Ten Things that I HATE about Windows Vista

Windows Vista Logo

Yesterday’s question of the day over on Gizmodo was What don’t you like about Vista? This question tickled my fancy , since I thought, well, because… I HATE VISTA. I truly do. But I don’t feel badly, even Bill Gates hates Vista!

As a Microsoft consultant, I was an early adopter, first using Vista in beta, figuring I would need to, since it was inevitable, and that soon all PC’s would ship with Vista, like every new Microsoft OS before it had. The increased hardware requirements didn’t effect me, since as a gamer I generally only have a PC for a year or so, and my hardware is relatively current. I was set to go.

So I installed Windows Vista Home Premium, the 64 bit version. I used all new hardware to build the PC, and followed a standard hardware configuration I have used previously. My hardware list is important here as a control group factor, because I’ve built this same basic configuration in easily a dozen PC’s, both for myself, family, and clients, and it works.

Once installed, Vista proclaimed its temperate love for my new configuration by giving me a low, 5.4 out of 6.0 rating on my Windows Vista Experience rating (that sounds like and IMAX ride). My one low score was on my wimpy, dual core 3.3 gig processor. OK, there are quad cores out, so I figure I’m still OK. All my other hardware rated at 5.8 out of 6.0 or higher, with my video card and memory at 5.9. The Total Score rating seems to be based solely on your lowest score of the 5 components rated. It’s definitely NOT an average.

The latest incarnation of my PC includes the following basic hardware:

  • A Gigabyte M61P-AM2 Motherboard,
  • 4 Gigs of Corsair XMS2 – DDR2 800 memory
  • An AMD Athlon 6000+x2 Processor
  • An eVGA 8600GTS 512 MB GDDR3 video card

Wrap that in a $40 Cooler Master case, a $20 DVD burner and $75 SATA hard drive, a $75 power supply of your choice, and you have… The Ultimate $600 Gaming Machine. That’s another article though…

Every hardware fanboy will recognize not only these brands, but likely the specific models of these parts. I picked all of the from the Customer Choice Award Winners list at NewEgg.com. These were ALL best sellers, most with thousands of happy purchasers to their credit, before I bought them. I run the same configuration with Windows XP, and Fedora Core, with no problems. Ever.

At first I chalked it all up to being Beta. Who can bitch about beta software? The release version was worse, and it keeps getting worse. Here are the most obvious things that I can think of that I don’t like. Your own results many vary. These things have all plagued me from the day I got the product, and still plague my installation. Most I have given up fixing, and I am waiting for an open platform version of Mac OS.

Please add your own dislikes and grumblings in the comments at the end:

My list of 10 things I hate about Vista:

