When my Seagate drive failed, it contained my working WinXP operating system. Fortunately, I have multiple hard drives installed and Vista/2008 was installed on a secondary drive, so I used Vista while the bad drive was getting replaced.
I’ve managed to get Vista tweaked to where it is running reasonably fast on my machine (XP is still faster) and I’ve gotten used to Vista’s quirks (mostly). So I’ve decided to stay with Vista as my main OS, mostly due to potential NTFS issues…
This was not done because I prefer Vista over XP (I do in some areas but not in others). I believe that there have been additions to the NTFS system in Vista that XP does not recognize. On two separate occasions, I’ve used Vista or 2008 and then booted back into XP and XP found disk errors on most of my NTFS drives. When XP attempts to fix the errors, it zeros the file size, so I have lost data due to this “bug”. As I’ve been using Vista for nearly three weeks, I shudder to think how much of my data I would lose due to XP’s disk check.
So I’ve decided to stay with Vista. It works even better when I run as Administrator and I disable User Access Control, but as I’m an old Unix geek, I have trouble running as an elevated user for my normal day-to-day work. The problem is that Unix/Linux works great as a limited user for most activities, but Windows still needs administrator access to run many programs (Rhapsody being one such program). I know that this is not necessarily the fault of Microsoft or Vista, but it’s still a pain for the end user. But I’m getting used to the annoyance of the prompts I’m encountering, and I don’t want any more data loss, so Vista Ultimate is now my main OS.
UAC wouldn’t be so bad if the secure desktop didn’t take so long to appear; having your machine freeze for 5-15 seconds before the prompt appears is really annoying. As an administrator and a software developer, I may yet still have to elevate my account to Admin, but I’m hopeful that I can learn to work in a limited account and still be able to do all of my necessary tasks. Only time will tell, I guess.
I know that most of the slowness problem is hardware-related. I only have a single-core 2.4GHz processor. My quad-core 2.4GHz machine at work runs Server 2008 like a dream, and my wife’s laptop with a dual-core 1.9GHz runs Vista Home Premium pretty well. So if I can upgrade my machine to a multi-core processor, I suspect that Vista will run much better on my home workstation. But that will be somewhat expensive, as I’ll have to replace proc, motherboard, memory and video cards. So it will be a while for I upgrade.