Windows 8.1 upgrade – odd behavior

For the past week (possibly more), my laptop has been taking a very long time to shut down. By itself, that is an odd thing to be complaining about, but I’m the kind of person who likes looking at details and in this specific case, just have a tendency to push the “off” switch on the power socket when I’m done with my system. Wanting to save a bit of time I decided to search up on the matter. Here are a few links that I found;

Clearly, I’m not the only one facing this issue. But complaining about windows happens so often, that the result is not that surprising. No, what I found surprising (the point of this post!) and perplexing was one of the suggestions I came across – to make a new user account.

I had to pause for a few moments when I saw that. It had to be a joke, right? But reading further on the thread (not sure if its among the lot above), the poster was serious. He(/She) claimed that it was due to some corruption that happens to a user’s account when upgrading and make a new user from scratch solves the matter. Between the other suggestions of rolling back drives, or even the OS update itself, this was a relatively cheap suggestion and I gave it a shot.

I opened up the control panel, made a new “temp” user and gave him administrative privileges. Logged out of my current user-profile, logged into the new one and tried turning off my system. It still took a long time to switch off. Huh. So much for that theory. Still, I wanted to try another experiment. I rebooted into my laptop and directly logged into the “temp” user without touching my original account. Turning off my laptop this time was a lot faster. In fact, it is comparable to how things were for me pre-win8.1 update.

What is causing this behavior? I wish I knew how Microsoft handled user profiles, but since I don’t work there, it’s not in my hands. What IS in my hands, is the rather bothersome task of moving my files to the new user account – and deleting the old one afterwards. At the time of typing, I’m actually finished with the move, but am going to keep the other account around for a bit longer, in case I forgot something. Will probably delete it from my system after a month (Why leaveĀ  an unused account on the system, anyway?)

The new account also revealed a few odd quirks with Windows8.1. The text in Google’s chrome browser for instance became rather blurred. Let me try pasting a screenshot;

BlurredChrome

On seeing this, I began to wonder if this was Microsoft’s latest attempt at getting people to use Internet Explorer again. Conspiracy theory or not, I needed to fix this and went to the internet (blurry browser in tow) to find answers. It took me awhile, but I finally narrowed down the problem to a Display Scaling setting. Let me describe the answer first and then come round to proposing an explanation. You need to find the location where the chrome executable is stored. Open up Explorer and navigate to C: > Program Files (x86) > Google > Chrome > Application > chrome.exe. Right-click the executable and select properties. Go over to the ‘compatibility’ tab and check the “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” option (like figure below).

compatibility_options

On restarting chrome this is what I got,

BetterChrome

I’m not sure if you can see the difference with the screenshots, but to my eyes it’s a whole lot better. Oddest thing, is that this isn’t a chrome-only problem. I’m facing the same issue (and solution) with a couple of other applications too – Keepass being the most recent example. Weird.