Tag Archives: windows-vista

Another Windows Vista Speed Tweak?

“TheDub” keeps coming up with suggestions for making Vista snappier. Far be it from me to keep his findings a secret.

I thought I would mention another thing. You will not believe me when I tell you that I have gotten Windows Vista performance similar if not the same or faster than Windows XP. Both on battery and off.

What are your thoughts on “Superfetch” technology because along with Desktop Search this was the other performance hitter. Upon disabling this service… Vista is MUCH faster when I shut the lid. Vista is sleeping within a second or two, compared to when Superfetch and Desktop Search were enabled.

Is this another one of those ‘Whoa’ not ‘Wow’ features in Vista? I know its supposed to improve system performance by tracking your usage habits and pre-loading stuff into memory that it thinks you are going to use. Well, aside from Firefox and Thunderbird, I rarely do the same thing every day at the same time – so it was really a “bog down” for me. My physical memory free in the device manager on windows boot is now 600mb out of 2gb… but it also says that 800mb is cached. Before when Superfetch was on,.free physical memory free was 6-10mb and like 1.5gb was cached…

I have no idea whether Superfetch is helping on systems with fast HDs, but laptop HDs are not normally super fast. Disabling Superfetch.. man, it helped a lot… i mean a lot… its as fast (or faster) than XP was on this same laptop now… I’m happy! The only thing that is slow as far as Vista performance for me now is file copying / moving and deleting… I pray to the Microsoft gods nightly hoping that they will fix this issue…

Windows Vista Opinions are not Facts

I hate having to correct my visitors. We had a few helpful pointers added to the comment thread for optimizing Windows Vista, but not without a few jabs.

I’ve been watching Windows desktop mindshare slowly slip away over the past few years, and some Windows “home users” simply can’t accept that – they simply won’t. It’s easier to accuse someone else of taking extreme sides than it is to further the discussion in an intelligent manner, or provide valid counterpoints to further support your position.

John Buffam ~ “Chris, I use both Mac and Vista, and I find Vista to be quite fast. I have a dual core middle of the road intel laptop and Vista is just as fast as any version of XP I have tried. The sleep settings work fine and I find it ironic how guys like you and Leo trash Vista, while all the time plicking away on your Macs, biased as can be. Its a Mac ad site just like Leos. The facts are 95% of people at home choose PCs, its time experts realized thats the market”

You’re assuming that we don’t see holes in OS X? You’re also assuming that 95% of “people at home” want to run Windows – or that Windows is the best choice for them. In either instance, you’re wrong. When you rely on polls, statistics, and numbers to prove your point – you’re proving absolutely nothing. At least true experts understand this. “Experts” who ignore the big picture aren’t experts at all.

At least present numbers from the other side, John. Or tell us what we really need to realize. Open your mind before you open your mouth (and yes, there are times when I need to do the same thing).

kiko ~ “Interestingly I just watched the new Leopard promo video – I presume the “narrator” is a typical Mac user – he sure is glad for the new Time Machine cause he had a folder with some stuff he needed and when he went to look it wasn’t there – he “didn’t know what he did” but luckily he can recover it…actually he had that happen to him a few times in the video….and every time he “didn’t know what he did” but it wasn’t there….are we beginning to find some “operative words” here??????…and wow how about “spaces” ! …uh I think linux had virtual desktops years ago and so did pc’s…but what? – you can move stuff between them? – wow! – oh yeah that how they worked in those days…this is what I believe is called “advertising” which came soon after the first Gutenburg press…( which was closely follewed by the first salesmen…)…”

Sometimes, it’s not about the features – and hardcore technologists often forget that. Do yourselves a favor: don’t forget that. πŸ™‚ You could argue that one operating system copies another, and at one level you’d probably be 100% correct. But that’s no longer an interesting argument, gang. It’s a given. What’s more interesting to discuss is which operating system does what feature better than the other – and sometimes that boils down to raw truth (as opposed to personal preference).

