Print 69 comment(s) - last by eye smite.. on Feb 24 at 8:01 AM

Microsoft hurriedly pulls one bad prerequisite update which caused a world of trouble for some Microsoft users

Microsoft rolled out it Windows Vista Service Pack 1 to select customers recently.  The SP1 update drew mixed reviews according to initial testers.  However,  while SP1 is relatively stable, it pulls in Windows Updates and one particular prerequisite update is giving people serious problems.

Microsoft rolled out three prerequisite updates last week through Windows Update to prepare users computers computers for Windows Vista SP1.  If customers tried to install Vista SP1 without the update, the SP1 install process would simply go and grab the update. 

One of these updates, KB937287, caused some serious issues among some users.  As Vista SP1 automatically grabs this update, some users experienced side effects during the SP1 installation process. 

During the Vista SP1 installation process, some unfortunate users report their computer gets stuck on the third step -- the Windows Update step.  Their installation process read, "Configuring updates: stage 3 of 3 - 0% complete" according to one user, and then the system reboots.  After rebooting the installation process resumes -- then the computer reboots again.  The computer becomes frozen in an unbootable loop.  Numerous users on the Microsoft forums have reported having the same problem.  Other users have reported that their computer simply would not boot properly.

Exactly how widespread the problem is at the time is unknown.  Microsoft is trying to look into what is causing this unrecoverable crash.   In the meantime they have pulled the prerequisite update.

For afflicted users, who already received the update, the only solution is to reboot their computers, boot from their original Vista disk and do a system restore to restore their computer to a state several days prior.  Users may have to choose multiple restore points to find a working one, if any work at all.  Some users report finding working restore points after several tries.  However, users must then turn off Windows automatic update or the problem may recommence.

Some users have reported hardware and hard disk problems after restoration.

Many mistakenly labeled the problem as an issue caused directly by Vista SP1.  While SP1 did inadvertently trigger the problem, it was the prerequisite update for Vista SP1 that raised havoc on users' machines.  Microsoft has responded quickly, acknowledging this problem, and hopes to fix the update.

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Title change...
By steelincable on 2/20/2008 9:00:20 AM , Rating: 2
Title should say 'Vista SP1' instead of 'Windows SP1'.

RE: Title change...
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 9:07:03 AM , Rating: 4
Isn't this the article they pulled cause of the way the writer titled it. I look back at my posts and can't find that article so it must have been pulled. Anyway, I just couldn't bring myself to guinea pig for MS on something like this. Give me the end result when it works right, and I don't think that's too much to ask. They'll get it right though I'm sure. Then I can put sp1 on the one Vista system I have and see if it plays nice. :-)

RE: Title change...
By JasonMick on 2/20/2008 9:29:19 AM , Rating: 3
Correct. We decided to pull the article initially because there wasn't enough evidence to substantiate it, and it was unclear exactly how widespread the problem was, so there was no point in just pissing people off without details.

Microsoft's response elucidated the exact problem as well as indicating it was happening to a good chunk of users.

My original intent wasn't to blast Vista SP1, I think many would be surprised that I'm a happy XP user, and don't own a Mac or some deal like that. I simply think that Microsoft is the market leader, so they need to be held to the highest standard. Small time competitors are obviously nowhere near Windows in terms of gaming, etc. I find OS X bugs equally disturbing, but they are only now getting to the market share level where it would be effecting enough users to even START to consider it newsworthy. Something that happens with OS X if its a rare issue might effect 30-100 users. A "rare" issue for Microsoft might effect 300-1000 users. Hence why it gets reported.

*Steps off lectern*

RE: Title change...
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 9:33:31 AM , Rating: 4
Ah, that's cool man. I was just reading it and thought I remembered the article. Hopefully they'll get the SP to play nice instead of going all snafu.

RE: Title change...
By lukasbradley on 2/20/2008 10:21:39 AM , Rating: 3
Jason, Kristopher, et al,

Instead of pulling articles, I'd recommend you simply issue a clarification at the bottom, or even a retraction statement.

Too often do bloggers use the moniker of "journalist," without adhering to many of the proven tenants of journalism. In my opinion, journalists shouldn't hide mistakes and/or misunderstandings. Let everyone know about them. Your intelligent and dedicated readers will respect and trust you infinitely more.

