Windows

Transform Windows Vista into Windows VXP -- the hybrid

Greg Shultz shows those of you who hate Microsoft Windows Vista, but are stuck with it, how to convert Windows Vista into Windows XP by stripping out as many of Vista’s components as possible, thereby making the OS both look and operate more like XP.

In last week's edition of the Windows Vista Report, "Stop Unfairly Comparing Vista to Its Predecessor and Its Successor," the resulting discussion thread quickly filled up with all sorts of chatter about the topic at hand. While respondents weighed in on both sides of the issue, along with the usual interpersonal sniping, an overall analysis of the discussions seems to indicate that there are a whole lot of disgruntled Vista users out there.

Those of you who are using Vista and are adapting to it, seem to be doing OK. However, those in the disgruntled camp, well, you appear to be absolutely miserable. While some have opted to abandon Vista and go back to XP, it would seem that many don't have that option and as such are being forced, against their will, to use Vista when all they want is XP.

Well, I gave it some thought and figured that I would throw those poor folks a bone. In this edition of the Windows Vista Report, I'm going to show those of you who hate Vista but are stuck with it how to convert Windows Vista into Windows XP by stripping out as many of Vista's components as possible, thereby making the OS both look and operate more like XP.

We can even come up with a fancy name for the transformed OS. Let's call it Windows VXP! That way, you can have your cake and eat it too!

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download.

Disable UAC

Since User Access Control will get in our way when transforming Vista to VXP, let's begin by getting rid of UAC. It's a real pain anyway, right? Windows XP doesn't have anything to automatically protect you from inadvertent mistakes or tricky malware; you can do that yourself, so you don't really need UAC. Here's how to disable it:

  1. Access the Control Panel and select Classic View. (That fancy Control Panel Home look is for pansies anyway, right?)
  2. Locate and click User Accounts.
  3. Select the Turn User Account Control on or off and respond appropriately to the UAC.
  4. Clear the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Restart Windows.

With UAC out of the way, we're free to disable all sorts of Vista features without any stupid warning messages. Yea!

Disable notification balloons

After you disable UAC, you'll be nagged to death by a notification balloon whose message will constantly remind you that you have disabled UAC. To get rid of that, and all notification balloons for that matter, you'll need to perform a little registry edit. Here's how:

  1. Access the Run dialog box, type Regedit in the Open text box and click OK.
  2. Locate the following key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

    Click on the right-hand pane.
  3. Pull down the Edit menu and select the New | DWORD (32-bit) Value command.
  4. Name the new key EnableBalloonTips.
  5. Make sure the value is set to 0.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Log off and then back on.

Editor's Note: The Windows Registry is vital to the operating system. Before editing the Windows Registry you should take a few moments to back up the Registry for safekeeping.

Disable Windows Defender

Because Windows Defender is built in to the operating system, it more than likely should be considered part of the overall bloatware problem. Besides, Windows XP doesn't come with a built-in spyware tool, does it? No, so let's get rid of Windows Defender too. Here's how:

  1. Access Windows Defender on the Start | All Programs menu.
  2. Click the Tools button.
  3. Click Options in the Settings section.
  4. Clear the following check boxes:
    • Automatically scan my computer
    • Use real-time protection
    • Scan the contents of archived files and folders for potential threats
    • Use heuristics to detect potentially harmful or unwanted behavior by software that hasn't been analyzed for risks
    • Create a restore point before applying actions to detected items
    • Use Windows Defender
  5. Click Save.
  6. Access the Run dialog box, type Services.msc in the Open text box, and click OK.
  7. Locate and click the Windows Defender service.
  8. Select Disabled in the Startup type drop-down list, click the Stop button, and then click OK.

You can install your favorite third-party antispyware tool later.

