Oh let me count the amazing number of ways that Vista fails as an OS on my wife's Dell Dimension 920

Discussion in 'General Technical' started by Threxx, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Threxx


    Jan 30, 2007
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    Ya know, my primary hands on experience with Vista has been my Thinkpad, has been great - if I only had my Thinkpad, I'd think Vista was a great fairly bug-free OS. If I was my wife, on the other hand, I'd think it was the biggest POS Microsoft had created to date, by a LONG shot.

    My wife's Dell Dimension 9200 came from the factory with Vista Basic. I had a spare OEM Ultimate license so I upgraded it after the fact. Honestly it has never quite been right so I'm not sure when exactly it got 'bad'.

    Oh let me count the ways it fails on her machine.

    -The entire OS will periodically (a few times a day) just "lock"... absolutely nothing but the mouse responds for 2-3 minute straight. Task manager won't come up... even the clock won't change the time. When it unlocks everything immediately becomes responsive and the clock updates itself.

    -I decided I might be able to find out WHAT is causing this locking condition if I checked the event viewer system and app logs. But when I try to open computer management, it gives me the security screen to which I say OK, and then nothing happens. It just doesn't come up. Even weirder is that instead of computer management coming up, the Ultra VNC client comes up instead. I tried removing the Ultra VNC program and now it no longer comes up, but computer management still doesn't come up.

    I can even go to the MMC and try to add the event viewer snap in. As SOON as I click add, MMC instantly closes down without any warning or error given.

    -There is one windows update package that has been trying to install itself for the last 4 months and always fails giving some error sequence that yields absolutely no valid results on google or on the MSKB.

    -Firefox randomly locks up on her (says not responding) while the rest of the OS still works OK. Sometimes she can wait 3-4 minutes and it comes back to working while other times it never recovers and you just have to end the firefox running process and open it up again.

    -General performance often times sucks. I like dreamscene but I've ended up deciding to disable it to help performance a little more. This is despite being a Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card.

    -Windows defender claims to not be running according to the Security Center, but according to Windows Defender, it is running, and up to date.

    -AVG occasionally locks up when trying to update itself. It has the 'auto update' window open and stays at zero percent for days until you reboot the machine or restart the AVG system process.

    -Gmail notifier never remembers her username and password despite it being typed in every time with the 'remember' box being checked.

    -Dreamscene, when I used to run it, would randomly just not start running when the computer was first started up. Same with the windows sidebar. I'd have to manually go in and start them up at which point they worked fine.

    -I'm sure I'm forgetting several other things but this is probably enough

    If this was somebody else's machine I might suspect a virus or spyware or something but I know what my wife does on her computer and there's really no way that she could end up with a virus. Not to mention I've never seen a virus that could really eff up so much random stuff within the OS without making it obvious that it was a virus. Plus she's always had AVG installed and up to date anyway...

    I'm just about ready to throw in the towel and reinstall the whole OS. I was hoping to wait until SP1 was officially released but I just don't think she can wait that much longer...

    While I know at this point the best solution is just format and start over, I would be curious to know if you guys might have any ideas of things to check, since being an IT guy I really hate to just throw in the towel and use the shotgun approach without even knowing what the problem was. Hell, maybe it's just that Vista sucks THAT BAD on some machines and she got unlucky...
    Threxx, Dec 14, 2007
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  2. Threxx


    Jan 27, 2007
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    Northern Virginia, USA
    Presume that you have a plain 9200, not the "gaming" version, but even so, the quad-core and 7xxx-series video card should yield a solid middle-of-the-road performer.

    How did you do the "upgrade"? In-place upgrade from Basic to Ultimate? Or, wipe and reinstall-from-scratch? (I'm guessing the latter).

    How long ago was that? If it was several months, by now, Windows Update should have updated any older drivers, so those should not be a problem.

    My advice would be to save what you can offline, wipe, and reinstall -- but before you do that, since Vista SP 1 RC is publicly available, download and install it. At least you'll see if that yields any immediate improvements.

    Unfortunately, since you've already used up the OEM license, any reinstall will require you telephoning MS to get a new product key.

    You could also try reinstalling the basic and using the anytime upgrade to "upgrade" to Ultimate. That will cost you more money, but all that does is add and replace some system files; all your original settings and apps remain intact.
    WAW8, Dec 14, 2007
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  3. Threxx


    Sep 26, 2005
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    From my experience your Vista "Experience" directly correlates to the hardware you use. Some manufacturers Vista Drivers just plain suck at the moment. It seems like some people have a lot of problems where as some people have none. My laptop struggles a lot w/ multiple weird problems while my desktop runs without a hitch to date. One thing which many will disagree with but I believe is still true, is that the x64 version is still buggy and the driver support even worse. My laptop runs x64 and Desktop is a dual core x64 but I decided to put x86 on it to avoid the problems. And It's been a night/day difference.
    Jason, Jan 2, 2008
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