Windows

10+ tweaks, tricks, and hacks to make Windows Vista fly

No matter how well designed an operating system purports to be, there are ways to tweak it for performance. Here are 10+ tweaks, tricks, and hacks you can apply to Microsoft Windows Vista to make it run like a champion and perform to your particular specifications.

This article is also available as a TechRepublic download.

Every operating system could stand some tweaking. No matter how many developers you throw at an OS as complicated as Windows Vista, power users will always find something they can modify or hack to make it run faster, or better, or just differently. Here are just a few of the Windows Vista tweaks, tricks, and hacks we have discovered so far.

1: Add the Run command to the Start Menu

Beginning way back with the release of Windows 1.0, Microsoft has been all about the GUI interface (more or less effectively). But sometimes you just want to run a program without having to navigate the GUI maze of menus and folders. Windows Vista, by default, does not include the Run command on the Start Menu. This was a common and favorite feature of Windows XP.

To add the Run command back to the Vista Start Menu, follow these steps:

  1. Right click the Taskbar in an open area
  2. Click on Properties

Click on the Start Menu tab (See Figure A)

Figure A

Taskbar and Start Menu Properties
  1. Click the Customize button to get to the Customize Start Menu

Scroll down the list until you find the Run command checkbox and check it (See Figure B).

  1. Click OK and the Run command will now appear on the Start Menu.

Figure B

Customize Start Menu

2. Disable the Welcome Center and Sidebar

The Windows Vista default setting is to show the Welcome Center on startup. While the Welcome Center is mildly interesting the first time you see it, you will quickly tire of it appearing every time you boot your Vista PC. This behavior is easily changed by unchecking the Run a Startup button located at the bottom of the Welcome Center as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Welcome Center

Similarly, the Vista Sidebar is also on by default. While some users will find the Sidebar and its widgets useful, many will desire the desktop real estate and underlying resources for other more productive uses. You can turn the Sidebar off by:

  1. Right clicking the Windows Sidebar icon in the system tray
  2. Click Properties
  3. Uncheck the Start Sidebar when Windows starts checkbox (See Figure D)
  4. Click OK

Figure D

Windows Sidebar Properties

3: Change the Product Key

A Windows Vista installation disk essentially has all of the various editions of Vista included on that one disk. Which version gets installed is dependent on what product key you enter during the installation process. At some point you may want to upgrade your current version to a version with more bells and whistles, which would require a new Product Key.

Or you may want to Activate your Windows Vista under a different Product Key for some reason. The easiest way to change your Product Key is through the System applet in the Control Panel. (See Figure E)

Figure E

System applet

Under the Windows Activation section there is a link: Change Product Key. Clicking that link brings up the screen shown in Figure F where you can enter in a different Product Key.

Figure F

Windows Activation

4: Start Windows Explorer at somewhere other than documents

While Windows Vista has desktop search that will theoretically allow you the option of merely typing in a location on your hard disk to get an Explorer view, some users will undoubtedly prefer to use Windows Explorer. By default, Windows Explorer in Vista shows you the files located in the user Documents folder. Follow these steps to have Windows Explorer start in a different folder:

  1. Copy the Windows Explorer shortcut, usually found in the Start Menu under Accessories, to the Desktop.
  2. Right click the shortcut and click properties.

Click on the Shortcut tab to get the window shown in Figure G.

Figure G

Windows Explorer Properties
  1. Change the Target filed to the desired location.

For example, to have Windows Explorer start at C:\ type in"

C:\Windows\explorer.exe /n, /e, c:\
  1. Click OK

5: Privacy tweak

As a convenience, Windows Vista by default saves and displays a list of recently opened files and programs on the Start Menu. Ostensibly, this is supposed to make it easier to find a file or program. However, many users would prefer that information to remain hidden. Here is how to turn it off:

  1. Right click the Taskbar and click Properties on the resulting menu
  2. Click the Start Menu tab

Uncheck the checkboxes under Privacy (See Figure H)

  1. Click OK

Figure H

Privacy settings

6: Smaller icons on Start Menu

The icons located on the Windows Vista Start Menu default to large (Figure I).

Figure I

Large icons

For many users, the personal preference will be for those icons to be much smaller. Here is how:

  1. Right click the Taskbar and click on Properties
  2. Click the Start Menu tab
  3. Click the Customize button
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the list (See Figure J)
  5. Uncheck the Use large icons checkbox
  6. Click OK twice

Figure J

No more large icons

7. Add Internet Explorer to the Vista Desktop

For some reason known only to the Windows Vista development team, there is no easy option to add the Windows Explorer icon to the Vista Desktop. You can add Computer, Recycle Bin, and the Control Panel --- perhaps someone can explain that to us. In the meantime, if you want to add Internet Explorer you can do it with a Registry hack. Before editing the Windows Registry it is always advisable to make a backup of the Registry file.

