*Rant* – Vista

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Vista UltimateJust to warn you in advance that there is a fair chance that this post will turn into something of a rant as I’m now into day 2 of life with Microsoft Vista and the grass is certainly not always greener.

First off this is totally my fault as I didn’t need to upgrade, I’ve been using XP for years and been pretty happy with it. But it’s coming up to the end of my tax year and anything I don’t spend I have to give 40% to the government to waste (that could easily be rant #2), so I thought this would be a good time to give Bill a bit more cash and upgrade to Vista Ultimate.

The upgrade appeared to go fairly smoothly, inserted the DVD, followed the instructions and a couple of hours later Vista was ready to run, yeah right.

First off I fired up Firefox, which ran but like an absolute dog and could only connect to about 10% of the sites I tried. I then fired up IE to see if I could find a solution which reported “Internet Explorer has stopped working“, bugger. So resorted to a spare PC to find a solution, which turned out to be nice and simple and just required me to “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” (thanks heaps Peter Bromberg).

I could now search for what the problem was with Firefox, this turned out to be something to do with my firewall router and Vista not getting along. Running a command prompt with:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted

fixed that problem (thanks ITsVISTA).

It now all appeared to be working, though when ever I left my PC for 1/2 an hour or so it would go into some strange sleep mode where the only way I could awaken it is to do a power toggle at the mains. So next reboot I’m greeted with “Windows Sidebar has stopped working“, which I must admit I’m just ignoring for now (I’ve got a watch so do I really need another clock).

So a day goes by and I fancy listening to a bit of music while I work, so plug in my iPod and install iTunes and watch my PC crash and burn.

Five reboots later (3 in safe mode) I seem to be running again. So start up Windows Media Player, press play and hear bugger all. It turns out my sound card can now do random beeps but not a lot else, great.

Update drivers for sound card, well try to update drivers but midway through I am greeted by a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). Five reboots later (why does it always take 5) I’m back to a semi stable machine with no sound.

For me so far Vista has saved me minus six hours and it still isn’t working right and reinforced the lesson “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it it“.

If anybody else has any Vista horror stories please let me know, but if your upgrade went all nice and smoothly I really don’t want to know.

30 reviews or comments

andi Says: March 13, 2007 at 1:48 pm

:)) hahhaha servers you right.. it’s that rule with MS OS’s that Service pack 1 is actually only a release candidate, and the OS barely becomes acceptable at SP2… and Vista promised from the very beginning to suck really really really hard.. :) this DOWNGRADE wasn’t something to be done by anyone ranking above ‘computer rookie’… I pity you… and hope you didn’t lose any data… the vista dvd makes for a nice flashy coaster for those cocktails though.. it’s about the only use for it… use XP if you need windows, else get linux :D

Al Says: March 13, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Andi, I feel loads better now. It was one of those rash decisions and I really should of known better. My next laptop will be a Mac :).

andi Says: March 13, 2007 at 2:16 pm

mac? oh dear… :) if you like flashiness and multimedia and that’s all, okay.. but first think what kind of programs you’ll be needing/using, and then choose… since you’ve had all this experience with XP why don’t you stick with it?… if you want something new, try some flashy linux (google sabayon linux and download a live CD image and try it out, looks better than Aero and works much faster)

good luck

Al Says: March 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm

My main desktop machine is used for development and what ever else I need, whilst the laptop is just need to surf the web, post here, email and carry around to look cool at tech shows :)

The ulterior motive for the Mac is my daughter is using them at school and at the moment if she asks me a question I haven’t got a clue :)

andi Says: March 13, 2007 at 3:26 pm

you can’t go wrong with a mac, ever… a screenshot with a few menus open is enough to teach anyone who knows his way with the computer everything about macOS ;) the black macbook pro looks good tho :D (even though i hate shiny fingerprint-loving plastic)

and for what you want from a laptop, i’d choose a tablet PC…but it’s just my opinion and choice

Nick Says: March 13, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I think you are a very brave guy for trying Vista. I definitely would go for a MacBook Pro or a black MacBook. They also run Windows XP really fast, using BootCamp or even Parallels.

Zac Garrett Says: March 13, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Oh how Vista loves the…

I’ve been running Vista at work for a few months now, well, since the first public beta. It sucks. I get more blue screens with Vista than I ever did with XP. Thats the final version, not even the beta.

