windows vista is _Hell_

13 06 2010

So a family member called me with a computer problem. Since I have moved them over to Ubuntu, I have rarely fielded these calls as things just work now. I figured it would be something similar to the last which was a 30 second fix. This time I was not so lucky. Turns out a college friend was having some serious problems with their Vista system.


Well I don’t really do windows. I haven’t even really touched windows in many years. In fact the vast majority of the knowledge I have on vista and 7 are Slashdot articles. But after some pleading from the family member as well as questions about what I did to them that they now hate me so much, I decided to give it a try. Five hours of my life are now lost…

The first big problem was that it was SLOW. Yeah, I know. Windows is the definition of slow and vista is the definition of even slower. This dual core 64bit AMD X2 with 2GB of memory was slower to boot then my P3 500 with 128 MB of memory. The second big problem is that they took it to Best Buy. Best Buy charged them 120$ and took it for a week. As far as the user is concerned they didn’t do anything. All of their problems still exist. So they took it to Office Depot. Office Depot charged them over 200$ and as far as the user is concerned they didn’t do anything but install McAfee. Which wasn’t needed as there was a Norton AV already installed (and still recieving updates) as well as an Avast (still active). I believe that I have since convinced them that should they experience computer problems in the future, to just take their money and burn it. Better use of the money with the same computer fixing results.

The first thing I noticed after a fresh boot was a TON of black cmd boxes opening and closing so fast I couldn’t see what they were. They ran for a solid minute. That can’t be good.

The second thing I noticed was that vista Start Menu SUCKED. That was quickly changed backed to classic where things are laid out in a proper orderly fashion. Well quickly being the 20 minutes it took to bring up the option…

I checked the process list and it easily spanned in the hundreds with random named processes. Really not good.

I installed Firefox, then went and got Spybot. Spybot found a bunch of nasties. So I cleared them all away. I immunized the system and I checked the startup listing with Spybot just to see hundreds of items that Spybot wanted to delete. So I let it and I rebooted.

Reboot was significantly faster. However, the black boxes still appeared. This time they had messages like “command not found in path”. Well that is good I guess. Whatever it is trying to run got deleted. So what is causing these boxes?

I couldn’t find anything in the start up menu, nor in windows vista startup lists, nor in Spybot (only 6 items all things that should start). Huh. I will try the log files.

Man, I miss Linux already.

When will microsoft learn to give a decent logging system in windows? It sucks. There was absolutely NOTHING worth while in there and the few items that looked interesting were completely vague and pointless. Jerks.

So I decided to go looking. That is what I found the most annoying software product since the invention of sounds in screen savers. When I opened “My computer” and began opening sub directories I noticed that the explorer window shifted to maintain focus on the directory. ‘What is wrong with this?’ you may ask. Well I wanted to see a specific hierarchy that I had purposely opened and adjusted. Now it kept moving and shifting. I knew I wanted to move straight up and go into a different directory, instead it shifted around and moved focus and I kept finding myself in directories I didn’t want to be in. Most of the time it took me longer just to figure out where I was. I don’t think I have wanted to stop a developers reproduction so badly before. In fact, should I ever meet the cruel jerk who came up with this idea, I can not guarantee that I won’t do the world a favor and deliver a swift kick to the groins…

I deleted a TON of crap programs as well as the old AV programs (no need having three on there; Thanks again Office Depot! ). I ran a virus scan with McAfee (which I never liked, but since it was brand new it had a longer contract service available). Now that most of the junk had been cleaned up, the system was getting reasonably better. Still way slower then it should be. At this point I am going to attribute it to windows vista.

There was still something bothering me. I had noticed that in one of the black boxes a path along the lines of “c:\Program Files\something\randomnumbers\Searchsomethingsomething”

It was a really weird path. Off I went to find what it was. I right clicked “Program files” (AGAIN with the stupid shifting sidebar!!! stupid [explicative deleted] jerks). I then looked in the menu for search. It wasn’t there. WTF? Why can’t I right click and do a search on that directory? XP had it! Why doesn’t vista?

Fine. I will use the stupid search dialog from the main menu. Has microsoft done surveys on how to confuse people more? If so then the surveys worked. Their find program gets worse and worse. Apparently indexing had been disabled somehow for everything but one directory that had just 3 files in it. Could have been default. Could have been on accident by the user (they didn’t know what indexing was), It could have been by any number of programs. Don’t know much about this stuff, so whatever. I adjusted the search terms to the directory I wanted and I know I saw the word search in the path so I entered it as the search term. Oh. My. Can the search go any slower? Just to be certain, long _after_ the search had started on a folder only 5GB in size I started a similar search on my Linux box spanning TERABYTES of data.

`find / -type d -iname “search*”`

Linux won. By several minutes. Not only that, but there were zero results from windows. So I adjusted the parameter to *search*. Again. Long wait time and zero results. Augh! Off I went directory by directory (Seriously. I really want to cock-kick the jerk with the shifting menu idea). I finally found the directory: “SearchDB4.2”. A Google search returned zero programs with that name, so I deleted the whole group of folders. Don’t know what it was, but if Google doesn’t know about it then it probably isn’t a legit program.

The next reboot had no black boxes popping up and ran significantly faster. 5 hours of my life gone but I think this will help them. I have already begun trying to convince them to install Ubuntu. I am supposed to visit that family member in a few months so I may bring my Ubuntu discs and upgrade them to a OS that doesn’t rape their computer on an hourly basis.

My first real experience with Windows Vista and I can say with out a trace of doubt “No wonder why the masses HATE windows vista!”



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