Windows Vista Survival Guide



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I'm currently downgrading my wife's PC (Acer Aspire E380, 2GB RAM 300GB SATA Drive, AMD Athalon 64 X2 dual-core, nVidia nForce Chipset, Nvidia GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 video card) from Vista Home Premium down to XP Pro.
This was a "designed for Vista" system purchased direct from the manufacturer with Vista pre-installed.
Originally, it was slower than I'd expected, but I've seen the progressive slowdowns, system instability and general suckiness the others on this thread have observed.
It's now effectively unusable as a system. I dread the endless "a windows component has stopped working. Report this to Microsoft?" prompts.
I've been in IT for over a decade, so I'm not making noob mistakes. There's something SERIOUSLY wrong with Vista.
This system has no spyware, no virii, no power problems, no HDD problems on the box (checked for all of those), is running current chip set and video drivers from nVidia, and it's still god awful. Vista just stinks like week-old Limburger left in the August sun.
I've heard it said that "Vista is the Windows ME" of the current generation, and I believe it.
I'm going to downgrade this box to XP, and get my "new OS jones" by playing with Ubuntu and the MacOSx86 project instead.
Horrible, nasty, slow, buggy experience to date. I can't believe Microsoft charges the retail prices they do for Vista: at this point, I think I've lost several times the purchase price of Vista in lost productivity.



Either I've bought and installed a defective installation disk for Windows Vista or Microsoft has issued an OS that is not ready for prime time. After doing a clean install on my PC I have had more freezes than a popcycle stand. Before I installed this OS on my machine I installed a copy of XP and ran The compatability program that Microsoft puts out. It informed me that My hardware will easily handle this OS. I then wiped the hard drive and did a clean install of Vista. I have had nothing but trouble ever since. As I said at the beginning I have had more than a lot of freezes running this OS. I had no trouble installing my peripherals as most manufacturers had a new set of drivers for this OS. Those that didn't there was a work around. This OS is capable of some beautiful programming but I cannot seem to run this OS anytime without at least one freez. tapping control-alt-delete has never done a thing to help. The only time that works is when there is nothing going wrong. I'm running an Intel D101Ggc Mobo with a 3Ghz P4, a Geforce 7300 GS PCIE graphics card w/256 mb ddr ram, and a 150GB Seagate sata hard drive. Can you give me any advise other than to go back to XP and forget it? After all I've been through I am pretty determined to make this thing work. Ernest Merritt



Dear Ernest,

I share your concerns about Vista. I am an MCT and an MCSE, etc., running Vista Premium on a top end laptop certified for Vista Premium with the OS factory installed by Sony. Two gigs of ram, fast processor, fast video board, etc. I am getting all sorts of performance events (warnings, critical warnings, and errors regarding operating system services failing to perform in a timely fashion with no resolution found by Microsoft. The machine is almost unusable. Numerous hangs, extremely slow, and the hard drive is being beaten to death with no applications (other than OS) running at all. Sometimes takes almost 15 minutes before that slows down. There is no spyware on the machine, there are no viruses, malware, etc. I have been an IT professional since before most of you were born and this is bad, really bad. At original boot, the very first time, the machine was OK, and got progressively worse and worse and worse and worse and, well you get the idea. I don't think you got a corrupt OS install. I think there are massive problems no one is interested in admitting. It is possible that different versions of Vista work better (I am running Vista Home Premium) but this one is BAD!!!

If anybody out there knows the magic words that will make this OS work, I would appreciate it. Don't bother with the obvious (i.e. Microsoft's suggestions and what's out there so far on the Internet). I'm not a beginner and have been through all of that over and over.

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment.




Dear Ernest,

If you're still having problems with your Vista install, try the following:

Update to the newest nVidia video driver: (ForceWare 158, 6-1-07), available from

Make sure you have enough system RAM (I recommend at least 1GB - 2GB is better).

Check your mobo BIOS version. The latest version is 0313 (9-15-2006). You can get all the tech info for the board including BIOS updates from

You may also be experiencing issues that Windows Update does not provide solutions for. See for an easy way to see all MS KB and hotfixes for Windows Vista in one place.
It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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