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Open the Run dialog box (or type regedit in to the search box on the Start Menu)
  3. Type in regedit and press Enter
  4. Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel
  5. Create a new DWORD 32-bit by right clicking in the key area (See Figure K)
  6. Copy this as the key name including the brackets:
    {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
  7. Close regedit
  8. Right click on the Desktop and click the Refresh menu entry --- Internet Explorer should now appear.

Figure K

Regedit Internet Explorer

8: Change Security Center notifications

One of the most often leveled criticisms of Windows has been its lack of security. To overcome that perception Microsoft had programmed Vista to complain loudly and often if it discovers your malware, firewall or virus protection software is off or requires maintenance. For many users, the constant badgering to update your virus definitions is more annoying then effective. To calm Vista down a bit you can change the way you are notified of potential lax security.

Open the control panel and click the Windows Security Center as shown in Figure L.

Figure L

Windows Security Center

Click the link Change the way Security Center alerts me to reach the dialog box shown in Figure M.

Choose you preference for notification

Figure M

Chose your preference

9: Set Folder options

One of the first things experienced users change when they get a new Windows computer is change the Folder View options to a preferred setting. Windows Vista is no exception to this rule.

  1. Open the Control Panel and click on the Folder Options icon
  2. Click on the View tab (See Figure N)

Figure N

Folder options
  1. Check or uncheck your folder preferences --- some suggestions:
    1. Check show hidden files and folders
    2. Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types
    3. Uncheck protected operating system files

10: Adjust power settings

By default, Windows Vista sets the power options to what it calls a "Balanced" plan. While for many users this plan will be adequate, there are many who will want to make adjustments. For laptop users specifically, settings can vary greatly when operating on battery power versus plugged into an outlet. To adjust power settings:

Open the Control Panel and then click the Power Options icon (See Figure O)

Figure O

Power Options

Click on the Change Plan Settings under one of the default plans to make changes (See Figure P)

Figure P

Power settings

For additional fine tuning click Change advanced power settings (See Figure Q)

Figure Q

Advanced power settings

11: Reduce Desktop Icons

By default, the Windows Vista Aero GUI uses what it classifies as "Medium" icons on the Desktop. Medium in this case is really quite large. (There is also a Large icon setting, but we won't go there.) To bring the icons back to a less eye-popping size:

  1. Right click on the Desktop
  2. Choose the View menu item
  3. Change to Classic Icons (Figure R)

Figure R

Classic

12 Add another time zone

For many of us working away from home offices at satellite offices, home or on the road, knowing the time across various time zones can be a necessary evil. Windows Vista will allow you to keep time in two additional time zones to the machine time.

  1. Right click on the time display located in Taskbar System Tray
  2. Select the Adjust Date/Time menu item
  3. Click on the Additional Clocks tab (See Figure S)

Figure S

Add clocks
  1. Choose a time zone
  2. Click the checkbox next to Show this clock
  3. Click OK

Now when you mouse over the time in the Taskbar System Tray you will get the time in your chosen time zones.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

85 comments
ggggg
ggggg

press windows key + e for windows explorer select icons on desktop, then press (left) CTRL + scroll your mouse wheel to change their size

dhamilt01
dhamilt01

Brand new IBM Thinkpad T61p with 2 Gig memory and Vista Ultimate. After doing all my XP tweaks and any Vista tweaks I could find (like turning off Aero and removing tons of startup programs), the damn thing is still slower on bootup and shutdown than my 5 year old Dell D800 with XP2 with 1 Gig memory. Frequent defragging with a superior 3rd party defrag tool seems to be helping a little but still slow compared to XP. TuneXP 1.5 speeded up XP tremendously but can't find comparable tool for Vista yet.

techrepublic
techrepublic

"For some reason known only to the Windows Vista development team, there is no easy option to add the Windows Explorer icon to the Vista Desktop. You can add Computer, Recycle Bin, and the Control Panel --- perhaps someone can explain that to us." Well, it's simple: to encourage people not to use IE, but rather FireFox or some other decent and safe browser... (lol).

asuaris
asuaris

Any one has a reg file for Vista to kill the "low disk space" info bulle poping without ceasing? Thanks

Wha'la
Wha'la

Thank you for offering these tweaks for us novices

Miep.Visser
Miep.Visser

The SECURITY CENTRE appears to be turned off, and I can't get it ON. WHY NOT?

Sev3n
Sev3n

Tweak nr7 is not needed Simply goto star menu>all programs>IE (right click)Send to Destop (create shortcut) MS didnt forget it you just have to look somewhere else

alliancemillsoft
alliancemillsoft

MS really has gone a little nuts with security. I've had trouble with software installs that use multiple launchers to install different parts of a program, etc. The first setup runs but if it tries to launch an external setup file on the CD to actually do an install Vista reports it cannot find the file(which BTW it reports in short filename form .. it's easy to think that the long filename is the problem). Turns out MS thinks that running a setup file from a setup file is a securiity problem and now Vista blocks that, without any appropriate message, BTW. It just says "cannot find file XXX~1.exe" What a massive pain this is. Has anyone else run into this yet?

jusovsky
jusovsky

Why anyone would want an IE icon on the desktop is beyond me. This is Vista we're talking about- not Windows 3.1! I think it's funny that in one tip you are propagating an antiquated, messy behavior, and a few tips down the lne you're telling people how to reduce the number of icons on the desktop. When will companies stop putting icons on the desktop during installation? It shouldn't even be an option.