Please don't see this as a lecture, because it is not. I just feel very strongly that some great online publishers slowly wade into the waters of innuendo and questionable intent, only to ruin their reputations, and be triumphed by a handful of fourteen year old fanbois.

RE: Title change...
By KristopherKubicki on 2/20/2008 12:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the feedback. We've only done it once or twice in our history, and it's not something I intend to do again.

BTW -- I would hardly consider DailyTech a blog, or a journal, or a news publics, or a magazine, or what-have-you.

A lot of people get insulted when they get categorized in one manner over another. But in reality we're just another New Media website that sometimes runs interesting articles.

RE: Title change...
By mondo1234 on 2/20/2008 6:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
So why is this the best kept secret on the internet? :)

RE: Title change...
By HaZaRd2K6 on 2/20/2008 10:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
Hence why...

"Hence" and "why" in that context mean exactly the same thing. Putting "Hence why" is a redundancy. It should be either: "Hence it gets reported" or "That's why it gets reported."

Sorry for being a grammar Nazi, but I've seen this popping up more and more in everyday speech and it's totally incorrect.

RE: Title change...
By mmntech on 2/20/2008 9:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
Problems are expected with major updates. It usually involves killing certain functions. Wifi is one that seems to go down a lot with updates. Bricking the entire computer on a non-firmware bases system is a new one on me. What a lot of the ravenous Vista fanboys forget is most people lack the knowledge to deal with these issues. If it is wide spread, I'm sure Geek Squad will be rubbing their hands with delight. I'll wait to see numbers first before I come to conclusions.

OEM Hack?
By computergeek485 on 2/20/2008 10:24:16 AM , Rating: 2
Now could this be microsoft trying to brick people with the OEM activation hack and something has gone horribly horribly wrong.....

RE: OEM Hack?
By i3arracuda on 2/20/2008 10:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
Horribly wrong? Or working as intended?


RE: OEM Hack?
By HaZaRd2K6 on 2/20/2008 12:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... No.

This was released to testers who had already been testing SP1 during its beta and RC phases. Microsoft likely wouldn't let you be a beta tester of their shiny new product on a pirated OS.

RE: OEM Hack?
By aos007 on 2/20/2008 6:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
This update is available on normal update site as with any one of regular updates and is not related to SP1 (not directly anyway). It failed to install for me and I never installed any SP1 incarnation nor any hacks of any kind. I do run x64, maybe that's it.

It's not so bad...
By i3arracuda on 2/20/2008 8:57:57 AM , Rating: 6
I got caught in an unbootable loop once, and I turned out alright.
I got caught in an unbootable loop once, and I turned out alright.
I got caught in an unbootable loop once, and I turned out alright.

hilarious thumbnail pic
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/20/2008 11:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
That picture of Balmer had me laughing so loud my secretary came in to see what all the commotion was.

She didnt get it...

RE: hilarious thumbnail pic
By Raidin on 2/20/2008 12:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's Balmer attempting to fend off the killer process!

RE: hilarious thumbnail pic
By mondo1234 on 2/21/2008 12:05:19 AM , Rating: 2
he looks like Jerry Falwell, but without the hair

Worst update ever
By Zaranthos on 2/20/2008 5:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have to say that my experience so far with Vista has been less than pleasant. It's slow, painfully slow. The UAC stuff is too "in your face" all the time.

This update killed one of my customers brand new computers right after I reloaded everything for him. He had it back one day and the update loaded overnight and it looks like I'll be reloading everything again if system restore doesn't work. Guess I'll tell him to send the bill to Bill. :P

RE: Worst update ever
By johnsonx on 2/20/2008 7:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
yes, system restore works fine to fix this problem; search for my other post about this.

I was initially thrown off by attempting to go into safe mode to then do system restore - the XP way of doing it. But the update problem occurs in safe mode too. So you have to select 'Repair your Computer' from the F8 options menu, and then do System Restore from there.

Never trust MS with your critical data.
By Golgatha on 2/20/2008 10:08:34 AM , Rating: 1
"Users may have to choose multiple restore points to find a working one, if any work at all."

Perfect example of why I use Acronis True Image Home. My plan is to image the drive, install SP1, and revert to a usable state if anything goes wonky.

