I like Vista. Really! Some of its new features are very nice! I only wonder, when will the final version of Windows Vista be available? Wait a minute! Didn't Microsoft just release it? Yeah, they did. Still I continue to wonder, when the final of Windows Vista will be available.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Some weeks ago, I moved to Vista with my own PC at work. Originally, I planned a smooth transition. Since I got a new PC, I wanted to install all the tools, I need for my work, step by step and only move to it, when everything works fine. But, then, my old PC suffered from a hardware defect, and so, I was forced to change my PC earlier than planned.

Since then my productivity decreased dramatically. I was spending a lot of time to get my new system working with the same capabilities as that of my old PC. Many of my tools weren't working. I was able to fix some problems; the others were replaced by tools that work with Vista.

Some tools seem to work at first, but after I used them for a while, I realized that they don't run properly under Vista. One example is Locknote, a tool, I use to store confidential data on my USB stick. Everything seemed to be normal when I entered new data. But when I wanted to access this data some days later, I realized that Locknote didn't store the new entries to my USB stick. I didn't get any error message, though. Now, I know that I have to run Locknote with Administrator privileges, but it costed me some hours to get the lost data again.

Many problems are still unsolved. For example, there is no Vista driver for my HP scanner. Today, I read on their Web site that HP doesn't intend to release a Vista driver for this scanner. They suggest buying a new HP scanner instead. Great idea! I will certainly get a new scanner. Rest assured that it won't be one from HP. I can't use my Dell SDLT tape drive either. Vista recognized the drive correctly, but Vista's new backup tool simply denies that this tape drive is a backup device.

Those are just a few examples. My list of apps that don't work properly under Vista is quite long, meanwhile. It is obvious that many software and hardware vendors are still not yet ready for Vista.

One of these software vendors is Microsoft. Many of Microsoft's own tools don't support Vista. The most prominent one is Systems Manager Server 2003. Microsoft speaks of limited support, but you can't take this statement seriously. SMS 2003 simply doesn't support Vista. So how can you deploy Vista if Microsoft's own client management tool is not yet ready for it? Only yesterday, they released WAIK containing many important deployment tools. Again, I was running into problems when I tried to install WAIK.

Then, I read this interesting article about Microsoft activation tools. The Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) is scheduled for release only in March. First, they get on our nerves with this genuine activation mess, and then, they don't even give us the necessary tools in time.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but I am really not in a good mood. Today, my Vista machine crashed three times. Yes, it crashed! I had to pull the power plug, because Vista was not responding anymore. I am running Vista on a brand new Fujitsu-Siemens PC which is supposed to be Vista ready. I was writing a text in Word 2007, when Vista suddenly froze. Only CTRL-ALT-DEL worked. When I wanted to access the task manager to see which app was causing the problem, Vista crashed completely. Even CTRL-ALT-DEL didn't work, anymore.

I restarted Vista and opened Word again to check if at least part of my text was still there. Of course, it was all gone! Then, I went to a meeting. When I came back, Vista was in suspend mode. I hit a key to wake it up, but my screen stayed black. I saw that the hard disk was busy so I waited for about 5 minutes. Nothing happened. My display still didn't receive any signal.

I wonder why modern PCs don't have a hard reset switch, anymore. This could be quite useful for a Vista PC. After Vista booted up again, I tried to continue with my text. Good that it was being automatically saved every minute, because after 30 minutes Vista crashed again. This time, I was at least able to log off after pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL. I didn't log on again, though. I had enough "WOW factors" for one day.

Maybe, it is just a driver that's not working properly. Perhaps, I will find out what went wrong after checking the event log. It certainly will cost me again a lot of time. Considering the amount of time, I already spent with Vista problems, I have to conclude that it is not yet ready for a productive environment.

My personal answer to the question, I addressed in the heading of this post, is 2008. I think that Windows Vista final, i.e. the Vista version, I want to deploy in my network, will not be available before Service Pack 1 is out.

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Please, let me know about your experiences with Vista. Did you run into similar problems or is it working properly for you? Will you deploy it before Vista SP1 is out?

14 Comments
  1. Michal Stráník 15 years ago

    Hi, I agree with you, I will try to use it for me (I am admin) and I will test it, but I have many applications not ready for Windows Vista - IPOS, Winkarok, DWG TRUEVIEW 2007 and I also miss driver for HP DJ 5150. Sometimes Vista seems to be cool, but sometimes it lives own live. What you are saying looks like bad driver, I have similar exprerience. I do not remeber what bad driver I install, but after Vista frozen and frozen - I could use never on Vista suspend mode - Vista do not want start/wake up after that - I tested it on HP nx7300/nx7400.

    Regards Stranik

  2. Leonardo 15 years ago

    I installed Vista on my main machine at B1 and would reformat every major(ie:leaked) build in-between the betas.
    I did run into plenty of compatibility issues during that period and a couple crashes in the earlier betas.
    My desktop is for personal use only, so I don't have any job-related tools on it.

    Customers?
    Out of the bunch, (Small businesses) only 1 office I know would be able to upgrade with just a minor hardware investment, memory. The rest would have to replace multiple machines.

    I can't justify the cost, at this moment, for small businesses. As far as the nonprofit with lots of computers? They just got done getting up to XP and also would need new machines... For what? Aero?

  3. Colin 15 years ago

    I have Vista, switched with an oldish PC a few weeks ago and everything has been just peachy:) No crashes yet, and its been a good two weeks.

