one, fluency in Windows and OSX is a must. Presently I own a MacBook Pro updated with Lion OS and an HP G60 Laptop with Windows 7 OS.

Of course it was no surprise when Windows came out with a new operating system called Windows 8; they had advertised it everywhere. I really was not ready to make the Windows jump—I thought it would be to my advantage to wait until the bugs were worked out and the operating system (OS) had been used extensively.

Then one rainy November day I received an e-mail that had a Microsoft special: “Now update your computer to Windows 8 Pro OS for $39.95.” Wow, what a deal, I thought: Windows Vista and Windows 7 cost $120–$160 when they came out. So I went ahead and ordered Windows 8 Pro on the Microsoft site with my overextended Visa card.

Of course the OS was available online only, which meant that I had to download the Windows 8 direct from the site, no DVD, no backup, no way to put the OS back into the HP should I have to. So for an extra $14.99 I ordered a backup DVD that would permit me to put Windows 8 back into my HP computer should I lose the operating system due to viruses, computer bots, trojans, wiping my hard drive clean or even my hard drive crashing.

The invoice total was now $64.37 with shipping and taxes, but somehow my Visa was accepted and the Win 8 DVD was on its way.

Turning on the HP with the new Windows 8 in it, I noticed that the HP booted up a lot faster and was ready to go almost as fast as the MacBook Pro. The only thing that seemed to be wrong was that there was no sound.

I went to the sound card, downloaded the latest drivers…nothing, no sound. I deleted the sound card turned off the computer, booted it up again……nothing, no sound.

I went to the Conexant site to see if there was any conflict with Win 8 or newer drivers for Win 8. The site said that if there was a problem I had to contact HP or Microsoft. So I ran a sound driver troubleshooter, which said that the sound was working and that there was no problem.

I went to hp.ca, signed into the HP Consumer Support Forum, asked the question “is there a conflict with Conexant Audio drivers and Windows 8”?

According to two other people there was a problem with Windows 8 and the HP Conexant sound card; they said that they would wait until a solution or a driver was found.

In desperation I went to see Tony McKimm at Safe & Sound Computers; we both toiled over the computer with no success.

Returning home, I phoned Microsoft and demanded my money back. They said that they would refund the total $64.37 to my Visa card.

I put Windows 7 back in to the HP via my recovery discs that I had created in 2010, used the external hard drive backup to put all the personal information as well as the photos, documents back in.

Here I am, two days of work down the drain but the crappy HP sound is working now.

Any questions?  E-mail me at nsilverstone@telus.net or see me online at www.silverstonephotos.com.


Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege in Port Alberni.

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