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Vista, The Dog Of All Operating Systems

Posted by on Jun 14, 2009

Last July, when I first started thinking about getting a new computer, I wrote about my Vista worries, based on everything I’d been hearing about it. Then came December, when I finally bought my new computer with Vista, since that’s all that was around (well, I could have paid extra for XP, but that didn’t seem so smart), and I hadn’t quite had enough time to truly evaluate it.

Now I’m about six months into it, and I think I can give an honest evaluation of it; Vista is the dog of all operating systems. To be fair, I never tried ME, which I heard was pretty bad, so I don’t know about it. But compared to all the other Microsoft operating systems, it’s the worst.

Since I’ve had this computer, it’s crashed twice. By crash, I mean the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). That’s actually not so bad when I consider what my other computer used to do. Still, this isn’t a dog of a computer; it’s got real power in it. This time, I know it’s not the computer itself, but the operating system.

The problem is the 64-bit thing. There aren’t all that many programs, at least older ones, that will work properly in the 64-bit setting. Many of my programs wouldn’t load into this OS. Some that did loaded into a different Program Files directory. Vista has two, those programs it likes, and those that it tolerates.

Some of those that it tolerates are their own products, though older versions. I have the Office 2003 suite, which I loaded. You’d think I wouldn’t have any problems with it, but it does, probably because they wanted everyone to go to Office 2007, which I saw and didn’t like.

Anyway, on my computer, there are certain programs where, if I let the computer go into its own energy saving mode, will freak behind the scenes and cause me minor grief when I come back and shake the mouse. One is Webshots; another is my email program, ECTOOL. A third is Top Style, the program I use to create my HTML pages. If those were open when I left, they’ll have corrupted when I come back. That’s not so bad, as I just have to shut them down, then reopen them again. Of course, if I hadn’t saved what I was doing in Top Style, I have to do it all again.

The real culprits, though, are Word and Excel, the two Office programs I use the most. They totally change how they look, and they freeze. Luckily, when I close them both back, they’ll have saved the files, since I made the settings save those files every 5 minutes. However, today, something new was added to the mix.

I had a business meeting that lasted about 3 hours today. I came back to the office, and once again the files had corrupted themselves. Word, my email chess program, Top Style and Webshots all had decided to pick on me. I went to shut down Word, as I had two different files open on it, when the computer decided to die on me. I got the BSOD, which is the second incidence ever that I mentioned earlier.

Then it started to reboot on me, which has never happened to me before, never on XP, and not the first time on this computer. I figured no big deal, except I’d had a Notepad file open that had some information I really wanted to keep. Then I realized I hadn’t heard a sound I’m used to hearing when the computer boots up, and looked on the screen to see something saying “ERROR LOAD OS”. What the hey? I tried hitting the button to shut the computer down, and instead it started to reboot again.

This happened a few times, and the start button never went off. I tried pulling the plug, waiting a bit, then put it back in. The first couple of times the light was immediately on, which was strange. The last time it was off when I plugged in, but it still wouldn’t boot up properly.

At that point, I knew it was time to try to boot into safe mode, so I did and it came up just as it was supposed to. I thought that was kind of odd, based on the error message I’d gotten, but I ran a quick diagnostic, and everything came up fine. I then rebooted in regular mode, but lo and behold I got the same error message again.

This time, I rebooted, but decided to go into the BIOS. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, but thought looking around wouldn’t hurt. Everything looked pretty normal until I got to the area where it talked about boot order. Oddly enough, I noticed things had changed. For whatever reason, Vista had changed the boot order so my computer was trying to load my USB external hard drives first. Now things made some sense. I don’t have any OS on either of the external drives, but once Vista recognizes it as a hard drive instead of a floppy or CD it thinks that’s the drive and that’s that. In safe mode, your USB connections don’t work the same way, as in your computer won’t boot safe mode from an external source like that, which is why that worked.

I changed the order to have my main hard drive first, saved it, booted up, and all is fine with the world once more. But I’m thinking that’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen, the BIOS changing orders like that.

In any case, it’s made me disdain Vista even more than I already was. I hate that so many of my good programs won’t work. I hate that things such as Zone Alarm won’t work because they won’t create it in 64-bit. I hate that I can’t run my Dragon program, which had been relatively new, because they want me to buy the latest version at $150 to work with Vista; nope, not happening. I hate that Vista didn’t come with a fax program, so I’ve had to purchase one. Yeah, the professional version came with it, but it wasn’t offered when I bought this sucker; well, I didn’t want to pay an extra $200 for it.

There’s a rumor that Best Buy will be offering a special deal for the upgrade to Windows 7 the last week of June, even though it won’t be released for awhile. I’m hearing nothing but good things about it, however, if I go this route, I don’t want to buy an upgrade, but the entire program when it’s ready. So, for now, I’m stuck with what I have, but now have to be more cognizant of what I leave open when I leave the house, or go to bed.

And that just stinks.

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I understand why people don’t like Vista, and don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it either, but to me, there’s only one other option, and that’s XP. I know there’s lots of linux lovers and mac folks out there, but linux is not at all user friendly for initial setup, and mac is…well, it’s mac. It has a one-button mouse for goodness sakes!

