back to article Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting

It's been almost nine months since we first reported on Windows Vista's inability to copy, delete and move files without stalling indefinitely, and yet the problem continues. Screenshot of Windows Vista copy window Screenshots relayed this week by two Reg readers say it better than we ever could. "48167 Days and 23 hours …


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  1. Charles Manning
    Thumb Up

    My Vista Upgrade

    Feeling rather left out on my old XP laptop, I have found a solution. I used the article's screenshot as wallpaper.

    I can force my laptop to run at half speed the upgrade should be compl;ete.

    That wan't as hard as those Reg nay-sayers make out!

  2. pctechxp

    Single-core vs Multi core

    Would be interesting to know if this has an effect.

    Two or four brains better than one.



  3. Simon

    Not the only MS OS with copy issues

    XP 64 has a nice one where it blue screens with an error in NTFS.sys if you try to copy a > 4GB file and the source and destination volumes are the same. It seems like the more headcount MS add, the poorer their quality gets...

  4. Malcolm Hall
    Jobs Halo

    Get a Mac

    This is why I switched to a Mac. On the Mac you can move files while they are open, and even move ones which are still downloading!

  5. J


    "Vista told him it would take more than 131 years to complete the job"

    Just in time for the next MS upgrade then!

    "Apparently not, as you can plainly see by the enclosed screenshot"

    And who told her that it hasn't improved? Without SP1, it might have reported 52837 days and 14 hours remaining!

  6. Herby

    Inquiring minds want to know...

    Why does it take so long? I'm sure there is an explanation on the very advanced technique it is using to do this copy. Not having attempted Vista (I don't want to right now either), I can only surmise that it is doing a bit by bit check against some DRM database in a far away land. Yes, the screen shot is probably good for wallpaper!

  7. s

    My Vista Upgrade

    Ok not a run of the mill machine (I buy top laptops and use them for many years, rather than crap machines and replace ona yearly basis) but...

    Running Vista on a 1 1/2 yr old machine (2ghz Centrino Duo, 2GB ram, 256MB X1600) and so far nothing but praise for the system. Boots faster, shuts down faster, no crashes yet, and VS 2005 Professional loads in about (not scientifically tested) 25% faster than the same machine using XP.

    The only issue I had was network copying - the the point where I used xcopy for everything as that wasn't slow. But a couple of months a go after an update even that was solved.

    Sure if you use it on an old, crappy spec machine it's going to be slower than XP (but then that's going to be slower than 2K, which will be slower than 98 etc etc etc etc....)

    Wonder if these people complaining have updated their system (or even have a system up to date enough to run the software?)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    May be because ......

    Cold it be because all MS engineers and programmers are sick of Vista that they now use XP, so they dont have a Vusta machine to emulate/test the problem ?

    As to the speed, I had so much problems with it as we do lots of copying to/from servers, I simply rolled back all to XP, life is too short, MS may tell me that Vista is the best of the best of the best, at the end of the day, I am the one who is eating the pudding, and this one tastes like shit.

    I am suspecting some type of spying/file checking routines in the background, but may be because its build into the core, so its not that simple to remove it or just disable it, how else can one explain this fix takes that long ? I am sure a third rated programmer can run a debugger, copy some files and see where the bottleneck is coming from ...

  9. Leo Davidson

    It's Explorer, not Vista.

    It's not Vista itself but Explorer and the Shell API (which is usually only for copying files by Explorer and one or two of the file managers that don't have their own copy functions).

    I've been using Directory Opus (a filemanager which replaces Explorer) on Vista since January and the files copy at the limit of my SATA2 hardware. The underlying Win32 API and NTFS in Vista are as good as they were in XP. It's just the Shell file copy APIs which are b0rked.

    Of course it's still a big deal that MS really need to sort out since so many people rely on Explorer, but Explorer is so horrible (and so much more horrible in Vista after numerous braindead UI changes) that I can't believe anyone who does a lot with their machine would really want to use it if they explored the alternatives, so IMO it's no reason to be put off using the OS.

  10. Darryl

    That's nothing

    I have a screenshot of Stuffit running on a G5. It's unstuffing a font and says that it has "about 2023406814 hours" to go. That's just under 231,000 years.

  11. Nick Stallman

    The mind boggles

    @Herby: Your theory only makes sense if said database is manually checked by monkeys.

    Its too slow for automated checking.

    What puzzles me is that copying is a very fundamental process.

    They had it working more or less ok in XP, stuffed it up big time in Vista and even a year later havent been able to fix it.

    A little bit fishy.

    Oh well. Back to the latest 2.6.23 kernel running on my Pentium 3 1ghz laptop.

    Hell even Compiz works perfectly on it with onboard Intel graphics.

    No need for me to touch any Microsoft product ever again (thank god).

  12. Phil

    About the same speed you get with Virginmedia XL broadband package then

    As title says

  13. Carlo Graziani

    That Screenshot


    80GB (top line) at 10MB/s (bottom line) works out to 8000s, a little over 2 hours. Vista's estimate of 36843 days seems a little off. Certainly, that progress bar should not be anywhere near 2/3 of the way across if the estimate is right, unless the submitter started the test on an advance copy of Vista, sometime around 1937.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Get a Mac

    OS X is not immune to filesystem glitches, either:

    "A blogger has uncovered what he claims is a "massive" bug in Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Finder app that could result in the loss of data when folders are moved from a Mac to directly- or network-connected storage."

  15. Peter W


    "Wonder if these people complaining have updated their system (or even have a system up to date enough to run the software?)"

    I've encountered this problem on a 2.4GHz dual core desktop with 4gb (count it, 4) of ram. Not much in the way of graphics not that it should matter.

    Is that an "old, crappy spec machine"?

    Just because you haven't experienced the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Vista is a big pile of smelly dog turds. Worst OS I've ever used IMO.

  16. Chad H.

    with appologies to iron butterfly

    you know that microsoft vista baby, dontcha know that its sooo crap

    you know that microsoft vista honey, dontcha know that it will always be crap


    oh won't you come with me... and format C:...

  17. Morely Dotes
    Thumb Up

    Minor correction

    The article title ought to be:

    "Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for felching and coprophagy"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re:My Vista Upgrade

    You're lucky. I'm runnig Vista on a Dell Desktop E521 Athlon X2 5000 with 2GB of memory, ATI Radeon 256mb card. It's a fairly beefy machine, but since the day I got it out the box (February), it has been so slow, that everytime I use it I think I must put XP on this thing....

    The hard drives are continually whirring, and basically anything that tries to access the disk just takes forever...

    It takes around 5-10 minutes to get to the point where it's usable after turning it on in the morning.

    I tried last week turning off superfetch(and run away), which has improved matters considerably... but it's still definitley not as fast as i would expect.

    I've tried downloading every update going for it, including disk controller

    updates etc... but it's not improving.

    I've also been trying to install SP1 RC1, only that comes back with error 80070002. Update Failed.

    I only use the machine as a Media Machine, so it doesn't get loads of crap installed on it.

    Not a happy vista user!

  19. John P

    If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

    I've not used Vista alot except a couple of times on a colleague's laptop but it seems that this 'complete rewrite' as MS calls it is just a big load of shit. They've taken what was a quite stable OS (after a little bit of tweaking) and completely ruined whatever microscopic amount of credibility they had left.

    XP wasn't perfect but it was a vast improvement over 98 and hardly ever crashes or freezes. The only complaints I have is when it occasionally tries to misguidedly help you and just screw you instead. I copied one 145Mb file on Vista and not only did it crash on the first attempt but it came up with a stupid estimate of 30-odd thousands hours for the transfer on the second go.

    This was on a brand new top of the range laptop (lucky ba$tard), just a shame about the Vista.

    I dare say I could write the program I was transferring from scratch faster than that!

    I only gave it a few minutes for the progress bar to start moving and when it failed to I just cancelled the transfer, dug out an old file transfer app I wrote ages ago and used that instead.

    So does this bug just involve the estimate being woefully wrong or does it actually take a RIDICULOUS amount of time to complete the transfer?

    Either way, there's no chance of me switching to Vista before atleast SP100, which should arrive in roughly 4857694758600000000000000000000000000000000000000000 hours.

  20. Adrian Esdaile

    Register National Sport: Kick the Vista!

    Yeah, I've had few funny numbers show up in file copying boxes. I even run Vista! The difference with me though is that I actually like it.

