New Vista Review


I installed Windows Vista Business Upgrade yesterday and am doing some final configuring today. I am running an AMD Athlon 64 processor, 1 gig DDR memory, Nvidia Gforce 7100 WDM video card, MSI K8N motherboard. I feel like parts of Vista are still in Beta, but most things are working. The install from start to first icon filled screen took 30 minutes. It actually took longer than that but I learned a couple of things.

  1. Unlike XP, you cannot install an upgrade version by booting from the disk. You must install it from inside Windows. And because I tried to install from my current Windows XP Pro with very little space (only 2 Gigs) left on the hard drive, it was unable to install. I could not tell it to put its install files on my huge empty Drive D.
  2. Nor can you just tell it to look for a Windows CD to install. I had to install Windows to my D Drive and then install Vista. So 40 minutes for the Windows XP and 30 minutes for the Vista.
This is a bad solution from Microsoft. Many times I have fixed a Windows 98 install where the computer would not boot into 98 by buying a WinXP upgrade and installing it using the old Win98 disk or with the the upgrade disk seeing the Windows folder on the hard drive. BAD, BAD, MICROSOFT!

Another observation: Even with 1 gig of memory, I am still using 75 to 90 percent of it just by running Outlook 2007 and normal startup programs. Memory usage seems to get worse the longer the computer is on. So I'm recommending 1.5 to 2 gigs of memory to start.

Ease of install: barring the initial problems, install was practically perfect. It installed all hardware automatically except for printers and scanners. It took a couple of boots for everything to work but it did work.

My Dell Axim synced easily with me doing almost nothing. I do not like this Beta synchronization program, however. It doesn't let me know whether it's syncing my business contacts or just what is syncing. And I had no choices. I ended up with duplicate calendar entries for years. I had to buy a program to remove the dupes. As for Business Contact Manager syncing I'll just have to create a new contact and see.

Neither of my printers installed easily. I am using a USB connected Konica Minolta 2300W color laser connected by USB and a Xerox Docuprint P8. I finally got the Konica Minolta to install but the Xerox will not. I use it for everyday printing because black is cheaper. Looks like its new printer time. I can't fault Microsoft for this. This Xerox printer was a little difficult to install in Windows XP; the drivers were written for Windows 2000. And Xerox had problems with this printer.

Nor did Vista detect my scanner, an Epson Perfection 1650. I haven't tried installing it yet manually yet. Oops, it did detect it but didn't know what to do with it. It's in Device Manager with an exclamation point. Another quibble, I have an APC battery backup and Vista thought I was running on battery. I was able to change that, but it's odd.

Software: MS Office 2007 installed perfectly, of course. TurboTax installed perectly but could't find the returns I'd been working on. I'll deal with that later. Adobe Acrobat 8 and Flash Player installed perfectly. Freeware that I use installed well: Password Safe (to store passwords) and AVG Antivirus. I cannot use my preferred Zone Labs Internet Security because it's not available for Vista yet.

I'll post more as I try other things.

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