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Windows Vista "pre-beta" SP1  (Source: WinBeta)
Microsoft rolls out SP1 for Windows Vista and SP3 for Windows XP

Microsoft is hard at work on Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows Vista. Microsoft's latest consumer operating system launched in November and is expected to be used by over 200 million people before the end of 2007.

As is the case with any operating system, Vista is far from perfect. There have been issues with ReadyBoost, copying/moving large files, resuming from sleep/hibernate and Blu-ray playback on numerous systems.

Microsoft addressed a number of these problems in late July through the release of the "938979 Vista Performance and Reliability Pack" and "938194 Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack." The software packs were originally issued only to Vista beta testers, but are now available to the general public.

Those fixes along with a host of other updates are expected to make their way into SP1. A private beta of SP1 was issued in early July and testers have been pinging ZDNET's Mary Jo Foley regarding the latest builds. According to Foley, each tester that contacted her had a different build number.

"My first guess was the secrecy-obsessed Windows Vista team might be providing different testers with different build numbers in order to trace leaks," said Foley.

This move isn't too surprising considering that the folks at Microsoft weren't too happy with Foley's report on the SP1 beta.

According to AeroXperience, the latest build of SP1 sent to testers was labeled 6001.16549. In addition, WinBeta claims to have screenshots of SP1 which was distributed via an ISO -- 3.07GB for the 32-bit version and 4.3GB for the 64-bit version.

In addition to the SP1 information, AeroXperience also reports that Windows XP SP3 was released to testers (Build 5.1.2600.3180). The download weighs in at 350MB and supposedly fixes over 900 issues with the operating system.



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By Ajax9000 on 8/7/2007 9:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
It would be good if XP SP3 fixed the "feature" that RAID 1 is disabled (yes I know it can be hacked around).

And no I'm not holding my breath.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307880
quote:
You cannot create mirrored volumes on computers that are running Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition. However, you can use a computer that is running Windows XP Professional to create mirrored volumes on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. You must have administrative privileges on the remote computer to do this.




By isaacmacdonald on 8/7/2007 10:01:33 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed--OSX has had this obvious/basic feature available for as long as I can remember. Removing this bizarre limitation in XP would produce a generous measure of goodwill.


RE: It would be good if XP SP3 fixed the "feature" ...
By del on 8/8/2007 1:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
It would also be good if they fixed the "feature" where you can't change the default name of the Administrator account. As far as I know, this can't be done. :(


By larson0699 on 8/8/2007 4:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
What? WHAT??

For starts: http://www.nliteos.com


By IvanAndreevich on 8/8/2007 12:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why? I always rename mine.


By glitchc on 8/9/2007 11:11:16 AM , Rating: 2
Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Local Security Policy

Click on Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options. On the right, look for a Policy field called "Accounts: Rename administrator account." Double click on the field to edit it.


By afkrotch on 8/8/2007 12:22:33 PM , Rating: 1
The hell wants to use software RAID?


RE: It would be good if XP SP3 fixed the "feature" ...
By iFX on 8/8/2007 2:38:03 PM , Rating: 1
Thats what I was thinking also. Talk about SLOW.


By doctat on 8/9/2007 2:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
software raid 1 slow? gimme a break. you're mirroring a single disk. you may get a very slight ding on write speed, but will actually improve your read throughput.

i've been mirroring my data for years, and highly recommend everyone do it. losing all your data due to a dead hard drive is FAR more painful than the overhead of software mirroring.


By Christopher1 on 8/26/2007 12:48:25 AM , Rating: 2
Better to just have an external hard drive, like I am going to purchase tomorrow.

That way, I can just totally backup my drive.


By Polynikes on 8/7/2007 10:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
What the heck? Is that true? What the heck!


By MrDiSante on 8/7/2007 10:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
No. But you DO need 2 dynamic disks to do it. Point being, here's an article on how to do it: https://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/...
The article in the parent post is probably about the inability to do it with only one dynamic volume or something.
Did I mention I'm writing this off a machine with RAID 0+1? So there goes that theory.


By Tamale on 8/10/2007 2:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
no, he's right. you can't do software raid in xp without a little hacking.. it's ridiculous.


By webdawg77 on 8/8/2007 9:39:01 AM , Rating: 2
How is this true? I'm running XP Pro in RAID 1 right now. I did nothing to "fix" this. I just setup the drives in RAID 1 through the MB / BIOS and then installed Windows.


By Spivonious on 8/9/2007 9:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think the OP meant doing RAID 1 in software.