  1. User Account Control. This feature is just plain awful. It is invasive, and it NEVER GOES AWAY. Even after being disabled, it will continue to ask you if it can re-enable itself, forever, each time you reboot. There is no way to stop this, or get rid of the big red X on the shield at the bottom of your task bar. In Microsoft’s eyes, it seems, you are permanently deficient due to your lack of good sense by choosing to decline using the User Account Controls. Microsoft can’t believe your stupidity by not trusting their good judgement here, and will therefore never forgive you. But they will nag you, FOREVER. Oh and if you aren’t Microsoft certified, and highly computer literate, good luck even turning it off. It’s not so easy to find. It really doesn’t identify itself until AFTER you turn it off. Most users wont know what it is called, except that it sucks. For these reasons, the User Account Control is easily the single most annoying thing about Windows Vista for me.
  2. Vista is not a stable gaming platform. I run a pretty vanilla system, see above, and it still crashes, a lot. In many games from many vendors. Not weird Japanese games, but mainstream, best sellers, from big companies. None of whom, seem to have a Vista logo on their boxes either, despite this product being out in beta for two years. All of these games crash. Most crashes seem to be sound card, so I changed them, many times. Different video cards, new drivers, the lot. All different hardware, and still more CRASHES, and yet more crashes. Bleh.
  3. Windows XP file sharing works, BUT NOT in Vista? Certainly not as well. I use it in the office, and my customers offices, ALL THE TIME. This was a no-brainer back in Windows 95, and worked great in XP. Now, IT DOESN’T WORK! Go ahead Vista users, right click on a desktop folder and SHARE IT. See the amazing results, and the later fun connecting your XP machines to it. Grrrrrrrrr. I took this for granted for so long until it stopped working.
  4. Issues connecting to Windows 2003 Active Directory domains. IT’S THEIR OWN PRODUCT. Of course, this should work. Google this. It doesn’t work, and there is a checklist of stuff to reconfigure and registry hacks to follow to make it work. Their premier desktop OS should connect to their own server OS, with no issues, out of the box. Simple, duh. It doesn’t. Why not? I am astounded by this.
  5. Windows Vista (mostly 64 bit) drivers are still missing. Vista Beta wa out for two years and retail has been out for a year, and manymanufacturers still don’t have drivers. Why? My theory is that they are waiting for SP1 to arrive, to see if the product is finally stable enough before wasting their own hard to come by $$$ developing drivers for and OS that is universally dissed.
  6. Sound card issues. My name brand Soundblaster XtremeGamer X-Fi sound card drivers crash in Vista. Want to hear the best part – They crash earlier and more often each new release. That’s right, they keep MAKING THINGS WORSE. I would blame Creative Labs, but their drivers for XP are solid. I have tried other cards, same story.
  7. Memory issues – Vista has trouble with memory over a certain amount, and no surprise, it crashes. Google, Vista 4 Gig memory, and see the articles about the blue screen of death. Oh and thanks for keeping that tradition alive Microsoft. I would like to formally suggest a soft, warm, green screen of soothing shutdown screen instead. It at least sounds better, despite all the sssss’s. Get your human factors people on this, please.
  8. USB issues – I use a bunch of USB Drives in my work, moving files all around, backing them up and the like. I have a half dozen flash drives and external 250 gig drives. They all work well with XP. All of them. Different vendors, different drives. Vista on the other hand, decides each time you want use the drive, if it will work, and if so how much of your old data is accessible. And then, it KILLS YOUR DRIVE. Really. I have had drives randomly need repair, as suggested by Vista, ultimately be reformatted inorder to work again. Forget about the data on the drive. Using any of the drives to move data from XP to vista or vice versa sucks I count on problems whenever I do it. Lost files, corrupt files, and such mean that I am afraid to reinstall XP on my machine, because I am afraid Vista’s lasting ugly legacy will be a useless external copy of all my data, and new XP machine that will not get any more updates after this summer.
  9. DVD and CD Burning Nightmares – None of this works well. I will admit I recently bought Roxio to burn CD’s, and it works, But I had to do this because Vista won’t do it. This feature worked easily in Windows XP. Drag files to the CD Burner, click burn these files, and done. Go ahead and try that in Vista, if your drive is recognized properly by the operating system. This has essentially never worked for me, and is another lost feature of XP.
  10. Stupid Hardware Management – Vista lists my main hard drive in the Safely Remove Hardware thingee. Again, this is my primary (and only) hard drive. Why? This is an internal SATA hard drive, and has NO USB components at all. Vista seemingly does not care, and offers to let you shut it down. I am too afraid to destroy my HD in order to find out what happens. Has anyone else been willing to try this?
  11. Office 2007 – OK, it’s nottechnically Vista, but it looks and acts like Vista so it’s number 11. It’s kind of a Spinal Tap thing, I guess. This product is awful also, like its family member, from the simple fact that it doesn’t use the same file format as the last 5 versions of the product back to 1997, but that they moved EVERYTHING around. When I first got Office 2K7, it took me 15 minutes to find SAVE and PRINT. This practice reminds me of how my local grocery store moves everything around in the store every few years. I really only want my toilet paper and my print buttons to be in the same place all the time, is that so much to ask?

This product was rushed or just plain mismanaged from the start. They supposedly rewrote Vista from scratch to replace the antiquated XP, which after three service packs, finally worked.

I wanted Vista, I like new software. Its fun to learn. What I have learned here is that anything can get knocked off the tracks, even Microsoft. Let’s see how they recover with Service Pack 1. This better be good, those new Mac Air laptops are starting to like mighty tempting.


    11 Responses to Ten Things that I HATE about Windows Vista

    1. Rick Shahovskoy says:

      Glad to hear the opinion of somebody truly in the field. I’m just a “user” (writer) who is beginning to think horrible thoughts about Mr. Gates. I had an eMachines crap out and got a new HP a6212n to replace it and since then have gone stark, staring NUTZ!…

    2. Kevin says:

      It’s funny that half of these issues i never had a problem,
      1. I agree on the UAC being obtrusive when disabled, But as with any version of windows, there are always ways of fixing things. Just make sure you turn off the way security center notifies you when UAC is off. It’s in the Security center options.

