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Laptops: Unfortunately "pre-installed" Vista!

I have completely given up from Vista and such as it is only for people who are newbies to computers (much like AOL is to Internet people – Not for advanced users / experts and too much BS you don’t need).

My new laptop was absolutely awesome, but the major problem with iot is that it came with Vista, actually the “all in one awesome” 64-bit version (until now).

First of all, the laptop, a Sony Vaio PGN FW-245 U/P, came with too much EXTRA crap (yes, crap) that I’ll never use. Yeah, there was Vista, but a ton of other TRIAL software, including Office 2007, that either costed $500 to activate and / or was a “disabled lite” version, for example, Roxio DVD creator wrote CD ROMs, but won’t burn DVD’s unless you coughed up $200 to upgrade it.

So I uninstalled all these useless extras “for dummies” I was left with bare Vista 64-Bit. I began the all-important installation of my “important” programs. Here was my “experience”…

1. Sonic DVD IT … The install program, after nearly 10 minutes of “installing programs please wait” aborted with “cannot find CRYPTO.DLL” … LOL, the same name as my former dog. The install aborted and basicall said to me “your’e SOL”. I searched google for CRYPTO.DLL and found nothing for it on DVD IT. An upgrade to a Vista compatible version of DVD IT is a mere $499. LOL.

2. Next up was Adobe Premiere 6.5, by far the most important program I use for video editing. The install (SETUP.EXE) bombed with a message “this version of windows has blocked SETUP.EXE due to incompatibility issues” and had no “run anyway” button, just cancelled, so that was another SOL. Upgrade price: CS4 at $1,100. Just adding it, to see what one would spend because of Vista – Cha-Ching, eeeooon – Cash piles up, now more than the $800 for the new laptop, which I though was a steal.

3). Both Swift WX amd Delorme Street Atlas 2006 failed to install. The install program bombed with an error, and it stopped … So no dice here … And for storm chasing, there goes data and navigation. No program, just an error from the install. This, after Premiere, was a total discouragement.

4). Corel 11 Graphics Studio did install, but crashed often with a memory error. At least this product installed and ran, but did not run well. Upgrading this to a Vista Compatible version also was at least $699.

5). MS Visual Basic, an important program for web updating and custom programming, failed to install. Message told me I had 17 MB free on my C: drive and needed 50 MB or more to continued the install. When I checked it was 192 GB free, but MS VB never “knew” that, so I saw the all-to-familiar Ok button that causes the install to die when clicked. Upgrade options here are to go to VB Net and shell out nearly $1000 in upgrades.

6). Even my trusty Avasat Antivirus was bad with a taste of Vista. It installed, but gave me an RPC error for the startup service. Manually attempting to start the service (always started fine in XP Pro) was useless and never started (gave an "unable to start") error ... So Avast antivirus was useless with Vista. I did not look for a "vista compatible" update, as by this point, I no longer cared.

After this, and totally discouraged, I decided to abandon Vista and install XP Pro on the laptop. I did the same on my new desktop I built a few weeks ago, where I put on XP Pro and all was well (just much faster). When I tried to put XP on the laptop, bang … Soomething I never seen before – a BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!

Tried it several times, and the same error after the install disk loaded – Blue screen, with a stop error of 0x0000007B. Goggling and looking at Microsoft on this issue simply told me the boot sector of the HD was hosed (virus), or the bios was incompatible. I then tried Windows 2000, but this time the install blue-screened with an error saying the ACPH API is incompatible and a driver can be loaded from the site www.support-downloads.com (that link was rotton – gave me site not found error) … Opps another big yellow diamond saying “dead end”.

I took the hard drive (a Hitachi SATA drive) out of the laptop, as one last resort, and attempted to format it with XP Pro in another computer. The install worked fine and there was no blue screen (confirming it was a BIOS issue). Putting it back in the laptop (with XP on it) blue screened.

