"Solve a problem with Windows 7 beta" actually works?

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As a long time Windows user, I normally consider their pop up messages offering to help me with my error to be less than useless. In fact, by the time I was running Vista, I didn’t even bother to read them after the first few times. I always found the messages to be somehow related to the problem, yet completely worthless in terms of fixing it.

Lately I’ve been using the 64-bit version of Windows 7, and I’ve had almost no problems with it. I have one driver issue, and just one other thing that’s been driving me crazy.

I have a Flip Video Ultra. I love it. Problem is, the software that you have to use with it doesn’t work properly with Vista. I’ve upgraded, reinstalled, read support forums, what have you. It just doesn’t work right for me in Vista. Works fine on my wife’s XP machine, luckily, but not on mine. I find this to be very annoying.

So today, after shooting some video yesterday, I tried to use the Flip with Windows 7. I was expecting to have problems, so I wasn’t surprised when the software showed no video, despite the fact I can see it when I browse to the camera as a USB device. So I went to the Flip website, downloaded the latest version of the software, and installed it. That’s when I ran into trouble.

Every time I tried to install the software, it would crash. I tried two or three times, rebooting, removing the camera and trying to install, etc. And these messages would pop up from the Action Center. And I’d click through them, ignoring them. Until the last time.

An issue with the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) client in Windows 7 beta is causing Explorer and some MSI-based installers to stop working properly.

To solve this problem, follow these steps:

So I did as Windows suggested, laughing softly to myself. “Yeah right,” I think, “Windows is going to provide me with a solution that actually works!”

After following the instructions, I fired up the Flip software. And it installed perfectly.

Of course, it still doesn’t work right with my camera, just like with Vista, but that’s not the point. Windows provided a timely, contextual, and helpful error message. Along with instructions on how to fix it. Now doesn’t that just blow your mind?