  4. Matt Wilson 15 years ago

    First of all, it is really strange how "in sync" you & I are. I also work in an educational institution, so I relate very well to many of your articles. So many times, I'll be interested in something (Backup Exec 11d, VMware, Vista, etc) & right around that time, you'll be posting about your experiences with it! It also just so happens that today was my vist attempt at being WOW'd by Vista...

    I've been dabbling in Vista for some time now, but never could go full-on due to incompatibility with my school's VPN & lack of reliable PocketPC support. Today, I began trying out a "solution" by converting my old PC to a VMware machine & attempting to move to Vista.

    Problems, problems, problems. On top of that, I can't run VMware 5.5.3 on Vista fast enough to stay sane--even after trying your recent tweaks, updating BIOS & drivers, & installing the VMware Tools & installing an extra couple gigs of RAM (however, Vista only sees 3GB).

    I was in IE7 on MSN.com & noticed some of their videos that interested me. The player would get 3/4 through the video & suddenly start all over. Several times, the video player just stopped responding. I'm assuming this is WMP11 acting up?

    All this on a dual core Xeon, 4GB RAM (3GB accessible), nVidia Quadro 3450 w/ 256MB, etc! This is a Vista-ready PC w/ Dell-provided Vista drivers. My VMware box had 1.5GB dedicated to it, too.

    Argh. I'm a computer guy & so EVERYONE'S asking me "What do you think about this new Windows?". I hate not being able to answer conclusively because I can't even use the darn thing!

    Matt

  5. Thanks for the feedback. It is good to know that I am not the only one having all these problems with Vista.

    Michal, it seems that HP really doesn’t like Vista. If you search for drivers on their Web site, you’ll often get this:
    We are sorry to inform you that there will be no Windows Vista support available for your HP product. Therefore, your product will not work with Windows Vista.
    If you are using the Windows Vista operating system on your computer, please consider upgrading to a newer HP product that is supported on Windows Vista.

    Leonardo, the only must-have-feature of Vista, is its new imaging technology, in my view. The rest is nice, but I can’t see at the moment, how it can significantly improve productivity. The improved security might be a killer feature, too. But Vista has to prove first in practice that it is really better than XP SP2 with respect to this.

    Colin, it seems you’re a lucky guy 😉

    Matt, maybe we’re soul mates. 😉 Or maybe we're both just trying to keep up with new developments. By the way, I am also still having problems with VMware Workstation on Vista. I even think that it might be responsible for at least one of the crashes. You could try VMware Workstation 6 Beta. But it is also very slow, because it is only available with enabled-debug mode.

  6. Jim 15 years ago

    I'm one of those who strongly believes that Vista is not ready. I went to training for it in December and every day we witnessed the bugs and stability. This was with the RTM version. My own experience at work with it(yes, I'm in an academic institution as well) is that it's not as stable as it should be and that if I migrate my dept over to it, is it worth it?

    OS and software deployment still needs to be worked out here. If we support XP and Vista, now we have to worry about server drive space as the many msi's we've created for software are not expected to work under Vista. We have some inhouse software that the dept wrote as a teaching accessory is not expected to work as well. The list goes on and on.

    I'm feeling a little like the guy who's about to jump into the lake yet is a bit scared of what might be just below the surface.

    Old age must be getting to me because I've never been this reluctant to move on to the next version of Windows.

    Just curious...has anyone messed around with the Desktop Optimization Pack yet? I just discovered we are licensed for it so I'm hoping to check it out next week.

  7. Jim, I am not scared about what is below the surface because I can already see it: Bugs, bugs, and bugs. So I just don’t jump 😉

  8. Greg Muir 15 years ago

    I'll be ticked if we can't buy corporate PC's with XP licensese for the indefinite future. Vista seems like too much of a headache for no gain. How could something so indistinguishable from XP have so many compatability problems?

  9. Dave Robinson 15 years ago

    I'm sure there are a few people who just install Vista and everything works perfect for them and they happlily go on with their lives, but I'm not one of them. My experience through several of the beta versions convinced me that this upgrade was not going to be a pleasent experience and I didn't have either the time or the inclination to fight my way through the problems everyone was going to experience. So No, I haven't made the jump to Vista and don't plan to until, like you said, at least SP1 is released, and most of the bleeding is over for this release.
    Maybe it's just me but I haven't seen the upside of Vista anyway, there is nothing new I can't live without and the whole Activation process seems to have gone over the edge.

  10. Michal Stráník 15 years ago

    Hi, HP solved my problem - it is not solution I wish, but it is working - now HP DJ 5150 is working in Windows Vista.

    HP Printers - Installing an Alternate Driver in Windows Vista

    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00808478&lc=en&cc=us&lang=en&dlc=en&product=304431

  11. Greg Muir 15 years ago

    I haven't run any of the betas but Slashdot has an article talking about how 4gb may be Vista's sweet spot.

    http://slashdot.org/articles/07/02/20/2213231.shtml

    Some people counter that you can get by with 1gb or 2 just fine but I think it comes down to who you are and what you're doing. If you're like me, you've got 50 windows open at once, you need everything the computer can give you. If the OS takes up half of that, there's not much left to give.

  12. Michal, thanks for the tip, but I already bought a new Canon scanner 😉

  13. steve 15 years ago

    Michael,

    Holding power button 5-8 sec will shut off computer.

    It's not good to pull power, as it can result in power surge from power supply to motherboard/hd... etc. I've lost lots of data due to cord being pulled by accident on a idle machine.

    That's why there's no reset. But most people don't know about that.

  14. steve, i know. I wasn't so serious about the reset button. I rather preferred that Vista would be more stable.

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