Top Five Reasons Why Upgrading To Vista Might Not Be A Great Decision

Gnomie Time2Rock from our chat room writes:

Hey Chris,

I love your videos. Here are some suggestions, based on my personal experience, why some people shouldn’t rush out to grab Vista. I’m really into the latest and greatest technology and got Vista without doing my homework. I hope some of these are helpful.


  1. Your USB/FireWire devices might stop working.
    Chances are that you have a lot of USB devices lying around and if your device, whether it is a printer, scanner, digital camera, etc. is not compatible with Vista, it could take months or might never be updated with the correct driver. I’m pretty sure you do not want to spend $100 or $200 buying Vista compatible devices. In my case my wireless mouse and joystick were not recognized by Vista. Check around the manufacturers’ Web sites to see if your devices are compatible.
  2. If XP already works, why change it?
    If you already have a fully functioning computer that does all the tasks you need it to do, then you shouldn’t risk the chance of hardware failures on Vista. Don’t think that you will be one of the lucky ones and your upgrade experience will go smoothly. This is what I initially thought going in, but I ran into many hardware problems on my brand new laptop.
  3. Don’t get sucked in by advertising!
    I was first drawn to Vista by an ad on a Web site saying “the wow starts now!” and “see the revolutionary user interface in Vista.” Adverting usually tends to stick to the positives rather than the negatives. Do your research and see what other people are saying about your system with Vista before you buy.
  4. Looks are not everything.
    If you want to upgrade to Vista, a big reason might be because of the stylish, cool look of Aero with its glassy windows and sleek looking UI and, basically, just because it’s new. I was tired of the blue look of XP (which I have been using ever since I can remember) and I wanted a change. When I saw that dreaded blue screen of death in Vista, I really didn’t care about the pretty interface — I just wanted it to work.
  5. Say goodbye to some of your favorite programs.
    One of my biggest issues was giving up some of my favorite games and having issues with Adobe Photoshop. You get so used to using a program (or device) that when all of the sudden it doesn’t work, you have no place to go. This is terrible if you require that program for a job or school.
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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.

  • Jeff

    THESE are your top 5 reasons for not upgrading to Vista? “Don’t get sucked in by the advertising,” really, that’s a “reason?” This little article would have been nice if it were from someone who was not a casual computer user or from someone who ACTUALLY knows how to use a computer. I’ve been on Vista since it came out. It wasn’t smooth as glass but it’s gotten better and I recommend it to anyone who’s interested. But I too think that if you’re fine with XP, don’t’ upgrade unless you want a newer experience. I haven’t had ANY problems with any of my applications and working and I’m a graphic artist with all the Adobe suite (even video). Your post is a year too late in being of any help. It may have been more viable a year ago but now it’s a whining session. This site can do better.

    • Jim Spriggs

      Yeh i agree totally. After buying a new laptop which came with Vista, & a built in webcam. I can no longer use any of my wireless cams or external usb cams.Some programs cannot be started unless you right click on the icon and run as administator.
      Jeez i am the bloody administrator.
      So XP is going on quick smart.
      My vote: ITS A DUD.

  • Jerry

    The USB problem is bad enough, with not recognizing certain USB devices, but Vista has an even nastier trick for some of us—most of the time Vista will recognize my USB keyboard and USB mouse, but sometimes it will not. What to do? Is the problem in Vista, in the motherboard BIOS, or in the devices themselves? Microsoft will never tell you, and you can go soak your head.

    You can no longer run a “repair” install in Vista as you could in XP, however you can run an “upgrade install” which will do approximately the same thing (provided you can fulfill the stringent requirements Microsoft imposes for an upgrade install). Unfortunately, on my computer, the upgrade install runs nearly to the end and then pops up a message that a “component could not be installed–rolling back the installation”, and sure enough the install is completely cancelled, rolled back to the old installation, and you are left right where you started, saying, “Well WHAT component? Why did it fail. Who do I speak to about this?” You speak to no one. The message is deliberately cryptic, and if you don’t like it you can go buy a Mac. Speaking of which…

  • L Wassermann

    Chris, the opinion of this person must be dated. I have many USB devices on my home network and at first the manufactures did not have their driver work done, but now most have Vista drivers and I have not had to replace any of my devices. MS is not responsible for writing drivers for other hardware manufactures. Thankfully most have gotten their acts together. I have never, let me say that again, never had a blue screen of death, but then again I know how to manage my resources.

    • earl wallace


      I felt the same way about XP when I was fighting the upgrade to XP. Then when XP SP1 came out I moved up and loved it. I just recently bought a 17″ HP laptop with Vista SP1. It seemed Kludgy at first and I was real suspicious of it’s possible quirks. After 4 weeks and some hacks later it is smooth as silk. Again I am the OS hypocrite. I am running 5 pcs wit Puppy LInux, Ubuntu 8.04, XP Home, Win 98 and Vista.

      Your 5 reasons are valid enough for the cautious new to Windows user but I disagree with the premise now. Vote Bob Barr for President!

      Earl WAllace

  • Jerry

    The “opinion of this person” is not dated, Mr. Wassermann, and “this person” knows how to manage his resources, having been a computer programmer since 1965, with IBM mainframes. If you are from Microsoft, then you prove my point precisely, that Microsoft does NOT respond to the issues of Vista. If you are not from Microsoft, then what would be your reason for defending the indefensible? I have struggled with Vista since the day it came out, and yes, with the manufacturers who do not perfect their drivers and their hardware (the poor things–did you ever try to read Microsoft technical documentation?). But my USB keyboard that doesn’t always light up and respond when my computer boots is a Microsoft Digital Media 3000 keyboard, brand new, and the motherboard it connects to is an MSI K9A2 CF with quad core Phenom CPU and 4 gigabytes of RAM. As I said, the question is, is the problem in the motherboard BIOS, the keyboard, or Vista? Should I look into the event logs? It’s easier to read classical Greek! How can one little consumer figure all this out? I spoke the truth, Microsoft does not respond well to the pleas for help from Vista users– and I ought to know since I have been struggling with Vista since it came out more than a year and a half ago. I remember when Vista destroyed my sound studio with the infamous missing HAL and left it completely in the lurch, forcing me to buy expensive new equipment, which did not even become available until almost a year after the release of Vista. Ah, the dual booting with Vista that always seemed to lead to problems–that was really fun. The silence of Microsoft concerning the problems of Vista has been deafening. For instance, why will my computer not come out of S3 Sleep, with or without hybrid hibernation? Search the forums and see that there is no answer, but a lot of inquirers. Many commenters say that Sleep worked fine in Vista Beta but then broke permanently in the Vista public release, on some computers but not on others. Now in order to fix the sometimes comatose USB problem and the always comatose Sleep problem I am going to throw the dice again and get a more recent MSI motherboard with a newer chipset to replace the motherboard that was new just a few months ago. Or perhaps all the trouble is caused by the high powered sound card drivers, and should I upgrade that too — again. Hmm, what to do? Is Windows 7 a fix for all these things? Will it be priced as an upgrade to Vista, or will it be full price, designated as a new operating system, getting near 200 dollars for the home version?

    [Criticizers and scoffers, don’t bother for my sake, I won’t read the replies. But do walk a mile in my shoes.]