This has been driving me up the wall, to be honest.
I don't know where the problem lies, it must be something with my hardware that just does not get on with any Windows 8 based OS - I've had issues with Windows 8, 8.1, 8.1 U1, Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2.
And the issues are widespread and varied.
Where to start?
Windows Updates under Windows 8 based OSs - there is a massive chance whenever MS release a batch of updates, installing them will leave me with an install of Windows that just presents me with flashing USB peripherals and flashing blank screens after the computer restarts to complete updates. I do not use third party visual styles, I have not patched my system files, I do not use BitDefender free, I have tried disabling the malware boot protection and the driver certificate boot check as well. It happens across all W8 based OSs. It is not a single update, I have painfully tracked down several different updates that cause this behaviour. The worst part is, after I do a clean install, an update that would previously break the OS no longer does, and one that worked perfectly fine before ended up breaking it instead!
Windows Search. Windows Search on Windows 8 based OSs will randomly decide to stop searching stuff on my primary storage drive, which is a 1TB WD Black. My OS are always installed on an SSD, so obviously I don't keep images and videos or documents on there. It can be working fine for weeks, and then one day it will just no longer work properly. In Windows 7 it works perfectly fine. Rebuilding the index does not work. Deleting the index does not work. When this happens, I have to do without search until the next clean install. Which is fine, there are third party alternatives that are quicker.
Dragging icons on my desktop started to cause Explorer.exe to stop responding. This started three months ago and lasted until I went back to Windows 7, it's bizarre. Drag something to the recycle bin? Explorer stops responding. Right click and delete? Works fine. Doesn't happen in Windows 7, happened to me in 8.1 and Server 2012 R2.
Wireless internet connectivity drops. Again, across all Win8 based OSs. This has persisted through two wireless adapters, a Netgear WNA 3100, and a new Edimax 7822UAC, which actually has a specific Windows 8.1 driver. Again, the Edimax at least works perfectly in Windows 7.
Upgrading to 8.1 was an absolute chore. It would get stuck part way through preparing devices. Found a fix for that. Then it got through that stage, restarted, and got stuck in a restart loop. Clean install, upgrade to 8.1 straight away, eventually it works. Update 1 was the same as the problem mentioned above, where it left me with an OS I could not log into - flashing USB peripherals, flashing black screens. Safe mode presents the same problem. Again, no third party themes, no registry mods to allow for context menu options (such as take ownership), no OS file patching.
Sometimes when I turn the PC on in a morning, one or two startup programs would just not load, for some reason. No problems in event viewer, they just didn't load until I restarted.
Sometimes when I turn the PC on, the first boot freezes on the login screen. I solved this by turning hibernate off. This only seemed to happen on 8.1 and 8.1 U1. Doesn't happen (or, hasn't yet) in Windows 7.
Sometimes when I turn the PC on, USB peripherals won't work until I unplug them and plug them back in. Again, happens in pretty much all Win8 based OSs, particularly Server 2012 and 2012R2, less often on 8/8.1. Has never happened on Windows 7.
I have taken a lot of steps to try and fix these problems - they have persisted through BIOS updates, they have persisted through clean installs, they have persisted through an upgrade to a new SSD, new GPU. The chipset and all other drivers supplied by ASROCK are up to date. The only hardware that hasn't changed since I started having these issues, way back since the release of Win8, are the motherboard and CPU.
This isn't a complaint about Win8, I love the OS. I am not enjoying being back on Windows 7, but for a month it's been rock solid now - something Win8 or any of its kernal-brothers never managed. No little infuriating issues, no Windows Updates breaking the install.
I have done hardware diagnostics on the SSDs, on the HDDs, on the RAM, everything is perfectly fine. My CPU is always overclocked to some degree, it passes 24 hours of Prime95 without error. I have removed overclocking for a period of a two weeks before to see if it was causing the problems anyway, and I still had issues.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this with Windows 8? There must be something in my system that is just not compatible, and it must be down to the motherboard or CPU, but they're both pretty popular models and I've never seen anyone else complain about these issues?
ASROCK z77 Extreme 4m
Crucial 1333Mhz DDR3
Corsair Force 3 SSD
Crucial M500 SSD
FSP 750W Aurum Gold
Gigabyte 770OC Windforce.
Sorry for the rant.