June 14th, 2009 | 7:14 PM

I’m with you on this one, Bob, though I understand when people love their Macs, that’s the end of that conversation. I’ve just never been able to figure out a Mac; not that I’ve spent tons of time with one.

June 14th, 2009 | 8:14 PM

How many ways can I say it. I loathe windows Vista. So much so that I spent $500.00 to have it removed from my computers and replaced it with XP.
.-= Boris´s last blog ..The 109 Day Link Building Explosion Day 100 =-.

June 14th, 2009 | 9:46 PM

You know, I still have my original XP professional disk with SP2, and don’t think I haven’t thought about loading it. But at this juncture, I figure I’ll probably upgrade to Win 7 at some point, so I’ll just ride it out.

June 14th, 2009 | 11:11 PM

Man what a pain is the rear end Mitch. I’m still running XP and would love a new computer but not if Vista comes with it. Seems to me that I had better stick with XP a little longer, not that I have too much choice about it as my business software only runs on XP anyway.

Say Mitch, I don’t know what happened but I’ve lost all the data on Cool Blog Links. If it’s not too much of a hassle it would be nice if you added your blog again. Thanks mate.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Why You Should Upgrade To WordPress 2.8 =-.

June 15th, 2009 | 1:40 AM

Man, always losing stuff; maybe I can beat that foot site now, eh?

Hey, we playing more chess?

June 15th, 2009 | 1:52 AM

Sure, It’s about time I licked you for a change. Thanks for doing that too.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Why You Should Upgrade To WordPress 2.8 =-.

June 15th, 2009 | 2:30 AM

No problem; you going to the chess game site to set up the games or do you want me to do it?

June 15th, 2009 | 2:48 AM

Reckon I’ve already done it Mitch. Watch out, I’m looking to win this time lol
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Making Money With Snap Dollars =-.

June 15th, 2009 | 3:24 AM

As long as you’re only looking to win,… 😉

June 15th, 2009 | 8:54 AM

I feel your pain “somewhat”. I just purchased a new computer not too long ago and like you, i didn’t want to spend the extra to “downgrade” to XP.

I’ve not had too many problems since I’m running the new version of office.. there were a couple of older programs I had that wouldn’t run but it wasn’t a big deal..

The biggest thing for me was my anti-virus… there wasn’t a 64 bit version available.. but again i guess it wasn’t too big a deal, i just started using the free Housecall version..

With all the technology we have in this day in time, you’d think they could come up with a stable OS that would cover everything huh?

June 15th, 2009 | 9:00 AM

For anti-virus, I went with AVG. The problem was a firewall, and I ended up going with Comodo.

And yes to stability, but if they did that, they wouldn’t make any more money. 🙂

June 15th, 2009 | 9:41 AM

I warned you, did’t I? Windows 7 is getting very good press. If I was in teh market for a PC, I would wait for Win7 before buying.

BTW, I’m upgrading to a new MacBook Pro next year. I haven’t had any of these problems with my current Mac laptop. Very happy I switched and, if I can figure out a Mac, I know you can, too.
.-= Scott Thomas Photography´s last blog ..View 77: Reception Kiss =-.

June 15th, 2009 | 9:12 AM

Well, I had to buy something at the time, as you know, and I had to be ready to immediately go. No time to learn something new when we bought this bad boy. Still, knowing there’s a total upgrade coming is comforting. The SP2 that came out for Vista a few weeks ago almost shut down my computer also; very bad stuff, this one.

June 15th, 2009 | 9:44 AM

Hey Mitch,
I feel your pain. I love computers when they work… but not when they don’t. 🙂
I’ve been getting by with XP for a long time now. I’ll get a new computer when Windows 7 comes out, but never with Vista.
BTW, I like your post title!
~ Steve, the XP trade show guru

June 15th, 2009 | 8:09 PM

Thanks Steve; yeah, the title is how I’m feeling about it at the present time. Thing is, if you remember my post when I bought this computer, it’s still better than what I had, which I know was never a problem with the XP operating system. In that case, my computer was a dog; this time, it’s Vista.

June 15th, 2009 | 11:19 PM

Amen! I have three computers in front of me as I write this. Two are XP, one is Vista. The Vista system is my newest computer and I rarely use it because of the operating system. I’ve been meaning to swap it out for XP, but I’ve simply haven’t had the time!
.-= Colleen´s last blog ..Kennewick WA Homes for Sale =-.

June 16th, 2009 | 12:01 AM

Hi Colleen. Truthfully, I don’t have the time either, but I’ve never wanted to go backwards. Supposedly, I can upgrade to Win 7 from Vista, but you can’t upgrade from XP to Win 7; instead, you have to do a full install.

June 16th, 2009 | 12:30 AM

That’s music to my ears. I’ll simply upgrade my Vista and be done with Vista once and for all!
.-= Colleen´s last blog ..Kennewick WA Homes for Sale =-.

June 16th, 2009 | 1:13 AM

Well, I don’t remember if I wrote it in the post, but there’s a rumor that Best Buy will be offering a special upgrade price the last week of June that will be good for whenever Win 7 is released.

June 16th, 2009 | 1:38 AM

Just wait till the october. Windows 7 is coming out and it’ll be amazing. The beta I installed was pretty good. Can’t wait for the full version.

June 16th, 2009 | 5:08 AM