PC Pitstop Videos
* Vista: 4 Months Later (3:10)

Rob's Vista Migration Update

* Way of the Upgrade (2:03)

Video Contest Winner

* Apples 2 Apples (5:50)

PC vs. Mac - Who wins?

* Bloatware (5:04)

Is your PC feeling a bit bloated?

* H.D. Freedom II (4:33)

When is the hard drive in your new PC not your own?

* Hard Drive Freedom (5:22)

Rob documents his crusade to reclaim his hard drive space.

* Vista Migration (5:20)

Rob shares his experience migrating from XP to Vista.

* Firefox Conversion (2:10)

Rob outlines Firefox features that compelled him to stop using IE.

* Software Stocks (4:56)

An inside look at the software industry.

* Laptop Explosion (4:55)

What's a notebook battery fire? 6 foot flames, 1000 degree temperatures.

Vista Migration: 4 Months Later

Has 4 months of Vista made Rob, a believer or does he still long for XP?

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I played around with Vista again this weekend, since nVidia now has SLI support for the 7900 cards. Well, I should say they claim support. I couldn't get BF2 to run in 2053 x 1600 (or something close to that) resolution. I didn't try it with SLI disabled, but that really defeats the point. Back to XP for a while longer.
dark41: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Tue, 14 Aug 2007 07:32:51 GMT)
QUOTE(TheGrem @ 1:16pm Tue Aug 14 2007) [snapback]1408516[/snapback]

Yes it is slow..... but has worked flawlessly....

By the way.... i wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Vista and old PCs..... guess maybe the problems are mainly with those factory built ones... cant get much older than mine!!

But slow is not acceptable for some of us who spent a lot of money to make our machines fast.
TheGrem: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Tue, 14 Aug 2007 03:46:07 GMT)
I have been running Vista ultimate on an AMD Duron 800mhz with 768meg ram and fx5200 vid card. 6 harddrives- 4x 250gig , 1x 200gig, 1x 160gig, and a 12x DL dvd burner
Yes it is slow..... but has worked flawlessly. I have been using it to learn Vista before i jump full in on my main system. There were a few things that i had some minor trouble with at first like getting it to play nice with my network... but once i figure it out,( my own fault it seemed) everything is running smoothly.
I have been using it mostly for archive harddrives and a printer thats shared over my home network.
i started using XP Pro since it was out..(got early through work) and loved it from the start and like Vista even better!!

By the way.... i wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Vista and old PCs..... guess maybe the problems are mainly with those factory built ones... cant get much older than mine!!
My experience with "Vista" is not one of love, my wireless LAN on my notebook has stopped along with other windows programs, one of which I backed up XP with before I migrated with vista upgrade..Now the queston is how to go back to XP now that my backup program is not supported by Vista? Don't worry, I will achieve the "Fall" back to xp, a perfectly fine program, ( the curiosity killed me with Vista). Why fix something that ain't broke? Windows XP PRO suites all my needs as far as windows go.
I did do microsofts virtual labs with vista before it was released, not near the same as when you replace XP OS'es.

benrau: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Sun, 12 Aug 2007 02:24:24 GMT)
I have been using some version of Vista 64 bit since last October, and I do agree that while there are some software issues, specifically I could not use Easy Media Creator 9 or virtually any of the free firewalls, the system itself is a plus. Anyone who compares Vista to Windows ME needs to either try ME again, or Vista again, or both. I also have not been using the IE 64 bit, since it does not run (as far as I know) a flash player or shockwave, but the 32 bit browser works fine.
Office 2007 is also a fairly stable product, with the exception of Outlook 2007, which does not seem quite as stable as the Beta version of Office was, but there are many advantages in 2007 - spam blocking is better, although antispam software does not work, and the method for adding reminders is worth the change, in my humble opinion.
I have tried Vista Umtimate on my Dell C800 and ran great was very happy with that. Just was not satisfied with the software compatibility, software can be costly. I will get the full ver of vista in a couple years when the bugs are worked out like XP. I have been a fan of windows, my favorite os is Me and XP Pro. I have tried 98 SE and don't like crashes to easily. I did love 95b I do like XP alot more, Microsoft done a good job on vista. There price is still comprable vers XP, can't wait till they a patch so we can run our older softare that we love very dearly.
It makes it hard for us that who love our older software, at least with XP most of the software works. Believe it or not I still got some windows 95 software that does work on xp.
I also know if I get a newer computer I will keep vista on it. I did tweak vista ultimate on my Dell C800 and pured like a kitten. Appearently they got there specs to high if my old Dell C 800 can run I wonder what else can run it.
Forginve the mini essay, but there is much to say!

