Microsoft Windows Vista is finally out! As a student with MSDNAA subscription, I can get the “Business” version of Windows Vista for free. So yesterday, I downloaded everything and installed in on my computer to give it a try. I read on Wikipedia something about an 20 minute installation, so I was quite disappointed for needing the whole day to do a clean setup. Unlike the retail version, I could only get the 5 CD version. They tried to make every CD image smaller than 640 MB, so the 5th CD ended up to be only 8 MB big. Seriously, who uses blank CDs with less than 650 MB capacity anymore?
After finishing the download, which takes hours because I only have a 768 Kbit DSL line, I burned the CD and started installing. There comes the next surprise. After entering my Vista-Business-Key, it started copying files from the first CD1. After 1 minute, it asked to for the second CD. It was going quite fast, I thought, so I took out CD1 and inserted CD2. Now, at 16%, it started copying again for 3 or 4 percent, then instantly jumping to 30%. But instead of the “Please insert CD3″ message, I got a message with the error code “80070241″ telling me that my installation source is corrupted. I googled and found out that this seems to be caused by an corrupted image or errors on the cd. Because I checked “verify data on cd” when burning those CDs, I thought that maybe my DVD-Rom-Drive is just too old and copied CD2 again. I started the whole installation process again and… SAME ERROR. It was kind of frustrating. Searching again with Google, I found a comment saying Microsoft had a little problem distributing Vista with MSDNAA, so a lot of early downloaded images are corrupted. Well.. no choice left, I downloaded CD2 again, burned it at ultralow speed (4x) and tried again. This time, it seems that I was lucky. The whole installation went perfectly and I was able to see the new Windows Vista interface AeroGlass.
I have read quite some comments on it and I have to say, it looks great. Eye candys everywhere. You could even choose a background out of a lot of really beautiful pictures. They even included widescreen backgrounds for users like me. I installed Skype and Firefox next. Because I am using a roaming profile, everything was already setup perfectly. Sound was working, so I decided to watch a little video. While playing, I started Flip 3D, a whole new “Alt+Tab” replacement. The video in the main video was also playing in the “screenshot” on those Pages for flipping. Amazing! Flip3D can be started with “WinKey+Tab”, which confused me a little. Why would I need 2 tools for switching around between my programs?
Anyway, next I wanted to get my sound from stereo to 5.1. But how? The default drivers didn’t allow that, so I went to Creative.com. There, I found a very disappointed message. No Vista drivers for Soundblaster Live. It seems like Microsoft changed so much that the old XP drivers aren’t working anymore. Well, lets try graphic card drivers then. On Ati.com, I found some beta drivers for Vista. I installed them and they seem to work perfectly fine. Well, let’s give Vista a performance test, I thought and started Natural-Selection, a Half-Life 1 mod. But there comes the next problem. Vista doesn’t support OpenGL anymore! Well, at least not for now. There are no OpenGL drivers avaible, not from ATI nor from nVidia. So I switched to D3D mode, but it was unplayable. A lot of graphic bugs and only maximum 40 fps made it no fun to play. Okay… Hardware support seemed to be lacking in Vista. Should I try my luck with my Logitech diNovo Laser Desktop? My first look on Logitech.com told me that they didn’t have new drivers for Windows Vista. But as I read somewhere else, XP drivers should work for almost everything. Well, installation went perfectly and told me to reboot. I did and there was that Bluetooth setup thing. But it didn’t seem to continue. After 15 minutes, I killed the application and deinstalled Setpoint with Widcomm Bluetooth.
So now I have Windows Vista, all my hardware is working, but none is really working. Sound is only stereo, Graphics are without OpenGL and Bluetooth from my diNovo set isn’t working. I hope they’ll fix those problems soon or people won’t be using Vista for very long.
Update: My network printer, a Samsung ML-1410, isn’t working either. I contacted Samsung, let’s see what they have to say…