WillieStylez
WillieStylez

The START SEARCH box is already setup to RUN whatever program you need. So adding a Run Menu option is an uneeded tweak!

rob.keiser
rob.keiser

All you have to do to get to the run command is to use the windows and R key combination and the run command opens right up. Why would you want to put it into the menu? This key combination has worked for a while on previous versions of windows.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What other tweaks or tricks have you discovered for Windows Vista?

rob.keiser
rob.keiser

I know this doesn't directly answer your question, but the quick launch bar has IE in it. This gives you two ways to get to IE, one is with the mouse, the other is with the Windows key. Things in the Quick Launch toolbar can be started with the windows key and the position of the application in the Quick Launch toolbar. For example, if IE is the third item (going from left to right) then pressing WindowsKey + 3 will open it.

ftemplin1465
ftemplin1465

or, instead of the "start menu > all programs > IE (right click) Send to Desktop (create shortcut)" do this: "start menu > all programs > IE (right click) and drag to the desktop (assuming it's visible). gives one short menu with the "create shortcut here" option, instead of the longer "right click" and "send to" menus

metsfan421
metsfan421

HP not releasing drivers for a color laserjet, the 2840 that I just purchased.. The XP Drivers don't work and no word yet from HP on when they will be released? You would think peripheral companies like HP would be on the ball with this stuff.. It's not like Microsoft announced Vista a week ago.

brodriguez@applevalley.
brodriguez@applevalley.

Track-it! Technician Client from Numera has failed to work on every Vista Box we've put it on. I called Numera and the Tech on the phone said (word for word mind you): "Our position is... well we are really just throwing our hands in the air. If it works then great, if not then well we don't know. We have our staff working on a newer version that will come out sometime this year..." Fortunately, we are holding off on mass deployement (a few other applications are acting "squirrly" as well). It's a lot of hype, but all-in-all it's not bad.

sml
sml

Icons on the desktop are like keeping piles of papers that you need to read or file on a real desktop . . . messy. The Start Menu "tweaks" are good, that is where programs should be, but what about putting the Start menu at the TOP of the desktop. This allows your mouse movement to be down to select something, like all of the other menus in applications. No application has its menu at the bottom, with the menu going UP! I have put the taskbar at the top of my screen since Win95 and it is very useful, but many who see it cannot even imagine a desktop like that! Funny. Scott

angus
angus

If using yhe run key to launch cmd. then use windows key + R instead of run key.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Of course you don't need the run command on the menu bar. The Vista search box works fine. But then again you don't NEED to tweak anything. This article and the discussion that comes after it (assuming we can get on topic) is designed to be an FYI. Someone may want to know how to get the run command on the menu. If you don't want or like it, don't do it. I hardly think it is anything to get up in arms about. How about offering us a tweak, trick, or hack beyond the run command that you would recommend.

dslam24
dslam24

...A Thinkpad R51, no windows key...To me it is just handy to have in the start menu. Although i do use Windows+R when it is docked

noctaeon
noctaeon

apparently these other professionals overlook this simple shortcut... I use it multiple times a day

jmiller3
jmiller3

Once I found the quicklaunch bar and found I could show it above the running apps, I all but stopped using the Start Menu or Desktop. I have shortcuts to all of my commonly used apps there (including the Run command) and can acces them with one click no matter what's on the screen. As a side note, all of these Tips and Tricks could apply to XP. It must have been a slow news day...

hubertk
hubertk

yes, "Windows-R" still brings up "Run". I agree with Rob, I found the "Run" facility under XP not very useful. Instead, I put a shortcut to cmd.exe on the Start menu. That is much mure useful.

jricaldoni
jricaldoni

Hi Pals: These are tricks or helps, but not tweaks. Is there any way to make Vista more productive an faster, other than adding 2GB of RAM? Rgrds. Jorge Ricaldoni

jricaldoni
jricaldoni

Hi Pals: These are tricks or helps, but not tweaks. Is there any way to make Vista more productive an faster, other than adding 2GH of RAM? Rgrds. Jorge Ricaldoni

normhaga
normhaga

are available with a program from YamicaSoft called Vista Manager. I do not want to advertise for the program; but as it is... It incorporates all of the tweaks mentioned here and many more from a GUI and was apparently written for Vista and is not an extension of XP tweaks, though it incorporates some. It is the only registry cleaner that I have found that does not destroy some setting. So far my only complaint is that it is incredibly slow - like Java on downers. It comes in 32 and 64 bit flavors and can be found at: http://www.yamicsoft.com/ The trial version seems to be unrestricted for 30 days.