I moved to Vista (Ultimate) out of necessity to keep up to date with Windows. I have both PSP7 and 8 installed and working. I have installed other programmes which didn't work using the compatibility mode and have managed to get them working. However, I have the 64 bit version, and some software just isn't set up for this. Software vendors are slow to embrace 64 bit technology so we have software that is Vista compatible, being 32 bit versions that will run. I find that it's a complete waste to have 64 bit machines that have 32 bit software. Some software claims to be Vista compatible, when in fact it is only compatibile with the 32 bit version. Microsoft should not have bothered with the 32 bit version. That way software vendors would have been forced to develop for 64 bit version. There is a general apathy among many vendors here. Can you imagine what will happen on the mover to 128 bit computing?

Slow Machines.

If you have a machine that runs slow, there is a way that you can speed it up simply by going to Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings >Advanced Tab and clicking on the Settings button in the performance (top) section. Set this to "Adjust for Best Performance" and your machine should skip along much faster. You lose all the pretty styles, but these don't help with productivity, so who really needs them.

One problem I have encountered is that a number of dialogue boxes are incomplete. Buttons and text end prematurely and nothing is wrapped. Has anyone else experienced this?

Office 2003.
Had problems with this. But I only install it for work use and StarOffice (and OpenOffice) install quite sucessfully and frankly, why pay for MS Office when there is a perfectly good free office suite with excellent compatibility. How things will develop with compatibility with Office 2007 we shall have to wait and see.

Lost opportunities.

One thing that has always niggled me is the lack of a buttont to create a new folder in Windows Explorer. This is still missing, but WE is now even worse in some areas. To display the folders list (navigation pane) now requires three clicks over the one click on the Folders button in previous versions. The Navigation Pane also has a habit of moving. I can see some benefits there, but generally, especially on a wide screen monitor it's a real pai in the rear.


This has improved in some areas, but note, there have still been security patches needed. The firewall isn't that good. Again, we have had to wait for vendors to come up with Vista versions, but really, why should we have to use third party software. Zone Alarm Free version is now Vista compatible and better than the built in Vista fire wall.

I wanted to set up a raid array for my data drives. Even the motherboard manufacturer didn't have the software for the 64 bit version, and yet it is producing 64 bit hardware. It's nuts. Now I will have to do a re-install when that is available. Of course I won't be able to authenticate Vista via the Web, I will have to call them and explain why I have to re-authenticate it.

Overall experiences, well, it works generally. Has some handy features, and good restore options, although adjusting the amount of space set aside is a pain. I believe that has been mentioned in here already. I have created a batch file so all I need to do now is run that and all is well.

This will more than likely be the last version of Windows I will buy for myself. I will try and encourage people to look at Ubunto or other Linux flavour, or at least to try it.