    I remember seeing these kinds of time errors frequent under NT4, then NT2000, and certainly a lot under pre-SP2 XP! It seems they fixed things for XP SP2 though. I also seen similar esitmates for time given under Linux and... Mac!

    And guess what Mr.Smug Mac User above... I can copy a file that's open under Vista, (and XP for that matter). It's just a VERY STUPID thing to do, as the copied file is likely to be corrupted if it's anything important, like your customer database or CAD file. Oops, silly me, Macs only have MP3 files and scanned sketches by cushion tossers, and other unimportant junk.

  21. Edward Miles


    Another reason for me to avoid putting vista on any on my boxes. Alas, I will have to soon, as it's gonna be the only way I can keep my lucrative sideline in fixing stupid peoples computers in a Vista world :(

  22. skeptical i

    All your transfers ...

    ... are belong to us. Or not at least not to you. Not for a looooooong tiiiiiiiiime.


  23. J
    Paris Hilton


    "I'm sure there is an explanation on the very advanced technique it is using to do this copy."

    Blue Russian midgets impersonating Smurfs located inside your HD have to check every byte, of course. What do they teach kids nowadays?

  24. Steven Hodson

    Been There Done That

    I've been documenting this *feature* for some time now on my blog and posted the other day about the joy after installing the SP1 RC for Vista

    It is much the same results as the pictures with the article .. in other words it's still not fixed

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    @ Get a Mac

    if you fan boys could be any more narrow minded you would need a microscope to measure your capacity for something else than a Steve Jobs special, open your minds think bigger than a glorified crayola set.

  26. Jack the Bat

    I'm betting on DRM

    Friend of mine got a Vista-powered Vaio this summer (his previous laptop screen had broken). He had just gotten married and was anxious to show his new bride all the new high-definition video he had had made of their wedding.

    Vista-machine would not let him copy his own video onto his own computer. This guy's no stranger to digital video or working with computers, but he could NOT get the files to transfer. When I phoned him I literally had to hold the phone away from my ear for a few minutes while he vented.

    Once he'd calmed down, I inquired why he hadn't asked my advice. "Because I knew you'd tell me to get a Mac," he replied. Well. What a concept.

    I suggested he go back to the store and request a downgrade to XP...then had to hold the phone at arm's length again. "Downgrade?!?" he screamed. "You mean an UPGRADE!!!"

    I think this must be some DRM-scheme: Vista is looking for some flagged-bit that signifies "approved media content" to Redmond and if it doesn't find it, goes into the spin-cycle. Anyone else out there have any insight?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    a rose by any other name...

    You can't sugar coat a turd. If you do, at the end of the day it's still a turd.

  28. Barry
    Gates Halo

    Stop picking on Vista!

    Why is everyone so hard on Vista?

    Sure, it's overpriced. But MS worked hard for their monopoly, they should be allowed to reap the rewards.

    Sure, its bloat slows it down: it's the same with all new software. But if you go out and buy a machine like mine (quad-core Q9550 with 4GB RAM) it's actually acceptable.

    Sure, it doesn't add much in the way of functionality over XP. But the latter will be unsupported in a few years, wouldn't you rather have an OS with a future?

    Sure, it takes a lot more work to keep it secure than so-called 'alternative' OSes. But those OSes don't run the best software, like IE7.

    Sure, it has more bugs than what's left of the Amazon Jungle. But... erm... that is... damn.

    I'm sorry. I can't keep defending this piece of crapware.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    A Way to Upgrade from Vista

    The first paragraph:

    "I have finally decided to take the plunge. Last night I upgraded my Vista desktop machine to Windows XP, and this afternoon I will be doing the same to my laptop."

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Come on you 'mericans...

    ...sue the b'stards.

    I'm sure some lawyer could make a few bucks from a lucrative class action suit.

    For goodness sake, what are Microsoft trying to hide here. Oh, of course it's the DRM TURDS*

    *Technology User's Rights Denial System

  31. Xaiver Adams

    Hate to rain on the MS S*** storm ....

    I have copied all my music, (20 GB's) worth from a xp machine to a vista laptop and it worked fine..(45 Min). I know these are smaller files but still a lot of Data.. Copied 8 gigs of Human Genome files too (larger single files), and these copied fine also..

    Don't get me wrong I don't like Vista anymore than anyone else but i don't see the errors yet.. I guess I'll try some other large single files and see what happens...

  32. James O'Brien

    All i have to say is this...


    Hell i could probably copy the file faster by hand......

    wonder if MS should pay me to be the new way files are copied on their OS?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    it still amazes me

    that in this day and age people still choose to run a windows-based operating system, when there are COMPLETELY FREE solutions out there like ubuntu. sure, some of us don't have a choice because we need to run photoshop or the like, but i'm fairly certain the mass majority just need things to *WORK*.

    even worse, people have been conditioned and now expect their machines to run like a piece of crap.

    i sometimes feel like there's this small group of us sitting on this big secret that distros like ubuntu exist, and installing and running it is not the big-deal it once-upon-a-time used to be. ANYONE, even the most basic user, will be able to install and run it these days.

    Look, you can even get a FREE CD shipped to you, so those low bandwidth excuses aren't even valid either:

    and you can get free STICKERS too:



  34. Iain B. Findleton

    Vista Speed Records

    Having just been forced to buy Vista (You can't get a laptop without it), it took me 6 hours to load the O/S and make disaster recovery DVDs. Why do the M$ gang get such delight at torturing their customers? The speed bug is likely the source of most of my agony, as is the ridiculous 11+ GB of O/S image that is Vista.

  35. Carl
    Gates Halo

    Satisfied Vista User

    Lets see, HP Pavilion machine with 2gb of ram and 256mb of graphics memory......oh and a 3.2ghz processor.

    Not a wildly over-specced machine but Vista runs fine with no complaints.

    I've used Win95, 98SE, ME, XP, XPSP1, XPSP2 & Vista Home Premium, and the only one I have a serious complaint about and would refuse to ever use again is ME.

  36. Steven Hewittt
    Jobs Horns


    To be fair, the speeds aren't actually that bad, even with the explorer shell issue. They're worse than XP, and much slower than they should be, but it's still usable.

    Good example is the sceenshot shows it's around about 70% done. I very much doubt that he's been running Vista for so many 1000's years.... It's slow, but it's the reporting that's really screwed.

    As mentioned above, this appears to be a bug not in the Vista OS as a whole, but in explorer. Use command line and it all works fine. This sorta rules out the whole DRM conspiracy. Also rules out hardware not being up to scratch.

    It's a bug in explorer. Needs fixing. But it's worth pointing out that it's only under some circumstance, and is NOT affecting the majority of end-users. (As a network admin who's been running Vista since beta 2 - I've never noticed it!)

    And the Mac fanboi can go fuck himself with a 10ft iPole. Vista's explorer shell maybe slow, but at least it doesn't lose the file if you click cancel..!

  37. b4k4

    re:So does this bug just involve the estimate being ..

    ..woefully wrong or does it actually take a RIDICULOUS amount of time to complete the transfer?

    Real life operation:

    Win XP, sempron, 512MB. Zip up my documents and transfer to USB key took a couple of minutes.

    Brand new Vista dual core 2GB. Copy from USB key onto Vista took about half an hour. THEN unzipping on Vista took 2 HOURS!

    Why does unzipping take so long?

  38. Brett Brennan

    Need some measurement here

    This might be a topic for one of the El Regulars (like Cade or Tony) to dig into...

    Are the problems more prevalent on new purchase hardware with Vista pre-installed, or is it evenly spread over the new and self-upgraded hardware?

    Although I uninstalled Vista nearly a year ago, in the brief period I was using it I had no performance issues to speak of. A LOT of incompatibility, specifically with mission-critical, high-dollar business or technical packages - but nothing like the problems listed in these many articles.

    My best friend, a MS-certified data center architect, has 4 Vista platforms running at home with no problems, ranging from Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD Opteron gaming monsters running the 64 bit version with the MS VM support to an old Gateway convertible with a 1.5 GHz Pentium M. All are running Vista Ultimate, as was I.

    In both our cases we did a "blank disk" install from the retail "OEM" installation media (multipack license) on existing platforms we were already running XP or Linux. In other words, swap in a new hard drive and do the install from scratch.

    So far, my friends and family that have purchased brand new machines with Vista pre-installed have encountered numerous problems in both installation and operation, including the copy performance problems cited in the article.

