This section of this website deals with all of the problems that I have encountered with Windows Vista since its main versions - Home Premium, Business and Ultimate - were first made available to the general public on January 30, 2007.
Click here! to skip the following preamble and the diagnostic information applicable to Windows Vista and go directly to the list of solved problems.
A descriptive link to each problem is provided on this page. Only the latest versions of Windows 7 have some superior troubleshooting and recovery options to the equivalent versions of Windows Vista. The Professional version of Win7 is equivalent to Vista's Business version. The very useful Recovery Console provided by Windows XP is not available in Vista or Win7, but both of those later versions of Windows provide alternative recovery options. System Restore, first made available in Windows XP, is still the first option that should be used if the problem is software related, but it is certainly not a cure-all option. This page contains problems that it cannot put right. All of the other problem-solving methods and options provided by Windows Vista are dealt with on this page. Note that if you haven't created a slipsteamed disc that contains both Service Packs, you have to install SP1 followed by SP2 if you have restored an original, pre-service-pack, 2007 version of Vista. If you can't find a problem that fits yours, try entering as accurate a description of it as possible in the site Search box provided at the top of every page on this website. I have included as many symptoms in the title of each problem to make finding it as easy as possible. Good luck!
The Q&As that deal with common problems in Windows Vista are under the table below, which provides useful links to recovery methods that might help you fix your problem(s). Click here! to go to the page on this website that deals in article form with the various methods of recovering, restoring and repairing Windows Vista.
Click here! to go to the full list of hardware and software problems dealt with on this website
How to use the Windows Vista/Windows 7 Reliability Monitor
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a useful utility called Reliability Monitor that can be useful to troubleshoot computer problems; for instance, in tracking crashes after software installations and updates. The following webpage provides illustrated instructions on how to use it. The information also applies to the Reliability Monitor in Windows Vista. To launch the monitor in Windows Vista, enter perf in the Start => Start Search box.
Windows 7 - Reliabilty Monitor - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2270-reliabilty-monitor.html
Fix Windows XP, Windows Vista, Window 7 Black Screen of Death problem
December 4, 2009. - If you start up your Windows XP/Vista/7 computer and you are greeted by a black screen, this is a problem that has affected many thousands of computers. Here are the details:
Microsoft Windows 7 'Black Screen of Death' blamed on malware - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/6709584/...
An affected computer will work in Safe Mode, which can be accessed by pressing the F8 key repeatedly just before Windows starts to load. The best solution is to use System Restore in Safe Mode to restore a restore point that predates the problem. One of my computers went down with this problem today (4 December) and I restored a restore point created on 3 December successfully.
The update that makes a Windows Vista computer reboot endlessly: How to fix the problem
February 23, 2008. - Microsoft: Here's how to stop Vista update's endless reboot -
"Although Microsoft Corp. has yet to fix an update that sent some Windows Vista machines into endless reboots, today it spelled out several work-arounds users can apply to regain control of those PCs." - http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?...
Windows SteadyState for Windows XP/Windows Vista (but not for Windows 7)
Many home users share an Internet connection wirelessly between two or more desktop and laptop PCs. The sharing is done over a wireless network (which could also be a mixture of a wired and a wireless network). If that is the case, you should investigate what Windows SteadyState has to offer. It is a free program from Microsoft designed to return a PC to its pristine condition in shared computer environments, such as in public libraries, where users can mess up the default configuration and infect the workstations with malware, etc.
"Windows SteadyState, successor to the Shared Computer Toolkit, is designed to make life easier for people who set up and maintain shared computers."
Using Windows SteadyState at home
"Parents can use Windows SteadyState to help control and enhance their children's computer experience. They can customize the computer to be safer and easier to use. Internet access can be carefully controlled. Different levels of restriction can be applied for different children. In cases where a single machine is used by children and parents, the parents' configurations, programs, and files can be completely isolated from access by the children."
Time limits can also be set.
SteadyState Version 2.5 supports Windows Vista. Watch the demonstration here:
Microsoft has decided not to provide a Windows 7 compatible version of SteayState. The following article explores the consequences of this decision.
Microsoft decision puts public libraries at risk -
"The company announced it would not upgrade the free application, SteadyState, to Windows 7 compatibility, angering many of the folks who manage public-access PCs. People who manage library PCs say they don't have money to pay for third-party products that protect public PCs from malware and malicious users." -
Fix Windows Vista startup problems
How to use the System Configuration utility to troubleshoot configuration errors in Windows Vista - "This article describes how to use the System Configuration utility (Msconfig.exe) to troubleshoot configuration errors that might prevent Windows Vista from starting correctly." - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950093
Click the relevant link below to go to that Q&A article. Use your browser's Back button to backtrack.
1. - Recovering and repairing Windows Vista when a computer crashes or fails to boot [Separate page]
3. - System icons do not appear in the notification area in Windows Vista or in Windows 7 until you restart the computer [Goes to a page on the Microsoft Knowledge Base]
29. - My desktop PC runs Windows Vista. How can I install Windows XP on an external eSATA or USB-connected hard disk drive without having to reinstall Vista? [On the first Hard Disk Drive Problems page]
Click here! to go to the full list of hardware and software problems dealt with on this website
System Restore on my desktop PC running Windows Vista Home Premium doesn't work. It doesn't show up under System in the Control Panel, but I can find it by entering system in the Start => Search box. It says that there are no restore points, but that I can create a new restore point. But when I do so, it says that System Restore is already running, but is shutting down now.
Several programs are reported on the web as making System restore behave in this way.
Comodo Time Machine was an alternative to System Restore. It is reported to render System Restore unusable. If you have it installed go to comodo.com to find out if there is a removal tool or information on how to remove it. Apparently, it leaves debris behind if not uninstalled properly. The restore points that used to exist will have been deleted. Always remember that competing restore programs, firewalls and antivirus programmes conflict if more than one of the same kind of program is run in real-time system monitoring.
Another culprit is Norton Antivirus. Reports on the web say that System Restore runs, but after completing the entire cycle reports that it did not change anything. System Restore works properly when Norton Antivirus is uninstalled using its own uninstall option from the Start menu.
Another culprit is Norton Internet Security. Apparently, a setting called Norton Product Tamper Protection must be turned off in order to be able to run System Restore. Apparently, in this case, running System Restore in Safe Mode is possible. Safe Mode can be chosen from the list of boot options on the boot menu that is brought up by pressing the F8 key repeatedly just before Windows starts to load.
If other software is not to blame, apart from trying to run System Restore in Safe Mode, you can also try running the the System File Checker, which checks for and repairs corrupt files.
How to use the System File Checker tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7 -
If the system has been infected by malware that has cause a problem with System Restore, run the malware scanner that you use in real time in Safe Mode and/or download and run the free Malwarebytes if the virus infection allows that to be done. If not, download it to a flash drive on another PC and the run it in Safe Mode on yours.
My laptop PC runs Windows Vista Home Premium, which is fully updated with all of the service packs and subsequent updates, but it has developed a problem with Windows Mail. On the first attempt to run, it can take 30 to 40 seconds to load completely, after which it opens almost instantly. However, if the laptop is left running for a while after this, Windows Mail can take a similarly long time to open again. I have tried compacting the mail database and running it without the Kaspersky virus scanner checking incoming or outgoing email without success.
Windows Mail is an e-mail and newsgroup program that is part of Windows Vista. It has been superseded by Windows Live Mail, which is used with Windows 7 & 8.
Windows Mail is taking a long time to start up because over time it manages its database of emails increasingly poorly, which slows it down. Windows Vista caches recently opened files and applications in the PC's memory, which enables it to work correctly until the cache is overwritten as the computer is being used, which makes Windows Mail slow down again. This means that you would have to shut down and start Windows Mail again in order to make Windows cache its files again so that it works properly.
Cleaning Windows Mail can make it operate more efficiently. To do that, start the program and click on Options in its Tools menu. Click on the Advanced tab and then on its Maintenance button. Change the Compact the database on shutdown every: option from 100 to 5. The mailbox will then be compacted automatically when the program is shut down. You have done that manually without success, but other people reading this Q&A might like to know how to compact the database.
It's a good idea to delete all of messages that aren't required - the Junk E-mail, Deleted and Draft folders in particular, which can clog up an Inbox. Windows Mail can be made to erase Deleted items automatically by using the Maintenance button under Options, but be aware that you won't be able to restore a message that has been deleted accidentally after you have shut the program down.
If doing that is not successful, try clearing the Inbox. A good way to do this is to create a new mail folder (File => Folder => New) and then copy emails older than a certain date into that folder. Alternatively, the File => Export => Messages can be used to export just the new folder's messages to a folder you created in Windows from where copies can be made and saved to a DVD disc, external hard disk drive, or a USB flash drive. You can then delete the new folder in Windows Mail folder and compact the mailbox.
