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Since upgrading to Windows 7 (on a 5 year-old laptop), I've had issues with crashes and freezes. I have noticed two things that suggest the problem: First, the computer is much more likely to freeze up when watching high-quality Flash videos online (eg Hulu); Second, the Action Center eventually alerted me to the minimum video requirements and how my video card will never meet one the requirements, which is DirectX 9 or higher.

So I'm thinking that one workaround could be to only run the Flash Player in compatibility mode for XP, since this problem didn't exist prior to the upgrade.

However, it doesn't look like DLL files have compatibility mode. So my questions are:

  1. If I'm running Firefox in XP compatibility mode, are all plugins running in that mode as well?

  2. If not, is there an executable for Flash Player somewhere else that the DLL hooks into that I can modify? If so, where is it?

  3. Is the Flash plugin OS-specific? I know it is platform specific, but is their an actual difference between the DLL for XP and the DLL for 7? Because if so, I'm thinking I should actually reinstall Flash Player and use the XP version.

  4. Would this fix my problem? And by that I mean, would running a video player in XP mode actually bypass whatever Windows 7 does with video, or is that at another layer that would still have the DirectX issue? I know this fix might not avoid the crashes, but I need to know if my idea is based on the right assumptions so I can determine if the problem is somewhere else or if my idea just isn't being properly executed.


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You should have run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor BEFORE spending big money for a new operating system on an old clunker that probably isn't made for it. If the hardware can't cope with it, you're not likely to solve the problem with old DLL files in some compatibility mode. :) As for flash playback in general: this is one of the most demanding tasks, it can bog down even modern multi-core processors, never mind a 5 year old mobile CPU. – Molly7244 Jan 30 '10 at 12:48
It was free and I wasn't asking for advice on what I should have done. I made the unfortunate mistake of asking several very technically savvy people if an older machine could handle 7. But even if I had known this would happen, I probably would have still made the upgrade, as I couldn't stand XP any longer. – Anthony Jan 30 '10 at 13:30
up vote 0 down vote accepted

What you could try doing is getting hold of an older version of Adobe flash plugin. But that would be very insecure and would put your computer at risk, so use it only when you're sure that you never visit malware infested websites. Besides there is no guarantee that using the old flash plugin will help. Its just a suggestion. As an aside, you should enable DEP in Windows 7 for your web browser. That would minimize the risks. Good luck!

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Hulu has a Flash 10 requirement, but that's not a bad idea otherwise. Flash 10 has been nothing but trouble on machines much better than mine. – Anthony Jan 30 '10 at 13:31

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