farisnt
farisnt

Hi how can I make the All program appare as a menu like in XP and how can I disable the Hibernat Thanks

hpoppe
hpoppe

is to use Linux instead. Its more stable, cheaper TCO, open standards, not closed proprietary formats, it's intercangable between systems, and darn fun too!

jawgee2k
jawgee2k

Thanks for the tips. Now all we need is for someone package up all the tips into 1 nice .reg file or executable, so that the tweakers don't have go through each of these settings every time they perform a new install. Slipstreaming would work, too.

qhcomputingny
qhcomputingny

Waiting for DreamScape, that should be a nice tweak for the system. Don't see it yet as an Ultimate Extra Download.

jfowler
jfowler

..Of the HP site is that there WON'T BE any Vista drivers for pre-Vista HP hardware (printers, scanners, etc.). Makes ya kinda wonder, eh? And if that is, in fact, the case, you can bet my next printer purchase WILL NOT be an HP item.

alliancemillsoft
alliancemillsoft

HP has made the worst print drivers for a long long time. For that reason alone I refuse to buy HP. There's a lot of good printer companies out there. My last printer purchase, an OKI 5150C color laser has been just great.

friedtoast
friedtoast

I do the same thing. I don't think the taskbar's ever stayed at the bottom of my screen for more than a minute after installation. Drives me crazy with it at the bottom. Seems further away for some reason. Maybe it's because I think my eyes track to the top of the screen for everything and it's counterintuitive to look at the bottom for things.

rob.keiser
rob.keiser

The only "tweak" I would recommend would be to download Powershell for Vista and use that instead of CMD. Very useful for IT professionals.

brian.kronberg
brian.kronberg

The search bar does not support drag and drop. There are many times that I drag an executable into the Run menu and then add command line parameters after it. Like "setup /?", or "setup /nomom" for the Forfront client. Drag an drop saves me from having to type in the full path of the file.

rob.keiser
rob.keiser

I only buy laptops for myself and I have some very old ones. Even my old PII laptops have windows keys on them and I would certainly not run Vista on that. If you have a laptop without a windows key (that is not a mac) I would doubt that it can run Vista.

jsehlmeyer
jsehlmeyer

I'm curious if the author has even used Vista? Why do you need the run command on the start menu? You have the search box. It is your NEW run command. Go ahead try it. Type Calc, type ping www.techrepublic.com; it does it all. Why waste valuable space on the start menu?

jruby
jruby

Open a command prompt and issue the command: powercfg -H OFF Jim

The Listed 'G MAN'
The Listed 'G MAN'

NOT. Why are there people like you? Why do you think it is funny and original to add comments like this to any MS related forum going? So you do not like Vista - fine MOVE ON THEN. How about you explain each of the elements in your list V vista and try to enlighten others?

bill.howey
bill.howey

As long as Corporations are run by Vice Presidents, Presidents and Board chairman, the majority of them will insist on Microsoft for the desktop, (Period). As long as corporations hire the most experience for the least money, (admins secretaries etc.) they will insist on Microsoft (Period). As long as Corporate Officers have to concentrate on the business at hand, (Making Money), they will insist on Microsoft, something they don't have to learn. I started out as a lab rat, then went onto systems engineering in the field, now I am a Project Manager. I do not want any company I work for to have to STOP business, so that they can TRAIN everyone with LOTS of MONEY, so that they can use anything other than the corporate standard. I can come up with too many reasons right now why a global company will not put Linux or other non MS product on their desktops. As a server in the IT department, Internet,Intranet uses.... wonderful. Desktop, nope, nada, never. ........ FINI!

daffoml
daffoml

Yeah, until you actually need to upgrade a piece, oh wait, that has a dependency that needs to be upgraded, oh and that dependency has a dependency that needs to be updated, but that update breaks the functionality of the only other useful thing a linux box does...give me a break. Linux is GREAT at menial tasks (DNS, DHCP, WWW, etc) but as a desktop, it still got EONS to go in usability to catch up, it's gotten FAR better, but still has a LONG way to go.

sweeney.R
sweeney.R

I am one of the many IT people that have a job because of MS. Some good points about Linux, FREE Open source and Open Office for Linux works good also. I had a duel boot system for about 2 years and word boot Windows XP or Mandrake Linux till Mandrake one day would not boot the LELO boot loader. Did and MS update do this ? I will never know. I removed the Mandrake partition and did not return to it. Some bad things I saw with Mandrake, any time I added a new pice of hardware the kernal had to be recompiled and I was LUCKY to find a drive most of the time. Because of Linux there are a few job's and there mostly sells jobs - not repair job's and the sells jobs don't pay - and the is a fact. It is true that MS had it's start as a bad " big brother " on the block but that is America and freedom. Not just hundreds of jobs have been created because of MS but millions of jobs ALL OVER THE WORLD ! WHY ? People need to eat, have kid's, have love, and have computers ! Because of MS we have Programmers - open source and paid, IT persons, MCSE, MSP, A+ and more. Linux has ... aaaaaaaa... ? ? ? Hackers hacking what ? Microsoft products, Cisco Products and you name it ! Linux is good for hackers and people that know computers and X Windows but that is not all bad, some things need to be hacked and some people need to know the computer so well that if a Microsoft user has a problem , go find a Linux user and he or she can fix it most of the time and the Linux user don't have a MCSE. Back to Vista tweaks, I would like to see a tweak to allow Linux to boot inside Windows.