If this problem persists, I would use the free Mozilla Thunderbird email program instead of Windows Mail. It doesn't slow down like Windows Mail, is easier to use, is regularly updated and provides more features. Alternatively, you can try using Windows Live Mail.
I have a multi-boot system with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (Win7) and I would like to remove Vista because I only use Windows XP and Win7 now. I have 3 hard disk drives. A 150GB drive with XP and Win7 installed, a 200GB drive that stores all my data and a 180GB drive with Vista installed. In my BIOS I am booting from the hard disk drive that has Vista installed on it. I tried changing the boot drive to the Win7 drive, but it would not boot telling me a file was missing. I know I need to change something on the Win7 drive and then set the BIOS to boot from it. Can someone provide the steps to get this done so that I can remove Vista and be left with a dual-boot, XP and Win7 system that boots from Win7 drive. When I say remove it also includes deleting the Vista partition.
When I did this myself, I removed Windows Vista from from bootmgr and deactivated the Vista partition using the MS DISKPART program.
DISKPART - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415
That allowed me to delete the Vista partition from within Windows 7, which took me back to dual-boot system with Windows 7 and Windows XP Pro. You can use the freed drive for data storage and backups, etc.
You can use a free third-party tool such as EasyBCD from neosmart.net to accomplish that task. A good boot manager tool is OSL2000 from osloader.com. "This product does not have any feature limitations. But, if you want to use it on a regular basis, you must register your copy." It is simple to install. It scans all of the hard drives automatically for operating systems and automatically creates a boot menu that can then be edited as the user wishes. You don't have to know how Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux, Solaris etc.. handles boot managers.
If you have one, you can use the Windows Vista installation DVD to reinstall Windows Vista if none of the recovery options provided on this page work, but it generates a huge Windows.old folder that you should remove.
I was unable to load up Windows Vista. I tried System Restore, Safe Mode and Startup Repair, etc. Nothing worked. I phoned up Medion, the manufacturer's help line, and they suggested that I reinstall Vista. I would then have the new Windows and one called Windows Old. Everything seemed to be all right. I used my support disc to put drivers etc. back on and it all worked. Last night I used my Clickfree Automatic Backup external hard disk drive backup system to reinstall my Favourites, photos, etc. This also worked. However, when Clickfree made a new backup, I noticed that it was making a copy of both Windows folders. I opened Computer, clicked the boot drive's icon and found both Windows there - Windows and Windows.old. Windows is only 13GB and Windows.old is a huge 334GB. Needless to say, I need to get rid of the old one. But I have a sneaking feeling that it won't involve just clicking onto the folder and deleting it.
The Windows.old folder is so large because it not only contains all the Windows files from your previous installation, but also all of the personal documents for all users. If you have more than one user set up to use the computer, before you get rid of the old folder, you may want to have a look in it to see if there's anything valuable in the subfolders under the Users folder (it may be called Documents & Settings). With Windows 2000 and Windows XP, you can just delete the folder. Afterwards, you just have to modify one of the boot files so that it no longer gives you the option to start the old unwanted version of Windows. With Windows Vista, Disk Cleanup will do it all for you.
Microsoft used to have a Knowledge Base article on how to remove the Windows.old file, but this is no longer available. It is quite safe to delete it as long as you no longer want to recover anything in it. You can use Windows Explorer to locate it or use the Vista Search... box to do so. If it is too large to go into the Recycle Bin, right-click on its icon on the Desktop, click Properties and enable the setting that makes deletions bypass the Recycle Bin. After the deletion re-enable the Recycle Bin, because it makes recovering folders and files that were accidentally deleted a simple matter.
1. - I can't install Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2). The installer gets about halfway through the first CAB file. It then stops and produces error 0x800f0823. Microsoft's Knowledge Base article that deals with this error says that the Windows Modules Installer needs to be updated, but it doesn't tell me how to do that.
Error message when you install an .msu update package on a computer that is running Windows Vista: "The Windows Modules Installer must be updated before you can install this package" - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925316
2. - I'm trying to install Vista Home Premium SP2 via Windows Update. It quickly says: "installation is successful", but does not update to SP2 (the System Properties window still shows SP1) and then the SP2 update reappears in Windows Update. I have tried going to the Microsoft download site to install the standalone version of Vista SP2, but during the installation, a dialog with "an unknown error has occurred: 0x800f0823" is produced. Several other people have the same problem with no solution. Using the System File Checker via the Command Prompt shows good system file integrity.
This is a common problem that is often not easy to solve. The solution offered in the MS Knowledge Base has worked for some but not all of the users with this problem: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946078.
The next thing to try is to disable any anti-virus software running in real time on your computer, which can interfere with an update, preventing it from being installed.
If that is not the cause of the problem, try using Windows Update manually to update the Windows Modules Installer.
To do that, click on the Start button, enter Windows Update into the Start => Start Search box and press Enter. When it loads, click the button called Check for Updates. When a button that says Install updated appears, click the View available updates link under it. A screen containing all of the available updates should appear. Unselect everything except the entry for Windows Modules Installer, if there is one, and click Install at the bottom. When that is done, try installing SP2 again.
If that doesn't work, or if there's no option to update the Windows Modules Installer, try installing SP2 in Safe Mode. To do that, restart your computer and after Power On Self Test (POST), just before Windows Vista starts to load, press the F8 key repeatedly until the boot menu appears. Select Safe Mode and after Windows has loaded in that mode, try installing SP2 again.
If doing that fails, Microsoft's forums suggest other possible solutions at:
If nothing you try fixes the problem, you'll just have to wait until Microsoft produces a fix for this bug, which many users have experienced. That said, I myself have had no problems installing SP2, so it must only affect certain system setups.
I have to replace many laptop computers used by my company immediately, buy Windows 7 isn't due for release until late 2009 or early 2010, so I have to choose between using Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business as the operating system. Which version of Windows is the best choice?
It has taken a long time for the various hardware, software and device driver problems with Windows Vista to be sorted out. You shouldn't experience serious problems with Vista Business because you are buying new hardware that is designed to run it.
Many people I know have bought new laptops recently and Vista is running very well on all of them. I know because they all come to me with their computer problems, and so far I have had to deal with very few problems or gripes.
Windows XP Professional is in the final stages of its full support from Microsoft, so choosing as the operating system will give your staff unnecessary work when you decide to upgrade to Windows 7, which, according to Microsoft, will have an upgrade path from Windows XP. As you should know, it is best to install a new operating system from scratch than upgrade it from a previous version. Unless you are using a central server that serves them, installing Windows 7 on many laptops running Windows XP Pro would not be a simple matter.
However, it should be relatively easy to upgrade to the business version of Windows 7 (not named at the time of writing) from Windows Vista Business, because the technological advancements are less marked when going from Vista to Windows 7 than they are when going from Windows XP to Windows 7. This is because Windows 7 is regarded as an incremental (non-major) upgrade to Vista but as a major upgrade from Windows XP Pro.
If you intend to use old hardware peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.), which is unlikely in a progressive company, you need to check for hardware and software compatibility. Windows Vista provides a Compatibility mode when you right-click on a program's executable (.exe) file and choose Properties. It allows you to run programs in the modes of versions of Windows from Windows 98 to Windows XP if they don't function in Vista.
With regard to support costs, the adjustment from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is going to be less than adjustment from Windows XP Pro to Windows 7, therefore training and support costs will be less for the former option. In Vista, many of its features have different names or are located in different sections of the operating system compared to Windows XP, but the changes are going to be less marked when comparing the changes between Vista and Windows 7. Moreover, the internal Help & Support files in Vista are much better than the ones in Windows XP Pro, making it easier in Vista for staff members to sort their own problems out. Therefore, without any doubts, I would advise you to choose Vista Business as the operating system. It has Complete PC Backup and Restore, which allows a user to create a restorable image of a hard drive's partitions in case they need to be restored, in the same way as third-party tools such as Norton's Ghost do.
Note that anyone considering replacing laptop PCs used in a business now (March 2013) would have to choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8. Any desktop computer than can run Windows 7 will almost certainly be able to run Windows 8, which is significantly different but not so different that it won't be able to run on the same computer. I have a desktop PC that I built myself in 2005 during the reign of Windows XP. It uses one of the first AMD dual-core Athlon X2 3800+ processors and was running a WinXP/Win7 dual-boot system until I upgraded Win7 to Win8, which went without a hitch afyer I applied the advice of the Upgrade Assistant.
Upgrade to Windows 8 - Upgrade Assistant -
The minimum amount of RAM memory that is recommended for Win8 is 2GB, but it runs very nicely on only 1GB on that PC. Read the following article on this website for plenty of useful information on Windows 8.
Essential information on using Windows 8 and upgrading to Win8 from Windows 7, Vista and XP -
My HP Pavilion A6340.gr desktop PC came with Windows Vista Home Premium, which I'm not satisfied with, because although it has an Intel Core 2 Quad processor with 3GB of RAM, my applications are running slowly and I have plenty of software that won't install in Vista. I want to install Windows XP Professional, but I can't because the PC only has the device drivers for Windows Vista.