I then decided to put the drive back to factory, by re-installing it back the way it was, based on the backup DVDs I made before even messing with the laptop ;-) After a 2-3 hour “office space progress bar” type wait, Vista 64 bit was back on the laptop, but did not have the same settings as original. And any attempt still did not make my “essentials” for storm chasing / video work. I had another Vista disk, for my desktop (without all the extra bloatware) which was 32-bits, and attempted to install that.

That version of Vista installed fine, but many drivers were missing, so I went to SonyStyle.com to look for drivers (I did this with an earlier laptop, for XP a few years ago, with very pleasant results) … This time, my commuters model, was not in the list. I needed FW-245, but saw the sickening “gap” between FW-198 and FW-250 … LOL.

This is where I gave up, hands in the air, and again, tried to put the original factory setup disks back on the laptop and return it to the store. When trying to put the original disks back on, a pop-up “error 403” would appear and the restore to original would abort.

Frustrated and now fuming mad … I said screw it and brought the laptop back to the store. I proudly “ate” the $125 “refurbish and restock fee” since the computer now gave a “missing operating system” message and called it quits. I even returned the new bag for the laptop computer since it was a 17” monitor. All in all, since I used gift cards and my Amex for the laptop, the whole ordeal wound up costing me about $75, plus several years taken off my “hearts life” from the stress.

Consider this if you buy a laptop with Vista previously installed on it.

Also, when buying a laptop, take the XP Pro Installation disk with you, put it in one of the laptops on display, and reboot it (It won’t install anything) … You’ll know if you can install XP Pro if you don’t get a “blue screen” before it asks you to format the C: drive and continue (then you can buy that laptop) ;-)

Consider this when using christmas money to look for a new Laptop ... In order to use Vista and get all your "storm chasing" stuff to work may cost you at leasdt 2-3 times in upgrades than what you paid for that laptop!

You were warned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhe0H8RDNcc

That’s my 2-cents worth…
 
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I use 64-bit Vista and had no problem with Spotternetwork, GRLevel2, GRLevel3, GR2AE, VMWare GEMPAK, Microsoft Streets 2008 w/GPS, Visual Basic 2005 and VB 2008...
 
I like Vista and I disagree that the OS is for newbies, in fact I think the main reason so many people have problems with it is because they aren't computer savvy and can't find their way around the OS. There are some dumb features in Vista but with some tweaking you can disable them.

Back when Vista first came out it was full of bugs which have since been fixed with windows updates. When I hear people say they won't ever use Vista their reasons are generally because it is buggy, when questioned about what bugs they begin rambling off the bugs Vista had when it first came out and the person doesn't realize that those bugs have been fixed. I agree that Vista still has flaws, but even XP I still find flaws with. The main thing I like to point out is the fact it took 2 service packs to make XP what it is today, and as I said I still find bugs with XP. So no OS is perfect.

As far as software compatibility issues, the main thing to keep in mind is if you are using an old version of a software that was made in the Windows 98/2000 era than chances are that version is no longer supported and updates are no longer being supplied, at some point that software is bound to stop working and just so happens it was Vista, if it had stopped working with XP then one would be saying XP sucks. Adobe Premiere 6.5 probably hasn't seen an update in years, I don't even remember when that version of Adobe Premiere came out. I use Adobe Premiere CS3 and it works flawlessly on Vista.

Another thing I would recommend is checking the software manufacturer's website and see if a driver update is available so that it will work with Vista. I think once we see more and more software manufacturers making drivers for Vista we'll see less and less of these compatibility issues, we are getting there and it is better than it was, remember Vista is still a new OS and it takes time to get these updates out to make the software compatible.

I also think a lot of people tend to just blame Vista for problems they're having only because it's a new OS that they're using and in fact has nothing to do with the actual problem the user is having, this as a result causes them to say "Vista sucks, it is causing all these problems.". Being a beta tester for a company that develops software in house I see this a lot. So many times after I get done testing something and roll the updates out I get people who wants to blame every problem they have on the new updates when the updates has nothing to do with it. I've sent out software updates and then had people call me saying "your updates you sent out messed such and such up" and then I when I look at it the problem had nothing to do with the updates. I think people blames Vista for any and all problems simply because it's the easy thing to do when really the problem is just old and outdated drivers or a driver conflict which can occur on any OS.