mark64 ~ “I am sorry to say chris because i have watched you since Sceensaver days , and must say you are becoming exactly like what the article describes. Think about some of your most recent articles and being easily “wowed” by certain features of Apples new OS. I am not sure you even used those features before being wowed. Vista has many features, but you have ignored them. If You find any problems (Many vista users dont have) you magnify them and seem to want to jump on the oh so popular, bash windows bandwagon. Many windows haters have never even used or spent any real time using vista. I like the people that have said ‘after 30 minutes i knew vista sucked, and so i went to buy mac or went back to XP'”

Actually, no… if you bothered to read the article you recommended, you’d quickly see that I’m not an apologist. You’re also incorrect in assuming that I haven’t seen the features in person.

I have most certainly NOT ignored the features in Vista – but “this” isn’t just about features, if you haven’t figured it out already. Moreover, you can’t bash Windows – you can only CMD it. πŸ˜‰

I’m not a Windows hater, and I resent that you would label me as such. It was my love for Windows that drove my passion – and that passion for it has almost disappeared. If I hated Windows, why would I bother writing about it? If you take my public issues with Windows as hatred, then you’re not understanding why I’m bringing them up publicly in the first place.

If you don’t share why you’re disappointed in something, how in HELL do you expect they’re ever going to get fixed?! Would you be so quick to label either John Gruber or Paul Kafasis Mac haters?!

Pfeh.

Steve A ~ “I’m really beginning to tire of all of this crap you keep spouting about Vista. You have to be doing something wrong to have so many problems. I agree it wasn’t rock steady before the main consumer launch, but now it’s more than ready for a production/work environment. I’ve seen a massive boost in speed of programs on my machine over XP. Photoshop now loads in less than two seconds, and that’s with hundreds of extra fonts. Show me that on XP or OSX.”

Ugh. Okay. Seriously. Take off your rose-tinted glasses, Steve:

I suppose they’re we’re all doing something wrong?

Optimizing Windows Vista Performance

My problem with recommending Windows Vista is that many of its features are considered bugs by a good portion of the community. Doesn’t that say it all? No, this isn’t Windows bashing – it’s the bare-faced truth. Here’s TheDub’s legitimate experience, as emailed to me earlier today:

After using Windows Vista I find it hard to work on Windows XP again… there are just to many things I miss about Vista. I think Vista is a great operating system at heart but not going to lie it needs many improvements before it replaces the speed and stability of Windows XP.

I can’t disagree with any part of this statement, but what exactly are we trading speed and stability for? What’s more important than those two items? The true answers to these questions remain elusive. I could recommend that you download a “speed up” utility, but those programs seldom work as advertised (and some of them can actually decrease overall system performance). There really aren’t any Vista-specific tweaking tools out there, sadly – and yes, I already know about TweakVI.

I am having two issues with Windows Vista. One speed! Windows Vista seems horribly slow especially for me. I am a “power user” sometimes I am working with many programs at once and many files at once. Vista lags.. all the time! Another strange thing that I can’t explain is how much it access’s the hard disks. My hard disk is almost always going nuts even when just sitting on the desktop. The noise is not only annoying but just the idea of my computer is doing something I have no idea what is. It is also a performance drag. I have 2gb of RAM and a 2gb Flash Drive dedicated to ReadyBoost so I don’t think it is paging all the time. Any ideas? Or are there any performance tweaks you would recommend? I have done some research and found that windows is always making shadow copies of files and disabling that feature really is a performance boost. Also there is the famous ‘shut off the indexing service’ to increase speed but I don’t know if that will really help this.. any thoughts you could share with me and the others?

Windows Desktop Search may be the culprit – another “Wow” that’s more of a “Whoa.” That’s a feature, not a bug. If you want a performance tweak, move back to Windows XP. You’re not going to find massive performance gains with Windows Vista.