Only the Windows Vista Business and Ultimate editions have an option that allows the user to downgrade to Windows XP Professional.
However, you'll be glad to know that you can install Windows XP Professional on it, because all of your PC's hardware exists in other HP PCs that run Windows XP Pro, but you must have a retail copy of Windows XP Pro to install. An OEM copy that you buy for a greatly reduced price with a qualifying piece of hardware will do. Note that the PC owner has to provide his/her own support for an OEM copy of Windows XP/Vista.
Your computer, which has an SATA hard disk drive, uses an SATA controller, which is not supported by the Windows XP Pro installation CD. Unfortunately , because of this, you either need to use a floppy disk drive to load the SATA drivers from a floppy disk, or you have to create a slipstreamed Windows XP Pro CD that includes the SATA device drivers.
Read the following Q&A on this site for information on how to slipsteam Windows XP Pro with its service packs and SATA drivers: When I run my PC's Recovery CD, it says no hard disk drive is installed. How can I restore Windows XP/Windows Vista to an SATA hard disk drive?
Most HP computers have a BIOS setup program that allows the Windows XP setup routine to install drivers from an external USB floppy disk drive, if it is connected to the PC before you switch the it on. The SATA drivers can be found at http://tinyurl.com/6bynhq. You copy the drivers to a floppy disk and then press the F6 key when the Windows setup asks you to in order to install the drivers.
As you know, the HP website only provides Windows Vista drivers for the PC. Installing Windows XP on a PC designed to use Windows Vista can be problematic if there are no XP drivers for new hardware devices. However, fortunately that is not the case with your PC. All of the hardware devices have been used in HP PCs that support Windows XP.
Your computer uses an Intel 945G chipset. The graphics driver, Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility and Intel Matrix Storage Manager drivers can be found from this page: http://www.intel.com/supportlchipsets/sb/CS-020683.htm. Use the Discontinued Products option and search for 945G.
The keyboard and mouse drivers are available from http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...
Links to downloads for all of the other device drivers, including the wireless network adapter drivers, are provided on the following forum thread:
XP drivers for HP Pavilion a6340.gr - http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/...
My Sony Vaio notebook computer keeps on receiving repeated automatic updates for the update called KB 924885: Windows Outlook E-mail Junk Filter. I keep installing it, and have even run Windows Update from Internet Explorer 7 to make sure that the update is installed, but that KB number never appears in the Add or Remove Programs list (with its Show updates option checked). Is there any way to break this highly annoying cycle, because I wouldn't know where to start?
A cycle of that kind can happen after an aborted installation of any security update or patch.
An initial installation usually fails, leaving behind files, etc., that would normally be cleaned up. The leftover files, etc., then prevent Windows Update from completing subsequent installation attempts successfully, leading to an endless cycle of requests for the user to download and install the update.
If there is a C:\WUtemp folder, try removing any reference to the failed installation in it. Then download and install the troublesome KB 924885 file manually. If necessary read How to download updates and drivers from the Windows Update Catalog. You could also try using the Windows Update Troubleshooter.
If you want to prevent a single update from being installed, in Windows XP, first change the Automatic Updates setting by right-clicking with the mouse on My Computer, click Properties on the menu that comes up, and then click on the Automatic Updates tab of the window that comes up. Select the Notify me but don't automatically download and install them option. When Windows notifies you from the System Tray (Notification Area) that updates are waiting, click on the shield icon and choose the Custom option. It lists the updates that can be installed, allowing you to choose not to install any of them. If you remove the check mark beside any of the updates with the mouse, another window called Hide Updates presents itself. It has the option called Don't notify me about these updates again.
In Windows Vista, you change the Windows Update setting. To do that, click the Start button, right-click Computer, under Tasks click on Windows Update. Click on Change settings in the window that comes up, and then choose the option called: Check for updates but let me choose when to download and install them.
You can use the following site to install security updates manually:
Windows service packs & updates for Windows XP and Windows Vista - Scroll down the page for the update links -
You can use the free Belarc Advisor from belarc.com (look under Free Downloads) to check if you have any missing updates. If Microsoft Update doesn't want to install them, install them manually from the above site.
I have a desktop computer that came with Windows XP Home Edition. It has an Intel Pentium D dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM memory, a 250GB hard disk drive, a nVidia GeForce 7950GTX graphics card, and has the most recent BIOS update installed. Microsoft's Vista Upgrade Advisor said that the PC can run Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. It found no compatibility issues.
When I attempt the upgrade using the Upgrade version for Vista Home Premium, I choose to have the process check online for installation updates and then choose the in-place upgrade. However, when the setup gets towards the end, it says: "Completing Upgrade, 65%", and then a blue screen of death comes up , and the computer reboots. A message come up that says that the upgrade was unsuccessful and that the previous version of Windows is being restored.
I have tried disabling the anti-virus program temporarily during the installation, but so far eight attempts at an upgrade have failed.
Note that the Windows Vista Update Advisor is not longer available on Microsoft's website, because only the latest versions of Windows are provided with an update advisor. Windows 8 is going to be released this month (October 2012), so the Windows 7 Update Advisor will soon be no more as well.
Note that it is already becoming difficult to find Windows XP device drivers from some new HP/Compaq and Toshiba computers. Soon it will not be possible to run XP on a new computer due to a lack of device drivers.
Because PC systems that are designed for Vista use components and devices that have reliable Vista device drivers, there is less likelihood that they will suffer from driver-related problems. Unfortunately, that is not the case when a PC system has been designed to use Windows XP or an earlier version of Windows. In many of these cases, there are many driver-related problems that may or may not affect a particular system. Moreover, Vista requires more and superior system resources (RAM memory and a more powerful video card, etc.) than Windows XP.
For that reason, it is not advisable to upgrade any system from Windows XP to Vista by using the in-place upgrade option that builds Vista on top of Windows XP. Incompatibilities are discovered that escape the Upgrade Advisor, and even if the upgrade works, a messy system can be produced that doesn't run as fast as a clean upgrade. A better option is to use the new Windows Easy Transfer utility to save all the existing settings to a CD or DVD, the perform a clean installation of Vista.
Click here! to go to the page devoted to Windows Easy Transfer on Microsoft's site.
You can find more information on it by entering windows easy transfer (including the quotation marks) in a search engine.
Although the Upgrade versions of Vista come on bootable DVDs, they will not accept the Product Key unless they are started from a previous version of Windows, so, if you have a Windows XP installation CD, you could also perform a clean installation of it and upgrade that to Vista. In that way there would be fewer potential incompatibilities because no software would be installed.
Upgrade installation keys are blocked when you start from the Windows Vista DVD -
"You purchased an upgrade license and key for Windows Vista. When you start from the DVD and then try to install Windows Vista by using this upgrade key, you will be blocked from continuing. This problem occurs because Windows Vista does not check upgrade compliance. Therefore, you cannot use an upgrade key to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista. To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods. Method 1 - Start the installation from a compliant version of Windows, such as Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows 2000. After you have started the installation, you can select Custom at the installation choice screen to perform a clean installation. Method 2 Purchase a Full Product License. This license will let the installation continue after you start from the Windows Vista DVD." -
However, there is a workaround that can be used to perform a clean installation of Vista using the Upgrade version. The following article tells you how to do it.
How to Clean Install Windows Vista with Upgrade Media -
Vista is more demanding on its hardware than Windows XP, so a failing hard disk drive or poor-quality RAM memory might only become apparent after an upgrade to Vista is attempted. Device-driver issues most commonly occur with hard disk drives set up to use RAID. RAID uses two or more hard disk drives, so it cannot be used if the system only has a single hard disk drive, which most PCs have. You may have to press the F6 key during the setup and then supply the correct driver. Note that Vista allows the driver to be supplied on a CD or USB flash drive, not just on a floppy disk, as Windows XP does. Incompatible software could also be a virus or spyware that you are not aware is in the system.
Because they are designed to prevent changes to critical Windows system files, it is highly advisable, if you are going to perform an in-place upgrade, that you uninstall any anti-virus or anti-spyware software by using Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, or the program's own uninstall option. You should reinstall them after a successful upgrade.
If Windows XP is set to restart automatically after errors, which is the default setting, Vista will do the same. Because it passes by too quickly, this makes it difficult to be able to read what the blue-screen error message says. To prevent that, restart the system, right-click on My Computer, choose Properties, click on the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery. Use the mouse to remove the check mark in the box beside Automatically restart.
Often the Blue Screen of Death's (BSOD) message can provide information about which device driver is the cause of the error. However, in other cases it can be difficult to determine whether the error is hardware-related or driver-related.