Disable TCP/IPv6 & the Topology Discovery Mapper

By default Vista comes with TCP/IP v6 installed even though almost no one is using it yet. Windows XP doesn't have IP v6 installed, so you really don't need it in VXP. Vista also comes with a fancy network mapping and troubleshooting feature that we can remove. Since XP works fine without this stuff, then VXP won't need them either. Here's how to disable it:

  1. Access the Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Select Manage Network Connections in the Tasks pane.
  4. Right-click on Local Area Connection/Wireless Network Connection and select Properties.
  5. Clear the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) check box.
  6. Clear the Link Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver check box.
  7. Clear the Link Layer Topology Discovery Mapper Responder check box.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Access the Run dialog box, type Services.msc in the Open text box, and click OK.
  10. Locate and click the Link Layer Topology Discovery Mapper service.
  11. Select Disabled in the Startup type drop-down list, and if it is started, click the Stop button.
  12. Click OK

Turn off special Vista features

Vista comes with a bunch of special features and games that XP doesn't have. Having all this extra stuff in Vista is just bloatware anyway, right? Here's how to get rid of it:

  1. Access the Control Panel.
  2. Click Programs and Features.
  3. Select Turn Windows Features on or off in the Tasks pane.
  4. Clear the check boxes adjacent to any Vista options in your version that are turned on. For example:
    • Expand the Games branch and clear the check boxes next to all of the Vista games such as Chess Titans, Ink Ball, Mahjong Titans, or Purble Place.
    • Expand the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 branch and clear the check box next to XPS Viewer.
    • Expand the Print Services branch and clear Internet Printing Client check box.
    • Clear the Remote Differential Compression check box.
    • Clear the Tablet PC Optional Components check box.
    • Clear the Windows DFS Replication Service check box.
    • Clear the Windows Meeting Space check box.
    • Clear the Windows Ultimate Extras check box.
  5. Click OK and wait for the features to be turned off.
  6. Restart Windows

Disable Automatic Defragging

In Windows XP, you had control over how and when your hard disk needed to be defragged, so take back that control in VXP. Here's how:

  1. Access Disk Defragmenter (Start|All Programs|Accessories|System Tools).
  2. Clear the Run on a Schedule check box.
  3. Click OK.

Enable the Explorer menu bar

By default, Vista hides the standard menu bar (File, Edit, View, Tools, and Help). However, it has always been a part of Windows Explorer, so you probably want to put it back in VXP. Here's how:

  1. Access the Control Panel.
  2. Click Folder Options.
  3. Select the View tab.
  4. Select the Always Show Menus check box.
  5. Click OK.

Disable the new Start menu

As you know, the Start menu was completely revamped in Vista. However, in XP the Start menu was basically the same as its predecessors, and it has always worked just fine. Fortunately, you can turn back time and revert the new fangled Start menu to the good old-fashioned one. Here's how:

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Properties.
  2. Select the Classic Start menu option.
  3. Click OK.

Disable the Taskbar thumbnails

Chances are that those pesky thumbnails that pop up whenever you hover over the Taskbar really annoy you. Here's how to disable them:

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and choose Properties.
  2. Clear the Show Window Previews check box.
  3. Click OK.

Disable the Sidebar

Gadgets, who needs them. They just waste resources and screen real estate. Here's how you can disable the Sidebar and get rid of those inane gadgets:

  1. Right-click in the Sidebar and choose Properties.
  2. Clear the Start Sidebar when Windows Starts check box.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Right-click in the Sidebar again and choose Close Sidebar.

Disable Visual Effects

Vista is really packed with useless eye candy. Here's how you can get rid of all of it:

  1. Access the Control Panel.
  2. Locate and click System.
  3. Select Advanced System Settings in the Tasks pane.
  4. Click the Settings button in the Performance panel.
  5. On the Visual Effects tab, select the Custom option, and clear every check box in the list.
  6. Click OK.

Disable Aero

Once you disable all the visual effects, the goofy transparent, smooth-looking windows generated by the Aero user interface are gone, and the good old solid boxy windows are back. Here's how to make sure Aero won't reappear:

  1. Access the Run dialog box, type Services.msc in the Open text box, and click OK.
  2. Locate and click the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service.
  3. Select Disabled in the Startup Type drop-down list, click the Stop button, and then click OK.

Delete unnecessary shortcuts

While there doesn't appear to be a way to uninstall some of the other native Vista applications that aren't a part of XP, you can delete the shortcuts from the Start menu. That way you won't be tempted to run them. For example, you can delete the following shortcuts:

  • Windows Calendar
  • Windows Contacts
  • Windows Defender
  • Windows DVD Maker
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows Photo Gallery

Voila! It's Windows VXP!

