Windows

I give up on the Windows Vista update


I gave it the proverbial college try, but I can't wrestle with it anymore. After trying to install Windows Vista on my Compaq laptop (see my previous post) using the upgrade option, I have come to the realization that it was a bad idea.

I had nothing but problems for the very start trying to upgrade rather than nuke the hard drive and start from scratch in a clean install. First off, getting from one application to another was a painstaking experience marked by minutes of inactivity. Except for the incessant glowing of the laptops hard disk in operation indicator light I would have sworn the operating system had locked up. I knew Vista would not be lightening fast on this relatively low powered laptop, but it shouldn't be this slow.

Still, while it was slow, if was going from application to application, so I stuck with it. Then I tried to load the CNET version of Nortel's VPN software. Right in the middle of the install a complete and utter failure of the operating system. The laptop reboots and for some reason it can no longer find the user profile services file. For some mysterious reason, the part of the operating system that actually allows you to log on was missing. I'd type in my user name and password and Vista would inform me that I could not log on, but thank you for playing.

I spent the rest of the morning running system restore and startup repair, but I could never actually get to the Vista desktop. The only thing that prevented me from having a mental breakdown was that I could get Vista to run in Safe Mode. From there I took some time in the afternoon to backup important data so I could do the clean install, which I did this morning.

I am relieved to report that the clean install is running fairly smoothly although there are several driver problems. Nothing major, but still somewhat annoying. Microsoft is going to have to gather all the drivers it can find and make them available to installation process if they want the retail version of Vista to be widely accepted. I don't believe consumers are going to sit still for driver hell.

The other thing Microsoft simply must do is improve the upgrade feature of the install or scrap it. This has become a week long project. I was just fortunate that the only thing of value on my laptop in terms of data was my iTunes music files which I was able to back up to CD-ROM. If there were actually important files on this laptop I would be in a panic – assuming of course that I had not backed up the files.

So my advice to anyone contemplating a move to Vista is to backup all of your files and then use the clean install. The upgrade just isn't worth the trouble.

Now that I have a clean Vista install, it is time to put the operating to the test. I'm installed iTunes and I am copying the music files over, which seems to be working nicely. We'll see how everything else goes.

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.

59 comments
v10charlie
v10charlie

i also tried to upgrade to vista home premuim on my gateway vista ready laptop. 4 tries and lots of problems. lock ups, rebooting, very slow running, waits way to long to do any thing. i finally took a copy of kill disk and let it run all day. then reinsatlled xp pro in to the laptop. problem seems to lay with supossed vista ready drivers that are not vista ready in any way, ca security suite is stated to be vista ready. nope. same with windows live one, not ready. mcafee not ready. may other ap. problems to list. again it looks like micro soft pushed a very buggy program to manufacturing to get it out to the public. well sorry, m.s. i'm waiting for a copy of linux to arrive rather then fight installing vista again. another problem i found is the down load for office 2007 Ultimate is missing some of the install programing. so when it's burned to a disk it will not install. 3- 5 hour down loads later. even that is back to office 2003. every down load had the same problem part of your installation program is missing every time. microsoft wake up! you did your normal stinkie loads all over again

darinhamer
darinhamer

My policy is to never buy a car the first year it is released or revised, and the same goes for software and OSs. Wait for SP1. But it is people like you, who try to switch two weeks after it is released to manufacturing that make SP1s possible. Thanks for going through the torture that you put yourself through so that those of us who are patient and sane can benefit from your mistakes. Of course, it seems that any time a completely new product like Vista is released there are going to be some bugs. However, most of the bugs you mention are not Vista problems, but problems with drivers. I don't suppose MS can be blamed because other vendors haven't updated their drivers yet. It seems ludicrous to me that someone would try to upgrade this early in the game, fail, and then immediately declare Vista is a waste and only Linux will do. Seems that maybe you started with that presupposition to begin with.

gsquared
gsquared

I've done both, with Beta 2, RC-1, RC-2 and the RTM. I've had minimal problems with either upgrade or install. Can't say it's a typical experience, but upgrade has worked for me.

wpowell
wpowell

I too have upgraded several platforms including two desktops and a laptop. Each upgrade proceeded as expected, with a few applications no longer functional but overall success. Oddly, one of the unsupported softwares is Visual Studio 2005.

gsquared
gsquared

MS says that there is a known issue with Visual Studio on Vista and that it may not work as expected. They say there's a patch coming in first quarter 2007 to fix that. There is also an issue with SQL 2005 on Vista, for which there is a beta patch.