You have not provided the make/model of the PC's motherboard. Note that Vista is known to have many problems with nVidia motherboard chipsets that prevent an upgrade installation of Vista. However, clean installations of Vista usually work with those chipsets.
A list of Microsoft Knowledge Base articles is available to help troubleshoot error messages that you may receive when you try to upgrade to Windows Vista - This article contains a list of Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that you can use to help troubleshoot issues that you may experience when you try to upgrade the current version of Windows to Windows Vista. - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930743
"Learn how to download updates, enhancements, and Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) logo device drivers from the Windows Update Catalog. You can search the Windows Update Catalog to find updates (such as updated system files, service packs, new Windows features, and device drivers) to download and to install across your home or corporate network on Microsoft Windows-based computers that are running Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows Server 2003..." - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=323166
I cannot get the Media Center Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) to work in Windows Vista Home Premium. The setup works with UK as the country, Brentwood, Freeview as the location and TV type, and my correct post code. The PC's Terratec dual TV tuner card is found and both the analog and digital receivers are recognised and selected. However, when I try to download the EPG, the status bar moves to about 10% and stops. A message comes up saying: "Guide download error: the guide could not be downloaded for the following reason: Guide Server error (error 21). Details: File Validation Error - Mismatched Guide Package. Code 21". If I try again, the same error message comes up, but if I continue, all of the TV channels are scanned for and found and all of the programmes can be viewed. I have tried all of the fixes that I could find on the web without success. Numerous fixes are suggested for problems with the Windows XP Media Center Edition, so it looks as if at least some of them have been carried over to the editions of Vista that have the Media Centre built in.
The Error 21 is common with the Windows XP versions of the Media Center, however, the fixes for XP are not very helpful for Vista users who have a problem with the EPG.
You should make sure that you have installed the update called the October 2007 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista, which has the Knowledge Base number KB941229, the details of which are here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941229. You can find a list of installed updates under Programs and Features in the Control Panel, but you can also use the free and handy Belarc Advisor from belarc.com to show a complete list (as well as all of the hardware and software installed on the computer). Look for it under Free Downloads.
This is not a "Critical" update, so Windows Update (in the Control Panel), which can be set to download and install security updates automatically, etc., will not have installed it. You have to visit http://update.microsoft.com/ and select the Custom option and then install it.
If doing that doesn't fix the problem (or any other problems that users might have, try visiting Media Center guide download errors and suggested fixes - http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/490466.aspx.
The article links to fixes for specific errors. Unfortunately it only has this information on Error 21: "21- File validation error -mismatched logo package. - Try download later." Sometimes this action works. It may not work immediately, but may work later.
The problem could be caused by a corrupted or a missing RSA encryption key that is required to unlock the EPG guide data.
If Vista is installed on the C: drive, use Windows Explorer (right-click Start and then click Explore) to look in the folder C:\Program Data\Microsoft\eHome\EPG\tracehelper for a log file with an .xml extension, which is a text file that lists the most recent events at the top. If Vista is installed on another drive (say D:) look on that drive. If a "decompression error" is mentioned, the problem could be caused by a corrupted or missing RSA encryption key.
Now use Windows Explorer to look in the hidden folder C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA.
You may have to enable Show hidden files and folders under Control Panel => Folder Options => View => Hidden Files and Folders. If Vista says that you don't have permission to use Folder Options, right-click on its entry and enable Run as administrator. You should then be able to open it.
Have a look in the RSA folder for a hidden folder called MachineKeys. If it exists, right-click on both folders and open Properties in order to check their access rights. Another Microsoft patch can set the RSA folder's access rights to read-only for all users, but MachineKeys must be accessible for all users, so make sure that both folders have their read-only file attribute unchecked.
If there is no MachineKeys folder, create one in the the RSA folder and make sure that it is not a read-only folder. If there is such a folder and changing the permission didn't work, rename the existing folder MachineKeys.old, and then create a new one (right-click within the RSA folder and then select New => Folder and enter MachineKeys in the new folder's box. If the EPG works now, make a note of the names of the files that were created in it and then try copying all except those files from the old folder into the new one. You should not delete the MachineKeys folder because it can be used by other services.
After I upgraded my PC to Windows Vista Home Premium from Windows XP Home in April 2007, I discovered that some of my software and my MFP printer/scanner/copier no longer work. There are currently no Vista drivers for the MFP, so I want to revert to Windows XP until all of the issues with Windows Vista have been resolved. How can I do that?
Look up Compatibility Mode in Vista's Start => Help and Support, because you might be able to use it to run software that worked under Windows XP by using it to make Windows Vista run it as if it is being run by Windows XP.
The following MS Knowledge Base Articles provide you with the information required to go back to Windows XP:
How to go back to Windows XP after you have upgraded a Windows XP-based computer to Windows Vista -
After you upgrade a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer to Windows Vista, you may decide to remove Windows Vista. However, in the Programs and Features item in Control Panel, there is no option to remove Windows Vista. This article describes how to remove Windows Vista by reverting to Windows XP. - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=933170&SD=tech
I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop PC that came with Windows XP Home, an AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core processor, and 1GB of RAM, which is designated as being Windows Vista Capable. I was given an upgrade copy of Windows Vista Business, so I installed it. Two problems became apparent immediately: the sound wouldn't work and I couldn't play DVDs. Dell support in India sorted out the sound by providing me with a download link to the correct Vista sound-card driver, but said that as the DVD was working previously, it was a software problem, and, since I hadn't installed a Dell Vista upgrade, I had to pay to speak with software support. I refused that option because the computer has a three-year onsite warranty. How can I fix the DVD problem without having to pay Dell's support to tell me how to go about it?
You have caused the DVD problem yourself by not installing a copy of Windows Vista that was supplied by Dell, therefore Dell's support is correct in not providing you with free support. Microsoft supports retail copies and copies obtained directly from the company.
Your DVD problem has been caused by upgrading the Windows XP installation to Windows Vista instead of installing a clean installation. If you have another empty partition on the hard disk drive, you could probably have kept the Windows XP installation and installed Windows Vista to it. In that case, Windows Vista installs a boot manager that allows you to choose which version of Windows to boot with at startup.
Problems of this sort arise because some of the software programs and drivers that can run on Windows XP are not compatible with Windows Vista and so won't run. You should have uninstalled the programs in Control Panel = > Add or Remove Programs and removed the affected devices in the Device Manager before upgrading to Vista.
You could have made use of the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/.../upgradeadvisor.mspx before you upgraded to Vista. It is also included on the Vista DVD installation DVD. It can let you know which programs need to be updated before installing Vista.
If you visit the Drivers and Downloads section of http://support.dell.com/ and select Windows Vista, you are provided with a list of most of the downloads that you need.
For those of you who are still suffering from the sound problem, there is a note in the Frequently Asked Questions for your model about missing sound after using an upgrade DVD supplied by Microsoft instead of Dell. You have to uninstall the Sigmatel HD program and then install the Vista-compatible version.
The DVD problem was probably caused by the Roxio (aka Sonic) CD/DVD-writing software that came with the computer. It is not compatible with Vista and screws the DVD drive up when used. You should uninstall all Roxio/Sonic applications and download and install the latest Vista-compatible versions from Dell's support site.
You may need to install a firmware update for your DVD drive, the make and model of which should be shown in the Device Manager. You can obtain it either from its manufacturer's site or from Dell's support site - http://support.dell.com/ for that model. Make sure that it is firmware for that specific model of DVD drive.
Vista should have downloaded and installed the latest device drivers, but you can check that this is so by visiting Microsoft Update. You make use of the Custom option.
My Packard Bell Easynote L4014 laptop PC has had its original 256MB of RAM memory upgraded to 1GB. The computer used to go into Hibernate mode correctly in Windows XP, but since I performed a clean installation of Windows Vista Home Premium, it has crashed after seemingly going into hibernation. The settings under Power Options in the Control Panel make the computer go into hibernation when I close the lid or press the power button. Unfortunately, hibernation mode crashes the PC no matter which way it goes into hibernation, including manually from the Start menu. As far as I know, it has enough memory to use Hibernation mode in Vista.
Most hibernation problems, which are either incomplete hibernation or failure to restart after hibernation, are the result of a device driver issue.
The Windows Vista device drivers could have bugs, so check for updated drivers by visiting Microsoft Update - http://update.microsoft.com/. Choose the Custom option and look in the hardware category. You don't need to know which drivers to install, just allow the service to install all of the available updates.
When a PC goes into Hibernate mode, Windows writes all of the contents of the RAM memory into the hibernate file (Hiberfil.sys, a hidden system file in the root directory, C:\), which means that the hibernate file has to be a bit larger than the total amount of RAM memory in the computer. However. Sometimes the hibernate file doesn't increase in size when you add more memory.
If that has not happened, to rectify the situation, open the Start => Control Panel => Power Options. Click on the Hibernation tab and clear the check box called Enable Hibernation with your mouse and click the Apply button. Windows will delete the hibernation file. Now you should run the Disk Defragmenter to consolidate the files on the hard disk drive.