When you get done with this last step, you will be looking at and using Windows VXP. Sure there are probably other services and Vista features that you can strip from the operating system, but after performing the steps in this article, you are well on your way. If you know of any other things that can be removed from the operating system to make it more like XP, stop by the discussion area and let us hear from you.

TechRepublic's Windows Vista Report newsletter, delivered every Friday, offers tips, news, and scuttlebutt on Vista development, as well as a look at new features in the latest version of the Windows OS. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

207 comments
pwiecek
pwiecek

My biggest gripe about Vista Explorer is the format of the search results. Is there a way to get the full path, listed in order rather than having the last folder first, follwoed by the rest of the path?

glacken45
glacken45

I think parts of this article are good and helpful, but I detect a glib, sarcastic tone to most of it, as if users who prefer XP are old-fashioned, or dinosaurs. I would like to see more real tips, like tweaks that even power users use on XP. Also, some tasks appear impossible on Vista, but I'm sure they are not. I'm an administrator, but Vista will NOT let me browse other users file system areas (Documents & Settings equivalent). I must do this to keep the system safe and clean and help other family members. Calling up the new permissions screens with their "objects" and "inherited powers" is scary to mess with if you don't know how it works (and Microsoft is very good at not telling you how it works).

tctallon
tctallon

I am a home based user not a tech. I am interested in streamlining Vista. I began to have DMV.ex problems with a corrupted SLWGA.dll file shortly after Windows defender scanned. I now have to reload window Vista Basic. Is it possible to do leave some of the Vista programs running? I like the sidebar and really enjoy the gadgets on the screen. I don't care for Defender. What would you suggest I do from this list to eliminate as much as possible but keep the sidebar. Is that possible?