By Griswold on 2/22/2008 12:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
Newsflash: restore points do not protect or criple your critical data anyway.

So, its not a good example at all. You'd have to use a backup or image solution anyhow.

Test in Virtual Environment
By Angel Lust on 2/20/2008 10:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
I know most common users don't know much about virtualization. I will test SP3 on several VM's I have set up and see how it performs.

Huh, worked for me...
By DeanO on 2/20/2008 11:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
I installed that update a week ago and my PC's working fine. I wonder if it's a specific hardware/software issue or just randomly affecting some. It took ages to install, but then it did 15 updates that day, so it could've been another taking that long, or the combination of multiple ones...

Over and over and over.....
By TheNuts on 2/20/2008 12:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just happened to a customer of mine. He called to tell me that Vista was "freaking out". Would boot to installing updates 3 of 3...reboot...installing updates 3 of 3..reboot...

Had to guide him through the whole boot from DVD/Restore point thing. REAL fun stuff *sigh*

Surprise! Program conflicts.
By Baked on 2/20/2008 2:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
I went to both the Vista installation fair and Vista SP1 installation fair at MS's Mt. View campus. On both instances I brought in a system w/ fresh installation of OS, WinXP Pro w/ SP2 for Vista, and Vista Ultimate 64 for SP1. Both were legit installations from retail box. I had ZERO problem in both fairs.

However, I did encounter a buggy update that kept popping up last week. It's the same update over and over again for about 6-7 times. It went away the next day.

By aos007 on 2/20/2008 6:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what's in that update - marked as some sort of readiness update to allow future updates (presumably SP1) - but it wouldn't install on my Vista Ultimate x64. Even after multiple tries and reboots it wouldn't install. I eventually read that I should give manual install a try - download the file from MS and install it. That didn't work either. I then tried to again reboot and run the installer and this time it worked. I have no idea what's stopping it from getting installed but I can easily see it hosing the machine if it was required as part of a massive service pack but failed to install and is preventing something else from loading at startup.

Anyone knows what EXACTLY does this update does?

By johnsonx on 2/20/2008 6:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Configuring updates: stage 3 of 3 - 0% complete" according to one user, and then the system reboots. After rebooting the installation process resumes -- then the computer reboots again.

A customer brought in a laptop suffering this exact symptom an hour ago. It was an easy fix of course, hit F8 at boot, select 'Repair Computer', select 'System Restore' and go back to the last restore point.

I hadn't heard about this problem before, so it will be nice to be able to tell the customer that it was indeed a known problem with the update from Microsoft.

By Griswold on 2/21/2008 2:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Windows Update offered me SP1 for Vista64 - dont know why. I installed it and everything still works just fine, as expected.

No Migrating to Vista.
By Mitch101 on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Griswold on 2/20/2008 9:26:13 AM , Rating: 5
We heard the same reasons for any major windows release before. And in the end, they make the migration anyhow.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By murphyslabrat on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Griswold on 2/20/2008 5:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why I said "major windows releases". Windows ME (aka the lolipop edition) is not one of them.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By xxsk8er101xx on 2/20/2008 7:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
NT 4.0 sp2 - google it

You vista haters/Mac lovers fail to realize that there have been other failures more major than what vista has. Only problem I see is that vista is new and people are too stupid to learn the new operating system. vista has a lot to offer if you just stop whining like a baby and just learn the new OS. Whaaa it's new it sucks i don't know how to use it it sucks! ... ok well learn to use it.

People seem to have Alzheimer's as everything said about vista was said about windows xp, windows 2000, windows 9x, windows 3.0, DOS ... it's the same song and dance bullshit.
Just shut up and learn it.

I just don't get it. Vista works fine and has issues just like windows xp had it's issues. Some software didn't work in windows xp either, had driver issues, and so on and so forth - performance issues as well.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By mondo1234 on 2/20/2008 8:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
other than the performance issues, driver issues, and software not working....I'll buy one tonight Mr Balmer!

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By onwisconsin on 2/20/2008 10:12:47 PM , Rating: 3
Good point, I remember the fallout from "Oh dear god (XP) SP2 is TERRIBLE!"

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By larson0699 on 2/20/2008 11:27:35 PM , Rating: 1
Not everyone who doesn't use Vista is a Mac lover.