      2. As for it not being a viable gaming system, I’ve never had any problems with WOW on vista. In fact i use vista as my main gaming system(COD4, TF2 and so on), sure i get a slight performance decrease, but i found out that if you goto your games properties in windows, you can disable the aero stuff when that game is loaded, it helps a bit, but i still dont see much of a difference.

      3. File sharing is a little different, but i havent had one problem sharing files yet either, on any of my clients networks.

      4. I havent had a ton of experience with AD2003 and Vista just yet as i do still recommend XP to my clients(but you must understand, i did the SAME thing when xp came out until it stabilized.). But i’ve had little problems getting them up on a domain(just make sure you run Vista Business AT LEAST.

      5. It’s the same thing with Windows XP 64-bit Edition. It’s up to the manufacturers to provide the drivers. It’s unfortunate that this gets the blame put on wrong most of the time.

      6. Creative’s Vista drivers are a joke, and not just on their sound cards. Anything that supports AC97(or equivalent, you’ll notice that creative does not.) codec standards(set by Intel) have worked perfectly.

      7. I agree with the memory issues, vista does need some work in that regard, but it is also more stringent on the quality of ram you provide, i have had several systems work on xp but fail on vista because of low quality ram.

      8. Completely agreed there. Most drives that “needed repair” for me have been when i have modified the Drives in certain ways, like making them bootable for instance.

      9. Burning CD’s works perfectly fine, the only thing i dont like in vista about this is the Live File System that it chooses as default. It’s a horrible choice of a format.Choosing mastered format works perfect.

      10. Thats a problem with the nForce motherboard for some reason, here is how you can fix it.
      If you have a Nforce4 Based Motherboard and your sata drives are showing up in Safely Remove Hardware, this registry hack will allow you to fix it.

      1. Click Start -> Run
      2. Execute regedit
      3. Navigate to


      4. Click Edit
      5. Select New > DWORD value
      6. Name this DWORD: DisableRemovable
      7. Double click this new DWORD and set its value to one (1).
      8. Close Regedit and reboot

      You should remember that SATA drives were made to be able to be installed and removed while the system is running, it is a mistake nvidia drivers to set it like that yes. But, it’s not a vista problem per say, just nvidia’s.

      and 11. Office 2007 can still save in those formats. I had to show a few clients that there is a little file type selection right below the place where you type in the file name. It does have the format there for you.

      Good article none the less, i just had to provide another point of view, this time from a Network Engineer(No microsoft affiliation)!

      ed. – AWESOME FEEDBACK – I have struggled with Vista all along, and not too much with XP.
      I will look at the reg hacks and other fixes too and follow up.
      Thanks for the feedback, I truly appreciate it.


    3. walt says:

      on hardware hungry games it works, but on cheap ones Vista tends or likely to crash. this is too ridiculous…now i switch back to my reliable XP SP2

    4. ITProjectManager says:

      I HATE VISTA, IE-7,and growing more to HATE MICZROSOFT.
      What jackasses. The Vista UI is weird and should have NEVER been changed! Parameters appear that they can be changed …but cannot really…. The user account security system is so GD irritating that it is USELESS because a normal person wants to disable it within 1-day of using VISTA.
      IE-7 is intergrated with VISTA (didnt they get a multi million dollar lawsuit fot soing this shit with earlier versions of Internet Explorer!?!?!?) The piece of shit does NOT support Menus (the registry fixes only work on certtain versions of XP) and the GD Tools > Menu options is a FK-ING Joke – it looks like it is turned on but DOES NOT F-ING Work.

    5. Ryan G says:

      KEEP XP ALIVE!! Vista SUCKS, and here’s why: 1) Incompatibility with GOBS of software – or it works but not quite the same, 2) Confirmation prompt after confirmation prompt, 3) Programs magically crash under Vista and not XP, 4) Requirement to seek permission from some mysterious administrator, when – OH WAIT – I AM the administrator!!!, 5) DreamScene makes computer (albeit a darn good one) freeze, 6) Inability to install fonts in bulk, 7) Folder settings resetting on their own CONSTANTLY, 8) Graphics editing programs suddenly can’t handle large images anymore, 9) Printers cannot be found, 10) Difficulty visualizing what folder or files are highlighted in Windows Explorer, 11) Switching between Windows Explorer windows takes forever sometimes, 12) Internet Explorer suddenly doesn’t remember passwords or prompt to save them, 13) Desktop search function takes forever and is too complicated, 14) PDF Printer suddenly doesn’t work, 15) Network connectivity is CONSTANTLY lost, 16) periodic freezes, 17) unexplained freezes on BOOT…need I say more!?!?!?!

