Wild Windows 7 bug with Dell 30″ Ultrasharp monitors

Wild Windows 7 bug with Dell 30″ Ultrasharp monitors


I ran into a majorly weird bug with Windows 7 Ultimate – one that I’ve now confirmed on two different machines and even went so far as to contact Microsoft about.

I have a really great Dell 30″ Ultrasharp monitor at work. Beautiful monitor, big, and has a nice set of USB and card reader ports on the side. I love the monitor and used it under Vista for years now.  However, after upgrading my machine from Windows Vista to Windows 7, all kinds of stuff started to go horribly slow or just not work on the machine. I did a fresh install, and then all heck started breaking lose from the get-go.

Compiling apps with Visual Studio started taking much longer, all kinds of apps started acting strange by going grey and not accepting input for long periods of time, multimedia apps will sometimes have huge delays before starting (Winamp once took 30 minutes to start playback), others will have very slow/choppy playback, and many USB and other devices didn’t show up or work (mice, etc).  I found that none of the ports on my Dell monitor worked.  Further exacerbating the problem – you couldn’t open most of the system tools.  The Disk Manager tool would just sit and say it was trying to connect to the Virtual Disk Services forever, and most control panel apps you’d click would never come up.  Yet at all times, the CPU will show 1% utilization.  Within about 10 minutes of bootup – everything you did was unstable and hickup-ridden.  It made using the machine intolerable.

In a fit of frustration, I started unplugging devices to reduce the number of variables – and when I unplugged the monitor’s extended USB ports plug – all of a sudden the machine snapped to life.  The device manager popped up and listed a whole pile of new devices and install them.  All of a sudden – everything worked.  No more app timeouts, no more long delays, no more missing devices.  I plugged back in the USB ports of the Dell monitor, and it went back to being broken.  Holy cow – a USB port/cardreader was bringing Windows 7 to its knees.  I plugged the monitor back into my vista box to see if it really was the monitor – but everything worked perfectly.  I went over to my bosses cube who had the same monitor.  He was having video playback problems – it was going really slow.  I told him to unplug the USB ports on the monitor, and as soon as he did that – the video instantly went full speed.  Neither of us would believe it if we’d not seen it with our own eyes.

As of now, I have this logged with Microsoft under ticket #1125286661- we’ll see if anything comes of it.

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