Have you ever heard, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it"?

By the time SP2 landed, there was no reason NOT to use XP. nLite only sweetens the deal by trimming the fat--I can run this on a Pentium 1 provided I have 96MB+... and I have... with acceptable results.

On my Athlon XP, nLite-XP cold boots in twelve seconds. No driver issues, no WGA/activation nags, and imagine this--I have 70% of 512MB left over for my apps! Vista cannot shake a stick at the productivity XP continues to bring to the table.

I can't stand the nuts who upgrade at every chance they get. Besides appealing to MS's wallet (without a second of hesitation), in recent times the early birds to bite at "final" product have turned out to be the beta testers. You think I jumped the XP bandwagon in '01? I stuck it out with W2K till well into '04, when I got my first copy of SP2 AND nLite. And I will likely skip Vista if Windows 7 is that damn good--if not, I'm skipping both.

Vista is two steps backward for Microsoft, a real embarrassment (Apple isn't just making it up.. Windows gets worse, BSD grows) and not worth my processor cycles, much less my money. I'm not impressed by transparent windows. PCLinuxOS does an OK job of replicating that "experience" without the massive overhead.

The ONLY tangible "benefit" of Vista is DirectX 10. Even then, I'd rather shoot myself in the foot and buy an Xbox 360 than even THINK of considering the dual-boot.

But who am I really reaching out to outside of stubborn DT heads? Those middle-class nuclear families are still consuming NetBurst-powered eMachines with Vista preinstalled because NO ONE SHOWS THEM BETTER.

It's the ass-backwards hierarchical society that justifies horseshit like this hitting the shelves of the stores we shop.. NOT quality of product. That went out the Windows years ago.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 9:49:33 AM , Rating: 5
Support costs are less on Vista. We have started a slow migration to Vista and it is much easier to support than our XP machines. We are of course doing the migration as part of our regular hardware refresh. Vista is a godsend for corporate IT professionals.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Lord 666 on 2/20/2008 10:20:18 AM , Rating: 1
Please provide specific real-world examples why you feel that it is a godsend.

Sounds like a cliche, but I am a CTO that has been holding back on Vista until after SP1. Have 6 machines in teh wild that are using it and have already received complaints from my own team and end users.

There are a few things that are that would help with my veritical(ability to lock down desktops to only approved peripherals), but not entirely sold on it. Plus, wanted to avoid "retraining" of staff on how to use it with our latest hardware refresh.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 10:58:36 AM , Rating: 5
-Event Viewer (This needs no explanation, just compare an XP one to a Vista one)

-Performance Monitor and custom XML templates to track systems and performance degredation (Part of the event viewer, that now tracks just about everything on a system)

-Crash Recovery when video drivers and whatnot crash, they no longer take down the whole system with a BSOD, it just flashes a few times and tells you the video driver crashed and recovered (we see this alot on our newer laptops using ATI graphics chips)

-Ability to lock out USB storage devices and still be able to use USB peripherals (we kicked this idea around for years but were unable to do it under XP)

-Bitlocker encryption in our laptops that have TPM chips on the board. (This is if you don't already employ another type of disk encryption in your environment)

-Ability to make software work properly without giving people admin accounts (We gave people local admin under XP, but under Vista we have thus far been able to avert doing this)

-More group policies to play around with as well as configuring custom messages to be displayed when users attempt to do certain things such as.... prevent users from performing certain functions (changing network settings from DHCP to static) or loading browser addons, activeX controls, etc... with use of GPO.

-Shadowcopy. Keeps previous versons of documents for the many that have document corruption, saved changes by accident, etc... I've used this myself on more than one occasion.

There are other things but those come to mind off hand, some of the more creative users and techs have figured out their own things they can do with it as well.

Can't help you with retraining the staff. Reality is that any software upgrade from any vendor always implements new features and interfaces, which require people to adapt to it.

As for the complaints, I suggest you narrow it down to what exactly the complaints are. If it's specific software not working I point you to ACT (Application Compatability Toolkit) available for free from microsoft download. Run your programs through it and see if it comes up with any known problems, solutions to make those apps work, or if your simply screwed with that version on Vista. I know we had to move several applications we had that sat in root level folders into the Program Files directory due to permissions on Vista. For some older legacy apps we developed in house I had to include some older DLL and OCX files on our base image which are not standard to Vista to make them work. Not a big deal really, thats part of building an image for deployment. Good way to test before implementing across the environment is check all your stuff through ACT first and see what turns up and go from there.

