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Dentrix, Dexis, and CAESY Enter the Windows 7 Era

Over the past year I have had some old machines in the office that were having extreme difficulty with lack of speed and driver instability in Windows XP. With all of the "problems" with Vista, I delayed purchasing new equipment and upgrading my version of Dentrix for a couple of years. With the arrival on Windows 7 and several "final straw" events, I decided to replace two of my machines and upgrade my server with Windows 7.

The road over the past three weeks has been rocky, but as crazy as it may sound, it has been more rewarding finding out the caveats of new hardware and software than it was banging my head against a wall with the old equipment and abandoned, malfunctioning drivers.

The following is a guide based on the state of hardware and software as of Thanksgiving in 2009 (Windows 7 has been officially released for 1 month). I use Dentrix, Dexis, and CAESY as my main workhorses in the office. Hopefully the information here will help to guide you in purchasing or waiting to purchase specific hardware.

I’ll first begin with software, and how it performs on a myriad of both equipment and versions of Windows 7 in my office. Each software package has been installed on a 32-bit and a 64-bit machine. On the 64-bit machines, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 have been tested. Remember, you can install a 32-bit version of Windows 7 on a 64-bit machine, but you cannot install a 64-bit version of Windows on a 32-bit machine.

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Best of the Decade Countdown

In less than 50 days it will be the 10-year anniversary of the "new millennium". To celebrate, I’m counting down the best 200 songs of the decade, 4-a-day, and putting them in a page. Follow the list by clicking on the “…Countdown” link in the title bar above. Comment, like, or do whatever to let people know what you think of the songs!

Overcoming Realtek Sound Problems in Windows 7

Back when Vista SP1 came out, I had trouble getting the Realtek sound on my Intel DG33BU motherboard to work. My speaker in the tray had a red “X” through it, but the drivers didn’t seem to have any problems. When I tried to automatically upgrade the sound driver, it told me that I had the most up-to-date driver available. I kept getting a message saying that the speakers were not plugged in. Lo and behold, as I have found in almost every case, the few problems I had in Vista have not been corrected with Windows 7.  Hopefully the Googlebot will pick this up and help others with Intel Realtek sound problems in Windows 7.

I was able to get the sound working in Windows 7 by disabling the front panel jack detection. The way you do it isn’t intuitive. First download and install the latest audio drivers from Intel’s website (here is the link for the DG33BU). Then:

realtek.jpg

  • Open Windows 7’s Control Panel (Start| Control Panel)
  • Open the "Realtek Audio Manager" (not to be confused with “Sound”). (In order to display this, be sure that "View By" in the upper right shows "Large Icons" instead of "Category"
  • In the navigation bar in the far right, there is a little yellow folder icon. It is just below “Device advanced settings” and above “ANALOG”. Click the folder icon.
  • Click “Disable front panel jack detection” so that a yellow check mark shows up. Hit “OK”, and close the Realtek HD Audio Manager. That should re-enable the sound.