    Now, this is anecdotal, empirical analysis, but it seems the common thread here is vendors with "bad" installation images for some of their products.This does not surprise me, as there are constant updates to the hardware in systems within a single model from the "big" vendors, or even complete chipset changes within a major model release. If the install image for a model family isn't updated, it would be possible to get kernel images that are incorrectly built for the hardware. If ANYTHING works at all, it's probably running in "compatibility" mode - meaning just one step above "safe" mode. No DMA, no ACPI, reduced clock speeds all around, etc. This COULD explain the continuous problems people have.

    Of course, if you take a tweaked installation of Linux or Mac OS and run it on a different chipset platform, you'll experience the same issues.

    So, would one of you El Reg folks look into this and report?

    Muchas Gracias!

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @ It seems like the more headcount MS add, the poorer their quality gets...

    There is an old story in /usr/games/fortune that was lifted from the book "The Tao of Programming". It went like this:

    A manager went to the master programmer and showed him the requirements document for a new application. The manager asked the master: ``How long will it take to design this system if I assign five programmers to it?''

    ``It will take one year,'' said the master promptly.

    ``But we need this system immediately or even sooner! How long will it take if I assign ten programmers to it?''

    The master programmer frowned. ``In that case, it will take two years.''

    ``And what if I assign a hundred programmers to it?''

    The master programmer shrugged. ``Then the design will never be completed,'' he said.

  40. Stuart Duel
    Jobs Halo

    Get a Mac

    Re: Andy's anti-Mac diatribe.

    If all those Microsoft fanboys would remove their hand from below the desk for a minute, check out OS X and stop being so bloody narrow minded, they'd realise that:

    1) Windows is and always has been an upside down, backwards and poor copy of the Mac OS;

    2) OS X is BSD Unix - and therefore the most robust, reliable and stable desktop OS on the planet with an enormous library of available commercial, specialist and open source applications and at its Darwin core, is open source to boot;

    3) Macs are the most beautiful and efficient combination of hardware and software money can buy, capable of running any OS your heart or head desires. Why buy an OS limited PC when you can have an OS unlimited Mac for the same money?

    The vast majority of Mac users have to suffer Windows at work or are refugees from years of using Windows at home. I fit into both categories. Windows shits me no end - it's frustrating, stupid, counter-intuitive, clunky, slow and generally annoying to use.

    That's the other thing that sets us Mac users apart from everyone else - we generally have recent experience with both Windows and OS X so we're in a position to make authoritative comments.

    Oh, and calling the Mac a glorified crayola set? Sounds like a description of XP and Vista to me.

    Now get out of the way you boring MS drone with your technological dead-end, whilst we Mac heads get some real work done on a real OS.

  41. Brian

    RE That Screenshot

    Yes its a fake, and not a very good one.

  42. Gerrit Tijhof

    Pity the fools

    that choose to support the same OS year after year after year....

  43. steve

    Vista install

    While working a university IT support team, we decided we should install vista on a machine, just so we could get to grips with it before we had to support it. We spent a whole day installing it on a machine including trying to get all the hardware to work with it due to unsupported drivers. At the end of the day we had a meeting with the head of procurement, the director of IT and the corporate business manager. We told them in no uncertain terms that we would not be supporting Vista. They asked for how long, we replied "You don't understand, we won't be supporting Vista. Full Stop". They weren't too happy with that answer, but do you think we care?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    slow-ish but less crapware prone than xp

    ok, vista has its faults but UAC and IE protected mode are worth their weight in gold where braindead family members are concerned - the 3 ex xp machined that needed disinfecting every 2 weeks are still clean 3 months in - and these family members refuse to use anything other than IE as its what their college internet use class taught...

    a large proportion of vistas slowness can be aliviated by turning off windows defender real time scan (slow on xp too) and disabling the windows search indexer.

    to remove the vista bloat get vlite (google it), its a vista install cusomiser that lets you remove the junk you don't need, my vista nano boots faster on a celeron 420/512mb than xp pro does on e6400/1gb

  45. Kane

    @ Stop picking on Vista!

    Barry, you crack me up!

  46. David Urmston
    IT Angle

    Just say no - to Vista

    One of my PC repair business clients phoned the other day to say that her new Vista powered machine can't find her wireless router. She said that her existing XP machine can still see it though, and could I come out to sort it out.

    My advice was for her to take the laptop back to the shop and ask for one with XP or Linux, and when she has done this, to ring me back.

    I don't give a monkeys about the very lucrative income I won't earn from these jobs as I can do without the boring task of relearning how to fix another MS Operating Shitstorm. I am retraining to be a chimney sweep instead, and it's much more rewarding. Also, I now feel that I've helped to save someones life, rather than their music/film collection. And I still get to use IT equipment.

    PS, with a few tweaks, some additional memory and a separate graphics card, even Windows 98 could be made stable, more stable in fact than any MS OS since. My main machine has a dual core Athlon 64, runs Windows 2000 Pro and Ubuntu like a dream. I gave a new XP box to my kids to play Bebo and MSN with years ago, and still can't see any reason to change what I do except to fix other peoples broken boxes.

    PPS Can someone please explain why people will pay over a £1000 for a MAC running *nix on Intel architecture ?


  47. Roger Garner
    Gates Horns

    Its not *that* bad....

    I've run Vista on my new laptop (dont shout at me, it came on it and figured I'd give it a shot) for about 3 months now. Well I've still got it installed so its not managed to annoy me enough to wipe it down and install something else at least...

    I've had the 20k+ hours remaining displayed on the screen a few times but the copy always goes at around 22-23Mb/sec regardless. For me at least its just a display bug, the copy is always as quick as you can expect for to/from a slow ass laptop drive.

  48. Andreas

    134 years!

    I got a message that one 2GB file would take 134 years to finish copying. Unfortunately I have seen this 10000 days bug even with SP1...

  49. Stuart



    "OS X is not immune to filesystem glitches, either:

    "A blogger has uncovered what he claims is a "massive" bug in Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Finder app that could result in the loss of data when folders are moved from a Mac to directly- or network-connected storage.""

    Fixed in 10.5.1

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As usual, Apple are on the ball with 10.5.1 out less than a month after the initial leopard release. 10.5.1 addresses the issue with disconnecting network drives whilst copying files. Really minor issue compared to this Windoze issue (copying any file!) and to be fair if you're stupid enough to disconnect a network drive whilst copying files, you get what you deserve!!

    Just give up and get a Mac!!

  51. UK Warrior

    Norton / McAfee

    How many people experiencing copy/disk speed problems have the Norton or McAfee AVD suites installed? Even using the most lax settings they still cripple any decent machine IMO!

  52. Allan
    Thumb Up


    I am the same as you on an addmittedly hi-spec PC, clean install and no probs. (Well other than SLi, but that's down to Nvidia!)

  53. Stu
    IT Angle

    Random results with Vista over different hardware

    During the UK release of Vista, i was working for a _very_ well known brand (X-Box competitor anyone?) as part of the internal support team, I was tasked with getting a dozen brand spanking new systems upgraded and ready for software engineers to transfer across to.

    4 were top end quad-core systems boasting 4gig of ram each.

    2 were AMD's top end dual core kits pushing 2gig of ram each

    The rest were core2 Extreme's, with 2gig of ram each.

    All ram was PC6400 and all disk drives were Raptors in raid 0.

    The quad core machines were the bane of my life for long enough. They randomly fell over, were horridly slow at loading visual studio 2005 and the 'Long-goodbye' bug was such a pain, they were going to be left as a remote build farm before i was told to push XP on them. 2 hours later I was blessed with a beautifully running - and stable - development platform (naturally, they were passed on to people who earn far more money than I).

    The two AMD's were great. Everything went on like a dream and although they did appear to take quite a performance hit when forced to compile a 4Gb binary executable, that’s what the distributed build software was for =)

    The rest of the core2's were to fill out the rest of the engineers in one particular team, and even though everything went on fine, after a week of working with the, the engineers regretted asking for the upgrade, as general work flow was seriously disrupted but the stupidly slow network-copy bug. Strangely, this only happened one-way. From network to PC was fine. From PC to network storage ground to a halt almost every time, with the exception of one (just 1) PC which didn’t suffer from any of those problems but did blue-screen from time to time (usually during a big build!)