jsehlmeyer
jsehlmeyer

I'd rather roll out Vista in a business environment than Linux any day. Linux may be great for you and I, but the average desktop worker will flip if they had to use Linux. Until Linux becomes 'as familiar' (and pretty) as the Windows flavors, don't look for your dream to come true.

cdebot
cdebot

Linux has what, 1% of the market?? I mean come on, stability is the only thing linux has on anything, because it cannot offer what Windows can. It isn't used much, you know, 1000 people use linux, a billion people use Windows!! My guess is that Windows costs alot because of the 1000s of employess MS has to pay for making Windows happen. Windows is the ONLY way to go. There are NO competitors good enough to give MS any worries, so why should they change? MS is the biggest and the best at what they do. Because of this, there are always jealous people that want to try to hack and break Windows, and sue them because they are not as smart as MS. And then throw the blame on MS for all the trouble. ALL YOU MS BASHERS ARE THE LAME BOZOS, AND JUST NEED TO GET OVER IT AND SHUT YOUR LID!!!

midnightriderz
midnightriderz

well said. After reading articles from several different sources, 2007 could be the year of the linux.

jagcs
jagcs

Try installing the HP Deskjet 600 driver and use the same port as what Vista installs for use by the unsupported 1315 driver (usually a dot4 port). It worked for one of my customers, although how well and how long we'll have to see, but at least the test page printed correctly and in color.

lucidsoul5
lucidsoul5

I too have a HP 1315 Photosmart printer. Which is a nice machine but not suppling drivers for it inorder to force the public to purcase another printer. This is a new low for a multi-billion dollar company. Thank god I have my laptop with xp on it and the printer itself has a LCD screen and a memory card reader on its side. But it still bothers me, the printer is 4 years old and works fine. There is no need to get rid of it. I hope many more will boycott HP.

iveyoil
iveyoil

bought my new computer after waiting for vista to come with a 19 inch flat screen so I was pretty excited.... then time to plug in my hp Photosmart 1315 which I just spent $50 on new ink cartriges with and was greeted with a notice that HP not planning to provide any drivers. I tried some of the other drivers; just to see if I could hack my way past the problem but no luck with the 32 bit home premium edition of Vista. I liked my printer; it was a work horse and had a lot of life left in it... but NO... Hp had other plans for me...it wanted me to buy a new printer. A bit underhanded I thought considering thgis one was't the least bit dead yet. So I went and bought some cheapie HP printer and tried to hook it up and realised it was a toy compared to my trusty steed. I figured I paid good money for that and all I got was a printer designed by an accountant... they cut every corner in design. So I took it back and for ten dollars more bought an EPSON all in one which is designed with much more integrity. and looks like it will last. Screw HP and their accountant mentality...I should not have had to early retire my 1315...so I will early retire HP.

iveyoil
iveyoil

bought my new computer after waiting for vista to come with a 19 inch flat screen so I was pretty excited.... then time to plug in my hp Photosmart 1315 which I just spent $50 on new ink cartriges with and was greeted with a notice that HP not planning to provide any drivers. I tried some of the other drivers; just to see if I could hack my way past the problem but no luck with the 32 bit home premium edition of Vista. I liked my printer; it was a work horse and had a lot of life left in it... but NO... Hp had other plans for me...it wanted me to buy a new printer. A bit underhanded I thought considering thgis one was't the least bit dead yet. So I went and bought some cheapie HP printer and tried to hook it up and realised it was a toy compared to my trusty steed. I figured I paid good money for that and all I got was a printer designed by an accountant... they cut every corner in design. So I took it back and for ten dollars more bought an EPSON all in one which is designed with much more integrity. and looks like it will last. Screw HP and their accountant mentality...I should not have had to early retire my 1315...so I will early retire HP.