Dennis5900
Dennis5900

Vista took the perfectly-working multiple file renaming capability of Window XP and completely screwed it up. For example, In XP Windows Explorer you could highlight a list of 10 photos, right-click the top one, rename it "photo (44).jpg", hit 'enter', and you would have a list of photos, with "photo (44).jpg at the top ~ where you wanted it ~ and "photo (53).jpg" at the bottom. I used this feature extensively. Vista has messed this up and I want the XP capability back. How do I do that? Thanks for any help you care to offer.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Chuckle, there is a lot of tongue in cheek in your article. Certainly Vista has some worthy additional features as compared to Windows XP. But it also has its problems and issues. Are the advantages of Vista sufficient to warrant a user making the switch as compared to the disadvantages? Very much a case by case decision. In my case, I'm not switching for some time yet to come. The advantages of Vista as compared to XP are NOT significant enough, as of right now, for me to put up with the disadvantages. But that was much the same as in times past. I skipped ME altogether. Tried out Win 2000 for a short while but then dropped it. And reverted back to Win98SE. Stayed with that for years before making the switch to XP. Made the switch to XP, slowly, reluctantly, and ONLY after MS had made numerous fixes, got the kinks worked out, and there were significant applications made that would not run, or wouldn't run well, on 98SE which I actually WANTED to use. New, fancy, GeeWhiz screens, etc don't do it for me. I USE a computer for getting work done. Any added features of a new OS must be features that I personally have a need and use for. And must be of a nature so as to make my work significantly faster, and/or easier, etc ... or I'm probably not gonna be interested. Period. Currently, XP with certain selected additional apps loaded, accomplishes everything for me that Vista would ... that I give a rip about. It's stable, enough. I haven't had a serious crash yet. And only the occasional, maybe 3 or 4 times a year, lockup where I need to invoke Task Manager and shut something down. But then, I am very careful about what apps I install and pick to use. Don't hang around web sites likely to host those pesky little bugs and such that many others run into. Regularly, every couple of months, run Crap Cleaner, a few other cleaners, and manually do a bit of house cleaning to keep things tidied up. Have an anti-virus app running all the time and keep it updated. Etc. Works fine, lasts a long time. Just the way I like things. Was the same back when I used 98SE. Had all the updates for it. Several add-ons and mods that eliminated almost all of its issues. Kept a clean house. Had no problems. And yes, I am familiar with Vista. More so than I'd like, actually. We don't use it at work, probably won't for at least another couple years, if ever. But I have friends and family who have Vista and use it. And like probably most folks who hand around Tech Republic, I am the GoTo Guy amongst family and friends when it comes to computer problems. Whether I like it or not. LOL .... So on a routine basis for numerous months now, I've been having people bring their puters and their tales of woe, with Vista loaded on them. So I've more or less been forced into a learning experience. I don't think Vista is all that bad (nor am I particularly impressed with it). Most troubles that've been brought to me involve things like: "Geez, its slow. Can yah do anything to speed it up?" Yep, most times. But I can't make it run as fast as XP ... and XP doesn't run as fast as a couple older computers I have about the house for the grandkids, visiting friends, and so forth which have 98SE (modified) running on them. "Uh, uncle ... I can't get such and such app to run on Vista. I LIKE that app. Can yah help me out?" Sometimes I can, sometimes not. Depends. And, of course, there is the all time favorite ... "Uhhh, I'm not new to Windows. But this Vista works entirely differently than what I'm used to. I used to know how to do X, Y, and Z. But I'll be darned if I can figure out how to do it on Vista. Maybe it can't?" Nope, I haven't found anything yet that other versions of Windows do that Vista can't do. (That the folks who come to me actually want to do) But there are significant numbers of things yah might want to do that have to be done differently using Vista. So I spend time re-training some family and friends on the NEW way. They're not always pleased with that, BTW. Often ask me if there is some way I can make things work like they used to work. Sometimes I can, sometimes not. Most computer users, who're not computer and gadget geeks, just want to use their computer for whatever purposes they use one. Once they've figured out how to launch a favored browser to visit favored sites. Operate favored email app so they can read, reply to, and file away mail they wish to keep. Pull up favored app that contains their long worked upon and added to recipes file when getting ready to prepare special holiday dinner. Etc. They tend to want those things to remain constant. So they can just DO IT, without thinking about the computer or operating systems at all. Fingers operate by memory; there is what they're looking for, or there ... the task is done. They DON'T want to have to relearn new ways, keystrokes, mouse clicks, etc every time MS or whomever decides to make major changes and publish a new OS or other app which user will be using to do precisely the same things they were doing before. Personally, I think MS would have been ahead of the game and would have gotten fewer complaints if they'd just included some "Click Here" button somewhere that would have reverted GUI back to the look and feel of XP. Even if the underlying engine stayed Vista, and durned OS still ran a bit slower, while requiring more resources, than XP. I think a lot of complainers would have been more inclined to just put up with it then, and even have been willing to learn more about it and the offered new features. At least then, it would be only half the re-learning chore. I still think the way they implemented the UAC is a PIA, tho. It's about as bad as that stupid, pop-up and get in the way Help Wizard they used to have. I'll adopt Vista ... someday. Not soon, tho. Or maybe not, depends on how this Win 7 or whatever comes along. I'm not the only one waiting. Several manufacturers of some proprietary software we use at work have not yet bothered to rewrite their stuff to work on Vista. (The stuff currently does not) And they're not sure when and if they will. A major and expensive undertaking. They've also adopted a "wait and see" attitude towards the matter.

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

especially for some of us who enjoy running Vista but only have access to older Hardware. I can get by just by disabling these features. Disable notification balloons Disable the new Start menu Disable the Sidebar Disable Visual Effects Disable Aero To stop UAC Nagging if you have to turn it off try this. Navigate to Control Panel and Windows Security. Click on Change the way Security Center alerts me, you have 3 choices.

phantom
phantom

Hi and best wishes to everybody from Dublin Ireland. A comment and a question. My first OS was WIndows 3.1 !!! I've had every edition since, currently it's Vista Home Premium. I've always regarded WIndows as a place you go on the way somewhere else......until Vista!!! When I was supplied my new Dell XPS laptop with Vista I did not think it to be such a big deal, until I tried to install my software. 1) Corel Draw - not working! 2) Office 97 - not working! 3) Flight Simulator - not working! 4) Creative MP3 Organiser - not working! Internet Explorer 7 no longer displaying Oriental language characters! Replacing software would cost me as much as my new PC!!! Thanks a bunch Microsoft, if this is progress, let me stay here in the dark ages!!! My question: If I were to strip back Vista to emulate XP, would my "old" software run? Thanks in advance if anyone can answer this. Best wishes Jim

