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Laptops: Unfortunately "pre-installed" Vista!

For future reference, when ordering a Sony VAIO, you can get the free "Fresh Start" option that will install only the basic OS and hardware drivers - no bloatware at all.
 
One correction on RAM in XP... it only "sees" 3.5 GB if you have 4GB+ in your laptop. XP will absolutely fly on a laptop with a Core2 Duo processor and 4GB ram.

The main reasons some people want to keep XP is because it is familiar... been around for over 7 years now... lots of driver support, etc. Also, people don't want to spend money to upgrade programs that they know, or spent a load on just a few years ago.

Chris mentioned Adobe 6.5... who cares how old it is? If he knows the program, knows it works on XP, and it does what he needs, he shouldn't have to buy another grand worth of Adobe products just so it works on his $800 laptop :)

Anyway, if anyone is interested, I am a Dell reseller and can get good deals on new laptops that still have XP, come with reinstall CD's, etc. Shoot me a PM or email if interested. (oh, and NEVER buy anything from Best Buy if you can stand to wait and do some online searching. I've found better deals, sometimes 50% lower than BB, by "touching" the products at the store, writing down model numbers, then Googling when I get home)
 
I have two Dell laptops and one Dell desktop, all with Vista Business 32-bit, and they run absolutely great. Never had a single issue with anything, and runs exceptionally fast.

Chris, I think you had a bum laptop (hardware) combined with all the trial-ware crap. Try a different brand laptop.

Well, we got Windows 7 coming out in '09. Will be interesting to see what that one looks like.

BTW, Kory is correct. On our systems at work that have Core2 Duo and 4 GB of ram, XP is a screamer. Dell is still selling XP on certain models until sometime in '10, as a "downgrade license" which means you are still buying Vista but you are allowed to use XP and Dell will load XP on it. You can install Vista anytime thereafter.
 
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Chris, that was a real scream!
I enjoyed every minute of it. The two best parts were the the MicroShlump guy at the beginng saying 'WHOA'- after the Blue Screen Of Death. And the other is Bill Gates catching a pie in the face. I'm glad that you are keeping your sense of humor up, I know I would be off the hook in a situation like that - too...

I own a Hp w/Xp that I got at TigerDirect. I think they still have some laptops that come with Xp. Maybe you want to check them out. If they are out, then maybe a Hp w/4Gb RAM and spend the xtra $90 for the Xp home edition. (I like the Hp's; they are relatively inexpensive and have a real decent quality level.) That way, you would be assured of a clean install too. It is cheaper and every bit as effective as the Xp Pro, ran it on a couple of friends/family boxes and they just love it! Just some thoughts...
 
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I feel your pain.

Chris:

I feel your pain man. I too have older software that I would have liked to use on my Vista desktop. But I could not get it too work. In one case, it was AutoCAD Architectural Desktop. That program to buy new is about $3100.00. Even the lesser CAD program used at my former job (DataCAD) wouldn't work with Vista and there again the replacement cost $1300.

I've not had any problems with smaller programs or GRprograms (I have both GR3 and GRanalyst on Vista. My specs are the best (an HP mini-tower), so I only can run a few big programs at a time.

I hope you find a solution, sometime before chase season. Also make sure you get a system and software that can edit HD OK. I'm pretty sure Premiere 6.5 won't do it, but I believe CS3 or CS4 can. If CS3 can, just use that....CS4 isn't worth the money for most folks.
 
Good day,

That was pretty much what I did over the holidays as I got two PC's up and running (including the laptop "failure" described here).

I initially got a desktop at TigerDirect and am very pleased with it. I tried the 32-bit Vista and some stuff worked on it, others did not (without costly upgrades). The desktop screams with quad-core 2.8 Ghz (each), HDMI 512 MB video, 22-n-1 card reader with floppy drive (to back up the hgard drives?), twin DVD, one with litescribe the other Blue-Ray, and two 1.5 TB hard drives (yup, 3,000 GB = That's over 4 MILLION 720k floppies if I wanna back it up) ;-)

Installing Vista did not see the large SATA drives, and the format process failed right before the "intstall" process of Vista "on a new machine". The XP Pro disk, however, DID see the drives, formatted them (as C and D) and after that (a work-around), I was able to install Vista. The work-around was to "start" installing XP off the install CD, get to the point where it formats the main drive, and then (after the format is complete), break-out of the install, and then put in the Vista install (which saw the large HDD's and installed fine after) ... Or, as I did later, skip Vista and just continue installing XP Pro :)

I notified Microsoft on this, and they DID get back to me with a hotfix. It was en email with a link to a zip file and password for it - I was so excited. The password to the zip file for the hot-fix did NOT work (a typo) ... Yup that's soooo typical.

