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Author Topic: Going back to XP  (Read 7402 times)
MrCrispy
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« on: November 24, 2007, 03:57:18 AM »

I've decided to dump Vista and go back to XP Sad I didn't make this decision lightly since there are a lot of things about Vista I like, but I don't think I have a choice.

After a lot of research, I built a new pc in mid August (after Intel's July 22 price cuts), It has really good components - P35 motherboard, 2GB Ram, quad core Q6600. I expected Vista to fly on this. Unfortunately, I have had nothing but problems. From constant blue screens which have reduced as I installed every hotfix and patch I could find, to application crashes and inexplicable behaviour, I never quite feel in control of the machine. I've run all sorts of hardware stress tests, memory diagnostics etc and everything is fine.

It had gotten to the point where it was unusable and I do all my computing on my laptop. So I'm going to backup all my data, do a clean format and its back to good old XP. I'll miss the search feature the most I think, and the UI but its just not worth the hassle.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2007, 07:01:27 AM »

Had you used a third-party search before switching to Vista, if so how did it compare?
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f0dder
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2007, 08:05:38 AM »

I'm quite content with locate32 for searches, never really liked those things that index automatically behind my back (I never know when things are properly indexed), and I haven't gotten into the habit of content searching...

Anyway, be sure to grab a 64-bit version of XP when you're going back, unless you have stuff with 64-bit problems.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2007, 10:22:15 AM »

Upgrading your OS? Good for you, I say!  Thmbsup

Unless MS does something radically different I wouldn't be too surprised if a lot of users carry on using XP even after Windows 7  hits the shelves. Heavy Live Services integration
and other goober-features
may by more than enough to put a good number of power users off. 2010 is not that far away considering the mammoth task these guys have on their hands...
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2007, 10:34:15 AM »

Personally i'm not a fan of vista and i prefer XP.  However, until you confirm the bluescreens etc. dissapear when you move to XP, you might want to hold off on your blame of Vista for those troubles.
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justice
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 10:55:12 AM »

Most problems related to vista are actually caused by driver problems. Especially with bluescreens.
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nudone
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2007, 11:05:21 AM »

like mouser says, could be hardware if you've only been running vista on the machine - so you might be in for a bit of a dissapointment with xp yet.

fingers crossed it will go smoothly with xp.
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2007, 11:36:16 AM »


with the cheap price of hard drives these days, a good strategy for you might be
either buy a new hd and swap your current one for it, and install xp on new hd.  if problems persist and you want to go back to vista you can just swap the vista formatted hd back in.

OR,
make a backup drive image of your vista install before reformatting so you can restore it and go back if you want.
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edbro
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2007, 01:00:12 PM »

OR,
make a backup drive image of your vista install before reformatting so you can restore it and go back if you want.
I'm a big fan of images. I have an image of a clean install of Vista that I could go back to if I desire. Whenever I install a new operating system I tweak it and activate it, then I image it. I like to try a lot of new software then usually uninstall it. After several months, I like to reinstall my fresh image of XP. I know that's anal, but that's me.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2007, 01:11:32 PM »

...and I haven't gotten into the habit of content searching...

Suppose it depends on what you do with your work, but content (and metadata) searching is the biggest thing since sliced bread for me, a genuine certified revolution in computer-nontroppo interactivity. That's why I'm curious about Vista's search capabilities. I checked the Ars Technica review but it skimmed over the details and I've yet to find a comprehensive resource.

Anyway, be sure to grab a 64-bit version of XP when you're going back, unless you have stuff with 64-bit problems.

Have things got better in the last 8 months or so? A colleague of mine custom built a high-end rig specifically for 64bit XP (hardware was supposed to be compatible), but it was a nightmare so he reverted to 32bit.
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f0dder
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2007, 01:28:09 PM »

nontroppo: well, content searching would be nice for my ebook collection, but other than that I often remember part of filename, and have an easier time searching that rather than indexing (I often search for a downloaded .zip/.rar/.tgz or .exe, a bit hard to index those - unless you index the content of the packed files, which would be quite a task smiley). I wouldn't mind playing a bit with content indexing, but haven't find an app that I liked (tried Archivarius 3000, but it took forever and said it would use 100+ GB for the index, no-go). Anything with a web-based interface is a no-go.

