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Vista Upgrades Require Presence of Old OS

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the recovery?-disaster dept.

Upgrades 561

kapaopango writes "Ars Technica is reporting that upgrade versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Premium, and Starter Edition cannot be installed on a PC unless Windows XP or Windows 2000 is already installed. This is a change from previous versions of Windows, which only required a valid license key. This change has the potential to make disaster recovery very tedious. The article says: 'For its part, Microsoft seems to be confident that the Vista repair process should be sufficient to solve any problems with the OS, since otherwise the only option for disaster recovery in the absence of backups would be to wipe a machine, install XP, and then upgrade to Vista. This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.'"

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thank u bill (0, Flamebait)

jazir1979 (637570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794124)


the article should say Vista DOWNgrades?

Only the Simpsons can save this post now (-1, Offtopic)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794348)

Marge: Yeah, that's right jazir1979. Vista DOWNgrades.
Bart: Zing!

"Backup" Utility (5, Informative)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794420)

The newly supplied "backup" utility is incompatible with the .bkf file format, which goes back to 1993, and worse yet - it cannot operate in Safe Mode. Many times when trying to restore an inoperable system, Safe Mode is the only available way to access the system!

Vista - a glossy step backwards.

Re:thank u bill (3, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794510)

Is Microsoft just running down a list of crappy things to do that make me dislike Vista even less? I mean, aside from having 20 different versions with separate 32-bit and 64-bit editions (apparently Apple's engineers are much smarter than Microsoft's since they've packaged it all in one version)?

And the problem is? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794130)

I thought Windows Vista was the most stable and secure version of Windows ever! Surely there will be no need for disaster recovery!?

Re:And the problem is? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794546)

I wish: - I didn't waste today's mod points - There was a +1 sarcasm tag

Re:And the problem is? (4, Funny)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794552)

I'm sure that the band will play on as Microsoft's Titanic sinks, too.

Are you surprised? (5, Insightful)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794132)

Respectfully...So? This isn't really surprising. MS has always tried to have UPGRADE versions require a previous MS OS already installed. Their allowing you to use a CD key from a previous OS version to do a fresh install of the new was somewhat of a kindness on their part. It is an UPGRADE version. If this is a pain in the ass, then buy a full version. Better yet...go Ubuntu.

Re:Are you surprised? (4, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794220)

And what about EVERYONE who bought a computer since last November or so who purchased their PC because they got Vista with it, even though they had to wait for it? Is this really an upgrade for them? They are already dealing with the inconvenience of having to find tune XP before upgrading to Vista and fine tuning again. Only to find out that this is the process for every subsequent format.

I am sure a good many of them do not consider this an upgrade, but rather final delivery of the OS they were promised when they purchased their hardware.

Re:Are you surprised? (1, Interesting)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794308)

You are way the hell out there...

There are multiple options.
1) Buy an upgrade version that requires a previous OS version to already be installed.
2) Buy the full version to install however the hell you want.
3) Use an alternate OS other than MS.

Where does it say that users who have recently bought new "Vista" PC's will be receiving upgrade versions of Vista and not a full install? If I buy a brand new PC that comes preinstalled with XP because Vista wasn't ready yet, but says I get a free Vista OS, I sure as hell expect a full version. If I don't get that then I take it up with MS customer service. If they don't give me a full version then I go to the vendor or my state attorney's office. One way or another I get the full OS.

Re:Are you surprised? (4, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794412)

To quote from the article that you forgot to read "If things worked according to the old scheme, people with upgrade coupons would essentially get a "free" OS because they could install the Vista upgrade anywhere, and continue to use the version of Windows XP that came with their computer."

If you want to think I am "way the hell out there" then the author of the article is way the hell out there too. You expect that Microsoft will personally visit each persons home and ensure they return their XP disk as well as format the drive?

Re:Are you surprised? (2, Interesting)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794576)

"To quote from the article that you forgot to read "If things worked according to the old scheme, people with upgrade coupons would essentially get a "free" OS because they could install the Vista upgrade anywhere, and continue to use the version of Windows XP that came with their computer.""

Great, what about the three sentences that precede your quote? "What does Microsoft hope to gain out of all of this? I can only speculate. First, the change prevents a dual-license situation with all of the free Vista upgrade coupons out there."

Let me emphasize the quote, "I CAN ONLY SPECULATE.". I still see NOTHING in the article that says users buying a new PC with XP but advertised as getting Vista will receive an upgrade version of Vista instead of a full version. They will receive AN upgrade to XP. It doesn't say that the Vista version they get is an upgrade only version. In fact, since MS is intending to push internet copies of Vista as much as possible, I would assume the opposite. Your assumption doesn't fly even based on previous MS behavior.

