Vista Dilemmas & Tips

June 21, 2007 at 10:50 am | Posted in Technical | Leave a comment

While I haven’t made the change at work, I decided to install MS Vista Premium on my brand-new home-built PC this week.

If you have used Vista before, you might be familiar with the most irritating problem I had with it. Every time I try to run anything, Vista pops up a little window asking me if I really want to do that. There’s no option to click “Always Trust this program”, and no way to add exceptions or relax the rules. Absolutely everything I try to do triggers this really annoying response. Granted, it’s one click to get rid of the window each time, but the incessant nagging really gets on my nerves.

I think it’s nice that they stepped up security, but this feature needs to have an exception list like a firewall, so that I can permanently authorize third-party apps to run on my system.

In the meantime, I found a way to turn it off.* Open the control panel, and click in the search box. Type in: “User Account” and hit enter.  Click “Turn User Account Control On or Off”. Remove the checkmark by clicking it, then OK your choice. You’ll need to reboot, and that will be the end of the nagging. Your computer will be slightly less secure, but you will be less likely to throw things at the screen, so I think all in all you’re better off. You’ll still get a little annoying red shield with an “x” on it down by your system clock, but you can get rid of that easily enough if you turn off security notifications.

The rest of my Vista experience has been pretty good, all things considered. As expected, I had to download new drivers for most of my hardware, even though it is all  brand new. The good news is that all of the new drivers, once loaded, seem to work very well.

The big hurdle for this process was my motherboard’s onboard wireless card. It was not recognized by Vista at all, and Vista would not allow me to use the Asus install disk. I ended up using my laptop to download a new version from ASUS, sneakernetted that to my new PC, and loaded it up from there. Voila! The card was recognized.

The next tale of woe involves Windows Defender, which consistently disables some of my ASUS software during the boot sequence. This means every time I turn on the PC, I have a broken wireless connection to fix. This is a rather long and involved process, since for some reason Vista keeps losing my WEP key for an unknown reason. I’m also still learning where things are, and the wireless controls have become much more complicated. I really miss XP’s “Repair this connection” feature, which automated the old DOS “ip config/release and /renew” functions. I haven’t decided yet whether to consider disabling Windows Defender. Again, I wish Microsoft had made the security tools in a sensible way so users could more easily control which programs are allowed to run on their computers.  

My boot time is still a bit longer than I would like, but other than that, I don’t have any complaints yet. I’ll let you  know how things go as I upgrade components along the way. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Antec 9000 Case

ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard

AMD Opteron (Second-Generation) 1220 (2.8 Ghz) dual-core processor with 2MB L2 cache

2 GB (2X1GB) Wintec AMPX SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

2X Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

My old ATI Radeon GPU that keeps overheating in this rig.  😦

Vista Premium 64-bit edition

I think my next upgrade will be a new GPU. My new PC has been designed to be very quiet, and I don’t want to add a GPU cooler to make more of a ruckus. I’m considering two quieter PCI-E cards with the SLI bridge.

*Caviat:  You probably shouldn’t disable UAC if you’re concerned about security very much; but this is just my home PC, which doesn’t have any critical data on it. It’s behind a firewall with address translation, and I run pretty agressive antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware regimens.  

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