If your hard drive is close to full, think about archiving some of the things you don’t need – or buy a second hard drive (for documents, programs, etc.) if you don’t already have one. Telling you to buy a faster hard drive isn’t really a good answer, but it may be the only one (and that, itself, may not solve the problem of Windows Vista thrashing you senseless).

Turn off all your eye candy?

My second issue with Vista is sleep. Windows Vista goes to sleep once… thats it. The second time I shut the screen on my laptop it doesn’t go to sleep, shuts the screen off, annnd thats it. I have to power it down with the power button and start it back up to get back to my desktop… This doesn’t seem right at all.. ever heard of this issue?

Join the club. Watch my live stream with any regularity and you’ll see just how flaky Vista’s power management can be – especially in conjunction with USB devices. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not (and neither are you).

It’s much easier to blame the user than the hardware or software, don’t you think?

I am running Windows Vista Ultimate. Maybe my system simply isn’t strong enough for vista though I would like to think that is not the case, after all it came with home premium and stamped ultimate ready. It’s specs include a AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-50 (1.6ghz), 2GB Ram, ATI Xpress 1150 (this is the weak link in the system but impressive for integrated graphics), and a 5400RPM 160gb HD, I know that 5400 RPM is a slower drive but it is a laptop computer and it seems most laptops include this speed HD for power and heat issues.

If you’re expecting a portable system to deliver desktop-level performance, you’re… going to be waiting a long time. Sounds like you’re trying to squeeze blood from a stone, and are likely best served by Windows XP on that machine. Sorry.

I’m sure this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but… that’s just the way it is. If anybody recommended Vista over XP in your situation, I’d be surprised. Feel free to read what Tom’s Hardware had to say on the performance differences u can pore over the entire article, but Tom’s Hardware has an excellent summary on between Windows XP and Vista.

Vista BSOD

Ya know, I’ve gotta be doing something wrong. Windows Vista can’t be this bad. Can it? Seriously, I’m not trying to pull punches when I point out radical design flaws and blatant usability oversights.

For those of you still wondering if Windows Vista is any better than Windows XP, claiming that it’s not problematic in the slightest, or thinking that XP was equally as troublesome in its infancy… I offer the following screen shots.

Apparently, my machine BSOD’ed earlier – with the chat room finding out about the crash hours before I did (as they saw it unfold live from afar while I was watching a movie with Ponzi). After clicking through the all-too-familiar “Windows has recovered from a serious error” dialog, I was passed directly to this one:

Vista Exhibit 1

And I quote: “The problem was caused by Windows Vista.” I clicked the green link (why is it green and not blue like other hyperlinks throughout… oh, nevermind). A few seconds later, I was downloading and installing the patch as directed. Almost:

Vista Exhibit 1 (2)

Might I suggest a few alternative responses to not being able to install something you prompted me to install?

  1. No soup for you
  2. Talk to the hand
  3. Go play Hold ‘Em Instead
  4. Someone set you up the bomb
  5. Please don’t tell anyone
  6. Hasta la Vista
  7. This isn’t a COM Surrogate Error
  8. PC LOAD LETTER
  9. I’m pining for the fjords
  10. But I was going into Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!

To add insult to injury, Windows Vista then connected to FBI.gov, downloaded an old family photo that should’ve been lost in a fire that never happened, and set it as my desktop wallpaper in tiled mode with the ‘Hot Dog’ color scheme:

That's '70s Geek

Windows Vista Stories


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – A few friends joined me live to discuss their opinions and thoughts about Windows Vista. We discuss issues, as well as what we each feel should be done to improve.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

Everyone agrees that Vista was simply not ready for release when Microsoft let loose Vista on the general public. Unfortunately, we all also agree that it would take drastic overhauls to make Vista better.

Want to embed this video in your blog? Use this code:

Formats Available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4) Flash Video (.flv) MP3 Audio (.mp3)

How Not to Install Windows Vista SP1 Beta

I thought I would have been fine with installing the first Windows Vista SP1 beta last night (after having been invited and accepted into the feedback program). Guess what?