Notifying them that the password did not work was about a month ago, still waiting. Meanwhile the desktop has long since been fixed to my liking, and after that I fore-gone with Vista on the desktop and installed XP Pro. Speed is the same, maybe faster than Vista 32, and - most importantly - it runs like a champ (with 99% of everything working fine).

Also, I am contemplating between CS3 and CS4 myself for adobe. Yeah, it's pricey, but I'm tired of using copied software anyway.

As for the laptop (the one I returned), I was unable to get XP Pro on it because the install blue-screened (the same XP Pro install that works so fine on my desktop). This might be a SATA hard-drive driver issue? My patience ran out and I already brought the unit back to Best Buy before I went into farther detail.

Best Buoy was a mistake ... I would never buy there again, and the "customer is right" will NOT work there. Trust me, I tried, but I might be able to deny the $125 fee on my Amex (if it's worth it).

Best Buy used to take such back with no hassles. This time, restock fee was 15% plus the $39.99 "optimization" package - Ouch! I tried to make every excuse and such ... Nearly made a scene ... But just walked out and let it go (later spoke with Amex for my Buyer's Assurance I have on my card - The same one that saved me $$$ thousands for hail destruction on my rental this past May near Pratt)!

The "Fresh" option is good and worth noting with the Vaio's. But you have to order on-line to get it, and I found the $800 laptop on SonyStyle was over $1,200 with the same options it had.

Also, this might be related to Vista 64 bit, and the extras that were supposedly "optimized" by Best Buy's "Geek Squat" at no extra charge (sigh). I definitely will research this more for a laptop only with XP Pro and what I need (or with ONLY Vista and service packs).

Even more so, and as agreeing with Foster's comments as well, my g/f in Chicago is an architect and considering the Vista / laptop I HAD ... A quick email with some of this "material" in this link changed her mind fast!

Thanks again...
 
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I have Vista 64-bit and have had nothing but issues, not just with software and peripherals, but with performance. Frequent lockups, and I have had to reformat twice now after entering fatal loops. Last week I lost several hundred photos that I hadn't had the chance to relocate to the external drive. Next machine will most definitely be a Mac. I don't know why I didn't go ahead and get one this time.
 
I have Vista 64-bit and have had nothing but issues, not just with software and peripherals, but with performance. Frequent lockups, and I have had to reformat twice now after entering fatal loops. Last week I lost several hundred photos that I hadn't had the chance to relocate to the external drive. Next machine will most definitely be a Mac. I don't know why I didn't go ahead and get one this time.

Odd, I have Vista 64-bit installed on two different computers and my brother is also running Vista 64-bit and neither of us are having frequent lockups. It doesn't sound like Vista is the problem, sounds more like maybe the hard drive is giong bad. In the past 5 months I've been using Vista I've not ever had it lock up on me.
 
I had a computer tank during chase season and bought another (top of the line gaming laptop), in which the hard drive went bad a week later. Took it back and got this one. Having two hard drives go bad in two great laptops would be pretty rare. This one has a terrific Asus motherboard. It would take a whole lot of hard selling at this point to make me believe that Vista wasn't the worst thing Microsoft has ever done to their users.
 
I had a computer tank during chase season and bought another (top of the line gaming laptop), in which the hard drive went bad a week later. Took it back and got this one. Having two hard drives go bad in two great laptops would be pretty rare. This one has a terrific Asus motherboard. It would take a whole lot of hard selling at this point to make me believe that Vista wasn't the worst thing Microsoft has ever done to their users.

It's actually not that weird -- if hard drives are going to fail due to defect, they usually fail soon after you start using them. If you were to graph disk failures over time, you'd find a great number of disks failing out of the box and in the first couple weeks, then a precipitous drop in failures, followed by a slow upward progression of the line over time.

AFAIK, there is nothing in the world that software can do to mechanically break a hard drive (unless it can somehow write to the drive's firmware), so I don't think Vista was the culprit to your drive woes.
 