If they are simply "I don't like" gripes, well we had the same when we moved from 2000 to XP 2 years ago. Eventually they got over it. For us, the majority of users like it once they got used to it, but today I still have the occasional whiner who swears all their problems are attributed to Vista (most of the time its a PEBKAC). Reality is change happens, few people like it, best way to deal with it is have them assemble the list of complaints, and go down it line item by line item as to what that problem is, why its happening, and what can be done about it. 3/4 times it comes down to laziness. People don't want to change, do the necessary work to make a change, etc...

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Lord 666 on 2/20/2008 11:27:44 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you.

If you don't already have, you might be interested in this as I posted it on another DT article elsewhere today -

What are you using for VNC access on the Vista machines? That was one internal complaint. The USB drives were exactly what I was refering to by locking down peripherals.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 11:53:33 AM , Rating: 2
Oh excellent link. I work in Reston, VA so it beats having to attend the one down in Washington, DC (Commute blows). Went ahead and signed myself up, Thanks.

For VNC, we (the engineers) favor Remote Desktop built into windows for touching servers, but have Altiris Carbon Copy as well (works on regular workstations, laptops, desktops in the environment) but it is restricted to internal machines only (It can theoretically go outside as well but we don't allow it). Our image deployment, patch deployment, and remote connections for support and infrastructure teams is all Altiris. Rapideploy, Carbon Copy, and Agent. It works, but even I have my share of complaints (but I generally have a list of complaints and annoyances about every piece of software).

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Mitch101 on 2/20/2008 5:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By RogueSpear on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 3:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Retraining is done in house. We don't spend money on classes or whatnot. We tell them, this is being deployed, this is what's different. We have a number of "experts" on staff that stay current on this stuff, usually the teamleads with the occasional exception. The only "training" money spent so to speak are on some technical books which we expense to the tuition reimbursement accounts. I have not worked anywhere yet that has literally sent people off to "train them" on the latest stuff. They are expected to learn on their own on the demo boxes or during the pilot (the technical groups are always the first victims in pilot tests). I see a common notion that companies should train people on the latest stuff, but realistically I have never seen this.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By mondo1234 on 2/20/2008 5:46:14 PM , Rating: 5
I think what RogueSpear is refering to is not only the class time, but the time in lost productivity of the personnel.
Some businesses cannot have 1) customer support reps not able to access information for clients, 2)Secretaries and clerks not able to do thier jobs, 3)Managers not able to access information.

Municipalities with multiple support personnel (cops, fire, dispatchers, streets, sanitation, accountants - all need to input data into their respective systems) dont just tell their employees to learn on your own. Most employees dont want to be computer nerds, they want to do a job and go home.

Large employers have business to do and training is something that comes only when necessary, not when convenient. Remember, its the bottom line ($) or "is it keeping us competitive". Vista isnt a requirement because it doesn't handle the data large employers require any differently. UI differences are huge problems with employees (frustration) and managers because it cuts into productivity.

This is the same problem that large corporations and municipalities are having with Office 2007. Switching wont win major contracts. For major changes, you need to show it will make or save you a considerable amount of money. For government, it costs the taxpayer in purchase cost, lost productivity and training. Most aren't going to change for a while. With the economy the way it is, dont expect it to change anytime soon.

Ok, you can grade me down now for being negative, but once again, thats just the way it is. Nothing against Microsoft, its just the economics of the situation.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By RogueSpear on 2/20/2008 9:21:16 PM , Rating: 3
Most employees dont want to be computer nerds, they want to do a job and go home.

This is a huge point. Ultimately people need to know enough to do their job effectively. This is where things still need to improve. Your example mentioning cops and firemen.. they drive vehicles as a part of their jobs, but we don't expect them to be able to repair a faulty transmission in those vehicles. Well we don't where I live anyway.

With ~200 employees we're not about to send people offsite for training, but what we have done before is bring the training crew to our place.

