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My Vista Upgrade Experience

February 27, 2007

Notwithstanding my desire to wait until purchasing a new PC to upgrade my home office computer to Vista, some pesky problems with ActiveSync (i.e. not recognizing my PPC-6700 after about 3 hours of troubleshooting) and the WSUS client caused me to take the plunge earlier than planned. I decided I’d rather try to upgrade to Vista to solve my problem, than go down a road I expected would have required me to reinstall Windows XP.

This move will hopefully enable me to put off the temptation to buy a new PC before (i) new, well-functioning nVidia drivers are available, (ii) there is more collective experience on stability issues associated with some quadcore motherboards. I plan to extend the activation period to up to 120 days while I wait for these issues to be resolved.

Bottom line: the upgrade went reasonably well. As I try more things in coming days I’ll see if I revise that assessment.

The existence of Small Business Server 2003 on our home network has really been helpful in upgrading existing PCs and adding new ones:

  • I don’t have to worry about backing up key files, because they are all on the server.
  • Email is all kept on the server, all I have to do is run Outlook and log on to Exchange.
  • Install packages for all of my apps are on the server, meaning I don’t have to carry around a bunch of CDs and swap them in and out while setting up apps.
  • Many user settings are reconfigured automatically the first time I log in.

Some notable things about the Vista upgrade:

  • The first attempt at an upgrade failed as checking for updates consumed several hours and I ended the attempt without fanfare. Turning off Windows Defender (which had been acting squirrelly) enabled me to perform the upgrade install in a couple of hours.
  • Strangely, Vista identified Mechwarrior 3 (an app I had installed in a prior incarnation of XP home, but not the XP Pro install I was running) as a potential incompatibility, but said nothing about the 100s of other games in a similar state.
  • I’ve ordered a new Canon scanner for about $50 to replace the old Agfa 1212u for which there are no Vista drivers. As this scanner was at least 5 years old, I’m not to upset about this.
  • My SBS 2003 logon and other information was migrated to Vista without issue.
  • I’m having problems with my AVG Pro 7.5 antivirus installation. It demands that the license number be entered upon each logon and the system shield does not work properly. I’ll have to communicate with AVG support about this as a number of fixes I tried have not solved the problem.
  • Most installation dates in the Add/Remove programs control panel applet now read the date of the Vista upgrade.
  • The new Windows Mobile Sync app worked just fine. My PPC-6700 was recognized and sync’d without issues.
  • The MobSync app that I use to sync podcasts to the PPC-6700’s memory card (while in the PPC) also worked without issue– to my surprise.
  • GetRight was no brought over to the Vista installation, so presumably will need to be reinstalled.
  • Text in some apps (MobSync, for example) appears to be blurred– perhaps as a result of bitmapped graphics APIs being scaled in Vista differently from XP?


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