Things seem pretty fine on XP64 for me, no hardware/driver problems (but of course I don't really use scanners or printers, those seem to have been the biggest offenders). The apps I've installed so far haven't been a problem either.

Games could be problematic, but nocd cracks tend to fix that situation (yeah, too bad you have to turn to illegal sources to be able to play legit games, but hey - it's a win/win situation wrt. startup and running speed as well).
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2007, 09:13:51 PM »

+1 for check the hardware & drivers.

Windows is very stable, and almost every single problem like that (BSOD) can be directly traced back to buggy drivers.
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app103
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2007, 12:40:04 AM »

+1 for check the hardware & drivers.

Windows is very stable, and almost every single problem like that (BSOD) can be directly traced back to buggy drivers.

That was even true for WinME.  Wink
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2007, 12:50:52 AM »

Believe me, I have tried to eliminate driver problems and hardware issues. I can run a burnin test or memtest86 for 10+ hours with no errors. Vista in safe mode and Linux live cd's will also run fine. But in Vista, I will still get the BSOD about once a day. The builtin troubleshooting tools in Vista are no help and I've tried stable and beta versions of drivers.

I may have bad hardware, or maybe the drivers for Vista are flaky. In any case I am also not impressed with the performance (or lack thereof) so I have nothing to lose by going back to XP.

This is the 3rd or 4th pc I've built and the first time I am having issues. Almost makes me wish I'd purchased a dell with a huge discount instead.
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f0dder
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2007, 09:02:32 AM »

Even though I'm no great fan of Vista, I have to chime in on "windows BSODs are usually the fault of third-party drivers"... of course that doesn't change your user experience very much smiley

That said, a lot of things have changed in Vista, so there's probably still some bugs in their own code that Microsoft needs to weed out. Dunno how big changes the driver model has seen, apart from the graphics subsystem - and the graphics subsystem is supposed to run largely in usermode now, so a crash shouldn't take down your entire system.

Oh well, ho hum.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2007, 09:04:58 AM »

It does run in usermode. The graphics subsystem is run via a desktop window manager now (DWM.EXE).
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2007, 09:39:51 AM »

It does run in usermode. The graphics subsystem is run via a desktop window manager now (DWM.EXE).

Interesting.  What does that buy you exactly?  If the video drivers crash it doesn't take Windows down too?

So what happens if they do crash?  They reboot?  You get "Safe Mode" 256-color drivers so you can limp along and do a manual shut down?  Or what?
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Josh
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2007, 09:49:03 AM »

The one time I've had DWM crash, it restarted the program immediately. No reboot needed.
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justice
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2007, 04:03:49 PM »

yep it just like any ordinary crash, it just 'keeps running' obviously restarting itself and then displaying a nice report error dialog.
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zridling
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2007, 03:25:56 AM »

I did the same downgrade mrcrispy, despite having another Vista installation in the house. XP-SP3 will increase your speed another 10%. I built a new 64-bit machine earlier this year, slapped Vista x64 on it and have had 3rd party driver problems from the start. I still have a brand new printer packed in a box for lack of a Vista driver. However, if you'd like to keep the Vista UI for your XP, check out these 5 Tools to Make Windows XP Look Like Vista.
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2007, 04:37:22 AM »

Quote
This is the 3rd or 4th pc I've built and the first time I am having issues.

sounds like your first 3 pcs need to be rebuilt -- if you didn't have issues with each of them, you are not doing this build-your-own-pc thing right.  tongue
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f0dder
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2007, 06:42:28 AM »

XP-SP3 will increase your speed another 10%.

I wish people would stop saying that, since it's not really confirmed yet, and based on one test that sounds pretty half-assed. (Not that I don't wish it to be true, though).
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2007, 06:47:06 AM »

I wish people would stop saying that, since it's not really confirmed yet, and based on one test that sounds pretty half-assed. (Not that I don't wish it to be true, though).

True enough, since the one test in question (IIRC) utilized Office2007 for the benchmark.  Disabling the stupid ribbon ought to net you 10% by itself.
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2007, 12:08:10 PM »

Quote
sounds like your first 3 pcs need to be rebuilt -- if you didn't have issues with each of them, you are not doing this build-your-own-pc thing right.

That sounds like the First Axiom of DIY pc's - If you're not having issues (and having to post to 10 msg boards), you haven't tweaked it enough!

Also known as - If you Build It, They will come.......... (problems i.e.)  cheesy
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