By v1001 on 8/9/2007 11:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
I've got a few things I wish were fixed. I can't wait for the serviCe pack. This OS gets a little choppy and clunky sometimes too. I hope they smooth it out.


Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By giantpandaman2 on 8/7/2007 8:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Err, the subject says it all. Genuine question by the way.




RE: Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/7/2007 9:07:44 PM , Rating: 3
"The rather large ISO sizes may be explained by debug code for this early phase of testing or it may be related to additional drivers (not sure on this one)"

-- WinBeta


By hemming on 8/8/2007 9:28:33 AM , Rating: 3
Brandon,

I'll help you out as to why there is the driver explaination for the 64-bit ISO being larger then the 32-bit version of Vista.

The short answer is WHQL Certification for Windows Vista.

The slightly longer answer is that companies that want WHQL Certification are REQUIRED to produce a 64-bit driver for their hardware. The downside to this is that they cannot produce 'just' a 32-bit. So if they want a 32-bit, a 64-bit driver must be submitted within the next 90 days after the 32-bit driver is.

I'm trying to locate the ms.com URL for the Logo requirements to support this, and will edit this post afterwards to include it.

The only reason that I know about this is because I'm part of a technical support team for one of the top printer vendors in the world, and we don't have 32-bit drivers yet for some products.

Lack of drivers make for some bad phone calls =(


By ZoZo on 8/8/2007 6:15:48 AM , Rating: 1
My guess is that much information which was stored in 32 bits is now stored in 64 bits in x64 executables and resources. Therefore the file size is larger.


RE: Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By Sahrin on 8/8/2007 7:58:51 AM , Rating: 3
This same question has been asked before (the RTM x64 ISO's were larger as well). There are several theories:

1) 32-bit API's must be included for Compatibility Mode. x64 Includes Win64, WoW, AND Win32. Two extra entire API sets for 32-bit apps.
2) 32-bit user mode drivers (same issue as above, but with user drivers instead of API's - must have two sets to operate).

These two in addition to those mentioned about by Brandon seem pretty reasonable to me. Also there's the, larger number space, larger storage space required - but that's just amateur conjecture on my part.


RE: Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By ChristopherO on 8/8/2007 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the real reason is that the compiled code is just larger... If you take a simple function, compile it via an x86 compiler, then do a separate build with an x64 compiler, the 64-bit code will be 30% bigger.

You need to remember, compiled code is not like saving a word document. Rather the compiler changes whatever a programmer creates into machine code. The machine code will be vastly different based on a multitude of things (registers, underlying architecture, CISC/RISC, etc).

The code size is even more inflated when you move from a CISC to RISC platform. As an example, the x64 code is 30% bigger than x86 code, but IA64 (Itanium code) is 150% larger. Once again, this is due to the architecture of the chip. The exact same code will end up being different sizes on different platforms...

The data files will be the exact same size. Meaning a game compiled for 64-bit will have a larger executable but none of the other resources will need to change. As a result, if you examine windows disks the only thing you'll notice with inflated sizes are EXE, dll, and any other type of file containing compiled executable code. 64-bit Windows contains a discrete subsystem for 32-bit execution, but it does not contain an individual set of files. 64-bit system files contain the same APIs as 32-bit variants and are thus used with the 32-bit emulator (WoW 64).


RE: Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By sturedrup on 8/9/2007 5:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
The only one here that could explain why x64 windows is 30% bigger was ChristopherO, however even that explanation probably went over a lot of peoples heads. I’ll try and explain it in VERY SIMPLE terms.

X64 Windows runs NATIVE X64 CODE when it first boots up, hell the x64 system is the EXACT same size as the X86 version.

Now in order to run an x86 application the x64 system runs a subsystem emulator called “WoW64”. To explain WoW64 it’s the bones (not the skin, organs or nervous system) of the x86 version of windows.

Now the drivers for graphics, cpu, printer, keyboard, etc are ONLY in x64 code. Why? Remember when you first boot up an x64 OS your in x64 territory, and x86 code means jack all to x64. HOWEVER system drivers like .DLL, .NET and registry values MUST contain both x64 and x86. This is because applications are in either x64 or x86 code. This becomes confusing because x64 DLL’s only work with x64, and x86 …… you get the idea.