At home I’ve ran Linux for a few years now and just switched over to OS X by getting a macbook pro. I have to say, its the nicest laptop I have ever owned. I run both Linux (gentoo) and Vista inside parallels. I now know how easy it is to become an apple fanboy. I am still a few steps away from that, but I can see where they are coming from.

Mike Says: March 13, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Wow, 1 reboot annoys the crap out of me, 5 sounds painful. :P

Oh well, just look forward to getting a Mac.

Jerry Says: March 13, 2007 at 5:59 pm

I came to the same conclusion about Vista:

I Uninstalled Windows Vista

It was fun to look over and play with but ultimately, no. I’ll wait a few years when I get a computer with it pre-installed. Maybe.

Mike Says: March 13, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Sucks, Al. You are brave for tossing that money for Vista.

Kendall Says: March 13, 2007 at 9:01 pm

LOL. The last time I had to reboot 5 times in an hour is when I nuked my MBR. That was a painful one for me but Vista sounds worse! I would just reinstall XP if I was you. For as far as windows go if you need windows, xp is the way to go what most people who have tried Vista that I know have said.

Shmoove Says: March 13, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Again I see the talk of the operating systems. To be honest, mac os has always been “alright” Linux is good but is not for everyone

Al Says: March 14, 2007 at 8:29 am

I’ll try to respond to each comment in turn.

Thanks for the feedback and advice Andi, even if you are a bit of a Linuz zealot :)

Nick, I don’t think I was brave I’d probably put it more like dumb.

Zac, I can see where you’re coming from with the Mac fanboy, I’ve been developing for and on MS stuff for the past decade so it will take some switching.

Cheers for the in hindsight advice Jerry, if only I’d seen that first.

Mike 1, yeah I’m really looking forward yo the Mac now, may have to squeeze it in this tax year.

Kendall, I would just reinstall XP but that then means installing and setting up all my apps which is just a huge hassle. I also have a personal webserver running for testing purposes which would need recreating. Problems, problems, problems…

Shmoove, the last time I installed Linux it was with Windows to play the original Doom. It was on 49 floppies which sort of put me off for life.

Thanks for all the comments and sniggers folks.
Mike 2 see the response to Nick.

andi Says: March 14, 2007 at 8:59 am

:D i’m not a linux zealot, i’m using XP :) (forced by my PC, most distros won’t recognize my hardware)

take the mac for simplicity, or the tablet PC for looking cool at events and for sheer practicality (especially if you’re a fast handwriter)

still, give that Sabayon and ubuntu and mandrivaOne a try (they’re live cd’s, you only ‘lose’ the cost of a blank). For sleek sleek sleek looks i’d mix a black macbook pro with mandriva and a custom beryl interface design ;)

Nick Says: March 14, 2007 at 9:27 am

Just like Zac I own a MacBook Pro, and I must say it’s the best notebook I’ve ever had. Once I even installed Vista on it, but it was such a lousy experience that I took it off after only one day, so now I’m running only OS X and Windows XP. I can’t wait for the new Mac OS X, Leopard is definitely going to be huge!

Kendall Says: March 14, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Said though that you don’t really like linux, though it is getting very flexible for any setup of linux. From flash drives, hehe works good for when I was going to Jr. High, installs to on a NTFS portion WITH windows.

Andrew Says: March 15, 2007 at 2:41 pm

The problem is that you did an upgrade instead of a clean install. UPGRADES NEVER WORK!!!!! I don’t care if you are using Windows, Linux or whatever, installing a new OS on top of an old one is just a BAD idea.

Andrew Says: March 15, 2007 at 2:47 pm

As for Vista itself, there remain definite bugs and incompatibilities, but the OS itself is largely pretty stable, perhaps even more so than XP. I have Vista business (retail version) installed on my Toshiba tablet PC and the improvements in handwriting recognition alone make it worth the effort.

My biggest gripe is that for some reason, iTunes crashes the computer whenever I try to watch a video. Its not Vista per se as I also have Vista installed on a desktop and it works perfectly, just something with either the video driver or the tablet PC architecture that iTunes doesn’t like.

