Windows Vista Catch-All

slashdot wrote:

The New York Times has a piercing analysis of documents from the Vista capable lawsuit. The documents show that Microsoft seems to have put a wrench in Vista's driver situation only at the last minute. 'Late OS code changes broke drivers and applications, forcing key commodities to miss launch or limp out with issues,' said one slide in a Dell presentation dated March 25, 2007, about two months after Vista's launch at retail and availability on new PCs.' We have all heard the lazy vendors don't believe Vista will launch excuses but few of us have heard Steven Sinofsky, chief of Windows development, second and third opinions. 'Massive changes in the underpinnings for video and audio really led to a poor experience at RTM,' he said. 'This change led to incompatibilities. For example, you don't get Aero with an XP driver, but your card might not (ever) have a Vista driver.' Finally, said Sinofsky, other changes in Vista blocked Windows XP drivers altogether. 'This is across the board for printers, scanners, WAN, accessories and so on. Many of the associated applets don't run within the constraints of the security model or the new video/audio driver models.

http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_00257...

Yowch. I don't understand some things, but basically the big manufacturers didn't believe Microsoft would finish Vista in time, and so they didn't bother to make decent drivers, and Microsoft kept changing stuff at the last minute?

Yeah, that sounds rather like a Perfect Storm of Suck/Stupid on all accounts. As someone who put up with a lot of graphics driver issues in the early going, I'm honestly not that upset about it, though. I understand why some people are, but I just don't find revelations like that surprising. They're all business run by people just as fallable as the rest of us. I'm just glad the driver situation has improved as much as it has in the past year. I don't think I've run into a driver-related issue since last summer.

(Note: I'd be *much* more pissed if I bought a newly stickered "Vista Capable" system that wasn't actually Vista capable at all, as appears to have been the case for a lot of people.)
---Todd

Is Vista SP1 really the shot in the arm your Vista system needs? We've spent many hours strapped to our benchmarking system in a caffeine and pizza fueled haze to uncover these very interesting results. In some areas, such as network file copying, Vista SP1 is dramatically faster -- up to 86%.

Our scenario was a home user running Vista Home Premium on a fast, low-latency network with decent PC hardware. All file copy tests were initiated from the main machine. Each system used the latest available vendor (non-Microsoft) drivers and the November release of DirectX. No modifications were made to the operating system, so as to represent as closely as possible the configuration of an OEM machine.

We asked Microsoft why this was and they provided a very detailed technical explanation.

http://apcmag.com/8373/vista_sp1_up_...

86% faster than 'horribly broken' isn't a particularly useful benchmark. Do they have a direct comparison of Vista and XP copy speeds? I don't think I'm seeing one?

I bought an HP DV2000 laptop last winter which was branded "Vista Capable." Windows XP bugged out on me because I screwed with the network settings, and had to reformat so I tried installing Vista Business edition. I had to tweak it quite a bit, but I've become quite satisfied with Vista so far. I dual boot with Ubuntu, but for running basic Windows apps and some games Vista has been working fine for me. Oh, and file copying for me has been just as fast as XP.

I'm thinking about building a new system in the next few months. From what I've read, Vista 64-bit will handle most programs, although you may run into the occasional problem. It appears to me the plusses from 64-bit outweight the negatives. Am I wrong in drawing this conclusion?

My only true issue with Vista 64-bit was the lack of proper 64-bit video codecs and possibly a DVD region free thing to watch my MASH dvds with but aside from that Vista 64-bit is better than 32-bit in terms of response from my expereince.

SP1 does sort a far few issues out, fair play. It's a shame those bugs were there in the first place.

So whats the word on SP1 for this beast?

I had a thread on here awhile ago, got diverted blah blah blah... but now that I am rebuilding my machine again I have a choice of WinXP 64 or Vista Ultimate 64. On some other forums it seems to vary between whoever is actually using it. Some people say it still sux. Others say it works great. And still others say after doing x,y and z it works great.

Any input or should I stick w/ XP ?

Thanks!

PAR

So how hard is Vista to use for someone who doesn't really know/doesnt want to put alot of time into fixing things? Im torn right now on vista.

par wrote:

So whats the word on SP1 for this beast?

I had a thread on here awhile ago, got diverted blah blah blah... but now that I am rebuilding my machine again I have a choice of WinXP 64 or Vista Ultimate 64. On some other forums it seems to vary between whoever is actually using it. Some people say it still sux. Others say it works great. And still others say after doing x,y and z it works great.

Any input or should I stick w/ XP ?

Thanks!