Everything seemed fine after the first three installer-induced reboots, but then I came to see a black screen of… nothing but my mouse cursor. No matter what I tried, I could not move past this snag.

I tried rebooting in Safe Mode a few times – and the first few times, it showed me that SP1 was installing itself again. Eventually, however, I could only boot into Safe Mode for a second before the PC would restart itself.

So, I throw in my Vista install CD and hop into the Recovery Console. It shows me that I have three restore points for this particular installation of Windows Vista (x86). However, it cannot restore the volume because… Vista is too retarded to help me.

So, I need to clear space on this volume (obviously). I boot into my x64 installation of Vista and discover that it was never activated. Grumph! Well, okay… so it’s back to a fully-functional Windows XP I go – if only to clear some excess space on the Vista x86 partition.

After wiping out a few non-essential (and rather large) files, I went back into the Recovery Console only to discover that my restore points had completely vanished. Awesome. Pure awesome.

Back to Windows XP… period, end of story.

In the middle of this ordeal, I received an email from Wendy Kaufman, an NPR correspondent who wants to interview me on the subject of Vista. Her timing is impeccable.

DreamScene: Another Vista Ultimate Snoozer?

So, we finally have a new Windows Vista Ultimate Add-on… only it’s not all that new, and it’s not all that ultimate. My screen resolution is still too high for me to run DreamScene. To tell you the truth, that might be a blessing. I’m not so sure I’d want a motion background sucking away extra CPU cycles?

No matter, Barry Goffe (Director, Windows Vista Ultimate) posted on the Ultiamte Blog today:

While we are excited about shipping DreamScene, the remaining 19 language packs are, unfortunately, not yet ready for release. Recently we realized that Ultimate customers who tried to install the language packs that shipped earlier this year were experiencing an unacceptably high number of failures during installation. We continue to make delivering the highest quality, most secure Extras our top priority, and we will not ship any Extra until it is absolutely ready. We know this is disappointing, and again we apologize, but we are working hard to ensure that all of the remaining language packs will be ready for release by the end of October.

Not to take away from those who are anxiously awaiting these language packs, but I only speak English. Why should I be looking forward to anything other than something I could actually use? Moreover, since when was a language pack considered an “Ultimate” add-on? Shouldn’t a “language pack” be inherent in the OS itself?

While I can understand how community sites and bloggers may have read the new definition and assumed that Microsoft is not shipping any more Extras, in reality the opposite is true. In addition to the remaining Language Packs, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers. We will shed more light on these plans once the Language Packs are finally dislodged from our delivery pipeline!

By then, I’m sure even the most passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers will be looking at Leopard as an even more Ultimate operating system for their needs.

I Would Like to Register a Complaint

People complain about Vista through me now. I’m not sure if that’s funny or sad?

This is Chris Proctor. You may remember me as having that Vista custom sounds problem in which I couldn’t get certain sounds to play ‘cuz they were too long (and I got a little flak from that Microsoft guy about the vague subject line).

Actually, the vague subject was my fault – and we were QUITE lucky that Larry Osterman picked up on the problem (thanks again, Larry).

Anyway, I’ve been reading some of the horror stories about Vista, and I feel compelled to share some of my experiences. All I can say is that I must be very lucky that I haven’t had serious problems yet, and I’m afraid my brand spanking new computer is going to crash on me any day now. “How new is the computer”, you ask? I bought it around mid-June of this year. But, I’ve started to see little glitches. I wonder if anybody else has these problems.

Heh. My buddy, Christopher Null, just pointed me to this news story: Microsoft Backpedals, Allows XP “Downgrades” From Vista. Is an “I told you so” in order? Perhaps. I guess I’m more justified in knowing that I wasn’t too far off with my assessments, assertions, and ongoing observations. You’re not alone, Mr. Prodctor.

