Back in mid October 2007, after an upgrade gone bad, I had to abandon my custom built XP system and purchase an off-the-shelf HP PC with Windows Vista Home Premium. For the most part going from Windows XP to Windows Vista wasn’t too bad. A slight learning curve on the new interface and then of course the UAC (best explained with this Get a Mac ad).
One problem I did not run into was not having certain peripherals not working with Vista. Both my monitor and printer were fairly new and had a ‘Works with Windows Vista’ sticker on them. It took a little work to get my Cable Modem working, but that was just a matter of locating the install disc. Even my Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse which were produced long before Vista was released work fine. The only exception is the included software didn’t work with Vista. I was recently able to locate a newer version of the software that sorta works with Vista. I say sorta because it is not really designed for the mouse and keyboard model I am using.
“Ask not what Vista can do for you, ask what you can buy for Vista!” — Get a Mac: Podium
Crashes and Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) were nonexistent for the first 9 months or so. Then I made the mistake of installing Zone Alarm’s Force Field. Soon as I rebooted and activated the program I was greeted with a BSOD and Vista shut down. After some fighting I was able to remove Force Field from my system, but it was never the same thereafter. One morning I went to start Vista and it crashed on start up. I rebooted went through the whole repair mode bit and thought I had it working. A couple hours later Vista crashed again and would not restart.
I tried everything from running the repair mode to starting in Safe Mode, but I could not get Vista to start normally. It seemed like it would hang on the loading screen. So I was left with no choice but to do a full recovery which meant wiping my C-Drive. Could’ve used some of that Crashy Time Chamomile tea after that.
That wasn’t as bad as it sounded as all my data is stored on two external drives and the more important data is also backed up on a USB Thumb drive. However, I discovered after the recovery what ever caused the Vista crash also wiped out one of the partitions on the primary data drive. The damage wasn’t too bad, as I had backups from about couple weeks prior on the secondary data drive. However, I did lose my Firefox and TBird (which had tons of emails and contacts) profiles.
About a month or so ago I thought I was going to have go through the recovery process again as I had a major crash (might have been cause by a game I had been playing and having too much else running in the background) and Vista seemed to be stalling on the loading screen again. However this time around I left the room to retrieve the install discs I would be needing once I finished with the recovery. I returned to find Vista had moved on from the start-up screen and was loading up my desktop and seemed to be working fine.
About two weeks ago I went ahead and installed SP1 which took about 2-hours to complete the process (the bulk of the time was downloading the update (hate to think if I was on dial-up or satellite). For the most part the update to SP1 seems to have stabilized Vista. I still have an occasional BSOD, but nothing like I was getting prior to the SP1 install. Now there is talk of a SP2 for Vista, hopefully this will work better than SP2 for XP. I had one computer which would crash when trying to install SP2, two others had internet connectivity either restricted or completely blocked after the install.
There are a couple other quirks…my weather widget no longer starts up, not that I use it since I have Weather Bug. Once in a while on start-up it doesn’t pick-up my external data drives or acts like this is the first time they’ve been connected as I am presented with a window of options.
Still Vista is not as bad as portrayed in the Blip.tv Vista Video. Although the UAC is enough to make me want to pull out my hair at times. Hopefully this will be addressed in SP2, but knowing Microsoft…