PAR

Is there anything you want in Vista that's not available in XP?

SP1 improved the file transfer issue for me as well as a few other niggles with performance under Windows explorer that I had. It's getting there, I have to admit that, but no at present truly if you have XP, it runs well, and you don't care about DX10, you are fine as you are, unless IE7 freezes for you!

samfisher wrote:

SP1 improved the file transfer issue for me as well as a few other niggles with performance under Windows explorer that I had. It's getting there, I have to admit that, but no at present truly if you have XP, it runs well, and you don't care about DX10, you are fine as you are, unless IE7 freezes for you in which case use Firefox anyway because IE7 freezes and crashes as a matter of course!

Fixed.

again, thank you!!! IE7 wasn't all that bad, it just always seems to be unable to work on my uberbeast of a PC, unless under Vista. I asked a MS engineer about that and it turns out that they learned from fully intergrating IE with the windows explorer thus sometimes, if IE acted funny, windows explorer tends to be flaky as well and therefore IE has been separated under Vista, hence the lack of issues.

Firefox has taken residence on the XP install I have, so yes you faith can be restored now!

My wonderful run of problem free vista seems to have come to an end. I can no longer run anything that calls HL2.exe without getting an error. Tried new vid drivers and a complete uninstall/reinstall of steam. Alas.

I'm sure I could troubleshoot it down, but I can't figure out what might have changed. Sign.

I've been using Vista Home Premium (32-bit) for the last three months and it has been going pretty well. I went from Win2k to Vista so I skipped XP for gaming completely. I like XP, I've been using it since it came out for my work desktop and laptops. My main reason for going to Vista was that games are starting to come out that don't run on Win2k and I felt like if I was going to drop any cash it should be on the newest OS available. I hacked Bioshock and Quake Wars to work on Win2k, but I dedicided it was finally time to "upgrade" after the new NVIDIA drivers stopped supporting Win2k (they could still be installed without the control panel) and iTunes completely dropped support for it after 7.3 (couldn't even install the newer versions).

I spent extra on the Retail version of Vista Home Premium because the license allows for either the 32-bit or 64-bit version to be installed (only 1 install at a time, and you have to order and pay for the media from MS though). Technically you can't replace the motherboard if you buy the OEM version, but I think most people call in and just re-activate it with the excuse that the old motherboard died.

My main problem has been with my audio (I have an Audigy2 ZS). The drivers from Creative's website were horrible. Constant popping, and the sound would completely cut out in Crysis after a few minutes. I found some "custom" drivers from http://nomoregoatsoup.wordpress.com/audigy-drivers/. I don't have audio quality problems, but I still have the problem of my sound volume and speaker settings not saving. Every time I boot my computer I have to turn down the volume (it always defaults to 90) and I have a vbscript that changes the speaker settings from 2/2.1 to headphones in the Creative Console. ALchemy is hit and miss as well. It works in FEAR and KOTOR, but bombs NWN2.

I tried to get used to UAC, but I finally had to turn it off. It was annoying and it wouldn't allow RivaTuner to run on startup on boot even after I marked it as allowed. I don't know how possible it is, but it needs to be way smarter. If I double click on Control Panel, please don't ask me if it it is OK to open Control Panel. If there is an ActiveX control in IE7 trying to write to the registry, please ask me if it is OK.

There are some other minor quirks, like often used programs that show up on the start menu list don't have valid shortcuts half the time. When I goto My Computer and click on Device Manager nothing happens. I have to open up Advanced Computer Properties (not sure if this is the exact name) then click on the Device Manager tab.

Overall it has been good and performance is snappy on my hardware: X2 4200, 8800GTS 320, 2 Gigs RAM.

How has Vista been for retro and semi-retro gaming? I have a new Macbook Pro and am considering installing Vista on it via Boot Camp rather than XP, since I can get Vista Ultimate for under $20 from my university store. My only worry is with regard to compatibility with older games. I basically never stop playing my old games; the first things I plan to install are System Shock 2, Heroes 3, Master of Orion 2, Worms Armageddon, Baldur's Gate, and other games from the 1990's. Has anyone tried playing titles from this era on Vista?

samfisher wrote:

Rabbit, try this:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forum...

Sam Fisher, you're so dreamy. Will you take me to the prom?

(Fixed!)

Sign me up with Rabbit, worked like a charm!