    It seemed like different hardware would produce different problems, yet even identical hardware would cause random results in day-to-day running.

    To date, all those systems have been given new hard drives with XP on, and all developers are running Vista in a virtual machine - Honestly the best way even though its somewhat slow.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Maybe in M$ turned off the bauked superfetch, Vista maybe slightly more preformant. Superfetch has a loverly habit of kepping your hard drive constantly active, and thus the head in the wrong position to read / write data. Why do we trust a company with such little knowlegde of basic hardware.

    I found it was quicker to install Linux on my new laptop than to boot Vista.

  55. Michael

    linux huh

    well Anonymous Coward a lot of people like me tend to play a lot of games on their PC and as linux does not play many of the main games out today and prob never will with most of them having to use DX10 soon.

    Plus another thing the Unbuntu and linux interface in general is not user freindly at all.. another thing for most things installing certain drivers and programs you need to drop down to command level .. its like going back in time, now I have no probs doing that but there is no way I can see a normal guy who does not know much about computers do it..

    now that migth be the designers of the programs and drivers fault you have to drop to command level but its still a big flaw in linux thats needs to be resolved before it can become a mainstream OS liek windows.

    Plus the linux interface is just plain ugly but i guess you can customize it well.

    Anyway as for Vista, I also seem to have major issues with file copying liek everyone else, on soem computers I have had good results with changing the network card to half duplex but others it has made no difference at all.

    Microsoft really need to get this sorted asap.

  56. Kenny Millar

    "just 168Mb of pictures"

    So just about 16 Megabytes of data then?

    COME ON REG - you should know the difference between 'b' (bits) and 'B' (Bytes) by now.

  57. will kennedy

    @ RE That Screenshot

    Even if the screenshot is a mock-up (and i dont think it is), the problem it describes is true, i have experienced it myself up until i applied the hotfix. Yes i was one of the lucky ones where the fix worked.

    I also had the unzip problem, but only using the MS extract to.. winzip and winrar etc were fine

    it took in eccess of 3 hours to unzip an archive that winrar/winzip could decompress in 20seconds

    Vista has many other issues. eg when online gamig using wireless every 60 seconds vista polls for new networks causing 1-2 seconds of lag, you cant disable this and makes gaming unbearable

    Network bandwidth suffers when you play MP's - and as most games have MP3 as background music, you find your lagging all the time with even bigger lagg at the 60 second marker!!! see above

    Now i wish (i really do) that i could install and run my favourite games in Linux, you wouldnt see my arse for dust.

    I had gone back to XP after all the issues with Vista, but when RC-SP1 came out i thought i would try again.

    It's useless, and as usual you fanboy's cant see or at least cant admit it; grow some cahones tbh!


  58. Rob

    RE: slow-ish but less crapware prone than xp

    Spot-on, someone else is enjoying the same experience as me.

    I've shifted a lot of friends and family onto Vista, just because it's so much easier to support. UAC has reduced my call outs to my lot by half.

    I had one copy of vista bork a bit but format and fresh clean install sorted it out no probs.

    Business customers though I have not done this with, still not overly sure it's ready and can be fully supported in that type of enviroment (yet).

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Yep, it's the random number generator at it again - think of a number between 0 and infinity then display as TIME_REMAINING.

    Vista lasted 2 hours on my desktop before I reformatted the disk & installed Ubuntu.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    it's fixed

    The problem concerning slow copying/deleting files in vista is now fixed in SP1. Check microsoft's website for Vista SP1 notes. The SP1 beta is available to download. It also contains lots of other improvements.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But, I've seen this in XP SP2...

    Really, just last night I was copying some files to my external drive and got an ETA of thousands of days (It actually took 30 minutes). And I've seen this on XP several times in the past, so I don't see why this happening is Vista is a surprise...

  62. Pete James

    Little Robert Anthony wants to come and play

    Have to say my Compaq Presario C700 seems to work fine with Vista. Office 2007 goes at a fair old clip, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat all spin up quicker than my beast of burden desktop back home (which runs xp although it does badly need a good service) and now I'm used to the revised navigation it's not bad at all.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    A way off the sinking ship - Explore new(?) Vistas

    For those not interested in one of the Penguin flavours, if you are interested in "Downgrading" to XP from Vista (OEM), check out this:

  64. Anonymous Coward

    @AC - "it still amazes me"

    "that in this day and age people still choose to run a windows-based operating system, when there are COMPLETELY FREE solutions out there like ubuntu."

    I use my Windows machine for gaming.

    If you know how to get all my lovely first person shooters to run on Ubuntu, please feel free to regale me with the details and I'll happily dump Windows in the same bin as IE and Outlook.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    re: re: Get a Mac


    Sure, you may lose a few files, but at least you'll lost them faster than Vista would...

  66. Anonymous Coward

    A whole day to install Vista?

    Think some of you guys should learn how to use your tech rather than just moan about it... Took me 2 hours to install Vista and get it working, the only problem I've had it that the wireless doesn't work after the machine has been in hibernation. Annoying but disabling and reinabling the wireless card sorts it in about 30 secs.

    Vista can be installed and easily optimized, just like XP can. OK so it needs a little more processing power, but all mayor OS updates do, they're built for faster machines. Ever tried running 3.1 on a quadcore machine? It's fucking rapid and that’s an understatement...

    Mac OS X is also lovely, if used properly. If you're not used to it and don't know the basics of *nix on the cli then it's going to be a confusing experience!

    Its horses for courses at the end of the day and different OS's have their uses. I wouldn't use a unix machine as a games machine. But then again I wouldn't use an M$ box for apache.

    So the moral of this story? If you don't like it, don't use it. But don't blame your technical inadequacies on software. Unless ofcourse it's OS/2...

  67. Giles Jones Gold badge


    It seems Microsoft have gone backwards. Vista seems more like the days of 3.11 and 95 than the company who gave us Windows 2000 and XP.

    Windows 2000 was the peak of the Windows experience, it's all been downhill since then.

    I love Vista though, not because it's good but because it's so bad that it will finally give people the confidence to try something new.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @ the mac tribe

    for the record i use Linux where possible and there's the hitch.

    as an example i work in the legal sector and good luck to you finding a Linux version of any of the software used in a modern law firm. i can assure there isn't any.

    The predictable argument is write your own and until we become a multi-national that's just not a practical solution.

    anyone who actually works in IT (rather than would like to be in IT, doing computeach course, think they should be in IT, still at school or sat in there basement looking at the internet all day) can easily sit there and join the chorus of the Linux fan boy, how ever for us in the real world its just not a solution. believe me i would like it to be but the cold hard truth is that Linux hasn't got the support for all the applications that businesses have to use to function these days. And when you show me a finished product that is open source and compatible to active directory then this conversation will be worth having.

    As for mac's lets face it they are the realm of designers and other such professions that need to do colouring in or the pc has be be sufficiently "fisher priced" so that the user can break it (and they look nice if there on show).

    Merry Christmas all, that was fun :-)

    (i chose the IT pic because if the fan boys stopped telling everyone how good Linux or OSX is and coded for it then it might be up to what they claim, but i guess anyone who can code is doing so rather than shouting about there favourite OS)

  69. Test Man
    Thumb Up

    Re: A whole day to install Vista?

    Spot on post, unlike most of the silly Vista bashers on this page, this person takes their time to write something that actually makes sense.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    The BESTEST Vista Commercial

  71. Iain

    Bug here, too.

    Unpacking Zip files on my Vista box runs at 2 bytes per second, or copying anything from a share goes at about the same rate.

    If it wasn't such hassle, I'd upgrade back to XP again.

  72. Shakje

    About Macs.

    I can get a faster PC for a third of the price of a Mac, and can choose pretty much any OS I want. I can also play games on it other than Myst.

    Sorry, but I think I'll stick with my sick PC which I can easily upgrade at any point, maintain myself, and use Vista for.

    Also, it took me 2 hours to install Vista, about 60-80% of which I spent in the other room in front of the TV.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One big experiment

    Seems to me that Vista is just one big experiment with MS clearly launcing an OS that is'nt ready. I will not be changing from XP.

  74. Anonymous Coward

    Not Vista's fault - it's only Explorer??

    It's only explorer and not Vista? Hmmm.. do I not remember MS using the defence in court that explorer and IE were core components and could not be seperated from the OS?

    Perhaps that argument can only be applied when it is convenient.....

