Archive for the ‘Windows Vista’ Category

Vista crashed?

February 1, 2007

Last Sunday I decided to move to Vista as my primary OS (from Windows XP Professional). I installed my downloaded RC2 and used the serial number I got from Microsoft. This time I installed it to my primary partition completely replacing Windows XP. So far, so good, but today I was rather disappointed. Vista crashed already for two times today (I hope I can manage to finish this post before Vista again drops all my active connections). When I say crashed I really mean it seriously crashed without letting me save any open files I had. Both times everything started from network stack crash. So first I noticed that some applications lost Internet connections. I wanted to close a couple of applications in order to free some memory. But uTorrent, Firefox and some others were not responding. I decided to start taking some screen shots, just for fun. I tried to run Photoshop CS2 to paste them: did not start, gave critical error. Then i started Windows Paint. It also crashed after i pasted second screenshot. I tried to disable and reenable the network connection in the “Network Connections”. The whole system became non responsive (any keystrokes, Win+L, Win+R, Alt+Tab, Win+Tab, and last but not least Ctrl+Alt+Del were not working). The funny thing is that the video was still playing in the backrground and I could still enjoy the sounds from the “Over The Hedge” movie. Well, I like vista 😉 Kudos to Microsoft for 5 years of waiting and 10 minutes of my attempts to restore the numerous chat sessions with people (that’s the main reason I was trying to bring the system up again …)

Vista crash screen shot 1

Vista crash screen shot 2


Vista cannot handle network file sharing?

December 29, 2006

I’m back again to my good old Windows XP installation after having a few tries to transfer a file to my other home computer while I was running Windows Vista. I was able to share a few folders and was successfully browsing my Vista box from the other computer. But when I started file transfer and wanted to get a few files from the Vista box Vista just crashed with a beautiful Blue Screen. Now I’m back to Windows XP and I am successfully copying a few files over the network to the other home machine.

The version of Vista I’m using is Release Candidate 2, which is supposed to be a well-functional pre-release Windows. RC2 is the pre-release of Windows Vista Ultimate, not the limited Windows Vista Home. Is that the kind of product we expect for over $400? I guess not.

Windows Vista RC2: installation, first impressions, Aero style

October 7, 2006

In the morning I found that the ISO image of Windows Vista RC2 has completed downloading (the total size was 2.49 GB). Quickly I found the blank DVD+R disc and also found that it was the last DVD from the 50 pieces disc pack. Well I was lucky that I had at least one left :). I burned the image using my favorite burning software Nero. I wanted to verify my image so I made Nero to “Verify written data” after the burning process. 10 minutes later the DVD was burned and it seemed it did not have any read problems.

Then I used software to repartition my hard drive. I had to make my primary Windows installation partition smaller and meanwhile deleted the Linux swapspace partition. Eventually I had about 10GBs free, which I thought was pretty enough for Windows installation and couple more apps.

Windows Vista RC2 installation

After completing few steps to get a free serial key from Microsoft (I found some instructions here) I was able to start the installation. The system has just restarted for the first time after I initiated the installation and it seems like it’s completing the installation now.
Some time later…
Well it took over 20 minutes to finish the installation since the reboot. So finally I’m in Vista :).

Windows Vista RC2 desktop screenshot

Windows Vista RC2 Welcome Center screenshot

The first thing you see after you’re done doing some basic setup (user, time, network) is the Welcome Center. It has some worthless stuff and I don’t think anyone will turn to it after having Vista installed the first time.

Windows Vista RC2 Start menu screenshot

Well, let’s get more into it. Start menu. Start menu has not changed much from Windows XP. The changes are not that radical as we saw in Windows XP comparing to previous versions like Windows 2000 or 98.

The most useful thing I’d say is the search field. Once you click start or press the “Start” button on the keyboard the Start menu pops up with the search field focused. What’s the use of it? When you type a search phrase results appear above the search field instead of the programs list. Matched programs appear first, then your browser (IE7) history and favorites and also recent files you have viewed. Program search becomes useful when you want to access an application that you don’t use often and you’re too lazy to look through a huge list of installed software to find that little app. All you do is just type in the app name and press Enter and you’re done. I enjoyed launching Calculator that way. Just type in ‘calc’ press Enter and you have calculator opened. Let’s say you want to access your music. Type in ‘music’ and the first result is the “Music” folder from your user’s directory.

Besides the program search it can do the file search quickly and pretty accurately. I did not have a chance to test the speed on a huge collection of music, videos and downloaded crap, so I can’t speak much about that.

The new Aero look. It looks cool but does not impress me much comparing to MacOS X or Linux XGL (see video here). I think Microsoft could add more cool GUI features. Well, it’s better than XP anyways, so most of us who never used MacOS or Linux XGL will spend hours enjoying the new GUI features of Vista.

One interesting and rather useful feature is the window switching when all opened windows are shown in 3D. It looks good and saves time looking for a specific window. It looks better than Mac’s Expose, but Expose gives a better overview if you have many windows opened. You can also scroll through the windows using your mouse scroll. It brings some realistic look and feel :).

It is also interesting how you can access this feature. The icons in the Quick Launch panel are bound to Win+[Number key] shortcut on your keyboard. For example first icon in the Quick Launch panel is Win+1, second one is Win+2 (which by default is the cool windows switching function).

To be continued…