One of the biggest things with Vista, I feel, is that it overcomplicates all of the basic things the ordinary joe user wants to do with a computer. It's hard for us in this forum to really put this in perspective, because most of us are gear heads and tech geeks ... but an OS is really just intended to be a platform in which to run applications, and in my opinion should be as transparent to the user as possible. Vista is anything but.

I blogged a story about my experiences with it several months ago here.

One of the comments I received was good, and what got me to start thinking in the above lines of the typical user's perspective on something like their OS - -

All in all, a major step backwards in providing transparency to the end-user. Isn't that what computer OS's are supposed to do? Be as transparent as possible and get the hell out of the way so we can do whatever we want to do.

Speaking of which (and getting back to your home issue), "whatever we want to do" for most home users generally consists of browsing the Internet, storing/creating pictures, e-mail, maybe watching a movie or two, and a few games.

Why is it then Windows is so poor at all of these. Microsoft has to practically be dragged kicking and screaming before they update IE, their lack of multimedia driver support is (still) lacking, Outlook you have to buy separate, WMP doesn't include even the basic codecs by default (and you have to hunt to find them), and the games are pathetic. And speaking of pathetic...how is it possible no state has yet declared fraud for that snake oil.

...and in the midst of all this, we get told by Microsoft that we are complete idiots. We "mojave" jokees are the focus of Microsoft's absolutely brilliant ad campaign. Much like the Geico caveman, us Vista-realists have also now been informed by Microsoft that we are soooo incredibly dumb about the inner workings (of our previously working inner workings mind you), that we now believe the earth is flat.

Brilliant Microsoft. $300 Million was a lot to get the message across to us, but $300 Million might be just barely enough to get it across to us all how stupid Microsoft really feels we are.
 
Never had a problem with Vista.

Only real laptop problems I've had was with Dell; had 2 AC ports coming unsodered on 2 different laptops that kept breaking.
 
How quickly we forget WindowsME. Now THAT was the worst thing they ever did to us!


Yikes! Yessiree, it sure was. It was a bastardization of the Windows 2000 front-end slapped on top of the Windows 98 SE engine.

And leave it to Microsoft to provide confusing version numbers (in order of release):

Windows 1.x
Windows 2.x
Windows/Workgroups/NT 3.x
Windows 95 is Windows ????
Windows NT 4.0 Workstation/Server is Windows 4.0
Windows 98/SE is ????
Windows ME is...?????
Windows 2000 Workstation/Server is Windows 5.0
Windows XP is Windows 5.1
Windows Server 2003 is Windows 5.2
Windows Vista is Windows 6.0
Windows Server 2008 is Windows 6.1

and....upcoming Windows "7" will be Windows 7.0
 
One of the best Windows O/S - IMHO - is Xp 64. I have that on my main box. It is essentially Windows 2003 Server. A fast, clean O/S second to none. It can run more RAM than Xp can. Xp can run a max of 4Gb/RAM; while you can use huge amounts of RAM for serving with either Xp 64 or 2003 Server. I just need 2Gb on Xp though, but it is the fastest I can give it and it moves superb...
 
I could be wrong, but wouldn't running Vista 32 bit solve a lot of his incompatibility issues? I still don't understand what everyones obsession with running 64-bit is. 64>32 so therefore it must be better?

- Ben (Who still runs 32 bit Linux and Windows Vista)
 
I still don't understand what everyones obsession with running 64-bit is. 64>32 so therefore it must be better?

Correct, 64-bit is better than 32-bit but not because 64 is greater than 32 but because 64-bit increases overall performance. 64-bit utilizes more memory than 32-bit which minimizes the time spent swapping processes in and out of memory since it is able to store more processes into memory.

Another advantage of using 64-bit, and to me the most important is that 64-bit can handle RAM above 4GB which isn't accessible by 32-bit version of Vista. Since my computer runs 6GB of RAM I would lose 2GB if I switched to Vista 32-bit.

So the answer as to why people chose 64-bit over 32-bit is because of better performance.
 
Good day,

The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista have pros and cons on each end.

A 32 bit OS, memory wise, can access up to 4,294,967 kilo bytes (K), or about 4 GB and that's about it. For 64 bit numbers, that's up to 18,446,744,073,709,552 K (or 18,446,744 TB) which obviously us "unlimited" in terms of memory. In comparison, the old Z-80, 6502 processors were 8-bit, which is about 256K max.

