Managing Hardware and Software Upgrades

To minimize memory consumption, Windows encourages applications to use a common set of libraries. Some of these libraries are provided by Microsoft (e.g. MSCOMM32.DLL), whereas as others a provided by application developers (e.g. PSKCORE.DLL). Thus you may have multiple applications installed on your PC all using the same instance of MSCOMM32.DLL to send and receive characters via a serial port, and you may have multiple applications installed on your PC that all use the same instance of PSKCORE.DLL to modulate and demodulate PSK. Occasionally, these libraries are updated by their authors. A Windows Update from Microsoft, for example, might include an improved version of MSCOMM32.DLL. Installing a new PSK application, or upgrading an already-installed PSK application may install an improved version of PSKCORE.DLL on your system. New versions of shared libraries are supposed to be backward compatible with their predecessors, but occasionally this isn't the case. When this happens, installing a new application or upgrading an installed application can cause other installed applications to stop working.

Sometimes hardware device drivers contains defects that can prevent Windows from starting up. Installing a new hardware device and then powering up your PC can produce an unpleasant surprise: a screen full of error codes instead of the Windows logo.

To protect against the above possibilities, practice safe computing:

  1. Configure Windows and Anti-Malware applications to automatically download updates, but to not automatically install them. When you see that updates are available, direct Windows to create a restore point. After installing the updates, verify that your DXLab applications continue to work correctly. If they don't, direct Windows to revert to the restore point you created.

  2. Before installing or upgrading any application on your PC, direct Windows to create a restore point; after installing the application, verify that your DXLab applications continue to work correctly. If they don't, direct Windows to revert to the restore point you created.

  3. Before installing new hardware on your PC, direct Windows to create a restore point. After installing the new hardware, verify that your DXLab applications continue to work correctly. If they don't, direct Windows to revert to the restore point you created.


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HardwareSoftwareUpgrades (last edited 2013-03-28 15:10:19 by localhost)