FBuchan
FBuchan

In my experience over 20 years of working with O/S software in general, upgrade failures have a similar root cause, which is that either a driver is incompatible or there are existing problems prior to upgrade. That isn't to excuse Vista or any O/S bad upgrade behaviour, but it's fair to observe. Oddly, Vista does a different upgrade route than any previous Windows, and so upgrade issues surprise me some. (It basically clean installs itself after saving a snapshot, migrating the snapshot non-Windows elements back.) You think the new format would have shaved away some grief. As for VS 2005, it mostly will run, but it needs full Administrator privileges. A hack, yes; but it works. Not quite the same can be said of its ability to communicate with a local SQL Server install, which I still haven't managed to get to work quite right. Havings aid all these positive things, though, I would still suggest Vista is irrelevant to 90% of all computer users. It simply doesn't provide anything worth the upgrade on older hardware.

JUSERRA
JUSERRA

This is a never ending problem. But thereis a way to get rid of it. have you guys heard about UBUNTU? http://www.ubuntu.com/

danmarce
danmarce

Yes, I heard about Ubuntu, and no, no thanks, i've better options, even in Linux. Also UBUNTU has its own problems. Posts like this make me wonder... Windows users post in Linux articles as much Linux users post in Windows Articles? How about something like this in a Linux article: "If you want more software and you don't want to edit .conf files, install Wine and edit your kernel, switch to Windows and get rid of that" Its not funny... not funny at all.

jamesgrimes
jamesgrimes

heard of, and used for less than a week, Ubuntu. However, I don't like it all that well. With Windows, I don't have to uncomment lines of code to get it to work right. In addition, I can go to one source, Microsoft, if I have any trouble with Windows, instead of searching man pages, then trying ubuntu.org, or googleing around the net looking for help. Windows makes it easyier to run my network. With all of the hassels of a network, why should I needlessly make more work for myself?

jamesgrimes
jamesgrimes

...the article's writer writes, "So my advice to anyone contemplating a move to Vista is to backup all of your files and then use the clean install. The upgrade just isn't worth the trouble." To that, I said to my self, "Duh!!" As a Network Administration and Support student, I know that, with any OS or NOS, it is best to do a clean install because any problems you have with your current OS will be 10-fold with an update-to package. This is why I keep all of my data files and, where appropriate, program install fiels, on a seperate external hard drive, which is then backed up onto a DVD (but am looking into using an online back-up service).

hillman.d
hillman.d

I keep my data on an external drive also. The drive goes everywhere with me. That data then gets backed up to DVD every week. Microsoft really needs to include a good backup program in Windows that can use DVD-R. Does Vista have one?

jamesgrimes
jamesgrimes

what Vista has. I was writing in general terms what should be done, whether it be Windows or any of the 'nixes. Me personally, I just burn new data onto a pre-existing DVD as a new daily backup and weekly do a full backup. Using Windows Backup (or whatever its called), I put the backup onto my desktop and then move it to be burned onto the DVD.

rgdcc
rgdcc

I AM HAVING LOTS OF PROBLEMS WITH VISTA ON INTEL MOTHERBOARD D975XBX. THE BIOS IS BAD. THE LEVEL IS NOW AT 1463. I PURCHASED MB IN APRIL AND HAVE HAD 5 UPDATES. THE PROBLEMS THE NTLDR GETS WIPED OUT. ALL THAT IS HAPPENING POWER UP OS GOES AWAY!!! IT TAKES A COUPLE TIMES TO INSTALL VISTA. NO CLUE!!! THIS IS VISTA ULTIMATE! INTEL SUPPORT IS NO HELP. THEY POINT USER NOT DOING IT CORRECTLY. EXAMPLE: LEVEL 1378 BIOS UPDATE BOMBED THE MB.NO POWER ON RESET TO START BOOTLOAD. ONE WEEK LATER UPDATE WAS TAKEN OFF WB SITE. I OBTAINED A 24 ITEM LAUNDRY LIST TO DO.

