back to article Vista's Long Goodbye strikes again

New data documenting quirky networking characteristics in Vista have surfaced courtesy of Windows architecture guru Mark Russinovich, who confirms that simply by playing media files, users can bring throughput in Microsoft's new and improved operating system to a screeching halt. The degradation is caused by a new feature …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fucking Brilliant...

    What in the name of sweet jesus are they doing over there in Redmond?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Igor! Today we shall ... "improve" a kernel (wrings hands)

    > What in the name of sweet jesus are they doing over there in Redmond?

    Clearly, adding a few pieces of resurrected bone and flesh to the kernel with through-bolts and staplers.

  3. J


    Hard-coded limit. Reminds me of something like "nobody should ever need more than 640K of memory"... Why do you need a bloody high speed connection anyway? Pirating stuff, are you? Lemme just slow it down a bit for ya. :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    auto-patch gone

    Lets see they are trying to make sure that XP isn't patched

    easily and meanwhile they keep screwing up wga or whatever

    and then there is this little bit of retarded nonsense great

    let them continue they are doing everything I want them to.

    Possibly they could work faster but hey it's MS.

  5. Jason Cramer

    tried this for fun

    stopping the MMCSS stops windows audio as well

  6. foxyshadis

    Not the full story

    Jason, you have to unassociate audio from MMCSS, as the bottom of the article mentions.

    The Register totally missed an important post yesterday morning by one of the involved developers explaining the rationale behind the behavior:

    I only mention because there's been a truckload of uninformed commentary going on around it, not that it's unexpected.

    I bet the hardcoded limit was thrown in there by someone who was going to run some tests to figure out what the right formula would be... and ended up forgetting all about it as more pressing issues showed up. That's why // TODO is so important. :p

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's why // TODO is so important.

    That's why we pay Redmond $/£150 to get it sorted...


  8. Oisin McGuigan

    Waste of time

    MS, just give up! Its not broken, It just doesn't work!!!! Its crap and you made a mess of it like you always do! 'Windows Vista is the most secure Operating System on the market'

    Well yeah! cos no one can get it to work!!!!

    This is the last straw for me, Rolling back tonight as this answers why all my media players hang and crash and cause endless trouble. Goodbye Vista, Hello XP SP2.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What they don't tell you is, while your playing music, the DRM is reporting back to M$ so they can deduct the appropiate fine, errr, fee from your account.

  10. Chris

    Who's computer is it?

    Has anyone at Microsoft ever heard of this fancy newfangled thing called a "server"? Many servers do have integrated audio, especially high-end workstations being used as servers. Even casting servers aside, I'm sure there are a lot of people like myself who would prefer to keep the network running smoothly than keep a workstation's audio running smoothly. If it's the choice between my network slowing to a crawl or having slightly-chopping audio, I'll go with the slightly-choppy audio. Besides, with WinAmp, I can set the priority for my audio so as to achieve no chopping at all. Then again, I don't use stupid, completely pointless, processor-hogging "visualisations" while I'm listening to audio, either.

  11. Andrew Radley

    Err, Don't think so

    Surely the delays on a broadband line are 'latency', not packet throughput, so this is possible to experience on a high speed broadband line, particularly if you've got a newish laptop which does include bluetooth, wireless & wired LAN.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of small packets will make it worse.....

    Sounds like a typical office network with netbios broadcast running wild.

    Most network traces I run show an average packet size way below 1500 bytes, there are ack packets and all the network overhead stuff - ARP, DNS lookup.........

    Average more like 500 - 750 bytes, which halves the effective throughput.

    And what about all these lost packets screwing up your network applications and forcing error recovery?

  13. Andy S

    does this fix mean...

    that I'lll now be able to copy a small file on my hard drive without having to go and make a cup of tea while i wait?

    If this service is at fault its definately hit more than just network throughput, unless of course vista routes everything through its networking code no matter where its going to end up?

  14. Daniel Moss

    Further interest...

    I've been playing with this for a while... Interestingly enough, if you share a folder on the Vista PC, then use another PC on the network to browse to that share, you can copy to and from it at a proper rate (from the other PC). Vista only seems to slow the network performance if it initiates the copy/move.

  15. Andy

    File copy + misc. fixes...

    Take a look at...

  16. bobbles31

    I don't get it

    I'm sorry, I just don't understand. Even as someone that writes software for a living I just don't get it.

    For as long as I can remember I have been able to play music on windows with no problem whatsoever even when it did jump it was normally because I had the machine doing something that I actually wanted it to do and that something was normally more important that the music anyway.

    Are they honestly saying that Vista is so crap at playing media that we should perhaps all go get an IPOD instead? Seriously, its just never been an issue.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "..... for they shall digest no more than 6,000."

