PC Bugs

Most of these problems have been long fixed by either more memory, faster hardware or newer service packs and releases (although some still exist due to flaws in the architecture of Windows). This section is mostly historical and I am leaving it here to point out some of the problems with Windows 95/98/NT/2000. Unless I find some basic problem with future Windows versions I will refrain from additions to this page. Instead, I plan to add some pages on what I think an operating system vendor should provide in their software and make some guesses about the future of computing and software in general (in other words - quit griping and make some suggestions).

Overall, Windows 95 and NT run very well compared to past Microsoft products. Does anyone remember the bug in DOS 2.1 that caused it to lock up after printing 64K characters? It usually takes Microsoft several tries to get it right and Windows is no exception. If you don't believe this just check out the Service Pack 3 for Windows NT 4.0 - a full 54 megabytes of patch files. One of the bugs in NT could cause disk corruption! We offer a few bug experiences here to help you avoid problems. Some are minor and others are serious.

Legal Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the opinion of James S. Gibbons. They should not be relied upon without independent verification (if you can get it - most of the parties involved aren't talking about these problems). Your experience may vary due to different combinations of software and hardware.

Note: some live links on these pages have been removed because they are broken and may take you to a site holder. They are only shown for historical purposes (click at your own risk).

Intel Pentium 4 Interrupt Loss

I have found the Pentium 4 running on the newer Intel motherboards and chipsets will sometimes miss an interrupt (only several times a day - very ugly). You can sometimes see this as an IDE disk timeout in the event logs. It also stops frame grabbers in their tracks so be careful. …

MS Internet Explorer 4.0


The 4.01 upgrade for IE appears to be more stable. I am using the Desktop Update (new mode Windows Explorer) with this version on NT and don't seem to be having any problems.


If you are thinking of upgrading to Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, be careful what you install. …

Windows NT Backups are Too Difficult

Windows NT 4.0 is simply too difficult to backup and restore properly. Windows 95 can also be difficult to restore if you compress your system disk, but my Clone Directory program will do the job fairly well for standard drives. After having lost a Windows NT installation and having to install it and all my programs again, I am rather upset at Microsoft for this state of affairs. …

Win NT 4.0 Poor ATA/IDE Performance

Windows NT 4.0 Workstation suffers from poor disk performance compared to Windows 95. I recently moved from SCSI to EIDE for disk access on my main development computer. While in the past SCSI may have been faster than IDE, it is now much slower unless you possibly go to the Ultra/Wide mode which I have not tested. …

NTFS File Time Changes With Daylight Savings

I run a Windows NT system on a spare computer and have setup the disk with a NTFS file system to take advantage of the fault tolerant features of NT. The system was setup to automatically adjust for daylight savings time. On April 6 I noticed that all the files stored on this volume had their modification times advanced by one hour. …

True Color Can Slow You Down

If a program doesn't buffer a 24-bit or 32-bit color image properly, Windows NT will slow down greatly. If your system paints the screen slowly or overworks the disk paging file, switch to a lower color setting and you will see drastic improvements.

Part of the problem could be poor program design. …

ECP & EPP Printing Crash


Microsoft has advertised Windows NT as a stable system for corporate users. In fact, they like to make you think it can't be crashed. Applications may cause a protection fault and be terminated, but the system will keep running and other applications will be unaffected, they tell us.

Problems with NetBIOS Drivers

Updated 6/6/97

I reran this test on my office system to verify the problem. I was able to unplug the Ethernet connectors and the programs would not hang! It appears that different hardware can change the results.


I finally got the networked client-server system

Removable Disk Drives

9/9/98 Update

It appears that Windows 95, 98 and NT4 provide some support for large removable disk drives. NT will still not boot and run from a removable drive. There are also problems with some drives as described below.

11/14/97 Update

It appears that this problem is related to certain brands of removable disks. …

© James S. Gibbons 1987-2015