ashamess
ashamess

Best article of the year, hands down !! I have always thought you underestimated the anger and resentment of terrific IT's , Professionals and business users who were stuck with or inadvertently bought Vista. As I have always said, it's a terrific gaming platform, ( my kids love it ! ) but have a handy machine with XP if you need to run a business and make money in a secure and predictable enviornment. Thanks Greg for a great article, it's going to go a loooong way to helping some poor souls to get their sanity back. I'll be forwarding it to a lot of people!! Albie, Victoria, BC

charleswalters5538
charleswalters5538

Vista basic anyone Anybody that thinks all versions of Vista include Aero, Ultimate Extras (ultimate version only) and most most of the features that are being removed does not know the first thing about Vista. It would be cheaper (approx $100) and easier to buy Vista Basic than to turn Vista Ultimate into Vista Basic. And why would you use Vista Ultimate at work when Vista Business or Enterprise is better suited for the job. I use all of the features of Vista Ultimate except UAC which I disable but I have a new Quad core computer with 4gb of ram and it runs Vista faster and is much more secure and stable than when I had XP Pro on it.

sura.jan
sura.jan

Which processor and how much memory does such "Vista" need to run (in comparison to XP)?

madmalc567
madmalc567

I think there's a tongue firmly in cheek somewhere round here

Tim Tams
Tim Tams

all this UI development is just a waste of processor cycles... for some reason, i'm having trouble getting NT 3.5.1's classic progman.exe to be my shell on vista x64... i wonder if i can install vista in 'core' mode???

toyotadyna
toyotadyna

I did all that and still didn't like it. I worked out all your suggestions for myself, with that bloody silly UAC the first to go. Even with those changes, Vista is still slower than XP on the same PC and takes twice as long to boot up. I tried Vista for a while and went back to XP One of my pet hates is the way Windows Explorer works. there's extra work/clicks to see what is in a folder. With XP and the 2-pane Win Explorer view, as I scroll down the drives and folders, using the cursor keyboard keys, the contents are shown in the right pane. Vista needs an extra action (Click or press Enter) in the left pane to see the folder contents. This involves a fair bit of unnecesary extra work when looking at, say 20 or so folders.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I like slipstreaming my systems. Is there a way to build a script or add and use PowerShell to create an automated script to do all this? Everyone here loves the changes and I will have my hands full trying to do this for everyone.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

You don't really do anything here to optimize performance, you leave services running you don't need and in the end create the same nightmare that xp was. Everything you do will have a negative impact on system performance in more ways than I care to enumerate, please don't post things like this, it just makes you look bad, on top of it being a repost of things other people have already written.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

Your article should be titled, 'how to remove all security from windows vista.'

chiposaur
chiposaur

Anyone ever figure out how to turn this crap off? i have an nvidia video card with 512mb and i neither need nor want vista doing me the favor of giving it another 760mb of my 2g system memory. Even if it is smart enuf to free that ram up for system use when it needs, that's beyond the point . . . i don't want the system even thinking about using system ram for video.

fsevick
fsevick

Great article. Just what I was searching for. Takes the bloat out of Vista.

moe_rogerson
moe_rogerson

Wow! Agree with your position or you get cheeky, right? Throw us a bone, right? All I know is that if my company shipped a product as bloated and full of bugs as Vista, we'd soon be consumed by our competitors. Maybe Microsoft hasn't yet heard of Linux...?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

While you explain a registry hack, is it not in both your own and TR's best interests to add the standard "backup your registry" disclaimer?

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Can't you just click on the column headings to sort the list by whichever column you want it sorted by? Rick

seanferd
seanferd

A lot of other people misunderstood it in a completely opposite fashion. The author is a good guy. As to Vista on networks, and Microsoft's information on such: You said it, buddy! And the MS website is harder to navigate every day. Could you take me straight to the Knowledge Base, please? God only knows what the TechNet CDs are like now. Or maybe they are the only way to find an answer.