First off, does anybody else end up making Windows Explorer crash just by trying to view a picture? How annoying is that?! I just want to look at a .jpg full-size … “Windows Explorer has stopped working …” Damn it! It happens once every 4 pictures I open, on average. Yes, it’s minor, but it’s a pain in the ass nonetheless.

I have a Sandisk flash drive that doesn’t want to work on Vista. It’s one of those U3-equipped flash drives. It works great with XP, but Vista trips over the U3 system. I had to completely disable U3 just to access the damn thing. That’s annoying.

I also have an MP3 player from Samsung that I haven’t gotten to work at all. Vista gets completely retarded when I stick that player in a USB port. Worse than my flash drive, Vista can’t even open it, can’t make heads or tails of it, trips over driver installation just to look at it. My MP3 player hasn’t gotten any use since I bought it. I’m not happy about that at all. It, in fact, blows! Well, at least I can still charge it through the USB port like it’s supposed to. Hell of a lot of good that does me, though. Irritating!

Now, this one is kinda funny. At the same time I bought the computer, I got a printer with it. The printer is still sitting in its box untouched. Can anybody guess why? I fear Vista will chew it up and spit it out. Compatibility, my ass. What the feck is up with all these compatibility issues, anyway?! If only these operating systems worked like the video game consoles these days, then things would be much happier in cyberspace. 2 words: BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE! Hello?!

And speaking of compatibility and games, Vista’s really making me sad over one particular thing. I CAN’T PLAY MYST! I’d never gotten a chance to play the Myst games when they first came out, so I was psyched when I found Myst 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Best Buy a few months ago (Myst 1, 2, and 3 were in a 10th Anniversary DVD Edition, if that makes any difference). I installed them all and went to it. I tweaked the compatibility parameters for quite some time, and even though I managed to get through Myst 1, I still couldn’t find that sweet spot that didn’t cause a freeze or a crash every 5 minutes. I’m trying to get through Myst 2 right now, and the compatibility issues are even worse. Sometimes I can’t play for a minute before the damn thing freezes on me. Myst 3 and 4 are supposed to be even bigger and more graphics-intensive, so I have no faith at all that they’ll work properly. Total bummer. It’s frustrating as hell.

(Also, Vista keeps picking up erratic messages from my mouse. But, I think it’s a problem with the mouse itself. It’s a third-party rechargeable optical wireless mouse, a Nexxtech, so the problem could be the mouse and not Vista. At random times, the cursor would jump across the screen, and, if there’s a scroll bar in the window, the scroll bar would move. And sometimes, as I’m moving the mouse, the cursor would freeze. When this happens, only clicking will snap the cursor out of its coma, and then it would jump across the screen. This can get quite annoying. Does this happen to anybody else out there? I’d hate to think my groovy little mouse has a case of mechanical Tourette Syndrome.)

Some would claim this is the early adopter tax we must incur from adopting Vista before Service Pack 1. Indeed, there are many things about Windows Vista that make it a better OS compared to Windows XP. I’m more inclined to live inside OS X than I am in XP, however – for the many reasons I’ve already stated.

A Different Kind of Personal Computer

There are comments (beyond Dan’s) that deserve more attention in the Leopard vs Vista discussion thread.

The issue of locking into hardware puts me off going Mac OS X, Mac hardware certainly costs more than a few nickels. Give it a couple of years and attempt upgrading some of the components, or replacing a faulty component when the price totals more than the value of the system. I’m more than happy with Vista running on this machine that I built myself.

If by “locking into hardware” you mean embracing newer technologies like EFI or GPT for a consumer class operating system and platform, then yeah – you should be put off. How much is power management that just WORKS worth to you? How much is a 64-bit OS that just WORKS worth to you? How much is being able to open up your Web browser or Email client without worrying about opening the WRONG THING worth to you?

Gaming rigs certainly cost more than a few nickels – so, what’s your point about price? If you want to buy cheap hardware, that’s your prerogative. If you want to build your own system, that’s your prerogative. But don’t assert that the issue is related to cost – cost is always relative.