  75. Nick Galloway

    DOS works OK

    I learnt many years ago how to copy files using DOS, that funny little 16 bit OS. Fortunately there is DOS/NTFS format access software available these days and you can have USB and Firewire access as well. I usually use XP but given the Vista archive of complaints I might just keep my DOS live disk handy should I need to help a friend...

  76. John Ferris

    XP can take ages as well

    especially from USB memory sticks.

    The problem is trying to read or write from the USB while trying to access the memory for other reasons, like downloading thumbnails. Trying to copy two files separately causes a loooong wait.

    No problems copying in serial, but trying to access more than one file at the same time freaks it out. I guess this might be what happens with Vista.

    Before you flame me, I haven't read every single comment before this.

    But where is the Paris Hilton angle?

  77. Jamie

    To the MAC fanboys


    <Wafts the word "Games" aound like a lump of kryptonite>


    Don't get me wrong, I would love to switch to a linux/unix flavour OS but so far as i'm concerned to do so would be to lose massive functionality. The MS gaming strangle hold with DX is what is keeping their OS mainstream (outside the work environment).

  78. bluesxman


    Vista seems to be living up to its donkey of a cousin's legacy ... I seem to recall copy estimates were often wildly inaccurate (I.E. high) when Me1 was (briefly) installed on a laptop I had way back at the start of the millennium. It's great to see that they're apparently still using the same code base ;)

  79. Ross

    Where is the issue?

    Where;s the actual issue here? I don't run Vista (although my lady does and *everything* seems slow to me so I can't tell if copying files is slow for any particular reason) so I don't know if the problem is :

    a) Vista really does take 100 years to copy 80GB; or

    b) more likely, the function that calculates the time to copy is sorely nadgered under certain conditions.

    Given the screen shot showing ~25GB to go at 10MB/s it should be showing ~40mins to go, not X gazillion days which makes me think b) is the culprit.

  80. Dan B

    I would certainly give OSX a try...

    ... if it weren't for the fact you've got to pay 3 times the amount than I'd pay to build my own comparably specced PC. Plus the OS being locked to propriatary hardware combinations - VM'ing OSX to try it out is not an easy thing to do - and even if you decide you like it and you spend over the odds for the hardware your locked into hardware vendors you may prefer not to use.

    Since I need windows at work for my software development (.NET 2/3.5) and all I use my PC at home for thesedays is media and gaming I don't see myself switching from Vista any time soon, I just dont care enough... an OS doesn't have such a drastic effect on my life... ! It would be nice to use something else, but if it was really that big of a deal I would have switched, as I imagine, might a lot of people, but it's not something I'd spend a fortune on doing.

    I remember having conversations with mac fanboi's back in the day Apple were still using the PPC chips talking about how superior their hardware was, and that was why apples would dominate the computing landscape in the near future.

    It's a few years down the line, apples are now basically PC's with a different operating system. Reality distortion field at work again - or just fanboys trying to find a reason why their choice in OS and hardware makes them somehow better.

    People that try and push things on others (looking at both apple and windows fanboy children here) need to take a step back and realise that people will use what they want to use, and that the OS you decide to use does not define you as a person, it is simply unimportant in most cases.

  81. Erick P
    Jobs Halo

    DONT use windows...

    You dont need to spend a fortune to get a Mac. Get a Hackintosh! Windows is cancer!!!!!

  82. Anonymous Coward

    "good luck to you finding a xxxxx version"

    "good luck to you finding a Linux version of any of the software used in a modern law firm."

    Now say Vista instead of Linux and try again. Just how much of the software and hardware (and skills) used in a modern (whatever) firm are already available, supported, and working reliably under Vista? I guess any mid range PC less than six months old should be OK, Office is available even if Explorer's broken, but it's all different and needs relearning... hmmm, I see what you mean.

    So the application vendors, end users, support people, resellers, etc are forced by Vista to throw away more hardware, software and skills than they have ever previously had to throw away because of MS upgrade cycles. To some of these folks, maybe that doesn't matter, because it creates more opportunities for $$$ than it creates problems.

    But to folks where retaining kit, skills and $$$ does matter, if they've got to almost start again, wouldn't they be better starting from somewhere more sensible this time, somewhere which doesn't have a ~3 year life cycle for hardware, software, and skills?

    It is entirely possible to develop software which isn't locked in to Windows. Even if Windows-only was a sensible option at one time, it looks less and less sensible as time goes by. If you are a significant customer, you should be asking your suppliers what their plans are for vendor independence and *true* open standards, because you've been jerked around enough by now by being locked in to your current suppliers.

    Few manufacturers, resellers, consultants, IT PC jockeys etc are going to favour *not* throwing stuff away every two or three years (eg because of Vista) as it is financial and/or career suicide.

    In contrast, any sensible home or business user ought to think very carefully about who is offering them advice on where to spend their hard-earned money, and what their motivation might be. Once developers realise this, they may decide that WIndows is not always going to be the only approach.

    Meanwhile for a little light entertainment which illustrates just how long this silly game has been going on: (entirely suitable for work, just too big to post here)

  83. Joe Braun

    important factors to remember for long copy jobs

    At a little under 132 years to complete the example copy job, there are many important factors to consider:

    1. During the span of the copy, you will have to reboot approximately 1,715 times to install patches.

    2. During the span of the copy, you will probably upgrade to a new version of Windows 33 times.

    3. During the span of the copy, the computer that you are using will become obsolete at least 20 times.

    4. You will die before the copy finishes, so why not just cancel and go enjoy the outdoors instead.

  84. BitTwister


    > If you know how to get all my lovely first person shooters to run on Ubuntu

    (and any other Linux distro) - complain to the games writers that they really ought to support OpenGL instead of the one-horse system DX10(9,8,7 etc). Once upon a time Microsoft supported and contributed to the development of OpenGL but then the usual 'embrace and extinguish' rot set in.

  85. Gav

    best-faith guesses???

    What the hell is a "best-faith guess"?

    Do you mean good-faith best-guess, maybe?

  86. Chris

    Linux vs Windows?

    Well, I dual boot Ubuntu and Vista. I'm in ubuntu 95% of the time, and I go in to vista to play the odd game. I have about 10 games installed, along with nod32 and firefox in vista. Nothing else. It runs mostly ok (Although, I did try installing uTorrent.. only find that every time I played a game with utorrent (or any other torrent client) open, the machine would reboot.), but I really don't like being in it. Now, I'm fortunate.. I have 2 or 3 pieces of software that I can't run in linux, but they aren't heavy weight programs so they run fine in a VM, or what I do now, my old ass computer I popped XP on and stuck in the basement so I can run a seamless RDP session, and have the programs running on my linux box as if they were local.

  87. Anonymous Coward

    Vista forcing us to migrate to Linux

    My company writes software that needs to run on a stable and predictable platform and XP provided this (with some tweaks). At the moment I cannot trust anything critical to run on Vista and it has forced my company to start taking Linux a lot more seriously.

    I expect us to move all of our software to Linux in the next 12-18 months

  88. bambi

    Copy protection?

    Is this M$ latest ploy to stop users backing up thier own cd/dvd's?

    Just make it so painfuly slow people just give up...

  89. Iain


    Complaining about DirectX being a one-horse system used to work. But now it's the only option for running on the 360; a far nicer platform to play games on than Windows. Ever since I got mine I've given up on the concept of PC games. I suppose I might as well take the hints above, and get an OSX box.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @Leo Davidson

    "The underlying Win32 API and NTFS in Vista are as good as they were in XP. It's just the Shell file copy APIs which are b0rked."

    So all the age old Winblows problems are still there.

    I know that NT and 2000 did NOT multitask properly - is this the same problem appearing in Vista?

    (A simple test was: Does "format a:" in a DOS window stop working when you click in any other (non-DOS) window?)

    Wouldn't it be nice if Windows was a multitasking environment? At the moment Windows advocates say it multitasks but it quite plainly has holes like a swiss cheese. My ST and Amigas were better at multitasking - what the feck is going on in Redmond? They've only had 20-odd years to catch up...

  91. Kenny Millar

    Macs are NOT 3 times the price

    A Mac would be cheaper than a similarly spec'd dell. Thats a plain fact.

    The 'Macs are more expensive' argument is just tripe spewed by people who repeat anything they hear, and have no capacity for working things out themselves.