Al Says: March 17, 2007 at 6:03 am

Thanks Andrew, you’re not the first person to tell me I should of done a clean install (and to be honest I should of known better), I guess I was just being lazy and didn’t want to re-install all my apps. Live and learn.

jacubilloro Says: March 18, 2007 at 2:51 pm

http://www.windowsue.com
Windows Unatended Edition…
A VERY VERY optimized version of WinXP with several apps added and some annoying things removed. Check it out. Plus it runs really fast.

Froggie – The Robotic Pen » Coolest Gadgets Says: April 3, 2007 at 8:21 am

[…] is a video of it in action which since my recent problematic Vista upgrade I am unable to watch (or play any sound to that […]

Savage Says: April 17, 2007 at 11:23 am

To Andi,
Sorry, but that is all BS. Do your homeworks, get the facts stop speading myths.
All the systems fits on them now. No more excuses. Feature for feature, it even cost less then a Dull.

andi Says: April 17, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Savage -> why on earth buy a mac if you’re not going to run macOS on it?.. every macintosh product, and i mean EVERY mac product sells for 50% more than the normal price a device with those very features has. you can’t argue with that. and all mac computers are good at multimedia, VERY good at multimedia, but they have a bottleneck somewhere and can’t achieve the performace they should.

don’t take me for an antimac warrior, i’m not. i like some of their designs. i LOVE the way the black macbook pro looks, but i’d never pay all that premium just for the design…

and the Dull :)) i don’t know, i wouldn’t buy one of those either. The brand of the moment is Asus. they are EXCELLENT and have low prices. then comes fujitsu-siemens, and then toshiba… but

Zac Garrett Says: April 18, 2007 at 9:53 am

andi – how can you say that a mac costs 50% more than the same exact PC? When I compared a MacBook Pro to a Thinkpad t60 with the same exact specs the MacBook Pro was only about $100 more. It used to be the case that Macs were so much more expensive that I would not even look at them. Now I not only look at them, but I own the MacBook Pro. This is the best money I have spent on a laptop and I have actually been telling quite a few people to switch.

The main people I have been telling to switch are the ones who are so infected with badware (spyware/adware/virii) that it takes days to just clean up. I’ve found that replacing their current system with a Mac Mini works like a charm. I’ve done this for 3 people now and each of them are happy.

The only people who really care about the operating systems are the geeks. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that as long as a system works most people just do not care. If people are just checking their email and browsing the web why do they care what system they run? The answer, they dont.

eric Says: April 22, 2007 at 3:10 pm

ie7 on Vista does not print (script error) res://ieframe.dll/preview.dlg

Any ideas?

Vista users get downgrade option » Coolest Gadgets Says: September 21, 2007 at 7:47 pm

[…] have not made the jump to Vista yet when I got my Dell Inspiron, and after hearing all the horror stories connected to Microsoft’s latest OS, I guess I made the right choice – for now, at […]

Vista SP1 coming this March » Coolest Gadgets Says: February 5, 2008 at 10:05 am

[…] know that Al has had his fair share of frustration with Windows Vista (so did Marc at the recent CES event), but I suppose it was just the operating […]

lumba Says: February 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm

haha, i have the latest notebook (very expensive), that require the new Vista ultimate, it dosent work at all with old win xp , nor either 64 bit version.

But what happens if i install ubuntu? can you imagen … its works and its pretty good to!!

:)

Somehting is terrible wrong with Microsofts OS.

Windows XP hangs on for dear life » Coolest Gadgets Says: April 4, 2008 at 3:10 am

[…] I purchased last year runs on Windows XP, as I politely declined the Windows Vista option after hearing horror stories about it. Microsoft has clearly seen the stranglehold Windows XP has on the world, and they have finally […]

code Says: April 4, 2008 at 8:34 am

I recently bought a new computer and had little choice but to buy one that has vista installed. The computer was a Gateway laptop. I got it home and for the next two weeks was embroiled in the fourth circle of Hell, fighting for control with Vista. It won. I brought back the computer and bought an HP laptop instead. The HP is fully capable of handling the payload that Vista dishes out and I’ve had no trouble at all with it.

A warning to you though, the very first thing you should do is cancel the automatic Windows updates. Have it notify you of the update then wait a week or so and do a search on it. I have yet to install ANY updates as *and I wish I were making this up* ALL of them have been corrupt. Needless to say I doubt there are any that I will soon be installing.

I’ve now had the new computer for a few months and without any updating, it still continues to run fine.

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