:samlove:

Lobo wrote:

How has Vista been for retro and semi-retro gaming? I have a new Macbook Pro and am considering installing Vista on it via Boot Camp rather than XP, since I can get Vista Ultimate for under $20 from my university store. My only worry is with regard to compatibility with older games. I basically never stop playing my old games; the first things I plan to install are System Shock 2, Heroes 3, Master of Orion 2, Worms Armageddon, Baldur's Gate, and other games from the 1990's. Has anyone tried playing titles from this era on Vista?

I got Sacrifce (2000) up and running with no drama at all, if thats any indication

Staats wrote:

Is there anything you want in Vista that's not available in XP?

DX10

You don't want DX10. Or perhaps you do but so far, the only game that's made serious use of it (Crysis) can be hacked to provide almost the exact same effects in DX9. It turns out most of them were just "locked out" in DX9 mode. That said, World In Conflict uses a special DX10 feature to offer dual-monitor play without a significant performance hit. Haven't tried it myself cause I still have a DX9 card but that would be nice...

Actually I am enjoying Dx10 mode of HG:L very much. But I know it is not very popular

So I thought I'd post a little story for everyone's consideration, a story of something that only happens on Vista. Yesterday, I got a call from a freelance customer. They bought an entry-level Compaq Presario last January that had Vista on it. Athlon64 3800+ X2, 1GB RAM. Nothing special, nothing horrible. The other day, Vista crashed on them while applying an update and the system started blue screening on bootup. I assumed the OS was borked so I took the system home, telling them I'd get their data off it, restore it and put the data back.

First thing I try it booting off my ex-employer's MRI disk which has a Vista-based PE image on it so I can copy the data off. Same blue screen. So I try running the Compaq recovery software which also runs in a Vista PE environment. Same blue screen. So I try booting off one of my Vista setup CDs. Same blue screen. Assuming now that it's a hardware problem, I try to find out where. I run a full PC-Check pass, a multi-hour memory test and run a SpinRite maintenance pass on the hard disk. Everything passes. For some reason, the hard disk in this Compaq will not power up if it is plugged into any SATA bus other than the one in the Compaq system. I've never seen this before and I don't know if this is a fluke or some new stupid thing HP is doing to their systems to keep them locked to their hardware (I wouldn't put it past them) but this means that I have to boot into something on this system or I can't get their data off.

I look up the STOP error on Google and get inconclusive results. Microsoft has no listing for this error and doesn't acknowledge it. Apparently, the only way to fix this problem is to wipe the drive and start over. But the fun part? You can't boot any Vista-based system if this problem exists or they'll crash with the same STOP error. This also includes 100% CD-based PE images, the Compaq recovery software and even the standard Vista setup CDs and that CD is required in order to access Vista's partitioning tool! So what did I have to do? I had to make a new Bart PE CD off my XP system using the XP kernel and I was able to boot off that, copy the customer's data and wipe the drive.

Let me say that again: To recover data from and wipe a Vista hard disk, I had to boot off a CD based on an older operating system because if I booted from any Vista-based CD, the same undocumented STOP error would occur. This is mind-blowing and something only Vista does. My customer has no confidence in it now but they also don't want to spend $150 to buy XP to put on a computer that already had Vista built into the price. Someone at Microsoft should be slapped just for this.

I think I have come across the same problem a few weeks ago. Weird as hell. Initially I put it down to a bad reinstall while I was having hardware issues a couple of weeks prior. In the end I had to basically reboot my machine with a totally different hard drive, install an OS on that, then plug my 'real' HD in an external enclosure to reformat it so I could use it. You couldnt reinstall by booting off the dvd, you'd get the same stupid blue screen as long as that corrrupted HDD was plugged in

If its the same problem I had there is a MS hotfix available but you have to go through all the tech support bull to get it which I had neither the time nor patience for, and reformatting at the time wasnt a huge worry as that install was only a week or so old anyway and I hadnt reloaded much stuff on it. They are rolling the fix into SP1 apparantly but yeesh.

LOTRO is DX10 is cool.

I recently did a fresh format with the newly SP1'd Vista Enterprise (32-bit) technet release in my office. I'm now getting daily memory dumps, where I never had a problem with them before.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Retarded Vista thing..

Wow man, that sucks. A lot.

Well the memo's and such that have been released pretty much sum up the fact that because MS management didn't listen to the people with the knowledge the entire Vista Capable/Vista Ready thing got them a lot of bad reactions.

Couple that bad decision with an MS exec telling the company he'll be there for a long time and then jumping to Amazon prior to Vista shipping and you get what we got.

I haven't had any issues with Vista on the laptop I got it with (I did install Ultimate instead of Home Premium though) but I realize I'm in the minority or so it seems.

If they'd just release PowerPack1 for home server already than I'd be a happy camper.