You’re not locked into anything other than something that works with far fewer incompatibilities than you have been lead to believe. The hardware and software were designed to go hand in hand with Apple – whereas, the traditional PC’s greatest strength and weakness is in its level of configurability flexibility.

Some people like building cars for themselves – and some people like researching and simply buying them. At least with Apple, you know who made the hardware and who made the software – there’s no guessing games or finger pointing with systemic problems.

Does YESTERDAY”S ARGUMENTS include the fact that Apple will never have support for applications like Windows will. Stating that you hate iTunes does not disguise the fact that you are indeed an Apple Fanboy and like most Apple Fanboys in the media, Leo Laporte being a classic example, you fail to recognize that the overwhelming majority like Windows and are happy with it. A Mac to most will always be considered a pretty toy and your feeble attempts to woe the unconverted will remain just that, a feeble attempt.

I don’t understand why you’d call me a fanboy of any kind – unless you’re talking about my enthusiasm for Peet’s Coffee. I’ve taken Apple to task, I’ve taken Microsoft to task. Do you feel THAT threatened because you realize this is a battle you cannot win? πŸ™‚

And believe me, more than a few Windows users are not “happy with it.” If you really think that the Mac is nothing more than a pretty toy, you live a very sad existence. I didn’t think OS X was anywhere near usable or stable until Tiger (10.4), and I didn’t know that Leopard would give Vista a run for its money until I saw one of the more recent (late) beta builds.

The only Ultimate thing about Windows Vista Ultimate is its price tag: $339 on Amazon today. And with that, you get Ultimate add-ons such as… Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. Somehow, you blame users for this issue instead of holding Microsoft’s own foot to the fire.

Trust me, every OEM on the planet would give anything to offer OS X as an operating system choice on their systems. Dell’s already shipping Ubuntu PCs, and HP is shipping Red Hat now. Even so, Linux could never compete directly with Apple on the consumer’s desktop – since Linux largely provides a software solution without a controlled hardware environment. That, and its own unwieldy community has recently displaced one of its strongest desktop advocates.

If your friends are “happy” with Windows, they’re either masochists, complacent, or grossly underinformed. The only semi-lucid part of your argument was in relation to backwards compatibility, but… virtual machines can already handle legacy apps with relative ease. The onus is on VMware, Parallels, and Microsoft (Virtual PC) to make their respective VM’s power invisible to average user.

Which would make you happier in terms of uninstalling a program: simply deleting its icon, or dancing through some kludge of an uninstallation routine that may or may not be broken and may or may not be complete? Hrmph.

The sad thing is that Microsoft can do amazing things. The Office suite is excellent, and Exchange is brilliant (although a pig to configure for beginners). XBox 360 with its Live service is brilliant, and the new Surface (www.microsoft.com/surface) is mind blowing. They are also funding amazing technologies like Seadragon, and yet despite all this they can’t build a decent OS. I wonder if it’s the backward compatibility that holds them back. Perhaps we are witnessing the first stages in a shift in focus for Microsoft.

Do you know why the Xbox 360 with the Live service is amazing? Because Microsoft controls the hardware and the software experience. Moreover, they pay attention to user interface; elegance is not sacrificed for ease-of-use (they come hand-in-hand). If the Xbox had a built-in HD-DVD / Blu-Ray combo drive and Cable Card support, they’d have the ultimate home entertainment device.

People don’t necessarily want to buy brands anymore – they want to buy interoperability. This is where both Microsoft and Apple typically fall short with consumers (for whatever reason). As far as my parents are concerned, Mac OS X can do the same things that Windows XP / Vista can do – and frequently, with a lot more flair.

I would never cut off my nose to spite my face. I’m not abandoning Microsoft (or Windows entirely, for that matter). I do feel, however, that Microsoft Windows has already abandoned me as a power user. If you’re content with Windows Vista, fine – but you’re doing yourself a tremendous disservice by dismissing Mac OS X because it doesn’t work the same way.