Now I’ll try and explain how an x64 OS functions:

You boot up your pc and the desktop loads, your system is running native x64 code. You decide to run BF2 (remember this is just and example). You execute bf2.exe. x64 windows detects an x86 code and boots up WoW64, and this is where the fun starts. WoW64 must then TRANSLATE the x86 bf2.exe into x64 code. This is because the native system is x64 and x86 code is jibbajabba, also more importantly your graphics driver especially is only running x64 code. However bf2.exe runs off x86 .net and .dll’s, EVERYTHING ELSE must be translated into x64 code.

So to answer your question, why is x64 windows 30% larger? Simple, x64 contains its native code and the bones of x86 systems. The 30% increase is not “entirely” from the size of x64 code, more importantly it contains another system’s code and acts as a subsystem, therefore increasing its size.

sturedrup


By Jedi2155 on 8/9/2007 5:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it WoW32?


My big problem with Vista
By wordsworm on 8/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: My big problem with Vista
By omnicronx on 8/8/2007 9:30:35 AM , Rating: 2
um by any chance did you do an upgrade from XP?
sounds like certain languages only work with a custom/clean installation, probably because the language packs are totally different.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932856

try a clean install that may work..
or learn English.. being Canadian you should know only French and English are needed to be supported by law. You seem to write very well so i do not see what your problem is though ;)


RE: My big problem with Vista
By Flunk on 8/8/2007 10:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think you might be confused. You need to have Vista Ultimate to have the system display the windows interface in other languages. You can still type in and display other languages in other versions of Vista (just like XP). You just need to add the right keyboard/IME settings. I have no problems typing in Japanese on my English copy of Vista Business.

Hey, we Canadians are allowed to speak/type any language we want. We don't discriminate here.


RE: My big problem with Vista
By omnicronx on 8/8/2007 11:02:18 AM , Rating: 2
Very, true, i thought he was talking about plain old language support, not displaying the windows interface itself.

quote:
Hey, we Canadians are allowed to speak/type any language we want.


you are allowed to talk in whatever you want, but by law only french and english (being our official languages) need to be supported ;) Just look at a box of cereal or a video game next time you buy one ;)


RE: My big problem with Vista
By wordsworm on 8/9/2007 7:46:21 AM , Rating: 2
My Vista doesn't have that ability. The keyboard setting for all of the Asian typographies (I only checked Japanese and Korean) only display an English keyboard. The IMEs for other languages like Russian and French are no problem at all. I learned from XP about that stuff. It's only in Vista 64 that I've found that it doesn't have the Korean keyboard. I can read Asian typographies, I just can't type with them.


RE: My big problem with Vista
By wordsworm on 8/9/2007 8:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
I should have said "Vista Ultimate and Vista Business." I forgot to mention that the business version, I've read, offers Asian/Roman typography. The only thing I'm complaining about is the ability to type and read in Korean. I don't need a second interface.


I wish....
By donttrustme on 8/8/2007 3:17:18 AM , Rating: 2
Plz don't mind this comment.....I jus wished they added support for DirectX 10 in Windows XP SP3...I kno its not possible because of the changes in graphics API and driver model tht Vista currenty has ...but still




RE: I wish....
By larson0699 on 8/8/2007 4:03:31 AM , Rating: 3
It IS possible. But that would just be appeasing us XP folk.

Tho$e game$ are only available for Vi$ta for a rea$on...


RE: I wish....
By TomZ on 8/12/2007 10:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
You're right - the co$t of development!


Part of Microsoft Update?
By Captain Orgazmo on 8/8/2007 2:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
Can anyone tell me if the vista fix packs mentioned in the article were included in regular windows updates? It would be much appreciated...




Performance gap
By SandmanWN on 8/9/2007 9:47:11 AM , Rating: 2
Somehow I have this little itch in the back of my mind that says Vista will perform about 5% faster after service pack 1 and somehow XP will be about 5% slower after service pack 3.

Just a premonition if you will but I can completely see MS pulling some BS to close the gap between the two and blame the slow down in XP on those so called 900 bugs.

wait for it....




Notebooks...
By daftrok on 8/7/2007 11:37:01 PM , Rating: 1
When will they make this OS run more smoothly so that notebooks' battery lives are not compromised so heavily as they are in the process?




By guidryp on 8/8/2007 8:42:53 AM , Rating: 1
Messy Transition 2 showed Vista gobbling memory like crazy, will these patches fix that? AT should retest.




Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By elegault on 8/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By darkpaw on 8/7/2007 8:44:32 PM , Rating: 1
Vista is in no way more buggy then ME was. 900 issues with XP are most likely going to be tiny things like typos in help files or minor changes in undocumented functions.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By onereddog on 8/7/2007 8:53:39 PM , Rating: 3
I have been running Vista for a couple of weeks now and I have not seen any bugs.
Mind you I never tried ReadyBoost. But sleep seemed to work fine the one time I used it.

