Thinking about upgrading to Vista?
Before you upgrade to Windows Vista, you need to read this. Vista is a pretty interface but it comes with a cost. I am not talking about money, I'm talking about it's limitations and permissions. As a power user, I really dislike this operating system; I find it very limiting.
The first thing you need to know is that once you upgrade your current Windows to Vista, you cannot go back. Not without formating anyway. So I would suggest that you dual boot until you are sure you want Vista. Even if you dual boot and delete Vista manually you will be left with at least 200 megs of hidden folders on your hard drive. This folders are hidden for Windows, they have names like \$Txf and \&TxfLog\$Tops:$T ( notice there is no drive letter ) and folders like C:\$extend\ $RmMetaData \$TxfLogs \$Tops:$T containing almost 30 megs. These folders are not in the MFT either.
If you are a power user you will notice within the first few moments, is that Vista is not easy to change settings and views. Everything is hidden. In fact you will find that even when logged on as the Administrator, you do not have permissions to do what you would like. The user with all the permissions the Administrators had in XP, is now the Trusted Installer. And you cannot be that unless you are a piece of software.
I think Vista is going to be just fine for a computer newbe, or someone who just wants to do the very basics with their computer. Beyond that, you will find this operating system very trying. Most corporate users do not want the operating system, they are sticking with XP.
I normally work in the Windows Explorer rather then from the Desktop. The Explorer windows are smaller because Vista puts a Favorite list on top of the folder window. And a large tool bar on top of the whole screen.
If you install Vista as a dual boot and want to access software that was previously installed to XP; the software does not run correctly. It may get errors as it does not have permissions to read a lot of the registry. I installed Vista on a different drive than XP. I had Registry Drill installed to XP. I tried to run it under Vista. It report a lot of Keys that it could not read. I then installed Registry Drill to Vista, and Registry Drill ran fine, no problems. I tried this with several pieces of software and they all had problems.
I played with the Registry manually and found that I could not reset many of the Keys I wanted to. Even as the Administrator, I did not have the permission to change setting. I could not even give myself permission to change much of the Registry. However, when I ran Registry Drill in Trusted Administrator mode (a new feature of Registry Drill for Vista) it work find.
The next thing I found very disturbing. When you install software, the operating system allows the software to change whatever it needs to, to install. So if you installed software that puts a shortcut on your desktop and you want to delete it after the installation, you can't. You do not have permission to send it to the Recycle Bin. This is not the real disturbing part. What is bad is that a malice install has complete control of your computer. If it installs some kind of malware, you cannot do much about it. You may not have permission to delete it out of the Registry, or it's files. This is going to be one of the largest security flaws Microsoft has created.
Have you have seen the Mr Microsoft TV commercial, where the security agent is in the background, asking the OS if you have permission to do something, anything? Well, this is exactly what Vista is. If you want to connect to the Internet, you need to ask for permission. I did not know this at first. So when I tried to use the browser, Vista told me that no connection was found. Yet, Vista was having no problem checking in with Microsoft to activate my copy of Vista on my Internet connection!
The second item you need to be aware of when deciding to install Vista is your computer hardware. The machine I installed Vista on is a 3200 Athlon XP with 1 gig of Ram and a 10,000 rpm hard drive. The Video card is not great, but it is a good card, 128 Megs on the chip. Vista rated the machine as level one. Top level is five. When I boot to Vista, I can get myself a cup of coffee, come back to the machine and watch it finish booting into Windows. Lite up a cigarette and then it is ready for me to sign in. So if you like the speed you have with XP, your going to need a bigger computer. Plan on spending $$$$ for a basic computer.
You will also find that much of the software you have purchased is obsolete or will not work properly on Vista.