Vista, having a wider address space (64 instead of 32) can ONLY take full advantage of CPU power if it is a true 64-bit architecture (such as the new Pentium duo / quad core CPU's).

Most importantly, MOST programs optimized for 16 / 32 bit (for example, Adome Premiere 6.x and earlier) may NOT run (or even install) in Vista 64 bit.

In the case of 32 bit Vista, MANY of 32 bit programs will work (the ones that do not are because of dependancy files, such as DLL's and such).

If one goes with Vista 32, a SLIGHT lack of performance may be noted, as well as any RAM over 4 GB not being "seen" by the OS, but many programs should still work.

If one goes with Vista 64, more RAM over 4 GB and a higher performance (given the CPU) will be noted, but MANY programs, including the ones you used for years, may not work (or not even install).

Windows XP Pro is essentially a 32 bit operating system very similar to Vista, but with much more compatibility. XP Pro can also "see" up to 4 GB of RAM as Vista 32 can.

The major con, obviously, with Vista 64 is that you basically have to set up your PC and buy all new software to replace the programs that "used" to run when you have XP Pro / Vista 32.
 
Good day,
The major con, obviously, with Vista 64 is that you basically have to set up your PC and buy all new software to replace the programs that "used" to run when you have XP Pro / Vista 32.

All software I used on XP 32-bit runs fine on Vista 64-bit, I've yet to encounter any software problems as a result of running Vista 32-bit. That's not to say you won't have to buy 64-bit versions of some software, you will, but not all. I've yet to have to buy anything new because of Vista.
 
Good day,

That is really strange as that I could not get Premiere 6.5 to run in Vista 64. It worked in Vista 32 but would not even install on Vista 64. I will have to try setting up a "test" PC for such things.

Getting back to the laptop, which had Vista 64 on it, and frustrated me so much I brought it back to Best Buy and ate the restock-fee, I am becoming more conviced that my "sour laptop" simply had so much crap on it (worsened by "geek squad's optimization / WTF stuff") to be the culprit. Next time I will make sure my laptop has Vista AND ONLY Vista on it before making bad calls about the OS.

I see many have had good luck with Vista, now I am wondering what will (and will not run) on XP, Vista 32, and Vista 64.

LOL ... Wait until Windows 7 - What's that gonna do?
 
I am very familiar with the differences between 32 and 64 bit. I work in the IT industry. The fact that a 32bit os can only use 4GB of RAM is a lie. The server I run my website on has 8 gigs of ram and a 32 bit kernel

Linux xen.bholcomb.com 2.6.18-53.1.6.el5xen #1 SMP Wed Jan 23 12:33:37 EST 2008 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

It sees all 8 gigs of RAM just fine. Windows could be designed the same way, but why should they when they can just sell you a 'More Gooder More Newer More Betterer!!!!!!!!!!!111111' OS.

I have found many driver issues with 64 bit operating systems, both in the Linux/UNIX world and Windows. I'll stick with 32-bit until something or someone can convince me that my headache to performance ratio will be worth it :)
 
NWS isn't doing much better - they forgot about the changeover too...

NOUS71 KNCF 312117
ADANCF
.
PLEASE PASS TO THE FORECASTERS AND LEAD FORECASTERS:
.
SUBJECT: NWRWAVES 2009 PRODUCT EXPIRATION ISSUE
.
THE NCF IS AWARE OF AN NWRWAVES APPLICATION ISSUE WHERE
PRODUCTS EXPIRING IN 2009 ARE NOT BEING PROCESSED CORRECTLY.
HOWEVER, PRODUCTS EXPIRING BY THE END OF 2008 ARE PROCESSED
CORRECTLY.
.
SITES CAN SUCCESSFULLY WORKAROUND THIS PROBLEM BY ISSUING A
PRODUCT VIA NWRWAVES WITH AN EXPIRATION ENDING IN 2008. SITES
CAN THEN ISSUE THE PRODUCT AGAIN AFTER 00Z WITH AN EXPIRATION
IN 2009.
.
PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT THE FORECASTERS STAGGER THE
EXPIRATION OF ALL NWRWAVES PRODUCTS?..
.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CALL THE NCF.
.
THANK YOU.
.
NCF/JAB
 
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