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

highlight all the files and then right click on the first one and select rename. Give it a name and then press the TAB key.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

That most companies buy sh1t notebooks and computers from retail outlets that sell to home users, because its cheaper that way. They all come packaged with versions that are nto designed for business, just as the PC is not either, slow HD's, no hardware standardization etc. A good business PC vendor will offer an entirely different line of hardware from the same, bg name manufacturer's than you can find at Bet Buy, FS etc. Tseted custom BIOS that is suited ot teh exact hardware installed, faster drives, more reliable and valuable hardware all throughout. They cost three times as much though so most companies, and IT staff trygin to fit a tight budget will just pick up an off the shelf system. Face it, if you need a heavy duty work truck, you don't roll into a local Ford dealer and buy a new one off the lot. It is ordered with high end, heavy duty features from the factory as they don't stock custom builds that don't sell to Joe customer. That's why some guys end up driving (and killing) and F-250 for two years of work, while others drive and still have an F-450 SuperDuty after six years hard work. You need to buy what fits the job, and home boxes/retail PC's just aren't designed for heavy workloads. They are also cheaper for just that reason.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Did you expet it to be less than XP? XP requriede a crap load more processor power to operate than Win2K, due to the bloated Fisher Price GUI. One thing for sure, if you DO get newer hardware, Vista manages dual and quad core processing FAR better than XP does. They didn't even consider the need when they designed XP, it was designed for single core processors, if you can still find one of those.

charleswalters5538
charleswalters5538

Vista basic needs a minimun of 512mb of ram and 800mhz processor and Vista Ultimate needs 1gb of ram and a fairly powerful graphics card to run the Aero interface

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"Everything you do will have a negative impact on system performance in more ways than I care to enumerate,..." Enumerate, please. How do these steps have a negative impact? How can a system fail to run faster when it's running fewer services and reduced graphics?

jmciuffini
jmciuffini

As a disgruntled user of Vista on a laptop, I find the transformation better than excellent! One more pita ( pain in the A*) is the rendering of thr Free Cell cards and the way it is played on vista. Not earth shattering, but a big annoyance as vista itself. Solution: move frecell.exe and cards.dll from your XP system to vista ( system 32 ) in both cases. Works just fine. They should have named it Windows Virus not Vista. I have to say that 1/2 Gb on my Xp system isi much faster and more friendly than the 1.5 GB of Vista 'junk'. Joe C

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

to include the suggestion that you also include a link to instructions on how to do the backup.

pwiecek
pwiecek

When I use the search i would like the results to appear like this: Filename C:\Folder1\Folder2\Folder3 What I get (Used to get, I'm back on XP) is this: Filename Folder3 (C:\Folder1\Folder2) Its very annoying to try to find the file this way.

Dennis5900
Dennis5900

Thanks for the reply, but this does not do the trick. Under my example scenario, here's what happens to me: Let's say I have 10 files in chronological order with the oldest at top. I highlight the 10 files, right-click the top file and type "photo (44).jpg". I want the name of the oldest file to be "photo (44).jpg". Then I hit [tab]. (whether I hit [tab] or [enter] does not seem to affect the outcome) Vista does this to me: It changes the name of the NEWEST file in the group to "photo (44).jpg", then it changes the oldest file to "photo (2).jpg"; the second-oldest to "photo (3).jpg"; etc. XP did not screw up the order like this. I could start re-naming with whatever number I wanted, and it would sequentially rename files starting from that point. I want my photo names to be 44 through 53, and Vista just won't do it. Any other thoughts? Thanks!

DNSB
DNSB

Odd, we buy our hardware from "big name" manufacturers. It doesn't seem to cost us three times as much as an equivalent system at Future Shop, Best Buy, London Drugs, whatever -- in point, the last batch of 200 desktops we bought actually cost us about 10% less than the equivalent. The hard drives are the same industry standard speed, nothing special there. The BIOS code doesn't seem to be anything special -- checking the Lenovo website for the system I'm using to post this comment shows the BIOS is used for a group of 7 similar models. Now if you were talking server room equipment, there the cost is higher but so are the expectations for reliability. As for heavy workloads, the average home gamer is a much more demanding user than the majority of our users. No high end video cards for most other than the graphics, animation and video people who are mostly Mac users in any event, no overclocked water cooled systems, nothing special in the lines of hardware, memory, etc. David Hmm.... -8 degrees in Vancouver today. By local standards, pretty chilly. Heck, my roses may not be blooming this Christmas.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Your question is all over the net, nobody seems ot have an answer. The best i found is that you can limit the shared RAM to aminimum from eth BIOS, 128MB I believe is teh least you can have, and the card does the rest. Note though; I do think Vista's memory management will not allocate that RAM unless needed. It will earmark it, but not use it until th egraphics card begs for mroe RAM, other than that I think it is still used for system RAM, even though it shows itself as available video memory. Good question and if you ever DO figure out a sure answer, please share it.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I just figured a heads up may save some headaches if someone decides to play the blame game on TR and your name was on it.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