Crash84
Crash84

I seem to remember that they did the same thing with thier driver support when XP first came out. I had a hell of a time getting thier printers to work on the network using 2000 servers and XP desktops and Laptops.

jfowler
jfowler

You have to go to the support section, and then drill down for the drivers for your specific product, then click the link for Vista divers. I have a Photosmart 1315 printer, and a 7400C scanner (admittedly not the newest of products, but certainly not ready for the scrap heap either), and the pages I was directed to in both instances stated quite clearly that there would be no Vista drivers forthcoming. Here's the exact link for the printer; http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00808542&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=61956&lang=en# And here's a quote PASTED directly from the page: We are sorry to inform you that there will be no Windows Vista support available for your HP product. Therefore your product will not work with Windows Vista. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that there's some very bad business judgment at play here. Fortunately, I loaded Vista on my secondary computer, and the peripherals are connected to my main machine, so for the time being at least, the issue is moot. Still.. Not a good sign. Now, perhaps drivers for newer HP hardware will be made available, I have no way of knowing their corporate plans, but I would have thought that sauce for the goose would also have extended to the gander. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

brodriguez@applevalley.
brodriguez@applevalley.

If you could, please post a location of that. That is most noteworthy for anyone looking to purchase several printers. I tried to wade through HP's poorly designed, overloaded site myself (I would rather have dysentery), but was unable to find that posted anywhere. It would be most helpful - thanks! If that is true then they won't be providing Vista drivers for printers that are less than a year old and still under warranty. That would seem par for the course HP as they act as of late like they are starving to death and are desperate for sales with these ransom tactics. "bUy A n3W oN3 0r YoU wOn'T Ge3 aNy sUpp0rT!" I know this is nothing new, but I definitely won't buy from someone who refuses to provide support for their own products.

normhaga
normhaga

gave that response when he read your article. I have since d/l d Powershell and looked into it further -- just not sure about it. Having just migrated to Vista x64 with a new laptop, I still think in XP ways. Forgive my ignorance, but allow me to disagree with the need to have the command shortcut in the menu. And if you are curious I am seriously thinking about a Hackintosh or Linux over Vista.

rob.keiser
rob.keiser

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking here. If you look at my original post you'll see that I didn't say you didn't need the run command, but that it didn't make sense to put it into the windows menu since a simple key combination of Windows+r will get you right to it. You can also get to commands like msconfig by pressing the windows key and typeing in the name - the search will find the command and you can hit the enter key to start them. Most commands can have shortcuts made for them so they can be run from the GUI if you want. As for Powershell, Microsoft has been changing the way some of their server software interacts with the OS. They are moving in a UNIX direction giving their applictions a command/powershell interface with a GUI built on top of that. This means that you will be able to "control" the apps from the powershell interface. So configuring or adding users to say Exchange will be easier and scriptable.

normhaga
normhaga

you are an IT consultant, so let's ask a simple question. How many commands like DivX or regedit and msconfig that are run from the command line are available from the GUI? This is why you need a run command. Powershell does not have a GUI component to use when the OS does not. Now how about a tweak to permanently turn off driver signing?

metsfan421
metsfan421

Didn't know you could do that with the search box.. I was wondering why they hid the run command by default. Now I know.. Thanks for the info!

meski.oz
meski.oz

This is meant to be a discussion on tweaking Vista, not an all out flamefest between Linux and Windows users on who has drunk the most corporate Koolaid.

klancast
klancast

It is refreshing to see someone debate the issue rather than slam someone as "lame Bozos' etc.... I too have used both systems as well as Unix on corporate servers. There is a stability that *nix provides that MS does not. However that does come at the price of simplicity, at least until now. The latest Linux distro based on Debian, Ubuntu is the first that comes to mind, provides a rather simpel uncomplicated way of installing Linux. I have used an Unbuntu server edition on an older PC that really wouldn't run Windows, worked great for that purpose. I agree that one OS isn't everything to all people. I do know that if anything goes wrong on a MS windows machine most "average" MS users are lost and cannot correct it, so much for usability. The majority of the machines I use are MS windows but the ones with Linux are just getting easier to use every day.

cbcats
cbcats

I can't say much about Linux with my very limited used, however I will give Linux that does have less problems than windows in security. Is that because of good programming or lack of target base? Linux use less memory. Could that be you really dont need anti-virus or spyware? Maybe and if that the case. Could because lack of target base? But Linux is very good of not having problem running for long time or slowing down after sometimes. However M$ wins with more software/drives vs Linux. Yes, Linux have some software could possible replace M$, however in game its complete bow out of the water. etc. Yes, I do know Linux more for IT and thing of that nature. Of course this only noob's two cents. Onces Linux gets to be newbie friendliness (first time using pc), has large base software, etc. It be nice to see how those two will compare.

malcolm.allison
malcolm.allison

Finally a balanced view from someone who uses both. *applause* :)