    Presumably: Firewire port (cos Windoze always adds a net adapter for this whether you want one or not), 4000 pps, VPN software (virtual adapter), 2000 pps........


  18. Corrine

    And then another drop...

    Firewire represents yet another network card in your system... A notebook might easily drop to 4000 packets per second if it's got all the bells and whistles if the pattern the article gives is right. For that matter, what happens when you've got some idiotic software from your isp that adds logical network devices to the system?

  19. Rob

    Am I the only person...

    ... (along with my wife) who has a stable version of Vista and hasn't suffered any of these problems mentioned?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What are we doing tonight Bill?"

    "The samething we do every night Steve, trying to take over the world!"

    "Their Steve, Steve and Bill...Bill....Bill.....Bill....Bill"

  21. David Hearn

    Read the blog comment to get accurate info

    "may be an extreme example but I've got 7 adapters on my machine. 2 VPN, a 1394, a LAN, a WLAN and two VMWare. Does this affect the speeds or does the adapters need to be in-use? I guess that 2 (or three if "1394" counts) is standard nowadays?"

    Reply: "The VPN and 1394 don't count, but the vmware ones do.

    That's a part of the things we need to fix."

    So, Firewire adaptors and VPN adaptors won't affect it.

  22. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    @ Rob

    Well yes, Rob, you are. How's it feel to be the only happy Vista customer in the world ?

    And soon, you'll be the only Vista user in the world too. Ain't life wonderful ?

  23. Ian O'Friel


    @ TeeCee and Corrine

    I think you'll find one of the things dropped by MS when Vista was coded was the support for IEEE1394 Networking, therefore your firewire port no longer counts as a network device...

  24. g e

    Hmmmm... I wonder...

    Knowing the attention to detail those programmers Microsoft allegedly has (you know.. the ones that can't make an email or browser app just work properly)... do you think localhost is also considered a network interface as well?

    Imagine an exploit based on streaming something from

    <Pinky_in_Mouth> Frikkin' awesome </>

  25. Ed Stewart


    I just had to add that my Ubuntu 7.04 doesn't have any headaches you people describe, it just plain works.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Mostor Astrakan


    A 286 could saturate a 10base2 coax wire and still have room to do file work. Modern processors can easily keep up with more than one Gigabit adapters at the same time. What the...

  28. Rob


    Yeah pretty good thanks, glad I'm lucky enough not to be plagued by so many problems.

    Not entirely true, cause if I'm doing alright on it then I might as well keep my wife's machine on Vista, so that makes 2 of us :)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Firstly, no you shouldn't by an ipod... they belong to the enemy, what you want is a zune player!!

    But what you need to remember is that vista wasn't written to do anything useful, it was designed to look pretty, and I guess that sound is part of that.

    Something more important than listening to backgound music? You must be joking... we can see what the priorities are in redmond.

    Does make you wonder why their music on hold is so poor though!!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've had the RC release for vista using Nvidia network cards (core cpu is not used, dedicated cpu) and I havn't had an issue.

    I've also got vista at work, again no issues.

    However, I will admit, my 2nd desktop at home, with a dlink and 3com network card, has "issues". During transfers, it will CRAWL if I got videos running, but those are "software" based nic's. Just saying.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh wow . . .

    I'm sitting here reading all these comments on my G4 PowerBook and just shaking my head in bewilderment, while my IBM T42 gathers dust in my closet.

    MS -- you are unbelievable.

  32. Astarte


    Maybe Vista could be interpreted as a 'Second Coming'. Having just read the article about the PRC's stance on reincarnation maybe they have a point. See:

  33. Norman Wanzer

    @Bob and Pascal

    Before the knives and guns come out I would like to point out that we have a mix of users here and different expectations. I have found that Vista for home use is ok. Not great, but ok. As an IT professional, I wouldn't touch it no matter how much you paid me.

    I recently built a new PC for home. (AMD 64AM2 Duel Core, 1GB Mem, Nvidia 8500) While picking out the parts, the question of supporting Vista came up among the various family members so I decided to build it with that in mind. I have XP and Vista on 2 removable drives so I can easily switch back and forth. Next on my list is to get bench mark software installed on both. However, as it is right now I can tell XP is faster. Actually XP running a couple of apps is still noticeably faster than Vista running no apps.

    For just home use I haven’t had any problems; however at work while testing I have had all sorts of performance issues – mostly network related. And let us be honest, for home users what is normally run? IE, Outlook, games, and maybe Word and Excel? For an Admin we need to use network and printer shares, worry about connecting to a domain and existing infrastructure. Vista just isn’t ready for that yet.

    Us IT people tend to be really concerned about performance. It is a lot like the guys in the ‘60s and ‘70s who used to tune up their cars. If you had to add a turbocharger and a blower to your new car just to get the same horsepower as your last car, wouldn’t you bitch a bit too?

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