The closest thing to a bug I had was when I wanted to test if the Paradox and Clony cracks worked. They do, but not on a Nforce 4 board.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By MrDiSante on 8/7/2007 9:03:04 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. Been running vista since RC1 and haven't had any problems with it. there was a fair bit of incompatibility in the RC1/RC2 days and a few BSOD's (all of them videocard based, which leads me to suspect bad beta drivers), but all of it has been solved either with RTM or program updates. Haven't had a single system hang or BSOD since I upgraded to the release version. Closest thing to a bug I've seen is Nero AG components interfering with the DivX codec, though something tells me that it's not Vista's fault.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By larson0699 on 8/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By Nekrik on 8/8/2007 1:39:28 PM , Rating: 3
That's some pretty shakey logic you're using there. It couldn't possibly be that one of the other apps is incompatible with Vista now could it? The apps were written to run on XP, not Vista. It's the same case as when you can't run an app designed for Windows 98 on an NT based system, it's not the fault of NT, it just means some people will spread a lot of FUD.


By imaheadcase on 8/7/2007 11:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Vista is in no way more buggy then ME was. 900 issues with XP are most likely going to be tiny things like typos in help files or minor changes in undocumented functions.


That 900 "fixes" also includes fixes already released by MS, so its actually a lot less because general people get fixes to specific problems by searching MS support site for downloads. They don't put lots of downloads on windows update.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By av911 on 8/7/2007 9:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
They probably fixed 900 issues since SP2, accumulation of hot fixes since then.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By Nekrik on 8/7/2007 9:05:47 PM , Rating: 5
If you're shocked at that number then you'd be amazed at the number of bugs in nearly any other app, be it commercial, open source, whatever. A million lines of code can have a huge number of bugs ranging in severity and easiness to detect, this number is just indicating a portion of the ones they know about and are fixing. Your suprise at the number of bug fixes, the useless jab by comparing it to WinME, and use of M-dollar sign all make you look pretty silly.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By mindless1 on 8/8/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By retrospooty on 8/7/2007 11:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
"This is plain ridiculous. Why would there still be 900 issues after all this time? "

Any OS, including Linux, and OSX all have thousands upon thousands of bugs. Most of them are minor, its totally normal. SP3 has over 900 fixes since SP2, but its not like the worlds most widely used OS is inoperable due to these bugs. Almost all of us use XP, and few of us have any issues with it.

My big gripe with XP (and all MS OS's) is that it is too easily corruptable, and can get bloated and slow over time.


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By larson0699 on 8/8/2007 4:21:24 AM , Rating: 2
If nLite isn't your friend, then Linux is.

No bloat here. And as for corruptible.. Put a router in between PC/modem, quit downloading *.vbs on LimeWire, hide hidden/system files, ban idiots from the machine, and then scan and remove malware. If problems persist, log in as a User rather than Administrator.

SpeedGuide.net's Security Analyzer ( http://www.speedguide.net/scan.php ) is great for discovering how exposed your machine is and the likely culprits.

Try a dual-core processor, too. And yes, XP was good when released, and only greater after Vista.


By majorpain on 8/8/2007 8:44:11 AM , Rating: 2
Have to agree... :D


By omnicronx on 8/8/2007 9:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
not a problem now, but back in the day when i first started to use nix, I must have reinstalled 10 times before getting things right haha. Viruses aside, nix is just as easy to corrupt as Windows.. that is if you don't know what you are doing ;)

setting up x windows was especially fun ;)


RE: Sometimes I wonder about M$.
By retrospooty on 8/9/2007 9:58:18 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... True, but I am referring to Windows's corruptability to novice users. I am perfectly able to keep mine clean, but its a pain in the ass always helping friends and family, and anyone else that finds out I can fix it... "can you take a look at my PC, its really slow now, it used to be fast"


By Christopher1 on 8/26/2007 12:51:15 AM , Rating: 2
Corruptable? Not unless you don't have it on a battery backup, and even then it's pretty hard to corrupt. 99 times out of 100, when I have thought that my system was 'corrupt', I run a Registry cleaner and find out "Holy FARK! Better than half the registry is obsolete entries from me trying out different software!" or I run PerfectDisk and find out "Wow! 40% fragmentation? I gotta run this now!"


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