I don't think many people will have more than 4GB of memory, but keep in mind that if you do get a computer that has 6GB or more of memory than you will have to use Vista since XP will only see up to 4GB of memory. My computer has 6GB, if I switch to XP I will lose 2GB, I hear I can use a 64-Bit version of XP that supposedly handles it but I have heard it is more of a pain than it is worth.

When I read these rants about Vista my feelings about them are mixed. I started using Vista about 5 months ago, prior to that I had the same "Vista sucks" opinion that many people have and that opinion was based on what I heard about Vista when it first came out and it was full of bugs. Five months later, I love Vista and I have not had any problems with Vista. Everything I used before on XP works on Vista, I've never had any compatibility issues, never had random crashes, and I've tweaked the OS so that all the dumb features are disabled.

Chris, I hope none of what I said offends you, it was just a generic reply that wasn't exactly directed at you or anyone else. I'm just speaking from my experiences with Vista.
 
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I agree with Scott; re-partition the HDD and then put on both OS's. But do this if you have a HDD that is 100Gb or larger.
I've got COPIES of Vista in my file cabinet that I don't and won't use til they make it work as well as Xp. I just like Xp because it doesn't slow down the system as Vista does. That is really my biggest gripe! Put a speed efficiency bench test on the same dual-boot box, and Xp will produce good numbers. And Vista will will say "cannot find dll..." If I were to put on another OS after repartitioning the HDD, I would use Ubuntu. In fact, Ubuntu will re-partition the HDD for you; no external pre-program is even necessary. I'm not sure if adding WINE to Ubuntu will allow for GR3/SpotterNetwork/DeLorme, but I'd bet that it would.
 
3). Both Swift WX amd Delorme Street Atlas 2006 failed to install. The install program bombed with an error, and it stopped … So no dice here … And for storm chasing, there goes data and navigation. No program, just an error from the install. This, after Premiere, was a total discouragement.

FYI, I run Vista 64bit.... SwiftWX, Garmin nRoute and GPS Gate run fine on mine.
 
My Sony Vaio (model PCG-7133L) laptop with Vista works great. I can run GR3, Streets and Trips, Spotter Network without any issues. All the trial software that came on the laptop are not added by Vista, but by the manufacturer. The first laptop I bought came with more trial software than my latest one. I like my new laptop better because it ran more smoothly and seemed faster than my previous one. I just uninstall whatever I don't use and tweak which programs start up, etc. Vista does take a little bit getting used to it, but there are a lot of options you can change to make the OS more suitable for you.

I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate problems Chris, but Joey made good points. From the problems you were having, it sounded like the laptop had other major issues aside from Vista, perhaps the system itself was not good enough? I ran a Google search on your model and it returned about 4 results including this thread. I guess that says something there, unless it's listed under a different name.
 
Put a speed efficiency bench test on the same dual-boot box, and Xp will produce good numbers. And Vista will will say "cannot find dll..."

What software are you using to run your bench test? I use SiSoft Sandra and it runs fine on Vista, 3DMark Vantage also runs fine on Vista as well. Sounds to me like you might be using an old version of the software that was designed for an earlier OS than Vista. Make sure you have the latest updates of the software, if the last version you have is prior to Vista's release that would explain why it works in XP and not Vista. If that is not the case, then make sure you are picking up all the Windows Updates as that can eventually lead to problems if you don't. A "cannot find dll" error is generally from a bad install of either the software or the OS. As I stated in my last post, people new to Vista or not computer savvy encounter problems and immediately wants to blame Vista saying it sucks when really it has nothing to do with the OS itself but rather something else. Several people I know have encountered problems with certain software they were using on Vista and was blaming it on Vista calling it a horrible OS, yet I installed it on my computer that runs Vista and it worked fine which told me that Vista was not the direct cause of the software not working and that it was computer specific and something other than Vista causing the problem.

