on February 5, 2007
Wow, I don't even know where to begin. Here's the horrifying details (so far)...
1. Installation. I heard the rumors about long installations. I can't tell you how long mine took because it finished sometime after I went to bed, about six hours after I had started.
2. Internet. This one almost brought me to tears. Vista kept setting up two network connections, one to my wireless network, and one to a mysterious "unidentified network." The troubleshooter told me Vista had two active connections and that was causing the problem. Simple right? Disable the "unidentified network" connection. Poof, there went my wireless with it. Enable my wireless, back comes the mystery network. I actually knocked out wireless to my entire house at one point in this circle of doom. Finally, as a stab in the dark, I manually disabled all network adapters on my machine except the wireless adapter. And that's why I'm able to write this review now...
3. Incompatibility. I knew there would be problems. Norton Ghost was good as gone, but I knew that. Then my antivirus turned out to be a no go. A few other applications would surely need upgrades. But ITUNES??? Come on! I could also list the games that used to run but no more, but this review is already getting long enough.
4. Hiding my stuff. I no longer own my My Music folder. I mean, Vista security TELLS me I'm the owner, but "permission is denied." I found a workaround on Microsoft's website "...sometimes you may lose access to your My Music folder during the upgrade." Oh that's lovely. By digging into the deep hidden folders per their instructions I found my music, and copied it to the desktop. At one point the file copy dialog box said "Moving files, 44,519 days remaining." I wish I was making that up. Fortunately Vista was over-estimating that a little.
5. New Features that don't work. I paid the extra dough and bought the premium version of Vista. The aero look is very cool. For about 3 minutes. Then I get a message saying "The desktop manager has stopped working." And I'm back to Vista Basic. That extra $50 may not have been money well spent.
6. The new Media Player won't play my newly rescued songs. It tells me it thinks many of my songs are on the I: drive. (I don't have an I: drive)
7. Things can get awful slow. My machine is four months old. It's dual-core, 2 Gig of memory, dual graphics cards, top of the line mobo. Under XP it flew. It wasn't broke. So I upgraded to Vista, you know, to break it.
Okay, that's enough. You get the idea. I had a few small XP gripes so I thought I'd try Vista. Bad mistake. Big ugly bad mistake. Vista may be great someday, but for me it's been 72 hours of hell.
At least I can uninstall, can't I... I can't? D'OH!!!
(And yes, I used the Vista Upgrade Advisor)
on February 3, 2007
I made this comment (now edited) to someone else's review, but for potential buyers, seems like it ought to be a review of its own:
For me, upgrading to Vista from the factory installed Windows XP Media Center Edition didn't work as promised. My system is compulsively up-to-date. I ran the Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft AND from Sony, and both said my system was fine, good-to-go. Upgrade away.
So I inserted the Vista Home Premium Upgrade version disc, but it wouldn't install, kept shutting down, requiring that I input the Product ID over and over and over, not getting past 21% of the Expanding Files section. A post on one of the Amazon boards mentioned NOT inserting the Product ID until after the installation and selecting the Custom instead of Upgrade option. Oddly, that worked. Vista installed.
It is a beautiful thing. I want it. Someday I hope to have it.
But it wouldn't activate, said I had to have the full version Vista Home Premium, not the upgrade version. After scanning my system, it couldn't tell me that during the "Advisor" stage? Resigned to a quagmire, I took the upgrade version back to the store (CompUSA). They wouldn't accept it (no returns of open software). Bright light of hope, the tech manager PROMISED that the Home Premium Upgrade already in my hands would, in fact, work fine on the factory installed XP system. (His name is Abel, but I think maybe he isn't.)
All I had to do? Restore my computer to factory condition (Sony VIAO desktop RA910G) then reinstall the Vista. Since all the updates, drivers and files were current, with documents securely backed up, I decided, what the heck -- worst thing that happens is my computer is fresh and new.
Not exactly. Same boat. And on top of the Vista STILL not installing, I have my computer back to factory condition, meaning that years of security and software updates are re-required. The snazzy Windows Media Player 11 that once managed all my music and videos won't upgrade beyond Media Player 10, ergo, the music download company I use (URGE) won't install into my system, ergo, aaaaargh, I have a cramp.