    6. Ryan Dunphy says:

      I miss XP, I had XP for wow… 8 years … NEVER had any problems with it! Don’t like the vista interface, don’t like the file sharing and search… search This.. search is horrible. doesn’t seem to like software, oh and in case you didn’t know Bill, software ain’t so cheap, make an os that uses software. office 2k7.. worst thing EVER… in order to open a 2k7 file on an xp machine you need to convert…. what? no it’s all office stuff… I kept my office 03 thank god… funny you mentioned the usb .. i notice that when I go to use some of my usb items, vista seems to wanna install it every time, and yes sometimes it works.. sometimes it don’t. who made this os… overpaid people who don’t know their @#$ from a whole in the ground. windows 3.11 -95 -98 ME -2000 unstable yes…. xp worked great… but my dad taught me one thing in life.. if it ain’t broke … don’t fix it. vista the next ME fiasco? let’s hope not.

    7. […] think it is an understatement to say that a lot of people complained about Microsoft Vista. Some of it was typical Microsoft hate speech and some of it were legitimate complaints about the […]

    8. Depsua says:

      Besides the points already mentioned, the thing that annoys me most is the fact that Vista often takes more time calculating a data transfer, than it actually takes to transfer it. I’ve had it “calculate” literally for minutes before transferring a 2-5MB file on many occasions, even with transfers between partitions.
      Most ppl know that the estimated times for transfers on XP aren’t that accurate, but the way they handle it in Vista is just plain annoying.

      PS: I have to agree on Office 2k7 btw, -the- most annoying interface change since Microsoft began.

    9. Matt Redman says:

      Hey guys. Even Tony Montana doesn’t like Vista……..

    10. Cara says:


      I love this page. i am 23 and more computer literate than most people my age im familiar with tweaking things, and using tools like spybot to stop certain programs etc etc at start up and other such things. I am not quite a terms with things like registry hacks though and this i where my problems start.

      I have SO MANY ISSUES with vista!! I get BSODS all the time when ALL of my drivers are totally up to date. If i put my PC to sleep it often crashes on awakening which ive read it a massive Vista issue again to do with driver and hardware conflicts etc.

      My biggest issue is the PERMISSIONS bit. I swear ive nearly thrown my laptop out of a window because of this!! I have a folder called Adobe with NOTHING in it and Adobe is not installed or running on the computer I SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO DELETE IT!!! It infuriates me how complicated this is! It also infuriates me that you CANNOT turn off the fact the either Program Files or Program Files x86 ( another massively annoying issue) keep reverting back to read only files.

      In the end i solved this issue by going into advanced setting in folder properties – security and ‘taking over ownership’ of the files.

      While i was in there i recognised that i could do more for example i could change Administrators to ‘Full Control’ and i could also apply this to all subfolders etc. I also changed the ‘Effective Permissions’ to full control as the Administrator and this seems to have solved the issue. However i found myself checking boxes that i have not idea what they meant and just hoping it would give me control back. Surely this isnt how an OS should operate, I do not think many people would be able to do what i have done and so when i look online i see that all of the advice is to use registry hacks or programs such as ‘Unlocker’ or ‘Take Ownership’

      Again is it not crazy that people are going to such extremes that they are fiddling with the registry just so they can do simple things like delete or move their own files!! Why does Vista assume that we are all retards who will just randomly open files and start deleting them if we dont know what they do? Its actually really insulting that i cannot be trusted to operate my own system.

      Maybe Microsoft wants to come and put some Permissions in my car to make sure that im driving correctly too??!!!

    11. Hamid says:

      Vista remind me of the time before computer really worked. Slow, buggy, crashes, freezes, etc, etc. An insider at Microsoft told me they have a saying when a program is about to be released that it is “good enough” – which means, given the known problems, number of new (unwary) customers, customer lost, etc, the return on investment is looking good, which is another way of saying who gives a f–ck about the customer!

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