To open the Disk Defragmenter in Windows Vista, click the Start button and type Disk Defragmenter in the Search box, and then double-click its reference in the list of results.
Now go back into Start => Control Panel => Power Options and enable hibernation by placing a check mark in the Enable Hibernation with the mouse pointer. Windows will create a new hibernation file of the correct size. Now try going into hibernation to find out if that action has worked.
I have Windows Update set to download updates automatically, but when it has finished downloading updates it usually wants to restart the computer. It then starts a countdown, and, unless I tell it to wait, it restarts the system without saving the opened files of applications that are running. Is there any way to prevent Windows from doing this short of disabling Automatic Updates/Windows Update?
The problem only occurs if the default setting of Automatic Updates (Windows XP) and Windows Update (Windows Vista) is enabled. The default and recommended setting is: Automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them (according to the default time schedule or one that you have chosen. It only happens when one or more of the updates requires a restart in order to complete the installation.
Automatic Updates/Windows Update chooses to download and install updates at 3:00 a.m. by default. If the computer was switched off at that time, or power-saving settings have made it hibernate, updating takes place when the computer is next switched on and is online. When it has to restart, it gives the user a five-minute warning. The user can choose an option that prevents a restart taking place for five minutes, after which the five-minute warning reappears. If the user is away from the computer for longer than five minutes, it reboots and any unsaved data is lost.
To prevent Automatic Updates/Windows Update from restarting the computer after the updates have been downloaded, you have to use the Registry Editor. Before editing the Registry, it's advisable to create a restore point in System Restore so that if anything goes wrong, you can restore the system by running System Restore in Safe Mode, which is entered by pressing the F8 key repeatedly at startup before Windows starts to load.
To open the Registry Editor, enter regedit in the Start => Run box in Windows XP. In Windows Vista, enter it in the Start => Start Search box. With the editor open, navigate through this path: Hkey_Local Machine => Software => Policies => Microsoft => Windows. With Windows highlighted in the left-hand window, you should see a number of subordinate keys under it. If there is not one there called WindowsUpdate, click within the right-hand window and choose New => Key. Type in the name WindowsUpdate (with no space). Highlight the new WindowsUpdate key in the left-hand window and right-click in the right-hand window's space. Choose New => Key as before and call the new key AU. In the AU folder's space in the right-hand window, choose New => Dword Value and name it NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers. Click on the new value and enter a value of 1. If all of the keys were already there, just make sure that NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers has a value of 1.
Now, Windows will still inform you that the installed updates require a restart, but, instead of providing a countdown, it will wait until the user is ready to restart the computer.
I have upgraded my Windows XP PC to Windows Vista Premium Edition. Having formatted the C: drive, the clean installation went well until I had to choose the drive on which to install Vista. The drive had a yellow warning triangle beside it and a message appeared saying that the hard disk drive was faulty and about to fail. Since the drive was purchased brand new in January 2007, I thought that it was a false warning and installed Vista. After a few hours, Vista produced a warning message saying that the drive was failing and that I should back up my data. The message made an appearance a few more times over the next few hours. After the last appearance, I was given the option to disable it, which I did. Is the drive faulty? If so, will I be able to send it back to the online store I bought it from?
One of the new diagnostic features that Windows Vista has is called Windows Disk Diagnostics. Most recent hard drives have an inbuilt feature called SMART, which stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. Windows Disk Diagnostics just reports what SMART is reporting about the drive's status.
A hard drive that uses SMART monitors itself for symptoms of impending failure, such as a high number of attempts to read data, or a higher-than-normal temperature. In approximately half of the cases, SMART drives fail without providing any advanced warning. Unfortunately, SMART has also been known to start giving warnings long before the actual failure occurs.
In any case, Windows Vista checks a SMART drive's status once an hour and records any problems in its Event log. You can use the Event Viewer to look through the log files to find out why the warning messages were produced. You can find out how to access the Event Viewer by entering its name in Search box of Vista's Help and Support.
The BIOS setup program of most motherboards have a setting that makes it check the drive's SMART status at system startup. For some unknown and peculiar reason, it is usually turned off by default, so it is advisable to enable it. Visit the BIOS section of this site if you don't know how to access the BIOS.
Just to make sure that the drive is faulty, you can download a diagnostic program from the drive's manufacturer's website. All of the drive manufacturers provide such a utility. If you don't know what the drive's manufacturer is, you can find out (without having to open the PC's case and remove the drive) by entering the command devmgmt.msc in the Start => Start Search box (Start => Run box in Windows XP). Doing that opens the Device Manager. Click the + beside Disk drives. You should find that the make and model of the hard drive is listed there.
If the manufacturer's diagnostic utility also says that the drive is faulty, you should replace it before it dies.
Your hard drive is still under its statutory 12-month warranty. You should be able to get a replacement, because the drive manufacturers replace any drive that gives SMART warnings. Visit the online store's website to find out what its returns policies and procedures are.
I am using the 64-bit version of Vista Home Premium on my desktop PC and Vista Home Basic on my laptop PC. The laptop works well, but the desktop is giving me headaches. To get the desktop PC to boot properly, I have to shut down immediately and restart it. Sometimes the BIOS can't read the hard disk drive, so I have to keep the installation disc in the DVD drive all the time. This attempts to repair Windows Vista, but never does. During its second attempt, it offers to run System Restore. I have lost saved files or have had files changed to earlier versions after choosing to run it. This is what happened the last time I went through the involved start-up routine. The system locked on being restarted at the point where the Windows progress bar appears. I pressed the reset button and the next restart caused Chkdsk to kick in after the progress bar appeared. This then claimed to delete a number of corrupt segments. After another restart Windows failed to load, but the Recovery Manager appeared. I chose to restart Windows normally and this failed. Another restart presented the same screen, so I chose to use the previous good configuration option. This also failed to work. Windows Vista produced a message saying that Registry files are missing or corrupt. How can that be the case, because sometimes the system does start properly, and then it runs as it should?
If Windows Vista says that Registry files are missing or corrupt then that is probably the case. (The Registry is the database that Windows uses to keep its settings and to keep track of installed software.) The corrupt segments that Chkdsk, Vista's hard-drive diagnostic and repair utility, discovered were probably brought about because you have repeatedly pressed the reset button while the computer was writing to the hard disk drive. The most common causes of missing or corrupt Registry files is hardware-related. The files could be corrupted by faulty RAM memory that is not writing the data back to the disk with 100% accuracy, a faulty hard disk drive, or several other faults such as a bad hard-drive cable, or a faulty motherboard. If have a brand-name PC that came with hardware diagnostics software, you should run it. Its user manual should provide information on how to use such software. If you don't have that kind of software, you should run RAM memory and hard disk diagnostics. Click here! to go to the information on this site about the Vista memory diagnostics. You can download free hard drive diagnostic software from the sites of the major hard drive manufacturers. The Belarc Advisor creates an analysis of the hardware and software on a personal computer. Look under FREE DOWNLOAD on belarc.com. It can tell you the make/model of the hard drive installed on the PC so that you use a search engine to locate its manufacturer's website.
With older versions of Windows, such as Windows 98 and Windows 2000, Registry files could be corrupted because the computer is turned off before it has finished writing the Registry files to the hard disk. With those versions of Windows, the Registry is written to the hard disk last during the shutdown process, so is most likely to be corrupted by this occurrence. However, Windows XP and Vista have a different shutdown procedure and are therefore not usually affected in that way. The cause could be a faulty device driver or a hard disk drive that is unusually slow. It could even be caused by system tweaks that were intended to speed up shutdowns. They usually reduce the time in which the running services can shut down. Note that System Restore can only restore system files, not a user's documents. So, if one of the documents you were working on turns up as an older version after running System Restore, the latest version was probably not saved to disk, in the same way as the Registry files are not getting written properly. You can try running Windows Update. Include checking for optional updates, which may include updated drivers. You can also check with your computer's manufacturer's website for driver updates.
Anti-virus software can cause file corruption by slowing down disk writes by scanning the data being written to the hard disk. Disable or uninstall any anti-virus software to find out if it is responsible. Remember not to go online without active anti-virus protection. The 64-bit version of Windows XP was unreliable, due mainly to buggy 64-bit device drivers. Microsoft promised that the 64-bit version of Windows Vista would be much improved with regard to 64-bit drivers, but there still seems to be lots of driver-related issues with it. Therefore, if none of the hardware components is faulty, try installing the 32-bit version of Vista on a different partition to find out if that works better. Alternatively, you could try using a version of Linux that works from its CD/DVD without being installed on the hard drive. If it works, then you know that Vista 64-bit is responsible.