I haven't even reloaded Photoshop or my working software yet. I'm feeling another day of headache (going on 18 hours of actual involvement at this point with more to come).
I hope someone can offer a helpful solution. I can't find one at Microsoft's site or via Google. Although my computer is more or less in working order, Windows Media Player is downgraded and Media Center doesn't open at all. My entire system is less than it was and that's unacceptable.
In the meantime, I agree with others that although this is a very beautiful product, the WOW factor could be described in less enthusiastic terms and late in the evening, in more colorfully expressed four-letter terms.
UPDATE: It finally works, a lengthy and frightening experience all around, but with so much trial and error, I found the combination that worked for my system and maybe yours, if you're having the same problem described above. See INSTALLATION & ACTIVATION: FINALLY in the Customer Discussion area for this product.
on February 2, 2007
What a mess. Don't buy this product. If you have Windows XP, you've got what you need. If your word processor works fine, your spread sheet works and all your other programs work well, then don't mess them up with this awful product. Vista is just eye candy. How much time do you spend in Windows anyway . . . you use your programs! Installing Vista is just going to put your programs at risk - If you install Vista, your computer will VERY likely FAIL and then you're OUT of your computer.
Remember - Vista deletes Windows XP - so you can't go back if something goes wrong . . . and it will. This program is very unstable.
My Vista installation failed and the computer doesn't even start up any more.
Microsoft tech support does not know how to use Vista. They have shipped their tech support to INDIA! You can't even understand their broken English!! (Not to mention that it takes over an hour to talk to someone.)
When you do get in touch with them, they have no idea what to do if your installation fails!!
I repeat . . . You can't re-install Vista upgrade because the 1st install deletes XP. When it deletes XP, you have to go find the service packs I and II. Good luck there!
Don't risk this product on your computer. If you have Windows XP, and everything works . . . stick with it. This product isn't going to make them work any better. The hassles of this product are not worth the eye candy you're buying.
Vista is for newly purchased computers. (And they hype it to get you to go out and buy one!)
on April 6, 2007
I bought a new laptop in Dec 2006.
Specs: Intel Core Duo 1.6 GHZ
2 GB RAM
160 GB Hard Drive
ATI Radeon 256 MB Video
DVD RW drive
Windows XP Media Cener 2005
plus more bells and whistles
I've used every version of DOS and windows since 3.1, and I knew that XP was getting old, so I was excited to install Vista. It was the worst mistake I made since instaling Me 7 years ago. It took so long to install that I was able to watch a full length movie. Afterwards it was so slow that it made my brand new computer feel like my my Celeron 550 Mhz computer from 7 years ago. I turned off "Aero" because I thought it was just a resource hog. Then I got rid of the gadgets, User Account Control, and other annoying "features". Then I figured defragging my hard drive would help. In XP it takes maybe 5 mins on a bad day, but it took 3 hours in Vista. Vista takes forever to boot, and even though Dell gave me a drivers upgrade DVD for Vista one of my components wasn't compatable. So afer a day I decided I wanted to go back to XP. Dell gave me a backup partition, and it should have only taken 6 mins it said. But Vista deletes programs without telling you and certainly without your permission. So I had to reinstall everything by hand. That took days and many calls to Dell. So I guess the "WOW" experience for me is: a trashed hard drive, slower performance, and an expensive paperweight for days.
on May 1, 2007
1. I had massive headaches doing my original install. I wanted to combine partitions as part of doing a clean install. Followed the instructions to boot from the DVD (duh). Suddenly, the system wouldn't recognize the product ID as valid because the only way it would be valid is if it's launched from within Windows. Ok, having deleted and combined partitions, that was now a non-starter. After Microsoft support flailed for 5 hours ... I tried to run my HP recovery disks. Ran into an incompatibility between the recovery disks and Vista (which will install without a product ID as a "feature" but then no-one at Microsoft can help you activate the product if you do so). Fortunately, I had a copy of XP Pro from my older Dell desktop. Installed that but, of course, couldn't upgrade from that version because the Home Premium Vista required XP Home Edition. But thankfully now my HP recovery disks worked, after which I was able to upgrade.