    As for mocking the Mac fan boys. Have you actually tried Mac OS X? If not then shut up and piss off because you do not know what you are talking about.

    If you have not tried Mac OS then don;t mock it, it only embarasses you and exposes you as a simpleton.

  92. Robert Synnott
    Gates Horns

    Not just the upgrades

    For a few months, I had Vista on my new, rather high-spec, work computer. I had the file-copying thing, and the random slowness, and the trouble with using more than one monitor (if there was more than one monitor, I'd have to enter my password blind when the machine was locked). It's not just upgraded machines. Back on XP now, thankfully.

  93. Claus

    I was with Microsoft for a while...

    Recently, I started evaluating Linux distros. I liked what I saw. You can be part of a Microsoft domain, have Office products that look like and function like MS Office and get a much better performance. OpenSuse is my favorite and it is free. Since I do not play computer games I really do not need Vista and I do not support the arrogant manner Microsoft is pushing their weight around (Steve Balmer). In the beginning there was no big Microsoft but a lot of consultants that made Microsoft what it is today. But gratitude is not a Microsoft feature anymore, rather than a monopoly of the arrogance that bakes political strategies into the product (DRM) instead of focusing a relational file system. They still think they can get away with it. Until they come to their senses, I use Linux.

  94. Mark Honman

    Vista chug-a-lug

    The office "lab rat" machine runs Vista x64 tolerably well - by that I mean it feels as responsive as a two-year old XP machine. The fact that it is a dual-core with 2GB RAM, 15kRPM SCSI disk drive and *no* anti-virus software may be part of the reason.

    However for many tasks (e.g. printing PDFs) I find that a Pentium M laptop with XP is a lot faster. And the above lab rat really flies when running Ubuntu.

    One of the funny things with the "you can tweak Vista till it performs OK" is that such practices are normally associated with free operating systems. It's amusing to see people criticising free software for driver and "tweak-til-you-freak" issues, and in the next breath recommending a rather expensive program that has all the same issues.

  95. Luther Blissett

    In italian

    vista is so past tense. Except when copying files, when you get tense.

  96. Hedley Phillips

    What will M$ do in June next year?

    Vist adoes not work. Period.

    We have a beast of a test rig at work. I specc'd it up with 4Gig of Ram and a serious CPU and it can't copy files.

    The first time I tried in explorer, it sat for ages calculating how much time was needed and then promptly the dialog just vanished.

    I went back to using xcopy which I thought was a bit off seeing how much we had just spent on the linence for a Vista GUI.

    So, what on earth are M$ going to do come June next year when OEM XP is no longer for sale. Our company (fairly large) will NOT be going over to Vista for a long time, and I mean years. and I don't think we are alone.

    How on earth this POS was ever released baffles me.

  97. Thomas Martin

    My VistA upgrade

    My VistA upgrade was to trash VistA and go back to XP. Haven't had a problem copying since. Micro$oft should give it up and go back to developing XP. It wasn't broke so it didn't need fixin'.

  98. Brett Brennan

    OFF TOPIC: Mac VS MS hardware

    Several of my friends that are involved in desktop hardware purchase decisions have started recommending Mac desktops and laptops for their next round of purchases. Why? Because they can get the best of both worlds for one price: OS X for the "creative" departments that actually use Mac software, and the same hardware runs Windows for everyone else. In volume purchase the Mac hardware is quite competitive with Dell or HP - especially in smaller shops - and support only has one line of machines to support.

    An interesting corollary: Pixar (remember Steve Jobs little movie company that "owns" Disney?) uses Macs on the "executive" desks, high-end PCs (running Windows or Linux) for the artists, and the render farm is Dell/HP servers running Linux. There are Mac servers for some of the Mac-only stuff, but it's truly a hetrogenous environment that is working extremely well. (Note to El Regulars: this might be another nice "field trip" to go visit Pixar and see what they've done - a sweet success story in today's messed-up IT world...)

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is this "Windows Vista" everyone is talking about?

    I don't understand? Oh wait I've just had E.C.T. - must have used it at some point then!

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: One big experiment

    Me too.

  101. Robert Armstrong
    Gates Horns

    Network shares that are unavailable slowed my Vista down to a crawl

    On my home net I have 2 XP boxes, a Mandriva box and a sparkling new shiny Dell Vista box. 4 modern PC all of them, none over 3 years old and all run very well. Everything has worked well on Vista except when I found some issues with extreme slowness.

    I found that Vista will boot quite slow if a shared network drive that it is permanently mapped to is unavailable. I had mapped to drives on the 3 non-Vista boxes and could transfer files fine but I never tried more than a GB of transfers. I found that when I powered down the other systems and only bring the Vista box up it took almost 5 minutes to boot which was not typical. I also found that once Vista did boot, it took up to 1/2 hour to open the My Computer icon so I could my drives. Yet when I powered the other 3 non-Vista systems up the My Computer icon opened instantly when I clicked it, which is typical on the XP boxes as well.

    So I removed the permanently mapped drives on the Vista box from the non-Vista systems I had powered off. I then rebooted and Vista booted normally, yes still slower than XP, but it was normal for Vista. And once booted up, I could click on My Computer and it opened instantly as one would expect.

    The lesson I learned, permanent network connections that are unavailable make Vista slow to a crawl in ways one would not ever expect. Perhaps some who are experiencing odd copying behavior may have a permanent network drive mapped that is unavailable. Check that out, maybe my experience is unique but I doubt it.


  102. Anonymous Coward

    @ Steven Hewittt - Command prompt?!

    is that supposed to be Hewitt? Please learn to spell your own name ...

    "As mentioned above, this appears to be a bug not in the Vista OS as a whole, but in explorer. Use command line and it all works fine. This sorta rules out the whole DRM conspiracy. Also rules out hardware not being up to scratch."

    I challenge you to even find the dammed icon for 'Command Prompt' in Vista, since 95% of Windows users only know pointy clicky.

    On the occasions I need the command prompt, like when I need to actually accomplish something instead of watching pointless shiny flashy crap whilst the computer strokes itself. I use the run box and type CMD ... but I digress, as much as I use the CLI in windows it might was well be DOS.

    <rant mode .. ON!>

    And then I see these idiot Windows 4sshat fanb0is pissing and moaning they might have to use a command line if they get a Linux system!


    Whats more Vista "wakes up" a bunch of DRM routines something like 20 to 40 times a SECOND ... no conspiracy needed Microslut sold out to the RIAA/MPAA like a very expensive crack whore.

    I have a few computers at home .. who doesn't? .. no Macs, but a few Linux boxes ... even XP is a turd in Comparison, which BTW I only keep for games, but not for long thank all that's holy.

    The thought of actually relying on Vista to get anything done is enough to make me think about working in fast food for a living.

    so I use PCLINUXOS its heaps easier to deal with, fix, or use than any flavor of windohs I've had to endure over the last 12 years of being an IT wizard. They have gotten WINE to the point that many windows programs will work very well on Linux ... the most bizarre thing is that when you run a setup that takes a long time in Windows it moves so fast in WINE that I thought it was broken at first.

    Oh and PCLinuxOS will ZIP along on any hardware that Vista will work with ... did I mention its FREE ?

  103. Steven Pockett


    Well despite the fact there are many clues on the photo that would lead one to assume it has been 'shopped, isn't the penultimate item - the one that is slightly obscured by the name of VistaActivator - one of those programmes you use when you do naughty things like make illegal copies of O/S software? Perhaps the machine knew this and decided to halt the impending piracy?

  104. Paul Delaney

    Configure it like this

    You can get XP speed out of Vista even on 2003 vintage hardware if you do this:


    I wrote it - it works and it's reversible!

  105. Craig Edwards

    @ Get a Mac

    Sure. I'll go out right now and buy a system that costs a lot more than my wintel system, has less features than my linux system, and lacks the ability to play 99.9% of windows games and has compilation issues with a lot of open source apps. Great idea! *passes coat to OS fanboys*

  106. Charles

    The Estimator's Rule

    There's an old recursive rule called The Estimator's Rule, it says "it takes more time than estimated, even after taking The Estimator's Rule into account."

    But in a way it's true, it's actually an interesting problem in computer science. Computers are notoriously incompetent at giving accurate estimates of program runtime. If you run a program to estimate runtime, that estimation program takes CPU cycles away from the program you're monitoring. You could add another level, to take into account the effect of the monitoring program. But there's another CPU hit. Repeat ad infinitum. You never close in on an accurate estimate, add levels of monitoring and you start diverging from it.