>No, what it comes down to is that another trait of an apologist is the burning desire to get the last word. Are you saying that if I continue to reply to your messages, I must be an apologist because I am trying to get the last word? And if you continue to reply to my messages, what does that make you? I am not apologizing for anything, since there is nothing for me to apologize for. I don't work for Microsoft, I didn't have anything to do with the way Vista was designed or built. So it is hardly my place to apologize for any imperfections Vista may have. >And before you bother, still another trait is the DENIAL that they're trying to get the last word. I am willing to continue a discussion, if you so desire, but I suppose if I do continue, then I'll be accused of trying to get the last word in. So fine, I'll say I AM trying to get the last word. I am not denying it. So what does that prove? >BTW, what are the specs on these wonder machines that run Vista at a reasonable speed? I suppose that depends on your definition of "reasonable." If it's anything like your definition of "broken," then I can't answer your question because I don't understand your definitions. In my experience, the key with Vista is that it really needs at least 2 GB of RAM to run well without a lot of paging. So, for example, if you try to compare XP to Vista on a machine that only has 1 GB of RAM, Vista will seem considerably slower because it is constantly paging, and paging has a severe impact on system performance. Adding another 1 GB of RAM to same machine will make Vista run substantially better - to the point that it won't seem much different than XP. Of course, it goes without saying that Vista needs SP1 installed to run well. Before SP1 it did have some issues that caused things to hang up and get sluggish. My son's PC is rather old. It has a 3.4 GHz single core P4 CPU and 2 GB of RAM. It has both Vista and XP in a dual-boot setup so he can boot it either way. I haven't run any performance benchmarks, or attempted to do any measurements on his computer, so I don't have exact numbers, but for general use, there doesn't really feel like there is a significant difference in how fast things load under XP vs. Vista, etc. He always uses Vista over XP, so obviously he does not feel there is any significant penalty to using Vista. My main PC has an Intel Q6600 Quad Core CPU overclocked to 3.0 GHz and 6 GB of Corsair RAM. This is the fastest computer I have access to and it is substantially faster than my son's computer or any of the older computers I have that still run XP. My computer is dual-boot with 32 bit and 64 bit Vista, but no XP. So I can't do any direct comparisons to XP on that computer. I can tell you that Vista on my computer is WAY FASTER than XP on any other computer I have, but of course that is not a fair comparison, since I don't have any other computers that are anywhere near as fast. >Have you tried loading XP on one of them and seeing if there is a significant speed increase? Or is it the memory that Vista allows that makes the difference? My son's computer is the only computer I personally have that is set up to go back and forth between Vista and XP. There is no question that Vista will run poorly on a computer with less than 2 GB of RAM. My understanding is that Vista is better able to take advantage of more RAM (especially 64 bit Vista) and it is better able to take advantage of multi-core CPUs. In some of the performance comparisions I've seen on the video editing forums, there is no question that 64 bit Vista's ability to fully utilize more than 3 GB of RAM, compared to 32 bit XP, was a huge factor in the performance improvement. Some of these guys are doing stuff with HD video and high resolution still images, etc., and that obviously benefits from having lots of RAM - again, it's back to the paging issue I mentioned earlier. If you're trying to do something that requires 4 or 5 or 6 GB of RAM, and you only have 3 GB, your system is going to be paging like crazy and it will take forever to get anything accomplished. However, in other cases, I've seen where people are doing more "normal" video work, and still they report that rendering goes faster under Vista, because Vista is better able to fully utilize their dual and quad core CPUs than XP does. Of course, it seems like you really have to be doing something pretty intensive to really see much of a difference at all. Computers are so fast these days that it can be hard to tell when something takes 20 milliseconds on one OS while it takes 30 milliseconds on the other OS. Rick

