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My Vista Weekend

Microsoft Exec: [Vista] UAC Designed To 'Annoy Users'
The User Account Control in Windows Vista improves security by reducing application privileges from administrative to standard levels, but UAC has been widely criticized for the nagging alerts it generates. According to one Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) executive, the annoyance factor was actually part of the plan.

In a Thursday (4/10/08) presentation at RSA 2008 in San Francisco, David Cross, a product unit manager at Microsoft who was part of the team that developed UAC, admitted that Microsoft's strategy with UAC was to irritate users and ISVs in order to get them to change their behavior.

"The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," said Cross.

Microsoft not only wanted to get users to stop running as administrators, which exacerbates the effects of attacks, but also wanted to convince ISVs to stop building applications that require administrative privileges to install and run, Cross explained.

"We needed to change the ecosystem, and we needed a heavy hammer to do it," Cross said. ...snip...


"The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," said Cross.

I agree that they sure were successful in annoying users.
Talk about being annoyed. Check out my experience installing Windows Vista Home Basic (upgrade).

MY VISTA WEEKEND.... I installed Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit (upgrade) on one of my spare computers with a Mach Speed MSNV-939 Motherboard - Socket 939, ATX, Audio, PCI Express, 10/100 Ethernet LAN, USB 2.0, Serial ATA,  a 250 Gb IDE hard drive, and 256Mb of ram just to see if it could be done and what kind of trouble it would be. Well, I finally did get it going, but it wasn’t easy.

OPENING THE BOX.... I first had trouble opening the Windows Vista box. It said to pull on the red tab. My room was a little dark and I didn’t see the info on lifting the plastic tape off the edge. Well, with the aid of a screwdriver for a pry-bar, I opened the damn plastic case and parts fell all over the room. I was able to paste together the Key Code sticker so I could read the Key Code.

It didn’t start off well for sure. I extracted the DVD from the mess and also found the skimpy manual with quick start platitudes. Practically no useable info.

HARD DRIVE.... Well, I had the hard drive on the sacrifice computer partitioned with a 40 Gb C: drive and partitions D:, E:, F:, and G:. I thought that I could boot from the Vista DVD and install it and install it on the C: drive. I wanted a clean install. So I formatted the C: drive to remove the old Windows XP Pro operating system on it and proceeded to do the install. I had a Ghost image of the C: partition so I could restore it incase of trouble.

The Vista DVD booted up fine and proceeded to write a bunch of files for the installation and I have no idea where it was writing them. Then it asked me to type in the Key Code: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-PQWKW

A screen came up and said that I had to have at least 512Mb ram. Turned off the computer and installed another DDR 256Mb of ram for a total of 512Mb..

MORE MEMORY.... Booted up again with the Vista DVD. The computer now couldn’t see the hard drive at all. I booted with a Windows 98 floppy and used Norton’s GDISK to see the hard drive. It was gone. I had to turn off the computer completely with the power off for about 5 minutes. Booted again with Windows 98 floppy and now I could see the hard drive with GDISK. All of the partitions were gone. So I did a DiskWipe from GDISK. I was then able to start over and create a 40 Gb Primary partition and format it in Fat32.

Booted from the Vista DVD and I typed in the

INSTALL FROM WINDOWS.... The new screen said that I could only install Vista Home Basic (upgrade)  from within Windows.

OK. Back to the Ghost restore and I restored the original Windows XP Pro operating system on the C: drive.

Inserted the Vista DVD and I entered in the

NOT ACCEPTABLE.... A different screen came up and said that I could only install Vista Home Basic from within Windows XP Home and that I needed Windows Vista Ultimate or something like that. I wasn’t seeing to clearly at the new screen.

OK. I installed Windows XP Home on the C: drive which took about an hour. Of course I got all the prompts to Authenticate it but I ignored them. Now I have Windows XP Home running and I think I am home free. No.

Inserted the Vista DVD and again I entered in the
Key Code: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-PQWKW – one more time!

NTFS FORMAT.... The new screen said that I could only install Vista Home with a partition that was formatted with NTFS. I am thinking that maybe they could have told me all of these restriction in the first place.