    Well fortunately, ballpark estimates are usually good enough. I notice a similar behavior copying files in MacOS X, initial time estimates can be insane but it quickly settles down to a vaguely accurate ETA, once it starts tracking how fast the transfer is moving.

  107. Morely Dotes

    @ michael re: linux huh

    "linux does not play many of the main games out today and prob never will with most of them having to use DX10 soon"

    1. World of Warcraft can be run on Linux. With more than 9 million active players, I'd say it's a "main" game."

    2. Halo 2 supposedly requires DX10. ITts not difficult to tweak XP to fool the game into running, however, and it performs as well as can be expected from a Microsoft release.

    So DX10 is a red herring, and Windows is a red herring. Is the problem that you are afraid to learn something new? (Or possibly, just afraid to learn something?)

  108. Chad H.

    @ Charles

    Forget the Estimators rule, who the heck was he anyway? I live by Montgomery Scott's rule. I'll tell you it will take 3 times as long as it realy will.... Makes me look like a miracle worker.

  109. BitTwister


    > [DirectX] only option for running on the 360; a far nicer platform to play games on than Windows.

    Good point - better to use a dedicated games console with everything geared towards a good games performance, instead of stuffing a PC with expensive wizz-bang hardware only to have it sit there twiddling thumbs when not playing games.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    New notebook-same problem

    Vista as a whole system isn't that horrible. Its all of the little things that make it annoying. The fact that it takes bloody forever to delete a one kilobyte text file is just the straw that gave the camel hemhorroids. I find it odd that we live in a world where a brand new notebook with a two core AMD Turion 1.8GHz and 2GB memory can be outperformed by a 100MHz Cyrix with 48MB RAM (FreeBSD) in simple tasks like text editing, CD Writing, file copying, etc... and there are people who aren't surprised.

  111. evilbobthebob
    Jobs Horns


    Its very simple...a guy from Apple sneaked into M$'s office, planted a few extra zeros on the estimated time calculation bit of Explorer, and waited for the Leopard orders to come flooding in...

  112. Maliciously Crafted Packet

    Homework assignment

    OK there seems to be a few people in the class that are not paying attention -you know who you are. For the benefit of the slow learners Im going to type this really slowly in the hope that it may sink in.

    Mac's are not more expensive than PC's of the same spec

    Mac's can run Windows XP and Vista

    Mac's can run LINUX

    Mac's can run all the games that a PC can run

    Microsoft Office works very well on OS X

    Mac OS X is more stable and secure than Windows

    Mac OS X is easier to set up and use than Windows or LINUX

    Mac's can copy files to a network drive faster than Vista

    I want you all to memorise this over the Christmas break and when you come back in the new year there's going to be a test. For those that find this difficult we may have to move some of you back to Windows ME as you will need to sit that module again.

  113. James
    Gates Halo

    Another article by an apple brown noser

    Oh it's so terrible. Why do you nasty people want to criticise M$ in such an unfair manner. Windoze Fistme is such a fantastic (and radicle) product I can't fathorm why anyone would want to detract from it's wonderful undocumented features. Without windoze Fistme the whole industry would be rudderless and without direction. M$ lead the way in creating ubercool products, you should be all be very grateful. For so many to disagree so strongly you must all be Apple brown nosers. I mean why be so beastly and mean about such a little bug, sorry, deliberate feature. I hope you all have something really really horrible happen to you like a bug that makes booting you Mac take 874658364 million years.

    Oh hold on, why am I being so uptight about this, last thing I want to do is throw a hissy fit like the average Apple fanboy/fangirl. Lets try again.

    Right on the money guv. If something basic like file copying is buggered then there is something very wrong. No point trying to defend it M$ are being very very crap and should do something about it. A year is far too long so there's no point defending that either. Ignoring the problem is indefensible so there's no point.....

    Wow, this being objective and realistic is so liberating. It's definitely much better than being uptight and blinkered. Maybe more people should try this (particularly iTwits).

    This rant has been inspired by the average article about Apple problems which results in a million 'stop Apple bashing. Microsoft lackey' comments. It's nice to be free to speak your mind.

  114. xjy
    Dead Vulture

    This thread reads like a nerd's convention

    Tweak this. Remove this or that component and tap three times. Command line override. Keep a spare DOS floppy handy. Rejig the network configuration. Check the motherboard's component specs against the OS standard specs. Pimp the ride with this or that 3rd party enhancer. Don't carry liquids or nail scissors. Did you fill in the form correctly? Ah, you're using 96 octane and it should be 98. Wrong psi in the tires :-)

    Never seen so many clones (Vista/M$ defenders) looking so different from each other. Not just old flavours of M$ to choose between now but multiple permutations of Vista depending on software and hardware versions.

    Bill Gates got out while the going was a bit better than it is now.

  115. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Up

    OSX? Vista? XP? Linux? Every OS sucks!

    I found this video some time ago. Vista wasn't around then but its message is still relevant.

  116. Samuel Lord

    Slow burn...

    ...will finish just in time for Win ME-TWO sp-1 to hit the shelves.

  117. Bill The Cat

    Who needs vista?

    I have a fairly new box - 3 hard drives, ATI All-in-Wonder Video card, onboard sound, 2.2 GHz cpu, 2 GB or RAM and Vista says the system isn't capable of running the OS. Fine. Everything else runs on it just fine! Solaris, Linux, Windows XP or Windows 2000.

    Why would I want Vista? From what I've read, its a package of bugs and problems. Maybe I'll upgrade to BeOS

  118. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Homework Assignment

    I was going to post something similar, but you beat me to it.

    It should be noted: Macs will read and write to FAT files, and read NTFS. I was trying to help a client back up her Vista machine before running a Recovery and it took us TWO HOURS before we in desperation resorted to using the Mac as delivery point. Office 2007 Docs? They were in compatibility mode, so there was no problem, Office for Mac happily took them under its wing. Several thumb drive laden trips later (yup, optical drive wouldn't write), the only files it didn't like was one of the zipped files, and the songs from Windows iTunes version. Hey, at that point we didn't care if it wasn't opened - it was safe and sound and backed up and we could proceed with the reinstall of M$ Vista. So - Mac saves the day.

    Why would you need anything else, when you can dual boot XP on a Mac, or use Parallels and run it virtually? Play all of your games? Boot Linux from Live CD or virtually? Colleges are going to Mac because of that reason - cheaper than having computers for each OS.

    And before you accuse me of being a fanboy...I refuse to use that other spelling...I am typing this on XP.

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont know what your all moaning about

    The only issues i have are UAC issues with software not designed to work with virtual folders and lower access to system folders, 64 bit vista on my high end system flys, it feels equal to XP in terms of responce even with all the eye candy turned on, HD access times use to be poor, however MS released a patch sometime ago to fix the disk thrashing problems and since then i get sustained throughput of about 70MBps peaking at about 135.

    I have a second test rig which ive not put any AV or 3rd party firewall and even after atempting to go to dodgy websites its still virus free, simpe fact is, if the user doesnt mess about, it will work.

    I believe someone else hit the nail on the head before stating that its mostly OEMS having issues, because all +100 PCs ive built around it work flawlessly

    MACs and Linux are not an alternative, it has its place and is very good at what it does but its place is not mainstream desktops, hell, some distros wont even install on my main system let alone work right. VM is intresting ok though.

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Almost done

    "36843 Days and 0 hours remaining,"

    Hang on, did you see the green bar in the screenshot? It was almost completed - so how long has that user left his computer copying to the CD for their to be a green bar almost completed given there was 36843 days remaining?

    What a patient person...

  121. Jack Greenky
    IT Angle

    Vista - so you can watch the scenery while it loads

    Or maybe other things... (see definitions and previous uses of the word Vista)

    The timing of copying files was a problem earlier than Vista or XP with certain connections and drivers - I saw it too in Windows ME - I did let one file copy go overnight - and it barely started - a small file at unknown slow speed, Thousands of Hours to go reported. That was fixed with an update.

