I’ve been running Vista for less than two months and I already have to reinstall it. I’ve had almost the same experience as Milan Negovan:
The Lethal Shutdown
The day before yesterday, I pressed the Shutdown button expecting a prompt (something you can configure in XP). Vista neatly closed the few applications that were running, logged me out and shut down, nice and easy.
Imagine my surprise when I booted it up tonight only to see a Windows 2000-style GÇ£flatGÇ¥ user interface with everything I installed missing, no glass, nothing. Somehow I got downgraded to a non-privileged user, unable to even see anything in the Control Panel. To add insult to injury, every GÇ£zoneGÇ¥ in IE 7 became locked. I was locked out and not given any options to do anything about it.
Vista tells me it can’t load my profile after I log in. I tried creating a second admin user account from scratch and logging in with that, but the result was the same. I cannot enable the “true” administrator account, because Vista won’t let me run the “computer management” applet. It’s like UAC is broken. In a bad way. Instead of prompting me, I just get an access denied message.
When Vista was working, I’ve had a bad experience with the only game I tried to play on it: Halo. The sound is very choppy and it’s almost unplayable because of it. And this is a Microsoft game! I read in few places that the old DirectSound API no longer supports hardware acceleration under Vista, and as a result, sound in pre-DirectX 10 games is handled completely in software (i.e. slow). I set the machine up to dual boot into XP and Halo works great there.
You may have read this advice elsewhere, but I have to agree with it and say it again: If you have a stable computer that’s running XP, DON’T UPGRADE IT. Vista is not worth upgrading to. If you’re going to buy a new computer anyway, consider getting it with XP (Dell still offers XP), especially if you have old (or not so old) games you want to run on it. Microsoft is cutting off supplies of XP at the end of year, so the next few months will be your last chance to get it if you don’t have a license you can transfer. Hopefully by then they’ll have released a service pack (or two) and the story will be better.
On the other hand, part of me thinks Vista is another Windows ME – an unstable OS that earned a bad reputation and one that a lot of people skipped…