I reformatted the C: drive and again installed Windows XP Home but this time I opted to convert the C: drive to the NTFS format.

I booted up Windows XP Home and started the install from there:
Inserted the Vista DVD and one more time I entered in the

CLEAN INSTALL.... I had the Vista install do a “Clean” install without any of the programs running on Windows XP Home. Finally I get the install to take. I now practically know the Key Code by heart.

VISTA INSTALLED.... This took 2 days. That was my weekend. Monday I wanted to try a connect to the Internet using my Linksys wireless system. I have the Airlink USB wireless adapter and installed the software from the CD that came with it. The install looked OK, but it didn’t work. I finally went on the Internet with a GOOD Windows XP Pro computer and downloaded the Vista drivers for the Airlink USB adapter. Somewhere in here a screen came up and said the driver wouldn’t work until Service Pack 1 was installed. I already had SP1 and yes, just like it said, it did take more than an hour to install and it did restart the computer numerous time. At least I got a successful installation of Windows Vista SP1.

Now the Airlink USB wireless adapter was installed and working. I got on the internet and was able to view my web page. There was quite a bit of activity on the flashing lights on the wireless adapter. Heaven only knows what kind of info was being transmitted to Microsoft while that was going on.

NEED DRIVERS.... All this time there was an error message that there was “no sound device installed”. The sound hardware is on the motherboard so I thought I would install the motherboard drivers. Bad move. I put in the CD and did the install. Agreed to reboot after the installation and the computer hung. When Vista hangs – that’s it. Control-Alt-Delete does nothing. The only thing that works if the Reset button. It still wouldn’t boot up “normally” so I booted up in Safe Mode and uninstalled the motherboard drivers.

Now I could boot up Vista again. So I went on the internet and looked for the Mach Speed Vista drivers for the MSNV-939 motherboard. I attempted to download them. About half way through the 15Mb file, the computer hangs. The mouse arrow doesn’t move. No hard drive activity. The computer just sits there. I hit the power off switch.

WINDOWS XP TO THE RESCUE.... Back to a GOOD Windows XP Pro computer and I downloaded the motherboard drivers and the audio drivers and put them on a Secure Digital card. I booted up the Vista computer in the Safe Mode and was able to copy the driver files over from the SD card. I did the install and finally I was able to boot “normally”. I had to reinstall the drivers from the “normal” mode and now the computer seems to work. It still tells me that my USB port could be faster if I install 2.0 but it doesn’t tell me where I can get it. Later.

VISTA INSTALLED.... Windows Vista Home Basic (upgrade) is pretty but if you don’t have a few days to spend trying to do the install, I would suggest if you want Vista, buy a computer with it already installed.

A weekend hunting coyotes or ground squirrels would have been a lot more fun.

I still have Vista running on the test computer and I am learning the new frustrations one by one.

As long as I have a couple of GOOD computers running I was able to get the drivers for the motherboard, the USB Wireless adapter, the 5 button IntellMouse, and audio system off the Internet. I have played around with it more and it is essentially Windows XP Pro with a face lift and a lot of pretty makeup. The sound from my speakers is very good. Setting up the Virtual memory location, Paths and how it displays a folder view is the same as XP put it takes a different route getting to where the settings can be made. It took quite a while to find out how to display the full path and the file name extensions when viewing a folder, but I finally found out how. I still haven't cracked how to display the status bar at the bottom of the folder display screen. I used Norton's GDISK to create an extended partition on the hard drive and the D: and E: logical partitions in FAT32. I was able to use Norton's Ghost 2003 to write the complete partition image of the C: drive off to the E: partition. My old Ghost 2002 would not find a NTFS partition. I might just like Vista yet.... Maybe.

Trying to implement the old "set" command is still possible but must be done quite differently.

Epilog: Two weeks later. I hooked up the Vista computer to check it out. It didn't boot up. It just hung with a blank screen. It was working fine when I turned it off. I had to hit the Reset button and then it went through the boot up process and did boot up. I just bought an extra copy of Windows XP Pro and Windows XP Home so I will have them when Microsoft stops selling the software. Maybe I should try Linux.

Good Hunting... from Varmint Al
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Last Updated: 02/10/2012
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