    Usually Vista tester just fails the video card - not compatible or not 128MB or more RAM, but other parts may also not have drivers - So far we only have it on one new laptop, experienced almost all the problems, and solutions, but I have also had some funny DRM errors on XP after some updates and driver conflicts (which were fixable) and even had to get approval for updates on a Windows 98SE (original manufacturer's recovery disk) re-install recently - jackgzero

  122. Tim Butterworth

    Vista RC1

    If MS had designed Vista to run on a very highly controlled set of hardware specs produced by a few preferred manufacturers, then it would have been much easier to make the thing run stable right from first release. Only computers would be three times as expensive. In reality, the huge diversity in hardware and software in the marketplace means that a new MS OS will take at least a year of use in the field to fix and it will also take at least a year for all third party vendors to get drivers etc to work properly. The Vista that went on sale in January was Vista RC1. Vista SP1 is RC2, and Vista SP2 will be Vista stable release.

    In this light, the huge PR disaster that has been Vista RC1 could have been largely avoided. Firstly, MS should never have had such a short overlap between XP support and Vista release. I suggest an OS life span of at least ten years (or fifteen, or even twenty), with at least a three year overlap with the old OS. Secondly, MS should never have acted as if Vista was in perfect working order – this, more than anything, is what has annoyed everyone. I suggest that MS should use incentives to encourage a small percentage of computer users to test-drive the initial release of a new OS and cut out RC2 (SP1) entirely. Perhaps a discount could be given for the first two or three years of an OS release, or RC1 could be given away for free to testers and then give a discount to the testers when the RC1 licence expires upon release of the first stable version. This way the technophiles (even the cynical ones) will all give it a go, as will the more able users who want to save money. Rather than feel that the new OS is forced upon us before it is ready, we will feel like we are getting something back for putting up with the bugs and incompatability issues. It would also mean that there is no market for illegal copies of the new OS for the first few years of its use.

    Everybody wins here – geeks get rewarded to play with a new toy two years ahead of the majority of the population, whilst MS gets time to test its software properly before it goes global. The rest of the population gets an OS that actually works on official release, and thanks to the natural replacement cycle of PC hardware, consumers will have plenty of time to get a higher spec PC. Slowing the rate of OS development will also ease the pressure that forced hardware upgrading places on the environment. The only big downside to this is that MS shareholders will make less money… but considering the unjustifiable mark-up on MS products, this is a bearable change. Microsoft will still retain its market dominance and will suffer from much less bad publicity and bad-mouthing.

    Basically, the current model MS follows will change at some point - can anyone seriously see us going though this palava every five years for ever? Time for MS to be pro-active!

  123. Charles Manning

    Who are the real fanbois?

    People that say "Get a Mac" get labelled as narrow minded fanbois. Is that really fare.

    How much of an MS fanboi must you be to put up with Vista etc and still stick up for MS?

    Fanboi-ism is like religion: being irrationally faithful and rabidly pro without supporting evidence. To be pro-MS, particularly pro-Vista, is not rational. Thus (supporing you're rational enough to hold a basic train of logic) it's the pro-MS that should have the fanboi label.

  124. A

    hmm, dodgy copy of windows here?

    Vista Activator (on the last image)... way to go with the careful screen grab!

  125. Saul Bryan
    IT Angle

    Microsoft Time

    Most of us have long had a chuckle over the "estimated time to completion" or even progress bars which shoot to 99% and then hang there for ages. Basically the operation (file copy, install, delete .. whatever) is happening, but the guestimating of the remaining time has been thrown way out.

    Here is what I would do, if I was a programmer of the dialogue box. Put a conditional on the time which checked to see if it was more than, say, 48 hours. In this case, simply report 48 hours "+" or "or more". Leave it as that, it's already a lot longer than anyone will really wait, and It's already highly doubtful that it's accurate anyway at that, so just give up. At least the ridicule would stop.

  126. david Silver badge

    Win98 Lite?

    Can you install the Win95 Explorer on Vista? Has anyone tried?

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    48167 days? Thats nothing!

    Ever since I tried to copy and paste several folders on Windows XP from one place to another, and, in the process observed THE PROGRESS BAR GOING BACKWARDS (ie from right to left!), nothing shocks me about progress in copying or burning in Windows Vista. This is not a joke. If you copy and paste say 30 folders on Windows XP you will sometimes witness several progress bars first progressing and then going backwards ie regressing. Its a real jaw-dropper I can assure you. I thought I was halucinating until I repeated it several times.


    Who cares if it takes Vista 48167 days? If the progress bar only goes FORWARD, by Microflop standards, THATS PROGRESS!

    Get a Mac everyone, and have a merry xmas.

  128. David Wilkinson

    not just old machines

    A friend of mine build a brand new top of the line machine when vista came out and he has had similar problems.

    I have seen it on two laptops with dual core processors and 2GB of memory that were sold with Vista Premium.

    Just because it works for some people, using some subset of software and hardware doesn't mean that people are not having real problems.

    I ran Vista until it was launched until last week when I switched to dual boot. All that time I still had a half dozen applications I needed that only worked right under XP.

    It doesn't matter if the problems are with 3rd party developers, 3rd party device drivers or buggy code. My experience has been that Vista was buggy XP rock solid on every machine where people were doing more than browsing and email.

    If Vista works great for you then I am envious, I find myself missing many of the features, but I don't miss the problems.

    I will probably do a clean install of Vista once every service pack, but my hopes for SP1 are pretty low at this point.

  129. Thomas Weeks

    Vista Copies Files to the Registry now since there is no WinFS ;)

    You know.. I just don't understand why people hold their breath and continue using MS' involuntary beta testing program (aka "The latest Windows desktop"). I mean they're obviously using their massive desktop install base as a giant beta test pool for their server grade products that always come out the following year with the major bugs fixed. Likewise.. this is also why you see all the big scary SPs roll out first to the lowly desktops.. the screaming and gnashing of teeth, and then, later, when they've fixed most of their fixes, to their production server install base. They're doing what Novell and Red Hat have been doing for years with their crap-free vs commercial distros, only MS is actually charging for the crap desktop test loads too!

    Microsoft clearly has too much code to maintain and internally test themselves now, and it's really starting to show. Sooner or later they're going to have to start relying on the open source model just as Red hat and Novell have embraced... use the public/free open source side as their fast turn around/bug fix engine to push solid, tested, fixed code into their flagship supported product(s). No, MS will probably never embrace the GPL open source license, but they better do something quick... They're having problems just keeping up with open source based competition (OSX built atop BSD, Linux et al, Open Sournce phone distros, Google OS, etc). Even back to 2003 to now Linux was out pacing MS with native support for things like:

    -Mt Mt. Reiner CD/DVD packetized "on the fly" writing

    -Buffer stack overflow protection (stack protection & no-execute bit feature)

    -Native MAC security (e.g. seLinux)

    -Native 3D Desktop Acceleration (xgl and glx + compiz, etc)

    the list goes on and on...

    Get a clue Microsoft... The "idea" of Open Source is out of the bag and thriving... and it's moving waaay faster (and better) than you are. With regards to you and your closed/SaS business model -- simply put,

    "Open Source" = "The world is smarter than you."

    Either learn and internalize this truth or die fighting it.


  130. Anonymous Coward

    You pay for crap, you get crap

    As some of the other comments have said, it does seem incredible that people STILL feel the need to run M$ products when there are BETTER alternatives available...for free. Even the most brain-dead, die-hard Micro$oft user should be able to install a modern Linux system...although they'd probably be lost without having to reboot a thousand times in the process! They'd also be stunned to find that they'd be up and running a fully functional system in a fraction of the time it takes to install a bloated M$ OS. Then they could load it up with any of the thousands of free programs available for every need they could possibly have. No more shelling out hundreds of dollars for bloatware when you can get perfectly good replacements for free. I run my entire business on a Linux network, with no M$ products in sight. I'm just baffled as to why others aren't willing to treat themselves to the same freedoms I have, such as being free of constantly "upgrading" both software and hardware, being free to customize and modify to my heart's content, etc. Wake up, people!

  131. David Perry

    @ Edward Miles

    I've been thinking about this recently - whenever I get queries about Vista, I'm having to tell them I've only used it a handful of times. I'd put Vista on my next machine purely so I have a copy of it running I can get to grips with, however I like my main machine to be stable and be low maintenance - XP Pro SP2 is just that, so think I'll wait a while before touching vista at my house.

    To be fair, when I was installing a wireless network at a client's house last week Vista picked up the Netgear USB dongle, asked for the driver CD then did the installation painlessly once I'd OKed the driver it didn't pester again. Took a couple of minutes to find the wireless config screen though.

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