Windows XP a Goner? First Aid for your Windows PC -
Deals with the Windows XP Recovery Console and using a bootable Knoppix Linux CD to recover Windows XP. You could use the CD to test your system. - http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/windows-xp-a-goner,review-1174.html
I have a new laptop/notebook computer with 1GB of DDR2 RAM memory that uses 128MB of it to power its built-in graphics. In other words, 128MB of system memory is used for the graphics instead of the graphics chip having its own dedicated memory. The laptop runs Windows XP Pro very well. It came with a free upgrade to Windows Vista Business edition, which I have applied for. I am worried now about installing Vista, because I have read the following article, and my laptop only has one free memory slot for a 1GB memory module.
Buying a new PC? 'Windows Vista Capable' barely hits the mark - IBM'er says Vista's RAM sweet spot is 4GB -
In other words, the machine's maximum supported memory is 2GB and it has a Windows Vista Capable sticker on it. I have discovered that a computer has to be called Windows Vista Ready if it supports all of the requirements of the highest versions of Windows Vista. In other words, my new laptop will be able to run Windows Vista, but not unreservedly. If it needs 4GB of memory to run optimally, as that article says, then it never will be able to do so, because the maximum supported amount of memory is 2GB, and that cannot be changed.
As usual, Microsoft's recommended minimum amount of RAM memory for the different versions of Windows Vista has caused quite a bit of controversy. Ever since Windows 95, Microsoft's "minimum" hardware requirements mean the least amount of hardware that is required to get a particular version of Windows functioning.
To run any version of Windows Vista, Microsoft says that those minimum hardware requirements are an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a graphics card that is at least compatible with DirectX 9.
Windows Vista would run on a desktop or laptop computer with that hardware, but it won't be an enjoyable experience - especially if it is one of the higher versions of Windows Vista. In fact, if you have a PC with that sort of hardware, you should only use the Windows Vista Home Basic version.
Most of the versions of Windows Vista require more RAM memory to run optimally on a computer that doesn't use memory-hungry applications than Windows XP. A video-editing application is an example of memory-intensive software. Only Windows Vista Home Basic has a recommended amount of memory of 512MB, which is the same amount recommended for Windows XP. Windows Vista Home Premium, the most popular version and Windows Vista Ultimate require 1GB (1024MB) of memory, which is twice the amount of memory recommended to run Windows XP. Read the information on the RAM pages of this site to find out if you should buy memory for use in single-channel or dual-channel modes.
The new key features of Vista, such as the new AeroGlass/Flip 3D interface won't run of the minimum hardware requirements. Read the information provided on the Using Windows Vista section of this site for more information on Vista's new features and the hardware that is required to run them.
Microsoft's "recommended" hardware, which includes a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a video/graphics card with at least 128MB of video RAM, a Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM) device driver, and 32 bits/pixel output, is a more realistic practical recommended minimum for a Windows Vista Capable computer.
Graphics Hardware and Drivers for Windows Vista - http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/display/graphics-reqs.mspx
Microsoft recommends that a Windows Vista Ready computer should have a graphics card with 128MB of dedicated video memory (not an integrated graphics chip on the PC's motherboard that uses 128MB of system memory) that supports DirectX 9.0 and Pixel Shader 2. A system like this should allow all of the key components of Windows Vista to run. Nevertheless, the "recommended" hardware requirements are still not equivalent to an "optimal" system setup.
Many experts recommend that Vista should run on at least 2GB of RAM, which is widely considered as being the optimal amount of memory to run Windows XP on. However, Windows Vista (from the Vista Home Premium version up) is a bigger and more complex operating system than even Windows XP Professional Edition, so it will not run as well on 2GB of memory as Windows XP does. However, most users will probably find that the performance of any version of Vista will be perfectly acceptable with that amount of memory.
All of the 32-bit versions of Vista support up to 4GB of RAM. For your information, the 64-bit versions support more than that. But does Vista really need 4GB of memory? - No. Vista runs in a limited way on as little as 512MB of memory, passingly well on 1GB, and acceptably well on 2GB. However, to run the higher versions of Vista optimally, 4GB of RAM are required, which is double the amount required to run Windows XP optimally.
Just bear in mind that you say that your laptop computer runs Windows XP Professional well on 896MB (1024MB minus the 128MB used by the graphics chip), so it will probaby run Windows Vista Business edition just acceptably well on 2GB less 128MB (2048 - 128 = 1920MB).
I have a Dell XPS laptop/notebook PC that has 2GB of RAM memory and runs Windows Vista Home Premium. I am having serious problems with Windows Mail, which is the replacement for Outlook Express. I can't read or delete some emails, and an error message that reads: "Message could not be displayed. Windows Mail encountered an unexpected problem displaying this message. Check your computer for low memory or low disk space and try again." There are a few hundred emails in the Deleted folder that I can't remove. Moreover, I can no longer send messages, because they just sit in the Outbox, and I can't use the Calendar function. Dell has provided a special XPS support line that I rang. The support person told me that it was a common problem that will be fixed by updates. Microsoft said that Dell has pre-loaded an OEM version of Vista that it provides the support for.
Microsoft only provides support for retail copies of Windows Vista. Dell should be providing the support you need, because it provides a special support service to CPS owners that has dedicated support staff.
Windows Mail is the new email program that comes as part of Windows Vista. It is buggy. Almost every user of the program experiences a major bug in it that corrupts its message database. When that happens and the program attempts to read messages, it deems them to be much larger than they are and it produces the "Check your computer for low memory or low disk space and try again" message. However, there is nothing wrong with the computer's memory (the XPS has 2GB of RAM), or the amount of hard-disk-drive space.
The fixes for the various problems are somewhat involved, so you could just try using another email program, such as Mozilla Thunderbird, which is a free download from mozilla.com. It corrupts its database far less frequently than Windows Mail.
The problem usually involves a group of files in one folder. Users can discover that deleted messages can't be removed, or the problem involves the Inbox so that the user can't read some or all new messages. If the Outbox is affected, email can't be sent.
First, make a backup of the Windows Mail directory, which is usually located at C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail. If not, the easiest way to locate it is to click on Tools => Options => Advanced => Maintenance. When you can see the path, click Change. Doing that allows you to highlight the whole path. Pressing the Ctrl-C keys copies it.
Now close Windows Mail and use Windows Explorer (right-click Start => Explore) to copy the Windows Mail folder and all of its subfolders to a new location of your choice. Now you can try using a special utility that is run from the Command Prompt called essentutl created by Microsoft to repair damage to the Windows Mail database. Using it involves entering a long command at the Command Prompt that is brought up by entering cmd in Vista's Start => Start Search box. But it is easier to use a free utility called WMUtil to do it.
WMUtil - "WMUtil is a small utility to allow users to compact and repair the Windows Mail database in Windows Vista...The Windows Mail database periodically needs compacting and defragmenting to function with maximal performance. Currently there is no manual method to compact the database in Windows Mail, unless one tinkers with the values set at Tools | Options | Advanced | Maintenance. WMUtil allows the user to manually compact the database to remove any wasted space from it..." - http://www.oehelp.com/WMUtil/
Windows Mail has to be shut down completely to run the utility. The program often continues to run in the background even when all of its windows are closed, so press the Ctrl-Alt-Del key combination to bring up the Windows Task Manager. If WinMail is shown under the Processes tab, highlight it and click End Task. Now run WMUtil. Click the Remove Blank Files button, followed by Repair.
Doing that might not fix the problem if it involves the Deleted folder or the Outbox. If so, you can try deleting all of the .eml files from the affected folder under Windows Mail. Then run WMUtil again. If the problem involves a folder that you have created yourself, it can usually be fixed by moving all of the good messages to a new folder and then deleting the affected folder. However doing that does not work for the special folders. Namely, the Inbox, Outbox, and Deleted folders.
To deal with those special folders, navigate to the Windows Mail folder. Locate a large file in it called WindowsMail.MSMessageStore. Make sure that Windows Mail is closed and then delete that file. Deleting it does not delete the messages because they are stored in folders under the Windows Mail folder.
Next, go to Windows Mail's Backup\New folder and delete the copy of WindowsMail.MSMessageStore that is in it. When Windows Mail is restarted, it will take up to an hour to rebuild the database. With a bit of luck, it will do so without errors. Your mail will be in the Recovered Folders folder, from which it can be moved to the correct folder.
If the problems still exist, try exiting Windows Mail and rename the Windows Mail folder, giving it an apt name, such as Corrupt Mail. Restarting Windows Mail makes it create a new Windows Mail folder. Now you can use the import feature to import the messages from all of the unaffected folders in the Corrupt Mail folder. The imported messages will be in the Imported Folder, from where they will have to be removed to the correct folders.
I am using Windows Vista with Windows Mail as my email program. When I have my laptop/notebook PC at a wireless hotspot, or when use someone else's wireless connection, I can receive emails but I can't send them. Can you explain this and tell me what I can do to resolve the problem?