rick1056
rick1056

I've tested Vista for about 7 months, I've found the system somewhat buggy even with the updates when they became available. One of the first problems is drivers but a larger problem occurs after a reinstall or "repair" is attempted. You aren't given an option with this problem and I've reported it to MS, Vista takes all your files and makes a "windows" file that is a complete reproduction of the OS onto your Hard-Drive which unless you search for it, the file is hidden. This causes your hard-drive to be extremly fragmented and slows your system to a crawl. This also happens when you're migrating (upgrading) from a earlier version of windows. so do a search for a file called 'windows old" possibly with an attribute of a number attached, if you tried numerious installs. Delete the file and defrag your system which will probably take many hours due to the large amonut of fragmentation.

CMichaelLeeD
CMichaelLeeD

Seemed pretty simple to install on my MacPro in a Parallels virtual machine, but why? I only upgraded to WinXP Pro (actually Win2003Pro) on the PCs because I was told by the Adobe rep that CS2 wouldn't work on Win2K, but hey, it works fine on 2K. We have case-hardened our XP and Tiger installs, it would take an Earth-shattering new feature that required Vista to upgrade, but then, we've already got it running on the Macs if we need it!

tinyang73
tinyang73

There has been much discussion of upgrading to Vista. I heard in the MS public newsgroups from many MVPs that there will be no option of a clean install from an upgrade disk. They say you need to have your qualifying OS installed and activated. Then you put the Vista upgrade DVD in the drive and start the process from there. No longer will there be an option to boot from the upgrade DVD to be prompted to insert your qualifying media. If you try to boot from the upgrade DVD, it tells you to run the DVD from within windows. This is what they have been saying. I have been trying to find information ont he web to verify it, but I have not seen anything yet. If this is the case, then the closest anyone with an upgrade DVD will get is to clean install their qualifying upgrade OS, then run the Vista upgrade DVD from there. Has anyone else heard anything on this yet or have any other sources of info that can confirm or deny this?

CodeBubba
CodeBubba

Rubbish. I have a release version right here. Attempted the upgrade which worked OK but with issues; turned right around and re-installed fresh using the same disk. -CB :)

sdow
sdow

So far as I've been able to determine, you're right about the upgrade DVD. While the Vista installer launches perfectly well on a system running Windows XP, it completely fails to boot a system with no OS installed. I find it strange, though, that the DVD which is bootable for the clean installation of Vista offers only the option of a clean install. The upgrade option is provided as one of the installation types, but it is not an active selection. (The option might be available if one were to run the installer under a qualifying OS, rather than booting from the DVD; I didn't have try that.)

chuck.warren
chuck.warren

You're a tech writer/professional, and you actually even considered, not only upgrading a computer without backing up the data, but upgrading it to a new and unfamiliar product? I'm amazed that you even admitted that here. Our company has a strict "No Upgrade" policy, no matter what. Any PC that comes in for a new OS is backed up, the hardware is documented, and then the PC is wiped clean and rebuilt from scratch. In this case, with the availability of drivers and the compatibility of software being very much in question considering the immaturity of Vista, the last thing I would think of is attempting to install it over my existing environment. Two words.... test machine....

markpartin2000
markpartin2000

My company's policy goes a little further than wiping hard drives and reinstalling. When we upgraded appx 1,000 computers from various Win versions (NT, 2000, XP SP1) running Office 97 to WinXP SP2 with Office 2002 last year (yes, just last year - 2006), we physically removed and sent the old drives to storage, and then installed freshly imaged new drives into the old machines. In case of major failure, we could just pop the old drive back into the machine and give it back to the user while the issue was resolved. We didn't have any major glitches, though. Standard apps were loaded on the master drive that was replicated to the other drives. Drivers and specialized apps were distributed to users on initial boot based on profile. The best decision that we could have made, and anyone considering a mass upgrade to Vista (shudder) might consider doing the same, IMHO. mp

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

My laptop really operates as a test machine. Even though it is mine, I use it to test applications, take photos and screenshots of old DOS games (thanks DOSbox), etc. The "vital data" was a few iTunes songs that I had purchased in the past month. All the other music was backedup --- that was the only vital data on the laptop. I wasn't concerned about losing them, but I was concerned that I would have to use some tricks to get at them if Vista stopped working completely. Trying to upgrade to Vista was a test to see if it would work --- nothing more. It doesn't, which is what I pretty much expected.