WIVO_Riley
WIVO_Riley

OK, I've had no formal computer training whatsoever, so maybe I may have a different perspective?: I started with MS WIN98, trained myself to write complicated spreadsheets, 6 different websites, and to date 7 different fairly complex MSAccess databases which can not only "talk" with my complex MSExcel spreadsheets, but also dump information to MSStreet & Trips- basically automating the process of managing my customers, but also the process of getting to them, preparing proposals, and keeping track of them. Pretty cool deal. I personally have a laptop running XP pro, a core2 duo desktop at home dual booting with XP pro and Ubuntu Edgy Linux, a desktop running Ubuntu dapper, and an old Compaq that I'm in the process of turning into a file and print server (Kubuntu Linux (a lite version for older systems)) for home use. My thoughts on the whole Vista/Linux thing. FACT- MS stuff are ALL memory hogs (RAM & HD space)-keep in mind that a well-oiled and maintained MS system needs alot of constant, diligent care (antivirus, spyware, defrag, disk cleanup, etc, etc. etc) which if you add all of this stuff to your running processes, it can really bog down a system. BUT- if you have stout enough hardware- it is the EASIEST way to go. FACT: (ON the 3 different computers that I have Linux on., the choice to run Linux was made after attempts to get them to run a MS operating system ('98 or XP)and remain stable (AND QUICK). At first the older desktop (800Mhz Celeron) actually ran FASTER on XP than on Ubuntu, but after awhile, the performance on the XP machine dropped dramatically- to the point of basically just being plain old annoying- (this machine is on a firewalled network, runs antivirus and firewall, etc- BTW I keep my systems maintained- why the performance drop is still unknown. Rather than pitch the machine (I use it as a second desktop (kids), and as a test machine when working on other peoples computers (did I mention that I had no formal training?)- I installed Ubuntu on it. It has been running superbly for quite awhile now, works well with one kids Ipod, does the email, IM'ing, etc excellently. On the core2 Duo machine, I have XP pro and Ubuntu dual booting. On Ubuntu, I also have Beryl installed. and It is FAR and AWAY the most amazing desktop computing experience I have ever had- you really have to do some searching around and check it out. Bottom line though- until those that are "in the know" and write code for distros like Ubuntu realize that the vast majority of "regular folks" WILL NEVER WANT TO OPEN A TERMINAL WINDOW AND THAT ONE FACT WILL FOREVER KEEP THEM FROM LINUX. That is a fact- I look at it as a "learning experience" If it takes me a while to figure something out (frequently with Linux), it's like solving a complex puzzle. Unfortunately, most folks want to Push the button and do the things they want to do, not figure out HOW to do it. Conversely, I HATE it when MS thinks FOR me- Overthinking an OS leaves you with a bunch of preconfigured Cr@P that you have to live with. So, which is better? Define better and I'll give you an answer. Riley

sbar
sbar

Sometimes they even don't know how to work in Word and Excel! My mother works with Linux now. Not because she likes Linux and doesn't like Windows. She doesn't care. Just her computer isn't so new to run even WinXP. I had to install OS and Open Office for her, show how to work with it, how to use e-mail from beggininng, how to use internet in Linux. And now I have forgotten about her computer. My mother is VERY low than average user, and doesn't see any differences between Windows and Linux except, as she said, design. She have never (and I suppose will not) user control panel or adjusted any settings in computer, that was my responsibility. As she said "I just need it working as I want". So, IMHO, Linux isn't good or bad, it's just different. I like it. And if somebody doesn't like it - I don't care. I like freedom of choise.

ke_xtian
ke_xtian

The instability of Windows is still an irritant, but I thought XP was the most stable Windows OS I have seen yet. The most irritating thing to me is the lack of multiple desktops. If MS has such a great software development organization, why can't they do this very simple thing that has been in Unix and Linux since day 1? There is a lot of freeware out there (MS even has it) that purports to provide multiple desktops, but none of that stuff works worth a flip. Now comes Beryl, which is called desktop eye-candy. It is a very cool interface (for Linux) and it's implementation of multiple desktops is the coolest thing ever. Maybe it will push MS over the edge to give us multiple desktops. My interest in multiple desktops may seem to be motivated by "coolness", but in my everyday job I can have 50 or more windows open. It would be so much easier for me if I could have 10 or 12 desktops, say one for each project I am working on. I think you get the picture. Also it would be great if each desktop would remember what I had open so that if my OS (Windows, of course) were to crash, when it comes back up all of those desktops would just open all of the windows that were there when it crashed. How hard could that be?

zaferus
zaferus

The familiarity to a users home PC and application compatibility unfortunately makes IS more or less stuck with an OS that is highly flawed and insecure. Whether we like it or not..

WIVO_Riley
WIVO_Riley

The average user would either: 1. Quit 2. Cry 3. Cost an incredible amount to the Company in terms of productivity until they got the hang of it. I work with the "average users" Sometimes I think we're lucky the button is marked "power".

oceanimp1957
oceanimp1957

A Bootable OS, Knoppix is one of the best tools as an IT professional that I have in my bag of tricks. I have used in on several occassions to repair windows and on others when windows was not worth saving I retrieved user files and saved the day. below you will find the place to download it http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.knoppix.org/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dknoppix%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4GGLR_enUS241US242

woosterpc
woosterpc

I have no intention of installing Vista for quite some time.