To the guy who says he trains people himself.. I only wish I had the time to train people. As it stands I barely have the time to do my "regular" job. Perhaps it's different if you work someplace where there's a couple dozen people in the IT dept. In my experience people who do IT training do IT training, they're not typically in the trenches 40+ hours a week. And I see we have a few MS groupies in the house. Little touchy when someone criticizes Vista are we?

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By mondo1234 on 2/20/2008 11:02:40 PM , Rating: 3
For business, Vista is a solution looking for a problem. You are also correct in that training is paramount for serious business.
It should be no surprise that alot of the solutions that are available (even for municipalities) are running on Windows XP.

For Businesses: Secretaries for Memos, Data clerks for customer service and tracking, support mechanics (use them for tracking repairs to vehicles and parts inventory,) Billing systems for payment. HR.
For Municipalities: Police/Fire for reporting, Complaint reps for tracking (potholes, streetlights out) payroll clerks, tax collection. They dont want to be nerds.

I agree, it would be nice to expect them to train themselves, but try to tell a Doctor or Lawyers office that the staff will have to learn how to use the new computer themselves. If there is not serious money in it, they will show you the door - "cuz if it isn't working, they aren't billing".) I think for alot of businesses, if it aint broke, dont fix it applies. XP isn't broke yet!
With Fiscal 2009 coming up for municipalities, funding for new computers might get put off even further. Cities have to cover the costs of fuel increases to ensure police cars, fire engines, paramedic trucks, street sweepers, snow plows (ect) are kept moving. California is Billions in the red for next year alone. New computers get moved further down the punch list when that happens. Money is gonna be tight for the next few years.
Sorry for the long post

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Proteusza on 2/20/2008 10:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
I remember trying to setup a website remotely on a vista machine (through something similar to remote desktop that functions over the internet).

It was a bit of a nightmare, because A) only admin has write access to any IIS folders, and I seem to remember it was impossible to edit config files while in the folder due to that, B) UAC doesnt work across such a connection, so the user had to sit there and click okay every now and again.

I've had at least 2 Vista updates where, afterwards, my PC would not boot. Seeing as MS's official line on complaints is that they only get worked on if there are enough of them (seriously, an MS customer service rep told this to one of my colleagues), I dont bother complaining, and just turn off automatic updates until the problem is fixed.

Its not bad, but not problem free. I'd hate to administer lots of Vista systems.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 11:03:38 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, need clarification.

Is the webserver you were setting the website up on the Vista machine? Or was your client computer running Vista and you were dialing into something else?

If the webserver was Vista, what you needed to do was provision a system account on that box that had permissions to the IIS directories necessary to do that. (Frankly using Vista as a webserver is a mistake IMO, I would have used Server 2003 or 2008 for that. Vista is a client OS, not a server OS).

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Proteusza on 2/20/2008 11:16:09 AM , Rating: 1
It was for demoing, so we used my bosses Vista laptop to demo the site to the client. she happened to not be in the office at the time, so to set the site up we needed to do it remotely.

I didnt like the organization of IIS under Vista either, I found the old IIS more intuitive.

As a desktop OS, its generally fine, barring some teething problems, the only that irritates me is how writing to Program Files etc is heavily restricted - because I often mod my games, it just leads to frustration.

Perhaps its a good office productivity OS, but a terrible gaming OS?

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 11:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
No problems with gaming for me, so not sure what your talking about in regards to this?

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Proteusza on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 12:31:36 PM , Rating: 3
DVD drives disappearing

Never had that happen to me yet, but I have seen it on XP before, usually a malfunction with the drive in my experience.

stability issues (especially with updates)

Only stability problem I've run across so far was when I used dreamscene (the movie for a wallpaper), it promptly disabled itself after it failed. Which I found to be cool.

poor performance

I think this is more of the specs on the machine. Mines a Core 2 with 4 gigs of ram and it purrs along nicely.

lack of drivers for obscure hardware (not usually a huge problem though)

I've never run into this myself, but I have seen on a few occasions this happening to other people.

no DirectSound (luckily I have alchemy)

This hasn't effected me at all. I have not really noticed the difference of not having DirectSound than when I did have it. Might just be that I don't use Creative sound cards (I dislike creative, their products, and their support of said products).

Some compatibility issues with older games, but nothing serious so far.