BHunsinger
BHunsinger

Great GNU! Microsoft tells you to backup you machine when installing an update! Second, which version of Vista did you load? There are 5 depending on hardware and cost. Was there plenty of space o the hard drive? Sorry to ask these simple quetions, but failure to follow the first rule of 'playing' with something-"First protect the data," leaves you open to such questions

lastchip
lastchip

When Vista is released to the great unsuspecting public in January, it will be in the main, home users known as early adopters that will try and install the system. As such, and due to the significant difference in prices between upgrades and "original" discs, many will choose the upgrade option. Now, many of the manufacturers that supply an OEM system, only provide what is effectively an image disc (recovery disc) as a backup, if anything at all. Some of course use a hidden partition on the hard drive as a recovery option. Keeping in mind the upgrade option is fraught with problems, the scenario now is: 1. Vista formats a drive that has the original backup files on a partition. How is it going to recognise there was a Windows system to validate the upgrade? 2. Is Vista going to recognise an image CD as being a valid upgrade option? 3. Is it even an option to use the upgrade path on an OEM installation? I've a feeling, there's going to be a lot of frustrated and disappointed people come the end of January - but not me. I'll stay with Linux! Edited for minor typo.

hillman.d
hillman.d

I've already been fraustrated with my Windows XP MCE laptop that came with only a useless recovery CD. I couldn't partition the drive the way I wanted to and there was a lot of garbage in the default install. The solution was to find another MCE CD, make a copy and then use my key to validate. Next time I'm buying from Apple.

d.k.rich
d.k.rich

I just bought a new PC with XP Pro on it. All I got was a recovery disk. It will be interesting to see what happens when I want to add a driver or something and I am asked to insert my XP Pro CD. And it sounds like an upgrade to Vista with a clean install will require putting down the full cost of a Vista release disk. This Microsoft paranoia about piracy does nothing but give end-users frustration and trouble. Why they penalize their legitimate purchasers is beyond me.

CodeBubba
CodeBubba

I can appreciate your pain with the licensing (though for me it's never been a big deal if I had a legit copy on hand). Even on a machine that had XP Pre-Installed I couldn't find the install disk but had the Certificate on the computer - a quick call to M$ fixed it. No big deal. A lot of people complain about the "onerous" licensing practices. OK, how would you do it better? They have to do *something* to prevent piracy (which is impossible to completely prevent). How would you go about it? -CB :)

Dark Force
Dark Force

As I recall, the upgrade version of XP allowed you to install a fresh copy instead of upgrading your current OS; it just wanted to know you had a valid license to upgrade from. Granted, M$ foolishly left the upgrade option there for the uninitiated. But, without those folks, I would not have as many side jobs as I currently do. God help those that take their machine to Best Try's help squad (*shudder*), I've had to rebuild too many machines that they have "fixed".

lastchip
lastchip

The point I was trying to make, is whether Vista will recognise a manufacturers image disc as being a valid source for upgrade purposes. Likewise, if users are forced to commit to a fresh install, and that wipes out their hidden recovery partition, how is validation going to occur? You are likely to get "Vista cannot find a valid Windows installation" (or something similar). With XP, you simply popped a valid disc into the drive and XP authenticated it. So far, so good and no doubt Vista will do the same. But these early adopters are unlikely to have a disc to pop into the drive, by virtue of how the OEM installed the system in the first instance. Or if they have, it's likely to be an image disc, as opposed to a Windows disc.

wnij.
wnij.

i just bought a new laptop with xp media and in jan. or whenever the vista will be available from circuit(you know who)to down load.boy if this an update,which i assume it will be,i hate to be in there shoes, come to think of it mine either.what do yo all think.

