Intel atom and windows 7

Hi all,
I have an issue with a Intel Atom embedded system running windows 7 and some bespoke software (not sure of what it does or how it does it - software company is certain its not the software) hanging on start up its very random and i don't have access to the units that are failing. They are in a high availability area and cannot be removed without signification disruption.
So this is why this is a very general question about Intel Atom systems and Windows 7. I am told that the units will hang straight out of the box from the factory, but i have not experienced this on any unit we have shipped. And we have shipped many.
The phrase hang straight out of the box - this is an issue for me as straight out of the box means different things to different people and cannot get clear answers to what the client definition is. The only info on this is that the time and data are the only things that were changed from box fresh. So not box fresh as i would define it, what else may have been done is anyone guess. - i suspect that network configuration and domain config and some windows updates may be been done as well. but this is pure guess work.
A fix has been provided that installs WiFi drivers with include a configuration utility, the config utility is disabled and the windows WiFi config tool is used. and this has fixed the hand on startup... i have a nagging feeling that this has not fixed the issue, but hidden or moved it.
The reason i believe it has hidden or moved the fault is 2 fold:
1- The manufacture of the WiFi card does not state that a change of driver and a disabling of the config utility actually fixes anything (i mean if disabling the utility is causing the problem why not fix the utility or make the drivers for the card available without the utility...)
2- All but one of the units has (after the fix) started to report the same problem as before. (does this mean that it was not fixed or that there is another fault that looks the same or that the fault is happening on the other units and its not been feed back to me) :S

There are so many possible causes of this failure and as i don't have the units and i don't have fully trust in the information i am getting, often this information is on a chain of people that are not technical and may not be totally unbiased and objective. (After 2 or 3 yrs of software development i would be reluctant to say it could be faulty)

If i make the assumption that the bespoke software is all good and perfect. Then it point to Windows 7 basic build is not happy, the hardware is not happy.
the two things i have some level of control over have been tested and found to be working without errors on the above systems and across the world as many thousands of unit of this spec are been sold.
So... i have a bad batch... bad driver/firmware combo... bad Intel cpu/chipset...

At the end of all that the question is anyone heard of a similar issue with Intel Atom CPU's and Windows 7?

I still have a nagging feeling we have a software config issue or an odd interaction with the hardware and the customer software.
We also have a Test unit on site running windows 7 embedded to see if this exhibits any issues no problems so far (nb. this is box fresh as far as i can tell and has not customer software installed)

I am at a bit of a loss at the moment, other then to press really hard that we get the unit back so we can see the problem, or a site visit to see the issue as it happens. (don't really want to put myself in the firing line)
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  1. Atom will work with Windows 7 out of the box, think of it as a turbo Pentium 4 with a few bells and whistles for mobility. if it is running OEM Win7 Starter, then your in a world of pain as this version is useless for the real world.

    If this was me, I would copy or download the drivers, download a free version of Windows 7 x86 OEM SP1 and remove CFG file so you can use Starter Edition and do a custom install without all the crap the manufacturer installs, use the key that came with the laptop and then test your software.
  2. yeah we did a basic install from the windows 7 pro disk's and installed only the stuff we needed to get it running, and we found no issues. but then again we did not find any issues before the reinstall so.... (reinstall was without the customers software as we don't have access to it)
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