Originally most Internet email systems were using a POP server, from which incoming mail was collected, and an SMTP server through which outgoing email was sent. The POP server required users to log in with a user name and password, but SMTP servers usually allowed the user to send email without logging on. Unfortunately, because there was no need to log in, spammers found that they could send as much email as they wanted through any SMTP server in the world. Internet service providers (ISPs) therefore had to prevent anyone except their customers from sending email through their servers. The best way to do that would have been to require senders to sign into the SMTP server in the same way they had to sign into the POP server to collect their email.
At that time, many email programs did not have an option to provide a user name and password when sending email, although almost all of them use one now. Many ISPs now set their outgoing mail servers to accept mail only from users who had dialled up or otherwise connected using the ISP's own services.
The Office of Fair Trading in conjunction with the US Federal Trade Commission are encouraging all ISPs to stop spam-sending 'zombies' - computers that have been infected by a virus that has brought them under the control of the hackers. They recommend preventing the use of port 25 (of the computer's Internet connection) for any outgoing SMTP mail except that sent through the ISP's own SMTP servers. Most UK ISPs have complied with this requirement, which probably explains why you can send email from home using your ISP, but not from other locations that use different ISPs.
This problem has affected so many laptop/notebook computer users that many ISPs now offer an alternative way to send email. Some email servers, such as the BT smtp.btinternet.com server, allow the user to select 'log in to authenticate' It then accepts email sent from almost any Internet connection. You might have to change the SMTP port from 25 to 587 in your email program if you are not connected through a BT connection. Some ISPs provide a separate outgoing email server that requires a secure connection. These servers usually use the same user name and password as the POP3 server, but a different port number. Virgin Media is an ISP that suggests using web-based email to send messages when you're away from home.
A good alternative solution is to create a free Google Mail account and use that to send your email. You can send email through Google and still use your ISP's address (e.g., email@example.com, where btinternet.com is the ISP). In fact, if you switch to Google Mail for your email, you don't have to worry about changing your email address if you switch to a different ISP. Google can also collect mail sent to your ISP's email address.
Note well that since March 1, 2012, Google has applied a single set of privacy policies across all of its products and services that allows it to use the personal data you supply for its own purposes.
You can sign up for a free Google Mail account at gmail.com. Note that you will have to sign up to a G+ social network account, which Google uses to gather personal information on you and the friends and associates that you link into it in order to create a personal profile that is used to deliver personalised ads to you as you surf the web or use any Google account, including Gmail, YouTube, an Android smartphone, the Chrome web browser, Google Maps, etc.
When you have logged into your account, click the Settings link at the top-right of the screen and then click Forwarding and POP/I MAP. Enable Enable POP for all mail because doing so enables SMTP access. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.
Next, while still on the Settings page, click on Accounts. You can add another email address and specify your usual email address. To verify that you own this account, you have to enter a confirmation code that Google will email to your email address. After you have entered the confirmation code, you can make your email address the default. Email that is sent through Google will then appear to come from your email address.
Now open Windows Mail, click the Tools menu and choose Accounts. You might find that the settings are complicated to get right, so I suggest that you first add a new email account and then enter your Google Mail account details, following the instructions provided by Google at Windows Mail - http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=86383. Then try sending and receiving some test email messages.
After you have this working, click Tools and Accounts again. Select your (non-Google) email address and click Properties. Click on the Servers tab and then change the outgoing server to smtp.gmail.com. Where it says Outgoing Mail Server, you need to choose the My server requires authentication option, and then click the Settings button next to it. In the window that appears, choose the Log on using option and enter your Google user name, which is the part of the email address before the @ sign. Enter your password, then click OK. Return to the Properties window and click the Advanced tab. For outgoing mail, enter the port number 465 and tick the box next to This server requires a secure connection (SSL) and then click OK. All of your outgoing email will now be sent through Google's servers, but will still have your current email address on it, which means that email can be sent from any Internet connection.
Consolidate Multiple Email Addresses with Gmail - http://lifehacker.com/376367/consolidate-multiple-email-addresses-with-gmail
You can also redirect Google Mail email messages to another email address.
How do I forward my mail to another email account automatically? -
Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_Office_Protocol
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol [SMTP] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Mail_Transfer_Protocol
My desktop PC runs Windows Vista Home Premium Edition. Unfortunately I have visited a suspect site via a search engine and now my computer produces a Windows pop-up every minute warning me that my computer is making unauthorised files and that I should scan to detect and remove viruses. The pop-up itself doesn't look legitimate. I have run my AVG Anti-Virus scanner, which discovered a Trojan. I used the scanner to quarantine it, but the pop-up is still coming up.
It appears as if your computer has been infected with one of the numerous variants of SmitFraud. The Trojan backdoor program that it delivers is probably called Zlob. Other hidden code will keep reinstalling the Trojan when one of its parts is removed.
Many Windows Vista systems have been infected with SmitFraud in spite of the much-improved security improvements over Windows XP, which were designed to prevent spyware and viruses from installing themselves without permission. It is not yet apparent if this is because SmitFraud's programmers have found ways around Vista's security measures, or whether users have become so accustomed to having to click OK on the security warnings that present themselves whenever third-party software tries to make changes to the system that they do so automatically no matter what the message is, or find out how to turn the warnings off.
The SmitFraud software, which is spyware, keeps changing in order to avoid being detected by scanners, so you should use several anti-spyware scanners that have been fully updated online by running their update features. If you don't have any spyware scanners, you can find links to the best free ones in the Security section of this site.
Install and update the malware/anti-spyware scanners, but don't scan the system in Windows normal mode. Restart the computer in Safe Mode. To do that, press the F8 key repeatedly as the computer starts up, but before the first Windows splash screen appears. The Windows boot manager comes up. It has a list of boot options, one of which is Safe Mode. When Safe Mode has booted, run SmitFraud Fix, followed by the spyware scanners, one at a time. You must scan the system in Safe Mode to avoid reinfection, because the spyware will not have installed itself in that mode. SmitFraud consists of several parts that can rebuild any of the parts that are removed in normal Windows mode.
To avoid this happening again, it is advisable to find and install Web of Trust. It marks search results with symbols that warn you of sites that should be avoided.
I have a Windows networking problem. My two desktop PCs - one running Windows XP Professional Edition and the other Windows Vista Business Edition - are connected to an ADSL router. Both PCs are connected to the web. However, for some reason, they can't see each other. The workgroup, default gateway, and subnet mask are the same for both PCs - as they should be - and each PC has a unique computer name. The network used to work when both PCs were using Windows XP Pro.
The network setup in Windows Vista has been improved to make it easier to use with Vista machines. However, these improvements can be the cause of problems when connecting to previous versions of Windows (Windows 98/Me/XP).
For each IP-address range that Vista discovers, a location type has to be chosen - Home, Work, or Public. You are advised by Windows to choose Public if you are not sure of which option to choose. However, you are not given any warning that choosing Public disables network file sharing over that network. Only Home and Work are regarded as private networks over which files can be shared.
Moreover, file sharing is disabled by default. To enable file and printer sharing in Vista, open the Start => Control Panel => Network and Internet => Network and Sharing Center.
On the Network and Sharing Center there is an option called Password Protected Sharing, which is enabled by default. Only users with a user account and password on that computer can access shared files, printers connected to the computer, or the Public folder. It's best to turn this off and turn it back on after you have file sharing working. You can then set up any user accounts.
Windows Vista has a new graphic feature called Network Map, which shows only your computer, the gateway device, and the Internet by default, but if you open View Full Map, it shows other devices, including other Vista computers. However, the map cannot include computers that run older versions of Windows and other operating systems, such as Linux. To be recognised, a computer has to have a new Microsoft protocol called Link Layer Topology Detection (LLTD) installed and enabled.
Microsoft has released an LLTD responder for Windows XP PCs that can be downloaded from this MS Knowledge Base article:
Network Map in Windows Vista does not display computers that are running Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922120
It is required to show the pictures in Network Map, but does not enable file sharing.
File sharing must be enabled on the Windows XP PC. To do that, open the Start => Control Panel and run the Network Setup Wizard. When asked for a workgroup name, choose WORKGROUP, or the workgroup name used by the Vista PC. Don't use the default suggestion of MSHOME.
File and Printer Sharing in Windows Vista - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727037.aspx
You can find out what the workgroup name is on the Vista PC by clicking Start, right-clicking Computer with the mouse, and then clicking Properties. The name appears beside the Workgroup heading. Use the Change Settings option to make changes to the computer and workgroup names. Each computer on a network must have the same workgroup name and a different computer name.
If you are using the Windows Firewall (accessed from the Control Panel), the networking wizard will have set it to allow file sharing. However, if you are using a third-party firewall, consult its Help files to find out how to enable file sharing. If file sharing is still not working, the problem probably has to do with a third-party firewall. The Network Diagnostics provided by Windows Vista doesn't provide much help to fix the problem.