wmarr
wmarr

Most people get the impression that upgrading with Microsoft should be seamless and painless. But when ever you decide to "upgrade" your present O/S to a newer one, one must consider this. Do I know what I am about to do and do I know what this "new" Operating system will try to do in order for it to install. Programers are great. Just insert the disk and hit the enter key. right.. LOL> Computers are stupid, they only know what they are told to do, and then forget about it. Main reason for HD's and RAM and don't forget the bios. Your computer had been told by the old system, (program language) how to access the hard drive and what track sector cluster order to access the information it was "told" to retrieve. The "New and improved O/S wants to access it a different way. Always the way with new ideas. This is where the conflict begins and that is what I feel is the key reason your computer slowed to a clawl when you "layered" your operating systems. The old windows kernel was still present, and the new one didn't overwrite it completely. Therefore, a compatibility issue arrose, with the processor trying to figure out just what is what when directing instructuons to the various "pipes" within the computer hardware. The My Docs folder already exists (old O/S) and the new one wants to replace it, but cannot due to services consraints. But your new o/s may not be able to access your data due to it's New way of data retrieval. That is why it is better to back up what you can grab, delete the C drive partition, and reformat for a clean install. The new o/s is programed to know it's way around your computer hardware, and all you have to do is make sure your drivers are compatible with it, then connecting to a network and disk drive for your saved data should be an easy task. Then cut or copy and paste your "stuff" back into thier normal place within the "new plateform"

p.j.hutchison
p.j.hutchison

By the way, if backing up your data use a program that is compatible with your current OS and Vista. Don't end with the trap when upgrading from Windows 98 to Windows XP. The 98 backup program does not work on XP! IF you don`t have a backup program, copy the files diret to CD or CDRW or DVD/RW. Or use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard.

Espionage
Espionage

As I know the latest version of Acronis True Image supports Windows Vista. So you can backup your files with True Image in XP or another version of Windows and after that upgrade to Vista. I'm planning to upgrade my OS in that way.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

I've found that even a clean installation of Windows (any version) on a PC that came with an earlier version means that EVERYTHING slows to a crawl. So, as I value my time and with PC prices forever creeping downwards, I simply bite the bullet and buy a new PC (complete with the new OS). This does mean that I still have an old PC running Window 98 quite happily with Office 97 running really fast (compared with modern PCs running 'more advanced' versions of Office). I use XP at work but considering the speed of the PC at work (compared to my home 98 machine), things have NOT improved speed-wise. I've put Office 97 on my work PC because Word 2000 takes about 30 seconds to load and I never use its extra features. If I had the power I would pass a law compelling ALL software developers to use PCs that are at least 5 years old. That way we'd get efficient operating systems and applications that don't necessitate the purchase of a new PC every time a new operating system version comes out. OK, the hardware manufacturers wouldn't like it but it would reduce the landfill problem resulting from the disposal of obsolete PCs.

hpoppe
hpoppe

What you are saying about speed of applications may be true, but to leave a Windows installation un-patched and not follow the upgrades is not a good idea. Windows is inherently insecure. If you don't want the hassle of upgrading/reinstalling/removing viruses/removing spyware etc. etc. You should indeed change the OS that came with the machine. Try Linux instead, you'll be glad you did. Personally I trew Microsoft out three and a half years ago, and I haven't missed it for a singe moment. Linux actually put back the fun in being a network administrator and an IT teacher. Hans Poppe Oslo, Norway

jdbwar07
jdbwar07

I think a better idea would be to force software makers to disclose the existence of any DRM schemes or backdoors in their software, or anything that's designed to let anyone in your computer or send out information you don't authorize. Or better yet, ban them. We don't need another Sony rootkit fiasco, or computers progressing to where they're like other consumer electronics filled with DRM you can't modify.

mrkahatr
mrkahatr

And who exactly will be doing this forcing and banning? What else will they decide to force and ban? Why exactly do you have to modify your consumer electronics?

jdbwar07
jdbwar07

It can be annoying, but keep in mind this forces hardware makers to keep improving and making their products better and faster. Many people who've invested in high-end computers will want to be able to enjoy the features their computers can run. Also, most importantly you don't have to upgrade to Vista. WinXP is still perfectly usable (if not more so). If you really were forced to upgrade to use it, like if Win XP was programmed to stop working once Vista came out, it would be different. That would be a good time to complain (if not call up a good lawyer). However Microsoft should still support Windows XP for several years or more,and all the software you currently use will still work on it. The bottom line is if your hardware won't support it then just don't upgrade