I'm betting that's the case with the bench mark software you are using, once you tell me what you're using I'll install it and I'm betting it will run fine.
 
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Exactly what Joey says. I had some issues initially with Vista, but rather than blame the OS, I assumed it was either my own ignorance of how the new OS operates, old software and I needed to move into the future, or a combination of both.

Now all my machines are running on Vista and running GREAT and super fast. (They all have 4 gigs of memory too). And for the first time, I don't feel like after a year of running my OS I need to do a "fresh install" every year because of all the leftover crap that has build up and bogged down the system like it did in XP.
 
Good afternoon,

Looks like this is clearly my luck of the draw with a laptop with a crappy version of Vista.

I'll wait 6-months to a year and try again, in the meanwhile, I'll stick with XP Pro.

BTW: I cannot do any dual-boot as XP Pro failed to even install on the laptop. This was a BIOS issue and not Vista related.

This is bleeding-edge technology that just came out after the holidays ... I had the SAME issues with other computers / OS's in the past - All of which improved over time (as bugs were fixed / updates came out).
 
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Have you tried a clean install of Vista? You should always format a new laptop to remove the bloat. My vista starts off with only 31 processes running and is super fast with only a few minor problems.
 
Good afternoon,

Looks like this is clearly my luck of the draw with a laptop with a crappy version of Vista.

I'll wait 6-months to a year and try again, in the meanwhile, I'll stick with XP Pro.

BTW: I cannot do any dual-boot as XP Pro failed to even install on the laptop. This was a BIOS issue and not Vista related.

This is bleeding-edge technology that just came out after the holidays ... I had the SAME issues with other computers / OS's in the past - All of which improved over time (as bugs were fixed / updates came out).

There's really no reason to do that, Vista has come along ways since it was first release and most of the bugs have been fixed with windows updates. Do a fresh install of Vista and then pick up all windows updates, that combined with using all the latest drivers for all your software and I bet you will be pleased with Vista.
 
I think a fix might have been a clean install of only Vista... This is standard procedure as far as I'm concerned. Either buy a business laptop, or if you must go retail, first thing I do when the computer comes home is crack open the restore CD's. They usually don't contain all the garbage software, or at least give you the option of installing the 'valuable extras'.

As far as the other apps not working, that's to be expected. You have to remember that you're jumping an OS version AND a complete architecture jump from x32 to x64 computing. That's a lot of system change to put old apps through, it's not surprising that there were issues. On the modern apps like Swift, etc. I would bet it's residual damage from all the uninstalls taking too many files.

Too bad you had such a bad experience, I think most vendors try to avoid that obviously. I think with Windows 7 we'll find even more older software that won't work with it as to drop some of the bloat, the easiest thing to drop (and most necessary from a size and security standpoint) is backward compatibility. Windows users aren't used to that...
 
This is a super easy way to do a clean install posted on this forum:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=120228

I have done this on every one of my machines. It's the only way to truly get rid of the bloatware that comes with the factory machines.

BTW, the restore discs that come with your machine, or in the case of some like HP, you have to create yourself, they are to restore your machine back to it's ORIGINAL state new, bloatware and all.
 
CD Collura:
If you want to continue using Xp and want to keep the garbage off of the system, there is a free software available called 'CCleaner'.
http://www.ccleaner.com/download

I use it at the end of each day of running my box, and it does an excellent job. After you install it, just don't check off any of the boxes given that are left open. Just run it as it is as they set it up - works great. If you check off more boxes to filter, you may have some problems - not worth it. Unless you are a pro, I would leave them alone.
73's
 
my philosophy on vista, and the problems you are currently experiencing...

it sounds like your computer is well equiped to run vista...i think where alot of the complaints originated about vista began with accelerated release of the OS ahead of when it probably should have been released and the installation of the OS on computers whos hardware wasnt capable of running vista, with aero and all the different moving and gliding windows...