The firewalls in versions of McAfee and Norton Internet security software that are pre-installed in many Vista computers, are well-known for preventing file sharing when the user has not set the network type correctly. You usually have to open the firewall's setup screen to make sure that the local network's IP range is set as a trusted network (or similar terminology), which is equivalent to the Windows Firewall's Private network.
If you are still experiencing the problem, try uninstalling the third-party firewall and use the Windows Firewall instead.
When I run Windows Backup in Windows Vista to copy files to a DVD I get a "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error 0x8007045D" error message. Some files are written to the DVD, Windows says that the backup is not complete and keeps asking to rerun the backup. Other users have reported this error message when backing up or transferring files to hard disk drives. One suggestion I found on the web said to switch off System Restore and then run Windows Backup. However, it did not work in my case. I also saw a suggestion that there might be a conflict with Norton AntiVirus, which I use. Is there a fix for this problem? If not, is there any inexpensive and reliable backup software that I can use instead?
Many users are having this problem with Windows Backup and the Complete PC Backup and Restore program that is incorporated into Vista Business Edition and Vista Ultimate Edition. Unfortunately, the message doesn't provide the causes, of which there are at least three that give the same error message.
1. - The PC's DVD writer could have a hardware fault (or a faulty cable, etc.), or the discs you are using could be the cause, but that is unlikely in your case.
2. - You could be trying to back up files or folders for which you do not have the correct access rights. If that was the case, the error messages would list the specific files that are responsible. If you are the only user of the computer and it is running Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium, that is unlikely to be the cause. Run the Windows hard-disk-drive diagnostic utility, Chkdsk, to make sure that the NTFS file system is not corrupted, causing the backup program to get confused. Click here! to go to information on Chkdsk on this site.
3. - A problem with the Volume Shadow Copy Service is the most likely cause of the problem. This service makes snapshot copies of files at a particular point in time. It allows a user to roll back to a previous version of a file if it was overwritten accidentally. Only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate Editions have this rollback feature, but all of the versions of Vista use shadow copies for System Restore and to perform backups of files that are in use. The copies are backed up instead of the original files that are in use and therefore cannot be accessed.
Running out of hard-disk space is the most prevalent problem with the Shadow Copy Service, because it requires plenty of disk space for the shadow copies and the compressed Zip (.zip) files that creates before writing them to a DVD. The computer should have plenty of disk space if it has a large hard disk drive (100GB to 250GB) formatted as a single partition. However, if the drive has several smaller partitions, or you have upgraded to Vista from Windows XP, and the C: drive was already full of installed programs, there could be insufficient disk space.
Some users have found that deleting restore points created by System Restore fixes the problem. This is because restore points make use of the same shadow-copy space as the backup program. In order not to disable System Restore, you should use the Disk Cleanup utility under Start => Programs => Accessories => System Tools, because it has an option to remove all but the most recently created restore point.
To find out how much disk space has been allocated to shadow storage on each disk volume/partition, click on Start => Programs => Accessories and right-click with the mouse on the Command Prompt reference/icon. Choose Run as Administrator and in the command window enter:
vssadmin List ShadowStorage [press the enter key]
Entering vssadmin /? brings up a list of the available vssadmin commands.
The amount of shadow copy storage on the C: drive can be changed with this command (typed on a single line):
vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=C:/For=C /MaxSize=10GB
This command sets the size to 10GB. You can specify the drive letter and the size yourself.
To find out what the shadow storage is being used for, enter this command that creates a very long list:
vssadmin List Shadow
The Windows Backup that is built into Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium Editions appears to be buggy. It might be fixed with Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), which at the time of writing (January, 2008) had not been released . You might prefer to use an alternative backup program. AIS Backup from aiscl.co.uk is inexpensive. It has a trial period of 30 days.
"AISBackup works with the following Microsoft Operating System's: Windows Vista (all versions), Windows XP (all versions), Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 RC0 (see below), Windows 2000 client and server, Windows NT4, Windows ME, Windows 98SE, Windows 98 and Windows 95 (Release 1 and 2). Some earlier versions of Microsoft Windows Operating system's do not support all the features in AISBackup."
The hard disk drive in my Windows XP PC was replaced by a computer repair shop after it started experiencing problems out of its warranty period. [This problem can also affect Windows Vista PCs.] It works properly now, but this message keeps coming up when I log on: "This copy of Windows did not pass Genuine Windows Validation and you have not yet resolved the problem. To protect your copy of Windows click Resolve Now." Doing that just logs into the system as usual.
When the hard disk drive was replaced, a copy of Windows [XP/Vista] must have been installed on the new drive. However, it looks as if a copy of Windows was installed that is not compatible with the Product Key (that provided on a sticker on the back of the PC, or is on the envelope of the Windows CD/DVD that came with it) - a pirated copy of Windows [XP/Vista] with a Product Key that is on Microsoft's list of pirated keys. When the Windows Genuine Advantage tool that is downloaded as an update ran automatically to validate the installation, it discovered the illegal copy and the validation failed.
If the PC came with a genuine Windows XP/Vista CD/DVD you have to use it to install Windows. You should run the disc by having it in the optical drive and then make use of its format feature to format the C: drive (the default location for an installation of Windows). You can then install Windows by running its setup procedure.
If the PC came with a system recovery disc, which restores the hard disk drive to the condition it was in when it left the factory, you can use it to do that. If the PC's recovery system is in a hidden partition on the hard disk drive, you won't be able to use it, because it is run from within the installation of Windows that was originally preinstalled at the factory. In that case, you might be able to obtain a recovery CD/DVD from the PC's manufacturer.
If there is a genuine sticker on the back or the side of the PC that has the Product Key on it, you should be able to use a compatible version of Windows XP/Vista (any Windows XP/Vista CD/DVD) with the key on the sticker. A compatible version means a Home, Professional or Media Center Edition of XP (or a Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate edition, etc.), which is named on the sticker. If the sticker has a computer manufacturer's name, or says OEMACT, or OEM, you must use a copy of Windows XP/Vista that has an OEM licence, which has the letters OEM in the Product Key, because the retail or corporate versions of Windows won't work with an OEM Product Key.
If a computer manufacturer is named on the sticker, or it says OEMACT, you should obtain an installation CD/DVD from that manufacturer, because it will validate the computer's BIOS Setup Program instead of requiring standard validation. However, if the OEM CD/DVD is not from the same manufacturer as the computer, it should install, but a phone call to Microsoft will be required to validate Windows. You will have to explain to the support staff why you had to use a different Windows CD/DVD. Since your setup is legitimate, you should be given a long code that you enter to validate the installation instead of validating online.
I would like to upgrade my ageing system, which has an Intel Pentium D dual-core processor in a home-built PC, with an Intel Pentium Dual Core E2140 processor. I want to buy a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R motherboard with the intention of buying a faster processor for it when prices dropped a bit. Gigabyte's website says that these are the processors that the motherboard board supports: "Supports Intel Core2 Extreme Quad-Core / Core2 Duo / Intel® Pentium Extreme/ Intel Pentium D processors". I want to install the new motherboard and then install Windows Vista Home Premium at the same time. However, I don't know if Product Activation will force me to buy a new copy of Windows Vista after I change the processor to the Pentium Dual Core E2140 processor.
The Product Activation system in Windows Vista is similar to that of Windows XP. If you have a retail version of Vista Home Premium, either the full product or upgrade version, (the latter requires an earlier qualifying version of Windows to be installed), you can make as many changes as you like. If several changes of the hardware are made at the same time, including just replacing the motherboard, the Product Activation process will ask you to call a Microsoft support number to reactivate the software.
You won't be able to install that copy on more than one system, because a second installation will have to be activated online, and the snapshot that was taken of the first system it was installed on is in Microsoft's records for that copy's Product Key. When the second activation is attempted, it will fail because Microsoft has a record of that copy being installed on another PC, the hardware components of which have been recorded.
If you have an OEM version of Windows, where the certificate of authenticity mentions OEM or OEMACT, the licence covers only the system you purchased or installed it in. It cannot be installed on a new system. A new motherboard is interpreted as a new system by the activation process. That means that if you change the motherboard, you will have to buy a new licence for the OEM copy of Windows or buy a new copy.
In the case of an OEM licence, Microsoft defines the system by its motherboard. This means that changing the motherboard of a system is not allowed unless the original motherboard failed and an exact replacement (make/model) was not available. However, the processor does not define the system, so, if the same motherboard is used, changing it won't make reactivation necessary.
You can purchase an OEM copy if you are a self-builder (an "original equipment manufacturer"). Read the licence conditions of this example:
An OEM licence typically costs half or less of the price of the full retail product, which is why its rights are limited compared to the full product.
Enter oem Windows [your version of windows] uk in a search engine to find alternative local UK vendors. Windows 7 also has OEM versions, but if the Family Pack, which provides three licences that can be used on three computers is available, it is a better buy.
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