As soon as Linux has drivers that better support widescreen displays, that will become my main OS. Will be trying the new Ubunto later to see if things have improved.
alanwc: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Sat, 11 Aug 2007 00:38:49 GMT)
I have been useing windows since 3.1. I have used almost every version. I'm not a pro, but the guy, friends and family call for tech support. I am a multi media nut. So I always go for the Media Center version. I loved XP and after 4 months with Vista Ultimate I love it even more. It is very stable. More so than I am. I should say here that I bought a new machine, an HP m8020n. I will soon upgrade the video card, but it's not a must. The computer came with Vista Home Preminm, which was good but I can't leave well enough alone (sound familar?) so I upgraded to Ultimate. Im my humble opinion it is well worth it. There's just so much more to play with. This is my 1st post here and I'm glad to meet you all. Yes I'm from the South. Alabama. And no I'm not a racist, sister banging red Neck. Do 5th Cousins count? Kidding. Greetings to all!
I've read through the posts and it's almost like a time warp. Remember when XP first hit? Most of the problems then are the same now. The problems are with the vendors of stuff like printers, etc. They take too long to release drivers for a new OS. Now some are finally coming out. For the makers that take that long I simply refuse to buy their products again and I tell them that, same as I did when XP hit. Some are doing the same thing now as then as they say they cannot make drivers for old products and are concentrating on just new products. That is bull. I was a XP beta test and also a Vista Beta Tester and I think the system is great. I am running on an old laptop, Dell 5150 brought in Jan 2004. I have 2GB RAM with a 120GB hard drive and external hard drives and DVD Dual RW. I can run everything Vista has except the Aero interface as my graphics card is not sufficient and that is not the problem of MS. The system is way more stable than anything I have run to date and I started Beta Testing back when for Windows 95. As for the "pop ups", you get used to them and after awhile you just might like them as I know nothing is going to be installed on my machine without my approval. I am running dual boot with XP Pro because I still fix other peoples computers and I have a couple items that drivers for Vista are not released yet. Will I go back to XP? No, the same as I will not go back to Office 2003. Get used to it people, it's here and it's only going to get better, and it is way better out of the gate than XP was. We Beta Testers tested Vista on a wide variety of machines and talk about bugs. We had them then. I finally shifted full time to Vista about 5 months before it went Gold and the only time I wiped my drive was when then sent me the released copy as I submitted a lot of bugs during testing. The system is great, but I would recommend running the hard ware compatibility test before upgrading to Vista. The software too. Some older machines just will not take it. I have one machine from 1993 that I have triple booted for XP, Win98 and Win95 and DOS 7, and I know it will not take Vista. As for games, I have the foggist as I don't use my computer for games. I use them for work and to make money with. But I imagine it's the same as when XP came out. A whole lot of games would simply not work on XP, again that is not Microsoft's fault. The vendors saw then that they had better make software that would work with XP if they wanted to sell the product and the same thing is going to happen now. Of course all this is just my humble view, but I've been there and done that before as I have been in computers since way back in the 80's when DOS 1 came out. Have a great weekend all.
rufnkz: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Fri, 10 Aug 2007 19:59:08 GMT)
I was quick to switch to XP because of the frustrations with ME however, even with XP there were many problems initially. I am going to wait a year or so before trying Vista. Let's face it, Microsoft has the largest testing facility, the world. Upgrading should never be as difficult as I have been reading.
I recently purchased a Toshiba Notebook P205-S6267, with Vista Home Premium. It runs so slow it takes 4 to 5 minutes to get on the Internet and to switch pages. Also very slow starting programs. Have blocked startup programs. Have CA suite, have been debating to remove it to see if it is the problem. Updated BIOS on 6/17 to Ver 1.40, also all of the drivers that I could find updates for. Toshiba so far has been no help. Is it Vista or something else?
dark41: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Fri, 10 Aug 2007 19:51:14 GMT)
QUOTE(sojustask @ 1:06am Sat Aug 11 2007) [snapback]1406529[/snapback]

So, does anyone know how I can turn off those annoying pop ups?

Just a suggestion but, try registering both apps and then creating a restore point? Seems the registry isn't saving your changes correctly. Hope you get it sorted out.

I've run into having to install Vista several times on a couple different system before the installation wasn't corrupt. On most systems it has installed without error, but for some reason beyond my understanding a couple with identical hardware have refused to install correctly the first time or 2.

Then there's the dreaded Nvidia driver failure and almost always soon to follow black screen. Talk about a pain to fix that one. Reboot to safe mode, uninstall drivers, reboot to Vista, run registry cleaner, reboot, reinstall drivers. Sometimes it works the 1st time, and sometimes it doesn't.