adam.ferguson
adam.ferguson

When I started on linux I was the same but now I dont even run a microsoft box. But saying that I support them all day at work. IMHO XP seems far better than Vista at the moment FWIW.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. [b][i]"...Linux has what, 1% of the market?? I mean come on, stability is the only thing linux has on anything, because it cannot offer what Windows can. It isn't used much, you know, 1000 people use linux, a billion people use Windows!!...[/i][/b] You must have computed that using Windows Calculator. If Linux has 1% of the market, and there are 1000 Linux users, there would be 100,000 Windows users, not a billion. If you're really an IT consultant, you must work for Fisher Price. :-) [b][i]"...My guess is that Windows costs alot because of the 1000s of employess MS has to pay for making Windows happen...[/i][/b] Guess again. Windows costs a lot only because people are willing to pay for it. The price of Windows is not determined by the cost of manufacturing. Microsoft sold $44 BILLION last year and cleared $18 BILLION profit on people like you. It's called supply and demand. Check it out. [b][i]"...There are NO competitors good enough to give MS any worries, so why should they change?..."[/i][/b] There are few competitors left because Microsoft uses unethical and illegal tactics to kill them, not win business away from them in the marketplace. Microsoft was convicted by the United States government of illegal monopolistic behavior. There ARE competitors that worry Microsoft. One of them is Linux. Microsoft's response is to try to kill Linux by threatening to sue Linux customers instead of beating Linux in the marketplace. Microsoft's theory is that the best way to get the girl is to kill all of the rival boyfriends. Nice. Very nice.

Allen Halsey
Allen Halsey

Even if you are a committed Windows user, it is in your interest to support open source efforts. IE 6 stagnated until Firefox started to take away market share. Same for PhotoShop/Gimp and MS Office/OpenOffice.org. Sometimes I hear IT professions say "I just use the best software for the job." If everyone acted that way, Firefox never would have matured and IE6 would continue to stagnate. I believe, as IT professionals, we have an obligation to help spur competition, innovation and open standards. Supporting open source projects, like Linux, The Gimp, Firefox, OpenOffice.org, etc, is a great way to do that. Try to use a mix of both.

ross
ross

I'm sick of all these windows bashers...Give a user a choice between the slick Windows OS or a Linux OS and there is no choice. No business is ever going to seriously consider linux for a desktop OS and for a general home user linux would never touch their systems. You have a few IT enthusiasts who even then Linux is a hobby OS. Yeah there will be some linux servers out there and for a web server there great but that?s about their limit. Linux could be like Mac OS X eventually and would then be useable. But it is open source and there are so many distros and the development is so fragmented that this is never going to happen. Windows is so good because of the development team Microsoft has in place concentrating on one distribution. So to all the windows bashers seriously think twice before you start trying to hype up something which is clumsy at best. This comes from someone who uses server and desktop versions of Windows and OS X and runs RedHat on his company?s web server. I am not anti-linux just a realist.

sm78df
sm78df

the last dozen years or so in computer science has taught me a few things that we all come to understand sooner or later. One of those things is: "the average Linux user" knows their way around a computer, far better, in all aspects than does "the average Microsoft user". THAT is a FACT. MS has advertising muscle and uses it wisely. That is why they are the giant that they are today, NOT because they have a better OS. To call Linux users "Lame Bozos", is foolish to say the least. The offering of multiple OS's in the IT world is good for everyone involved. It keeps us all on our toes.

dab
dab

You call yourself an IT Consultant with that attitude...

WIVO_Riley
WIVO_Riley

Man, do you need a hug or WHAT? I use Linux- it's interesting and I'm learning it as I go. But 99% of what I do is still on MS OS's. I personally hate closed-mined @-holes like you SEEM to be.

brodriguez@applevalley.
brodriguez@applevalley.

Most MS haters just like being different. Like the guy in the middle of the desert who swears he was abducted by aliens and probbed, or the only guy in high school who wears a trench coat and eats June Bugs. They pride themselves on being that 1% of the population that the other 99% wishes Natural Selection would deal with. With thier staunch fanatical stand on whatever issue they raise, they hope they look special in being the "I told you so!" people. If the O.S. market were flipped they would be screaming about MACs. (sigh)... Please Linux users, don't reproduce....

meski.oz
meski.oz

I took it as sarcasm. Suggesting linux is just trolling. If you have to use Windows, it doesn't help at all.

normhaga
normhaga

Over the weekend, I purchased a new HP Pavilion dv9225us laptop. Took it home and let it boot. Then I played with Vista for about an hour and then called HP and asked for XP drivers. Of course, being a new platform with Vista Ultimate 64 bit pre-installed, there are no XP drivers for the machine. HP can not even tell me the chipsets used in the machine other than the BIOS and the video card. Being new hardware for the most part, perhaps you could tell me where to find the Linux drivers? If not, perhaps you could accept that Linux is not user friendly enough for the average user and that without extensive alterations to the OS will never be mainstream.

Fujikid2
Fujikid2

Duplicate due to false error message.

Fujikid2
Fujikid2

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Thanks midnightriderz. I feel better already.