Verdict on Vista: Not There Yet.

I foolishly spent a day and a half rebuilding my machine using Vista. Around 5pm tonight, whilst trying to shut down Vmware workstation, I got the "Bleep of death". This is where VMWare displays an underlying operating system - in this case win2k3 - whilst its showing a dialog and does a single "beep". However, for whatever reason, VMWare freezes, and the beep goes on. After 5 minutes of ear-piercing (the Blingmaster has Dolby 5:1 and a BIG woofer), I powered down (after trying all the usual tricks with closing the lid to provoke powerdown, etc.

Step 1. Okay. So I switch on.

Step 2. No. Some loader component is corrupt. Lets try "last good boot".. Ah. No. Its now saying "Stick in the Vista disk and do a repair". Fine. 5 minutes later - and its in repair mode.

Step 3. Tell it to repair. Another three minutes.

Step 4. Its successful! Reboot!

Step 5. Return to Step 1.

I must have went around the merry-go-round a dozen times over the space of two hours. In the end, it started offering "Restore" points. Fine. Lets back up a few hours. Goto step 1.

Mmm. Given up, and booted back into XP. Some conclusions:

  • Whatever corrupted the registry - wow. I've not seen *that* in six years of running XP. What was I doing ? Literally, the only thing running was Vmware, and I was trying to shut it down. Since VMWare keeps all its partition state information in text files - no routine registry updates.

  • Why doesnt going back to the restore point (and lose perhaps the last program or two I installed) cure it ?
  • Why does the system repair/restore system report success when its still borked ?

  • Why does it require the original Vista DVD to get into repair mode ? Are we expected to carry the DVD around?

  • Bear in mind that I'd not even started doing some serious programming work outside domino at this stage. Why is Vista so fragile ?

  • Even a complete system re-install - losing everything that I'd built up over 10 hours - would have meant re-downloading 700mb of fixup files. AGAIN. Its only day two of Vista Public Release. How much would it be tomorrow ? Next week ? Next month ?


Its waaaay too fragile for my taste at this point of time.

Before the MS-Script kiddies leap in and claim that I'm just some old fart, bear in mind

  • that I've been in IT for 23 years now,

  • build my own machines

  • do low-level C-hacking

  • have six operating systems in the loft

  • and was actually an MCSE at some point.


Kids - Uncle Bill is telling you - thats right - telling you - this thing aint ready for prime time yet.