This I have run into, but it generally stems from an inability to copy required ini files into the docs and settings user profile. I had to install to a virtual 2000 machine and copy them across to make them work (See: C&C Generals).

XP, right now, is the better gaming system. Its more stable, offers the same functionality with better performance, offers accelerated audio, excellent compability. Dont get me wrong, its not that Vista is terrible, its just that it has teething problems while offering nothing concrete in exchange. I like some aspects of the UI, but if I was a hardcore gamer I would probably opt for XP (or wish I had).

Depends on your hardware. If it's good hardware and you exceed the 3gig of ram limit, then Vista(64-bit) is where it's at.

DX10, as of now, offers no tangible benefits and a performance hit.

Agreed. I switch to DX9 in most games, except World in Conflict which under DX10 allows use of my second LCD Monitor as a giant minimap with regular interface on the primary (I thought this was a cool use of my second monitor and first game that has used it).

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Chapbass on 2/20/2008 12:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
DVD drives disappearing

Never had that happen to me yet, but I have seen it on XP before, usually a malfunction with the drive in my experience.

Actually, I've had just the opposite experience. About a year ago I've started to have clients coming in constantly with cd/dvd drives disappearing on them. Usually on winxp, but I had to do the same thing on vista last night. I still cant figure out whats causing it though, it seems completely random. If you dont know about the upper and lower filters fix, do a google search for cd drive upper lower filters.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Proteusza on 2/20/2008 12:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, I found that, it fixed it.

but its the kind of thing that says to me Vista isnt quite there yet.

I dont hate it, but I dont see any improvement over XP.

About the performance - my performance has been fine, what I mean is that for a hardcore gamer for whom every FPS matters (or who cant afford expensive graphics cards) XP would be a better choice.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By glitchc on 2/20/2008 3:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the second monitor as a minimap.. Supreme Commander was the first to do so. And it is not DX10 specific. If it relies on DX10, this is merely a choice the game developers made. There's no technical limitation for DX9 rendering on multiple displays.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By noirsoft on 2/20/2008 12:28:52 PM , Rating: 3
Any program that requires the ability to write to the Program Files directory is poorly coded. Microsoft has been telling people not to do that since before XP came out in 2001. I went to GDC from 1999 - 2005, and MS is constantly telling game developers how to properly write their games to work with limited user profiles, etc. It's not their fault that so many developers are lazy. Vista just enforces the rules that have been in place for 7+ years.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Master Kenobi on 2/20/2008 12:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
True. We at work are guilty of this as well, we have certain programs write to the root believe it or not. We are in the process of fixing that on our XP images so they match up with how it works on our Vista images.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By kelmon on 2/20/2008 10:03:30 AM , Rating: 2
Eventually you have to migrate because the support coverage for the older OS runs out and corporations will not run non-supported applications. Whether this means that my company will migrate to Vista or just skip it and migrate to whatever comes next remains to be seen. I would agree that there is nothing in the Vista client for business that makes it a compelling upgrade compared to the jump from Windows 95 to XP.

RE: No Migrating to Vista.
By Miggle on 2/20/2008 10:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
Most companies that I know of only migrate to another OS if MS drops support of the current one they're using.

By Shadowmaster625 on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Garbage
By Mitch101 on 2/20/2008 9:20:46 AM , Rating: 5
You can predict every variation of hardware and software out there to the point where it could never cause a problem?

RE: Garbage
By kelmon on 2/20/2008 10:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
It's a fair point that given the breadth of software and hardware out there this issue could be due to some weird combo and in that case it's not so much of a problem (except for the people experiencing it). However, if the problem is relatively widespread and not due to some wacky hardware/software combo then Microsoft clearly has to take the blame. If your computer meets the requirements of the software you are installing then you are entitled to expect that it works. So don't be too hasty to allow Microsoft to hide behind the excuse that their market is very big and varied.

RE: Garbage
By Mitch101 on 2/20/2008 10:56:53 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with you to a certain point.

I deal with Microsoft engineers quite a bit and never really found them to deny a potential problem with their OS or patches. Its a lot of code and bugs happen and when identified they do address them. I never found Microsoft to hide behind a problem. They do take some time to identify the root cause at times. They dont make snap judgments like a lot of places do at the first sign of a problem.

