Why Vista is costing MS more in support time than it cost me to buy.... RRS feed

  • General discussion


    Regarding activation error blah-blah-blah....    They aren't named or explained so I just call them blah:



    How NOT to protect your intellectual property rights:


    I upgraded from a full copy of Vista HP 32-bit to Vista Ultimate (the upgrade pkg) 64-bit.  There is apparently no way to "upgrade" from 32-bit to 64-bit without a clean install.  Vista doesn't "clean" anything with an install-time format, so I had to wipe the drive (all 0's, 1 pass) with another program to get rid of what it could plainly see (and fix) as my old hard drive, nearly fully intact.


    In any event, even installing the 32-bit Ultimate from inside the 32-bit Premium is not allowed; you have to do a boot to the Ultimate CD, which as I learned and read in a couple of PC magazines, is just the regular full copy (as it should be, I suppose) with a different key.


    So, what MS expects me to have or show or have on my drive to validate that this was an upgrade, I don't know.  The box itself says "Backup and clean install may be required".  Also, both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista are purchased with all versions except the trial version, I've read, although I wouldn't load any-bit versions of home basic.  It's basically unusable.


    I've personally installed Vista about 100 times (on this one machine) due to very small errors like a simple bsod due to a driver conflict, completely wipe out both the MBR, OS Selector, and MFT (at least the map).  This last time, my nvidia raid 0 of 2 drives went freako (nvidia and ms must have a feud) but the drives were not primary, were not bootable, were not loaded with any sort of OS, and were just used for storage.  Nevertheless, they started to go bad (not the drives -- the files) and eventually I rebooted and had no MBR or anything fixable by the Vista boot disk.


    I called MS and asked if the MBR was only 512K (one cluster -- if so I can copy it in hex) and where the restore points, the OS Selector, the backup OS selector the MFT, the backup MFT and other necessities were kept so I could just copy them out myself.  I found that either he didn't know (I later found some of them in a vss) or wasn't telling me.  Note that this was when I was using the "super-safe" MS Ultimate backup, which was totally lost since it had no map to any files or points itself.  I call that worthless, not unsafe.


    So far the only thing I've found that you can do is use either Acronis or Norton Ghost (or just a hex editor) and a VSS reader/copier to grab all that stuff yourself and then fix the (expletive) disk yourself.  Why Vista doesn't copy this or that important piece of information to somewhere -- anywhere -- is beyond me.


    And finally, all my other drives, including a PX version of Vista with tools, and a USB-connected HDD, were lost.  I suppose *all* information about the entire system is on the boot drive.  You guys ever hear of redunancy?  Failsafes? 


    My boot drive was actually not even on the board SATA SB controller but on a Silicon Image 3132 in a JBOD of 1 (just a big ole disk).  How much farther away do you want me to get?  Would you wipe out a whole NAS?  Climb up the shelf and erase the backup DATs I'm apparently going to have to purchase?  Log into my offline backup storage and cream it too?  I mean, when you wipe out the MBR on a bootable flash, that's pretty serious.  I'll have to remember to unplug them from now on.


    I've been working with DOS and onwards since, oh, like 2.0 -- whatever was in the Radio Shack Tandy-1000 box.  Back when you loaded your programs off of a casette player.  I've also used the Mac fairly intensively in school, and tried to get through linux for a while until I realized that a whole book could be written just on grep. 


    I've also been a Novell 3.11/3.12/4.0 admin and an net admin for NT 4.0 / 2000 (your best so far) and then XP.  So, I know the products fairly well (never even touched OS/2 -- for good reason) and like Windows.  No gripes about MS or its products, BUT....


    I've never had this many problems with any OS, period.  It wa's easier to download Mandrake, build the kernel from scratch, read about 1,000 MAN pages, and then jump through hoops to get Apache, KDE, the modem (the monitor -- good grief!) and everything else working.  It wasn't pretty, but I did it.  I can't get Vista to be stable and not eventually, after a totally clean install) very soon start to give me errors when I run chkdsk or install a driver.  Even the MS update drivers cause BSODs.


    So now I call yet again (I must say that MS does provide excellent service if you get past the level one guys who tell you to "turn off the computer, turn off the modem..."  hehe   I used to do that for a while.  SSDD.  I just call and say "gimme a level 2 and have a 3 warming up".


    I think everyone feels this way, and the experienced are just as frustrated as the noobs.  For instance, what the hell are we doing with Master/Slave designations in SATA?  You want me to broadcast HDTV through you media center and there are still combinations of drive hookups (SATA 1 + SATA 3 + SATA 4 might work but change one and you lose a drive)?  I not only have to reboot a few times, but probably 50-75 times to get through all the updates and drivers and whatnot.


    C'mon fellers.... I saw the total update list for SP1 and it was about 98.5% corporate and backoffice (if that's what it's still called) changes.  Plus I'd bet 90% of it was already available already through update (which, by the way, does not actually update all your drivers -- you have to go hunt through them and do them by hand).


    Business lesson #1:  If you want to lose a company, lose your core product, competency, or staunch supporters.  It's not the business guys with entire LAN depts.  It's the fella who comes home and wonders why his own (always more high-end and expensive) machine won't run like the ones at work.


    I won't even bother with bcdedit and other command-line "undocumented" features, etc.  XP wasn't worth much until SP2 came out.  I hope vista sp2 is a bit more robust and user friendly.  Vista is pretty like a model, but about as vapid.


    I should write a letter to Bill and tell him to put a few billion into fixing Vista as a "humanitarian effort" from his gargantuan fund (with just two contributors no less) to ease the pain and suffering, not to mention the deaths due to pulmonory arrest or myocardial infarction when presented with yet another un-named, 0x0000 0000 error.  Oh, and thanks for putting in 100 new services and then not putting *ANYTHING* on the net about what the blank they are.


    Oops, was trying to be nice and got side-tracked. 


    Eh, I guess that's enough soap-boxing.  Why was I writing?  Oh yes, I can't friggin active a legal product.  You guys break down one more time I'm going underground because for the most part the secret "good cracks" (gotta get inside the LAN/WAN trust circle for those) work pretty well.  Hire those guys to fix your stuff.  Smile


    Your next OS should be called "Windex".  Something to clean the Vista.


    By the way, if you would just add one wee little piece in all that data you collect that would analyze multi-core threads and tell me where the bottlenecks are (and what the mean in plain english), I'll fix them.  HTT too low?  Latencies off a bit?  Just where is the CPU spending most of it's time in wait-state?



    Shawn Harvey / sparkinark@yahoo.com

    • Changed type Carl-S Thursday, October 2, 2008 3:00 PM
    Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:29 AM