I'm still using a tri-boot system with XP Pro, Vista (all different versions as I haven't activated it yet) and Ubuntu Fiesty Fawn. I think XP Pro is still the best of the bunch, but that's just me. I continue to fight through problems with Vista as a few customers want it. I also have a few serious problems with Ubuntu installing apps. XP Pro hasn't let me down so far.
ARN001: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Fri, 10 Aug 2007 19:37:54 GMT)
I started with a 186-went to a 286- got a used 386- left computers alone for a few years- I'm not all that fond of MSDOS- I missed the 486-95-98-ME--7 years ago I decided to try it again-researched 'whats new' and had Systemax build me a P4 w/XP Pro-I fell in like with it, but it was very unstable-Had to use OEM disk 7 times for comeplete reinstall.(First Year)-Finally got yhe thing to stay up(about 3 months in a row)-Got divorced-put puter in storage(4 years)-got it out 3 mo ago-upgraded ram to 2 Gig-etc-Still wobbly, but still in like. Built This one. Dont want another system nobody is prepared for--mabe in a couple years I'll try Vista-Good luck!
genex3m: Video: Vista Migration (4 Months Later) (Fri, 10 Aug 2007 17:00:42 GMT)
some good and some bad experiences with windows vista i must say for some of us out here. let me sum up my justification in a nutshell. i have survived the vista experience now and am still using it.

to be a bit detailed. i switched from xp to vista to see how it was. what productive steps Microsoft had taken to ensure that vista is the real deal for a newer windows version. and i must say Microsoft has done a pretty splendid work adding much needed components and security (besides the annoying user access control, which yeah, can be turned off) measures. i must admit i really like the new search capability.

my first: when i made the switch, the manufacturer of my laptop had no bios and much needed usb drivers ready to match the vista OS. i was like very disappointed cos my laptop was vista certified and here i m blindfolded for even the bios. so i had no other resort but to welcome xp into my laptop again.

my second: was keeping a keen eye on the manufacturer's site for possible bios updates and drivers. and voila within a 2 month or so (of course this is not fast enough in my point of view) they had new vista OS oriented bios and drivers. and i made the leap again. and everything works fine. and so does the bluetooth which proved to be a bit of a challenge cos i had to wait for drivers to be updated also.

final: i m still using my vista ultimate edition. now i looked at using various programs. had to wait a while before programs like coreldraw, nero, and photoshop were updated to match the vista layout. and i use ms office 2007, so no probs there.

now the bottom line: there is no point in going back to older program versions which will definitely not match along with vista.

stormy13 is absolutely right, its not all Microsoft's responsibility to make sure vista is up and running on each machine we try it on and each program we install on it. Microsoft has done its part to be fair and conveying to many of us what are the hardware requirements to run vista. and so its the manufacturer's responsibility to match these significant issues like bios, usb and bluetooth drives. and also it should be the software developers target to make sure their softwares are hassle free on vista and improve in deploying fixes
QUOTE(cmunson @ 6:33pm Fri Jul 20 2007) [snapback]1396661[/snapback]

I bought a Windows XP machine in January to replace my wretched Millennium Edition machine without being forced into Vista. MANY reasons why I didn't want Vista: bloat; expense; and DRM which seem to be equivalent to buying a car whose brakes are programmed to fail if you default on the HP. (I won't use bootleg software, but IMHO Vista activation is OTT; XP's is tolerable). Currently my default bootup is Ubuntu Feisty Fawn - and I can't wait to ditch MS altogether. Ubuntu is NOT for nerds or geeks: too easy, too reliable; too uninteresting if you make a hobby of tinkering - I don't. Ubuntu just gets the job done!

My XP install is an XP Lite install - a commercial addon that puts all the MS bits that MS say that for technical reasons can't possibly be put into the add remove programs applet - just there! However, maybe I made a mistake in ditching Office Assistant which drove me mad. I was working on a Word document and it was set up to email (why, I don't know. I didn't do it!) wasting half my desktop with option tabs. Could I open it as an ordinary document? No. I had to select all, copy, cut and paste into a new Word document in the end.

I can foresee that soon I will end up by removing IE and OE from XP completely (using XP Lite) and using my XP bootup for the one or two programs I've not yet succeeded in using via the Linux Windows emulator 'Wine'. With all my Internet access solely via Ubuntu I could then forget about most the security software.

Ubuntu has NEVER crashed on me. I thought XP was better than ME - well, it is, but not much. IE 7 is unusable already and I'm into Firefox, both on XP and Ubuntu.