2. But the saga's not over. After 2 months of computing "bliss", suddenly my CD and DVD stops working. After some troubleshooting, I confirmed it was a corrupt driver file. After vain attempts to uninstall and force the system to re-install using device manager, I decided to do it manually. That's when I discovered that I could not access, delete, or correct the problem because although I'm a member of the administrator group, that group doesn't have full control rights. On my own computer! Yes, I tried the much vaunted recovery tool ... but it did not refresh my files and detected no problem. So ... as you've probably guessed by now, I had to use my HP recovery disks to put XP Home back onto my computer, then re-upgrade my system. Oh, and by the way, the upgrade requires that XP be of service pack 2 ... so not only did I have to re-install XP, I had to update it to service pack 2 before doing the Vista upgrade all over again!
... so I'm back computing with "bliss" with both CD and DVD again ... but this Vista version has caused countless hours, literally at least 40.
Stick with XP until they stop supporting it. Then buy an Apple or maybe by then Microsoft will have regained their senses.
on May 5, 2007
I liked Vista for the first week of use, by the second week of use I thought it was no better than XP, by the third or fourth week ME was starting to look good by comparison, now, after six weeks, the number of problems I'm having with Vista makes Windows 3.0 (previously the worst version of Windows I had used) seem not so bad.
There have been a number of positive reviews posted which attack the negative reviewers--I guess they are just using a different version of Vista than I am using. I find about 10% of what the positive reviewers say to be accurate and about 75% of what the negative reviewers say to be accurate.
My major issues are:
--incredibly slow and often aborted installation
--incompatible with many current, up-to-date programs
--conflicts with Media Player 11 and Outlook 2002--both are Microsoft programs
--the inane security questions are even worse than the Apple ads make them sound (I am no fan of Apple, but I may have to reconsider that opinion)
--standard Control Panel functions have been renamed and are often unfindable (Don't they understand that if THEY establish standards THEY should stick with those standards?)
--speaking of standards--I hated My Documents, My Music, My Bla-bla-bla, but I got used to them, good luck figuring out where the heck these files are after you install vista
--you can no longer control how your desktop looks
--under XP I was appropriately considered the Administrator of my own single-user computer, but Vista decided I was not--causing major problems
--I have spent about 30 hours dealing with Vista-related problems
--my total hardware and software upgrade costs to become Vista compatible (on a machine that was rated as Vista compatible already) approximately $300
--if I could get those costs back and go back to XP I would do it an instant
--even more than in the past, this operating system says to you: do it Microsoft's way or don't do it all
If I could give Vista 0 stars I would.
on May 15, 2007
What a disaster. Wouldn't upgrade and wouldn't work, despite what the Microsoft adviser said. Tech support was amazingly bad. They determined that Vista was not compatible with my AMD Athlon processor (I'm sure AMD will be thrilled to hear this).
Microsoft did refund my money, however. I'll give 'em an extra star for that.
Now the full version of Vista that came on my new notebook computer is alright. It runs very nice (though takes forever to boot).
I'm not sure what is happening at Microsoft. Vista is the worst upgrade they have ever delivered -- and they spent billions developing it. I just don't know.
on June 23, 2007
This product is a downgrade from windows 95. I don't care to go into the details because if I have to think about how much heck this Un-Operating System has put me though any longer I'd probably slip into a coma. Lets just say that a computer that once worked with XP now has no sound (if bought TWO new sound cards), no tv tuner, it runs at 1/3d of the speed it used to, and is not able to successfully ad hoc to my laptop.
Lets all hope that this un-OS goes the way of Windows ME, or at least gets a Service Pack right away.
on February 6, 2007
Stupid, stupid, stupid. I usually have a better head on my shoulders and don't rush out and buy the new operating system until it has some of the bugs worked out, I don't know what I was thinking this time. So now I have a beautiful operating system on which none of my programs will run. Talk about frustrating. I guess I'll put this away until they have a version that works. Oh well, live and learn.
on July 12, 2007
Operating systems should operate efficiently and modestly in the background.
Vista wants to make itself the star of the show. With its endless pop-up warnings and status messages, running Vista is like trying to eat in a restaurant where every five minutes the waiter scrapes crumbs off your table and asks you if everything is fine.
Vista is slower than XP, it requires more memory and processor speed, and it doesn't run older programs like Acrobat 6. Does this product have any reason to exist other than to improve Microsoft's profit margin?
I am uninstalling Vista from my laptop this weekend and replacing it with XP.