bmckee
bmckee

Thanks Mark for taking one for the editorial team. Sounds like you expected as much. Point well taken... if the upgrade process isn't reliable MS should fix it or scrap it! Can you please clarify tinyang73..."no option of a clean install from an upgrade disk?" Did you use a different disk to clean install Vista? it-zeke: "I vaguely remember I could use installed software from the first install (XP Home) on both." Um, that would be a NO, definately "fogged" memory. foggitt: "a clean installation of Windows (any version)...EVERYTHING slows", "I never change the Windows OS that comes with the PC". Absurd, LOL! I've spent years upgrading hundreds of pcs. Reimaging or installing from scratch is preferable but in-place upgrading has been invaluable. Tip - the manufacturer doesn't have a magic wand to make "the OS" faster, there are several things you should do to optimize the system after installation. wmarr: To many errors and mis-statements to know where to start. Do you even know what the HAL is? bhunsinger: failed to read "I am installing Vista Premium"

Chick_Hazzard
Chick_Hazzard

Wasn't that the computer on that space ship in that movie...Hardware Abstraction Layer... 2001: A space oddessy...one of Kubricks best works...execpt for A Clockwork Orange...and don't forget about the moon landing he directed for NASA...Yes, ladies and gentelmen...it is all a conspiracy...just pony up the dough and get on with it...

ITinAtl
ITinAtl

...as I think you are spot on regarding making sure a newer version works well with older spec'd machines. Of course, we are in a Capitalist country, and that kind of thinking doesn't sit well with people who want to make money at the expense of common sense and decency.

Jrats_Revenge
Jrats_Revenge

I would gladly take a 3.2 GHtz dual core processor over a P2 300 MHtz processor anyday! That would be the prevailing processor 5 years ago. The object here is not to go backwards but embrace technology as it is introduced. There is nothing that a little tweaking and maintenance and a good understanding of the requirements your software requires to work efficiently. I would say that when that office 97 product came out, the basic memory requirement to have it work was 32MB or something but to have it work well you need 2 to 3 times that amount when you take windows and all the other memory usage that machine needs. It is hard to find a board back then that would easily accept a gig of memory without it costing you a small fortune. That is why that office 97 works so well on that XP machine which probably has a decent amount of RAM in it. Just my 2 cents worth...

darinhamer
darinhamer

I bought a computer in early 2001 and it was a 500 Mhz on closeout. They were already coming out with 1 Ghz and had 2 and 3 Ghz in the pipeline. My dad bought a P2 350 Mhz in March 1998. While I like having faster stuff, I think the point the earlier post was making was that developers ought to have 5 year old computers to develop on to make sure that people can use new software and OSs without having to upgrade machines just to have it run slow. Not everyone can afford to upgrade all at the same time. And it would be nice, for a change, to buy a new computer that has a hot processor and all the bells and whistles and have it actually run fast. Instead, you buy the faster processor just so it can run the bloated software without grinding to a complete stop.

jdbwar07
jdbwar07

Five years (late 2001) ago was definitely more advanced than a P2 processor, typical computers in 1999 had Pentium 3 chips with 400 or more mghz. Still, I complete agree with everything you say!

hillman.d
hillman.d

I've worked in the local government doing IT for a number of years. It really is all about politics. Each of our department head wants things done his/her own way. It's not unusual to find some departments running desktop machines with the latest Core Duo machines while some other department languishes with crumbling Windows 2000 machines. On the server end, you'll have quad Xeon Win2k3 VPN, ASP.NET web boxes sitting alongside ancient UNIX boxes.

Dark Force
Dark Force

Having worked in a county government for ~6years now, I can answer any question about why government does what it does. The answer, unfortunately, is POLITICS. With government comes elected officials that want to have total control of their little domains and will spend their money on IT however they want. Sometimes you get some people in power that will let the existing IT staff continue to do their jobs (and life is good), sometimes you get someone that wants to have total control over who gets what equipment and where it is purchased from (this really sucks). As far as Citrix goes, I know we have looked into it and the startup cost of deploying and maintaining it is about the same if not a little higher than purchasing new PCs. Also, with the latter type of elected people in charge, they would not want to let go of the little bit of illusionary control they have. Currently we(IT) have been able to implement a 4yr replacement schedule for all computer equipment, 4-5yr replacement on servers, and 5-6yr on network infrastructure. That is how we were able to upgrade our network to a full WS2K3 AD domain...we had to replace our old NT servers and couldn't get anything but WS2K3 so we migrated all our domains over to the new server OS. If all goes as planned, we should start seeing Vista systems start showing up around the middle of next year.