Ubuntu can read AND WRITE to NTFS partitions and I have access to my vast amount of stuff generated using Windows. I strongly believe that Ubuntu will end up THE desktop Linux of choice, and when that is seen to have happened, millions will jump from the MS ship.
QUOTE(cmunson @ 1:33pm Fri Jul 20 2007) [snapback]1396661[/snapback]

I bought Vista Ultimate, tried it, had too many problems (compatibility issues with other apps) and have uninstalled it. I've gone back to XP Pro. I may try it again after SP1 has come out.
MS support was terrible. Nothing resolved, and you don't deal with one tech. Instead you end up explaining your difficulties over and over to different people.
I am chalking it up to experience. DO NOT BUY Vista until they get the bugs out, and the other suppliers have upgraded their software to use Vista. Terranova
QUOTE(cmunson @ 12:33pm Fri Jul 20 2007) [snapback]1396661[/snapback]

I'm a new VISTA user and my experience with installing my Office 2000 was not as smooth as Rob's apparently was.

The program worked OK, but I could no longer use MS Outlook for my mail. That put me into panic mode, I eventually went out and purchased Office 2003 because we use it at work. I removed 2000 and installed 2003 and it works and I have my MS Outlook but every time I open Outlook, Word or Excell I have to "Agree" once again with the use statement or it renders the program unusable. I've already registered the software license successfully, yet I still get the pop ups.

This happens with my PDF Creator every time I boot up the computer. It wants me to register all the time, even though I have already done so successfully. The only way to stop the pop up is to tell it to remind me in 7 days. A major PITA but it beats being bugged.

No one seems to have a fix for either issue. Does anyone here have any ideas how I can shut these reminders off without disabeling the programs themselves?

Paint Shop Pro XI, it may be just me but I don't like it as well as 8 or 9. So I'm thinking when the free trial runs out I won't be purchasing the program.

And it's a shame more things are not compatible yet. I wanted a new HP MFP printer 7180c but it's not VISTA friendly. I ended up opting to keep my HP 930C which works great still and just purchasing a new scanner. An HP ScanJet G4050 Flatbed Photo Scanner, which arrived yesterday but I haven't had the time to connect to the computer yet.

I sure wish all the bugs would get worked out of these programs in the BETA stages BEFORE they release them to the general public and make it mandatory to have on all new computers. I do miss my XP Professional. Especially when that is what I work with all day on the job.

So, does anyone know how I can turn off those annoying pop ups?

QUOTE(jvd897 @ 5:45pm Sat Jul 28 2007) [snapback]1400434[/snapback]

Has Office 2000 magically inserted itself into the Sounds applet in Control Panel?

That would be my guess too.
If it's there, then you can stop the sounds or change them to another .wav file more to your liking. I edited some of the sounds used by my anti-virus there.

Rob one thing you should have pointed out is that it isn't Microsoft's responsibility to make sure that programs work with Vista, but the writers of said programs that are responsible. Also expecting PSP8 to run in Vista was probably a bit of a stretch seeing as it is now up to version 11, and again, it is Corel's responsibility to ensure that their program works with Vista. Same goes for any drivers for any hardware.

Another thing about PSP11,

Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo XI has achieved Works with Windows Vista qualification. It is recommended that you install the free Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Vista update prior to upgrading your computer to Windows Vista.

As to how well the update works I have no idea as I don't have the program.

As for the Office beeping thing, you're on your own about that one. Can't say that I have seen that mentioned anyplace else.

Hi JV,

I think the bug is that it installed the driver and it did not work. I think that it it is incompatible, then it should just say so rather than install. But then the larger issue is that once the incompatible is installed, how does one go about installing the compatible driver? I like calling it a bug, but perhaps it would be better to call it a flaw or an inconvenience.

You are right that it said PSP 11. I had been using PSP 8, but I found the posting on the web from a person with the same problem and he was using PSP 11. The error box is identical. Believe me, I saw it a lot. Running as administrator does no good.

I really don't know what is causing the strange problem with the beeping. None of my other applications do it, just Office 2000.
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