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]BTW, what are the specs on these wonder machines that run Vista at a reasonable speed? Have you tried loading XP on one of them and seeing if there is a significant speed increase? Or is it the memory that Vista allows that makes the difference?[/i] System Specifications: Dual socket Xeons (32bit, 3.06 Ghz, hyper threading enabled), 3.2 GB of OCZ RAM (Clocked at 2-3-2-5 @ 2.8V), AGP ATI 3850 Graphics card, 36 GB raptor drive. A TR peer recently decided to answer your questions and used the system above to compare various configurations of XP and Vista. For the most part, there were no significant speed differences between XP SP3 and Vista SP1. The original discussion is here: http://tinyurl.com/bzauef Edit: added links from THIS THREAD! http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=280781&messageID=3010991 http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=280781&messageID=2661769

pwiecek
pwiecek

No, what it comes down to is that another trait of an apologist is the burning desire to get the last word. And before you bother, still another trait is the DENIAL that they're trying to get the last word. Undoubtedly I will eventually be dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Vista (or possibly Windows 7) when something I want to use wont run on XP (or runs significantly better on Vista). Especially since I can't get 64 bit XP anymore. BTW, what are the specs on these wonder machines that run Vista at a reasonable speed? Have you tried loading XP on one of them and seeing if there is a significant speed increase? Or is it the memory that Vista allows that makes the difference?

seanferd
seanferd

Yeah, if that column isn't added to the display pane, I suppose that would do it. "In Folder" would be the XP column header equivalent, then. Not sure of the Vista nomenclature, if changed.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

What he really needs to do is right-click on the column headings and add a column called "Folder path." This displays the folder path the way he wants it. Rick

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

>Have you noticed that when some people say something like "I guess I am dumb..." what they're really implying is "I guess YOU are dumb..." No, I haven't noticed that. I guess where the confusion comes from is that your original claim was that "Vista is broken in many ways" - or something to that effect. In my mind, that statement means that it is actually BROKEN, i.e. not working, not usable, not functional at all, for anyone. As I stated in response to the private e-mail you sent me, if you go to the car dealer and test drive a car and find that you don't like the car, you don't go back and tell the salesman the car is broken. You tell him you don't like the car. So far, all I'm hearing from you is that your definition of "Vista is broken in many ways" is "I don't like the way the search results are displayed." While you keep insisting that you not liking something means that it is broken, I have to disagree. Can I give you a reason why they changed this? No, I can't. Is the new way the best possible way for everyone? Probably not. But is "Vista broken in many ways," just because of this one minor change? NO. What it really seems to come down to is that you have your mind made up that you don't want to learn Vista, but rather than admit it, you make up all these claims about it being "broken" in order to justify your unwillingness to spend a few hours learning something new. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common thread among the Vista bashers of the world. It's too bad that people like this have the nerve to call themselves IT Professionals. Rick

seanferd
seanferd

Explore My Computer or My Docs. At any rate, find the Organize (I think) menu item, then Folders and Search. I think you'd need to enable "Classic Folders" and "Show full path". Again, I don't play around a lot with Vista, but something in those options settings should get you sorted, if possible. Why did they change it? Dumbing it down (AKA an incarnation of "user friendly"). And since we have 'breadcrumbs', we don't need to know paths, or have an "up one level" button, right? Paths would just confuse people using Libraries and Virtual Folders.

pwiecek
pwiecek

Have you noticed that when some people say something like "I guess I am dumb..." what they're really implying is "I guess YOU are dumb..." Well, if its one of us, I'm pretty sure its not me. Sometimes I want to see the relative locations of files. You could do that with XP at a glance. You usually didn't even have to READ the path because the pattern of the text told you what was where. The old format for the path, starting at the root and listing all the folders in order has worked perfectly well for decades. Can you give me ONE good reason for the change? I don't mean "It works OK if you do it THIS way." I mean a concrete example of why listing the path with the folders out of order (broken is a word I might use) is better than the industry standard?

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I still don't understand your complaint. If the file you want to find shows up in your search results, then isn't it "found?" What else do you need? If you need to open the folder where the file is, all you have to do is right-click on the file in the search results and select "Open file location." This will open a new Explorer window in the folder where the file is located. So if your concern is that you can't interpret the folder location easily from the search result, this should make it easy for you. Or maybe you are saying you just want it to look exactly the same as in XP, and you find it annoying because it is not exactly the same as what you are accustomed to? Rick

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

you may have to use third party tools. It's a step backward but a workaround at least until M$ fixes the problem.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

And I thank you for the suggestion - it was a good one.

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