the 64 bit is also a problem with some people...some programs havent been wrote for 64bit vista, and thus wont work unless with 32 bit or XP...thats probably why your programs wont run, youll need a 64bit copy, and if its not available then your out of luck...as far as the blue screening is concerned, thats a windows error...you probably tried to install XP pro on a computer specifically designed for vista and it didnt know what to do...im no computer expert but atleast you took it back to the store instead of busting it up...

what a story, im sorry that happened bro...ive been down that road before, the new phone and camera i bought looked so cool but turned out to be really difficult to use in real life...all and all, its a brand new operating system...someone who has used a PC their whole life would find a different OS different and possible difficult to use...bottom line is, you have to try to take the time to learn the way of the modern world...vista will be replaced by windows seven i believe, and if you keep using XP it wont be long before its left behind altogether...
 
my plan for my next laptop is get a mac... Then set it up to run windows and ubuntu inside the mac os. That way I don't have to repartition anything. I have a friend who does this and am jelous. That way if I don't like on operating system I will switch to another.
 
as far as the blue screening is concerned, thats a windows error...you probably tried to install XP pro on a computer specifically designed for vista and it didnt know what to do...im no computer expert but atleast you took it back to the store instead of busting it up...

A blue screen of death isn't always a windows error, they can occur for other reasons such as bad memory or drivers conflict. I've seen corrupted video drivers cause a blue screen of death. Also there is no such thing as a computer specifically designed for Vista, a computer is built to meet the requirements for Vista to run, but beyond that if it can run Vista then it will have no problems running XP.
 
Chris, there has to be some problems with something other than Vista on your computer. Every one of my programs that I had on my XP machine runs fine with Vista. I even have some older programs like Photostudio 2000 and Delorme Street Atlas 2005 that runs great with Vista. Like some have said here, check for updates on drivers. Vista's not the problem here.
 
Good day all,

Thanks for your opinions and advice on this subject. First of all, the problem might be exactly as specified, all the trials and bloat-ware (crap) that is shoved down your throat on a new PC / Laptop :-(

First of all, that's EXACTLY what I did ... Attempted to do the restore CD's and re-install ONLY Vista. Unfortunately, this is what I ran into...

There were no CD's that came with the Laptop. Sony has a partition on the hard-drive (about 10 GB) that contains an install "image". When you first run the computer, you use this to create the backup CD's.

Second, there is no pick-and-choose with the CD's when you restore the system. My old laptop allowed an OS only option, where you do an install and "un-check" MS Works, AOL, and all the junk - Except for the OS (which has the drivers) ... Worked great. This go-around, there was two options, a "complete install" and "factory-default" ... Both installed the OS AND the "garbage" in both cases, the latter less the windows updates. This might be a Sony Vaio thing (or others as well) on laptops sold in stores for the "average joe".

I will research a bit more on this to only get a Vaio that ONLY has the OS and drivers for that laptop. If Sony cannot do that, then I'll go with a Dell (as we use those at my workplace and can get one discounted).

I agree with running ONLY vista on this and not the other BS that is shipped with these laptops (in retail) as I am a storm chaser and IT person and can figure out how to use a computer for video / navigation and don't need "granny's AOL" companion 30-day trial ;-)

Thanks guys,
 
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Call up sony and ask for the OS CD. If they are anything like Dell they will send you one. If this doesn't fix your problems then you need to return your laptop:)
 
My new HP laptop I bought a month or so ago is the same way. It has no operating system CD. It's just like what Christopher described.
 
Most manufacturers don't send the restore CD's anymore. Millions of PC's/laptops with millions of CD's = millions of dollars. They wait for someone to have an issue then send a CD if they are under warranty - if not, they'll ask for a few hundred dollars to reinstall the OS. ALWAYS ask for the restore CD within the warranty period even if you don't need it.
 
Good day all,

Call up sony and ask for the OS CD. If they are anything like Dell they will send you one. If this doesn't fix your problems then you need to return your laptop:)

I just returned the laptop ... Ate the $125 restock-fee for Geek squad and called it quits.

vista-cracked.jpg


Bummer...
 
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