jeff
jeff

I read all the posts currently on this article and want to throw out how I see OS/computer upgrades. If I could get some comments back that would be great. Software - Windows Vista - In my opinion, this should still be seen as beta. Until corporate America makes the hardware companies push drivers it will not be perfect. In addition, to-date I do not believe there has been a single Windows OS that did a good upgrade right from the get go. Wait till Microsoft upgrades Windows XP and probably Vista with a few more patches. I would guess in about 3-6 months after the consumer release would be a good time to try. Until then wipe and load. Hardware - There seems to be a lot of talk about older computers supporting Vista. Vista can be run on some pretty low specs, but just like a lot of OS's you need to disable anything flashy and of course it still won't be the fastest thing out there, but it will be usable. Questions - In SMB IT we generally make the recommendaton to replace desktops every 3-4 years and server 4-5 years, typically based on warranties and the applications they are running. In most circumstances, the software is not upgraded on the desktops. Upgrades only come from new machines. In an addition, no software is embraced unless it has been in the wild for at least 6 months. In my circles, this type of thinking is standard. Is this common thinking everywhere, or just in my circles? The reason I ask is, the idea of trying to upgrade an older computer to Windows Vista this early on is almost a no brainer. You just don't do it if you base your strategy on the above. The only people wo should be messing with Vista should be those who know it is a testing stage and are ready to wipe and reload numerous times. Oh, and always backup a computer before anything that requires major changes. Software/Hardware - I have never worked in the gov. space, but from what I hear it seems they never want to pay for any type of hardware upgrades and are always way behind on technology. My question is why do these types of organizations not embrace terminal services/Citrix? I know I rambled on and one question isn't directly related to Vista, but if you have opinions either of the above questions, I would love to hear them.

J.Vajda
J.Vajda

I have long worked in Govt and other public sectors (esp in Central Europe) where shelling out dough for the workers is not a prime objective, when cheap government and cheap public services are the catchwords. We struggle with Office 97 which is according to M$ incompatible with Win XP, so we have to accept Office 2007 documents, but haven't the tools, we have O/S form Win95 to WinServer2003 with the exception of WinMe (thanks God!) and nearly all the versions of Office, but upgrades to Office apps and O/S are a tall order in a 200+ pc department. Each and every new product has us testing a non M$ alternative, and it is only the resolve of the Institute heads that is lacking for the move over to Open Source, as in all cases they knuckle under to the people saying their task is NOT Learning Software, but doing their job, they haven't the time or energy to retrain! So, it is lock in the HW/SW wheel of MS/Intel proprietary software, and the lack of incentive. John

ITinAtl
ITinAtl

I think that 5 years might be too long of a backwards period. Your 2 cents is justified. I think, though, that at least a 3 year old machine, once we started truly getting in to the 2+Ghz Proc and easy 1GB on a board, should well handle anything new, otherwise it is just another cost to a company who wants to upgrade software to use new features, tools, etc, but then has to go out and buy their entire staff new PCs to make it all work. It seems rather like an unnecessary hardship to most folks/companies. Now Vista Business could probably run well on a 2Ghz Proc with 512MBs of RAM, but you wouldn't be able to do much else other than run the O/S on it. So now you get another 512MBs of RAM and you can run AV and a few other Apps, but it would probably not be the fastest thing in the world. What to do? Shell out about $500 for a new machine. Now imagine having 400 employees who all want/need to use those new features and tools! Just seems unfair, unreasonable, and rather irrational. But hey - you really want to use that new stuff, you gotta pony up the dough!

hube
hube

When installing anything Windows related my staff and I have decided that the clean install option is always the best. The problems you encountered are not new. They are something to expect with Windows. Sad - but true.

it-zeke
it-zeke

I tried a dual boot of Vista to my compaq R4000. Made a partition. Installed it. It looked pretty. I've only had one other dual boot setup. I vaguely remember I could use installed software from the first install (XP Home) on both. (May be my foggy memory.) But I could not. Did not want to install all my day-to-day programs so I nuked it after a couple of days.