What I have found on many occasions is third party companies quick to blame Microsoft for problems with their own software. What we do now is open a case with Microsoft when the blame game starts and pit the two against each other at the same time in support of each other because we need the issue resolved. So far in every case that we have done that on Microsoft essentially has troubleshot the third party companies problem for them and provided a solution that betters the third party application. This at our companies expense of a service call.

Of course this is not the case when its a single client compared to a major corporation but if I had to point a finger in a particular direction. I find that most third party companies are extremely poor at documenting and making bug fixes available to their applications visible or easy to find on the web. Usually you have to call about the issue. My assumption is they think people will see their software or product as buggy and go with someone elses product.

You know you can be sued if you say or document something bad about a third party companies product that you bring in house? These companies provide no online indication their products are loaded with bugs.

Microsoft certainly takes the blame way too often for users who poorly install everything in sight, out of sight (Malware, rootkits, etc) and those who change 10 options to fix the one issue they have and never undo the 9 other changes they just made which will cause something else down the road.

RE: Garbage
By JonnyDough on 2/20/2008 5:39:20 PM , Rating: 1
I try to keep my system up to date with bios and driver updates. Every time I run Windows Update my computer gets slower and slower, and also seems to be getting more and more errors. I'm constantly reinstalling Windows and starting from scratch too, just to get a clean registry for gaming. Other than these "updates" that make XP worse and Vista look better I have to wonder what will happen when Microsoft no longer supports XP. If I want to do a clean install, will I be able to get a new code to allow me to use my Windows License? Or will my old computers be destined for the piles of e-junk?

RE: Garbage
By sweetsauce on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Garbage
By TALENT on 2/22/2008 12:42:10 PM , Rating: 1
Umm my XP was rock solid from day 1. With the exception of some games my Vista is rock solid too.

As for the title of this article it's exaggerated. It makes it sound like the PCs are made unusable when all you have to do is roll back the system state. Yes that's bad but the PC is fine.

RE: Garbage
By lexluthermiester on 2/22/2008 1:27:37 PM , Rating: 1
I'd love to hear how you define "rock solid". When XP came out, it had issues with my video card, sound card and would BSOD randomly. Had no issues with Win2k so I knew it wasn't my hardware. Vista is behaving worse. XP still had issues even after SP1, but they were manageable. And it would seem Vista is following that same trend.

I'll quote my other post since it applies here too;

"As I've stated in other posts, Microsoft has not been doing well for the past few years. There has been an unending string of security issues with XP and now Vista[all you 64 bit adopters are in for a rude awakening soon enough], then there is Xbox360 and the record making defective rates[and after 2 years of manufacturing] and issues with XboxLive, Zune is only just becoming viable as an alternative to ipod, again because of defectives and stability issues[again after 2 years of manufacturing], the very luke-warm reception of Vista due to more issues then I have space to go into, then these issues with Home Server[which are frickin critical issues]. The smack down they received from Yahoo[thank God!] has only added insult to injury. Add to all of that the FACT that people all over the world are migrating to Linux and Mac. And so long a Steve Ballmer keeps doing his thing Microsoft doesn't have a prayer. I hate to say this but things for them were better when Bill was in charge. What to blame someone for the whole activation BS? Look no further than Ballmer.

I guess my real point is, how can anyone be surprised by the issues with Home Server? They should be expected by now.....

In Vista's defense, like Windows ME, the OS can be made to run stably after disabling un-needed parts and changing the configuration of many others. Still, I fail to understand why one should be required to know, let alone apply, the need to tweak the hell out of an OS just to get it working stably. Mac OS works the way it should out of the box and so to do most versions of Linux. Microsoft has spread itself to thin, has the wrong people in leadership positions and is down right too greedy.

OK thats a little more than $0.02 worth, but needed to be said..."

Vista SP1 has already had 3 issues and it's not even officially released to the general public yet. It's in it's final form so I'm inclined to think that it's going to be an unpleasant situation. MS really needs to pull it's act together...

RE: Garbage
By eye smite on 2/24/2008 8:01:31 AM , Rating: 4
I got rated down on another article for siting how their frequency of issues has increased since Vista was put on the market and saying the Microsoft needs new leadership. I don't feel like they need a smarter CEO as much as they need someone with a better grasp on reality........ya know. :-)

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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