I Finally Got Windows Vista

While shopping for a new cell phone, I came across one of those Wal-Mart specials. A Toshiba Satellite laptop under-priced at $400. What do you get for that kind of money? A laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium.

Well, what do you know? I finally get to try out the OS I’ve heard so many bad things about. The OS I’ve bashed and have avoided like the plague. The OS that, if I could, would downgrade to Windows XP in a heartbeat.

In short: Vista lives up to it’s horrible reputation.

Now, I didn’t have any major headaches with device incompatibility or anything like that. However, I ran across two things that very well show what a piece of shit OS Microsoft can shove out the door in the name of making a few bucks.

First off was the disappearance of my DVD drive from Windows Explorer. I didn’t even notice it was gone because I was too busy uninstalling the crapware from Toshiba and installing updates and my own software. It wasn’t until I went to install disc burning software that I noticed something was up. No CD burning application could detect my drive. I moved on, installing the rest of stuff.

When I went to re-arrange my Programs menu, that’s when I noticed the missing drive. You know how I got it back? A registry hack!

You’re not mis-reading things. A fresh install with some standard installation and removal of software requires a registry hack to get the DVD drive visible to the operating system.

If that’s not embarassing enough, guess what else I found? Microsoft moved system folders around for no good reason. Under Windows 95, 98, ME, and NT4, the start menu was either located in C:WINDOWSStart Menu (single-user setups) or C:WINDOWSProfiles[user-name]Start Menu (multi-user setups). In Windows 2000 and XP, C:WINDOWSProfiles became C:Documents and Settings. Know where the Start Menu is in the directory structure in Vista? If you guessed C:Users[user-name]Start Menu, you’re wrong. For whatever God-forsaken reason, Microsoft chose to use C:Users[user-name]AppDataMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu.

It gets better.

Under all previous versions of Windows, there was an All Users directory in amongst the user names. This directory contained things like Desktop and Start Menu items that would appear to all users. Simple enough, right? Guess where this All User data is now? C:Program Data.

Really? Was C:UsersAll too hard to understand?

And what the hell is up with shortening C:Documents and Settings to C:Users but not changing C:Program Files to C:Programs, which users have been bashing Microsoft over since, oh, Windows 95!

And just in case you missed the old directory structure, make sure to enable the option to show hidden files. This way you can see all the system links Microsoft provided (and there’s a ton of them) so that applications trying to write and read stuff from the old directory structure will write to and read from where the files are supposed to be in Vista. Just don’t expect to be able to follow the links.

Seriously, Microsoft, if you can’t get this stuff right, no wonder you’re latest operating system is a pile of garbage that has people fleeing to Mac and Linux. And this is all within my first 12 hours of usage. What am I going to find under heavier scrutiny?