My Nightmare Experience With Vista

Gnomie Alan writes:

Dear Chris,

I’ve seen your YouTube clips about Vista and wish to share my experiences with you. I recently purchased an Acer M1610-LB7Z Intel dual core base unit, which came with Windows Vista Home Edition. I am a qualified computer repair and service technician and was very surprised at how good the build and component quality was for the price paid. However Windows Vista has been a nightmare! The main issues I have personally encountered have mainly been with USB and core stability with many programs producing the “program did not respond” error message. The programs used were legitimate programs that are supposed to work with Vista. I will list some of the issues I’ve encountered:

  1. USB 2 speeds exceptionally slow pre service pack 1 at only 135 KB/S with service pack 1 approx 3 MB/S
  2. Every time I put in a USB memory stick, Vista always wants to “scan and fix” the drive. Yet upon scanning, there is nothing wrong with the memory stick. I’ve tried different memory sticks and still the same message appears.
  3. BSOD appears now and then when I attach an external USB 2 drive. The error message clearly states USB problems.
  4. Occasionally the hard drive really thrashes when idle.
  5. UAC stops some programs from being installed! I turned off UAC and the exact same programs installed fine.
  6. Sometimes right clicking on files to find the file properties seems to take ages.
  7. Sometimes deleting items from the desktop takes ages and the file is often not removed from the desktop; I have to refresh the desktop to ‘remove’ the file. Sometimes the system is completely locked down when trying to delete a small file and a reboot is needed.
  8. Unable to set Firefox as my default browser; Vista locks onto IE7 all the time.
  9. I’ve encountered several Windows Explorer crashes when trying to do simple tasks such as moving files.
  10. IE7 crashes a lot.
  11. I had a Windows error message about Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7.0 “unexpectedly not working,” yet the Kaspersky product seemed to be working fine. This error message also happened with OpenOffice 2.40
  12. The following programs have crashed with Vista (all are supposed to be Vista compatible): Nero 7, AOL instant messenger, Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Yahoo! Messenger, GIMP, Windows Defender, and Windows Media Player 11.

I installed all the security updates, but for some reason Vista Service Pack 1 was not offered via the Microsoft update service. I later installed it manually and some of the USB issues were fixed, but the transfer speeds are still much slower than XP. Pretty much all of the above still happens on Vista with or without Service Pack 1. What I did next was to install Windows XP Pro and absolutely not one of the issues above happened, thus its pretty clear to me that the computer hardware is fine. The problem clearly is with Vista, which I feel is a ‘broken’ operating system.

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.


  1. Doing says:

    Yep… The annoying thing is that you can fix most of your issues by fiddling with services, but of course you’re rightly expecting that to be unnecessary – plus, even if you check all dependencies you still get some nasty surprises…

    my usb speed problems, strangely disappeared over night at some point (the laptop was switched off/not connected to the web…)…

    vista sucks! It’s not buggy – it IS a bug!

  2. Richard says:

    Feels like a BIOS issue is in the mix. Something there may be incorrectly set.

  3. Alan says:

    Hi I’m the Alan who wrote the above article to Chris Pirillo.

    I’d like to give some more feedback. Basically, I have been using Ubuntu Linux on the same pc mentioned in the above article for well over six months now and have had no major stability issues. I’ve had the odd moments like any operating system does but nothing on the scale of my problems with Vista.

    Anyway my curiosity got the better of me and two weeks ago I tried Vista again to see if it had improved. It had not significantly improved. The instability problems were still present with many windows explorer crashes, some several times a day.

    I’ve only experienced about 3 crashes in six months of using Ubuntu and that was involving the Firefox web browser (the fault apparently was due to the flash plugin). I do not believe that there is a bios issue as Richard suggests, unless Vista is so fragile that it needs a special unique configuration which if true would be quite pathetic. Since XP and Ubuntu can work properly and be stable on the same pc with the same bios configuration then why cant Vista?!!!!! By the way I’m not expecting an answer :-)

    Overall I feel ripped off by Microsoft as I had bought the operating system as part of the new pc package. I’ve even tried a clean version of vista (oem crapware free) and still the same problems appear. For myself Vista is not fit for purpose!

    Since I’ve moved over to Ubuntu I’ve become used to it and can do pretty much all I could have done on a Windows box but more importantly I’m actually enjoying using Ubuntu (once I’ve changed the brown theme and ugly wallpaper!).

    Microsoft have lost me as a customer.