Some media and storage devices can cause crashes of computers running the latest iteration of the Windows client, Microsoft informed.

The Redmond company did not offer a specific list of hardware products that have problems playing nice with Windows 7, but the software giant did deliver a few details.

Not only Windows 7 computers are impacted by this issue, but also Windows Server 2008 R2 machines.

According to reports from users, the crashes are associated with freshly installed third-party applications designed to be used in concert with devices relying on multiple transport Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) or on the Windows Portable Device (WPD).

Microsoft explained that Windows 7 PCs will crash when MTP or WPD devices are connected for the first time. More »

Use the following steps to identify your chipset using the Microsoft Windows* Device Manager.

1. Open Device Manager.

for Windows Vista

Click Start » click Control Panel » click System and Maintenance » clickDevice Manager

for Windows XP

Click Start » click Control Panel » double-click the System icon » click the Hardware tab » click Device Manager

for Windows 2000

Click the Start button » click Settings » click Control Panel » double-click the System icon » click the Hardware tab » click Device Manager More »

Windows Vista comes with loads of features that can help save you time, especially with tasks that you perform regularly. Try out these tips and see how much time you can save.

1. Send an email straight from your desktop

If there’s someone you often send mail to, you can add a shortcut to your desktop to create a new email. Make a new shortcut and type in mailto: followed by your recipient’s email address, for example Click Next, give the shortcut a meaningful name and then click Finish. The new shortcut will appear on your desktop, and double-clicking it will open up a blank email in your default email editor with the recipient’s address already filled in.

2. Quickly check your network connection status from your desktop

You can create a shortcut to quickly check the status of your internet connection, saving you the effort of clicking through a number of windows and folders. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Manage network connections. Right-click on the connection you want to check the status of and select Create Shortcut. This will place a shortcut on your desktop, and when you double-click it you will be taken directly to the status page of your connection. More »

This tweak will increase the performance of your external hard drive (s) by turning write caching on as well as activating advanced performance.

In Windows Vista, write caching isn’t enabled by default because removable devices could lose data if removed too quickly. This is great for USB thumb drives that are frequently inserted and removed, but in the case where you have a large hard drive in an external enclosure that’s never disconnected from your computer, this feature can decrease performance. More »

1. Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.

2. Make sure you’re in the Classic View of the Control Panel by clicking Classic View in the Control Panel’s left sidebar.

3. Open System.

4. Click Device Manager in the left sidebar of the System window.

5. Right-click the device you want to uninstall the drivers and then select Properties.

6. Click the Driver tab in the device properties window. More »