Vista blues

I have moved to Vista. In fact, I’ve been using Vista on my main machine for almost a week now.

As I often do with new major releases of an operating system, I re-partitioned my whole system and installed everything from scratch. I still believe that doing this every two or three years keeps the motherboard relatively free of cruft.

And since Vista came along with Office 2007, I decided to go the whole nine yards and get this too. I bought a copy of Vista Ultimate full (meaning no upgrade), Office 2007 Professional and Visio 2007 Professional. Yes, I said “bought”. I know, I know. Some people find it funny that I pay for the software that I use at home for my personal use. Eccentricites.

So I did my backups, booted from the Vista DVD, waved bye-bye my old partition and kept swapping discs during a very long rainy evening.

That ended up horribly.

The first weird thing I noticed was that, suddenly, menus started popping up towards the left. You know, when you click on a menu item, such as “Edit”, and a menu pops up with “Cut”, “Copy”, “Paste”, etc. Usually, in an English version of Windows, the menu is anchored to its parent item on its left side, spreading as necessary towards the right. If a menu item has sub-items, a little arrow appears to the right and a sub-menu pops up to the right. Well, my menus would pop up towards the left. I checked and re-checked locales, installed languages and similar things, to no avail.

More or less at the same time, the search box in Internet Explorer stopped working. You know, you type something up there, hit Enter, and the search engine of your choice brings up the results. Well, when I hit Enter nothing happened. The search box not even lost focus. Also eerie, the Find dialog box in Internet Explorer produced a beautiful “Automation server can’t create object” error message when I hit the Next button.

A few hours later, and after much frustration and no improvement of the situation, the last straw came in. Windows Live OneCare suddenly started complaining that I needed to complete the installation, which I had done hours back. And the bad thing was that no matter how many times I clicked the button to complete the installation, it kept complaining.

I even called Microsoft technical support, where I was put through a few helpless people who couldn’t figure out what was going on with my computer.

So next day I took a deep breath and started again. Re-partition and install Vista from scratch. As I was lolling about looking at the many flashy progress bars, an idea crossed my mind. Adobe Updater baaaaad. A couple of years ago I bought (yes, guilty) a copy of Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator and other apps, and also Acrobat. Acrobat includes Updater, which is a devilish applet designed to wreak havoc with your computer, er, I mean, to keep your Acrobat up to date. I had read about and experienced many nasty effects of Updater, so I decided to skip the installtioon of Adobe Creative Suite altogether this time. After all, with native PDF saving from Office and a free, Vista-compatible Reader from Adobe, who needs Acrobat?

And it worked.

Even F5 web debugging from Visual Studio 2005 in integrated mode against IIS 7 on Vista, which is the most incompatible thing I could ever imagine doing a few days ago, works now! Thanks to Volodarsky, anyway.

Still a few challenges remain, though. I still need to install SQL Server 2005 Developer, which, with SP 2, is meant to work OK. SourceGear Vault will have to wait, as will Second Life. Damn.

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1 Response to “Vista blues”


  1. 1 Ferdinand 22 March 2007 at 13:37

    So, it was not so easy to install the Windows Vista after all? Anyway I’m happy to hear that your problems were finally solved.
    But I would like to point here just one thing: you made it yourself because the help we can expect from “Microsoft technical support” is not only useless, it’s hindering as well


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