Re:Are you surprised? (2, Interesting)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794500)

I buy a brand new PC that comes preinstalled with XP because Vista wasn't ready yet, but says I get a free Vista OS, I sure as hell expect a full version. If I don't get that then I take it up with MS customer service. If they don't give me a full version then I go to the vendor or my state attorney's office. One way or another I get the full OS.
You're prepared to rant and rave at anyone and everyone in that case, but are you prepared to take just a few seconds to read any fine print before you buy an entire new PC to ensure that what you THINK you should be getting is what you ARE getting? I mean, it'll say one way or the other in the material you'll be privy to before buying, so you have no excuse to go mental if you then find out it is otherwise because you couldn't be bothered to read.

Re:Are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794264)

Their allowing you to use a CD key from a previous OS version to do a fresh install of the new was somewhat of a kindness on their part.

I've only done upgrade installs a half dozen times or so (considerably less than some of you who do it on a daily basis) so I may be wrong, but I've never had Windows ask for a CD key from a previous version. I've had the upgrade disc ask me to insert a previous version's CD so it could verify that I have an older version laying around, but I've never had it verify the upgrade by asking for the old version's CD key.

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794350)

"I've only done upgrade installs a half dozen times or so (considerably less than some of you who do it on a daily basis) so I may be wrong, but I've never had Windows ask for a CD key from a previous version"

I was just going along with the parent. I only do full version installs. It doesn't really matter whether you have to have the original CD or a CD key, it's an upgrade version and they can require either.

Re:Are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794460)

I don't mind them requiring the key nor the CD itself, however what I object to is having to install a full OS so that I can go through it all again for my intended one.

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794286)

RTFA, dude. It says that previous versions only required that you own the previous version (disk and license key). OK, maybe that's wrong, but if you're going to disagree with an article, you can fucking well disagree with what it actually says, rather than wasting our time.

I've never had to deal with the licensing issue: the only time I've ever upgraded a system was when I was working for a company that developed Windows software and had one of those MSDN site licenses. I have had the unfortunate experience of trying to upgrade, just because I hoped to save the hassle of reinstalling and reconfiguring all my applications. Turned out to be easier to reinstall everything from scratch.

I just bought a Motion Tablet that's supposed to be Vista compatible, and comes with a free Vista upgrade whenever that comes out. If I can't reinstall from scratch, and the upgrade is as nasty as my previous experiences (must remember to clone the hard disk first!) I might just have to forgo the Vista Experience.

Re:Are you surprised? (0, Flamebait)

ZG-Rules (661531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794354)

Oh FFS. Your comment would be interesting if you hadn't tacked the "go ubuntu" crap on the end. A simple "use an OS that gives you the freedom to do a complete install, such as any fucking Linux distribution" would suffice. Your particular flavour Linux distro is not interesting. It just makes you a tosser and Linux is wasted on you. (I use most major Linux distributions, that's my Job... but I can make any one replace Windows, not just Ubuntu!!!)

Re:Are you surprised? (1, Flamebait)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794458)

"A simple "use an OS that gives you the freedom to do a complete install, such as any fucking Linux distribution" would suffice"
"It just makes you a tosser and Linux is wasted on you. (I use most major Linux distributions, that's my Job... but I can make any one replace Windows, not just Ubuntu!!!)"

Oh, so because I chose the alternate OS that I personally feel is most user friendly for previously MS bound users I'm a tosser? You fucking narrow minded moron. Should I have suggested Xenix, HP-Unix, or some other mostly esoteric OS? How about this, next time I'll suggest OS2. That would really be productive in getting people to switch from MS, huh? Just because YOU can make any Linux replace Windows doesn't mean the everyday user of Windows can. Someone save us from rectal orifices of tremendous proportions.

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794512)

I think people are just tired of Ubuntu being worked into every conversation. The Ubuntu fanboys are getting as bad as the gentoo fanboys

Re:Are you surprised? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794488)

So it's not OK to suggest a specific distro of Linux, but it is OK to suggest a particular OS rather than just suggesting an OS that allows a complete install. You and he are "guilty" of the same "sin".

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

rapidweather (567364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794586)

I do hate to see Vista have so many problems, a lot of buyers are going to go home with a new PC with Vista this next week. The Office Depot flyer this week is loaded with lots of Vista PC choices. They sell the Home Premium upgrade for $160.00 and some of the machines sell for $480.00 (toshiba laptop) after the $150.00 mail in rebate. (one rebate, apparently) So, essentially, you get a laptop for $320.00 with preinstalled Vista HP, since you don't have to buy the Vista upgrade for $160.00. (bear with me here).

Yes, I've seen a lot of mention of Ubuntu lately, and I have tried older versions, so today, I downloaded Ubuntu 6.10. Running it as a live cd as a test.
I could not get "X" to come up on two machines, admittedly older boxes, but I was "encouraged" by the "386" in the .iso name, rather that "686".
Ubuntu uses a "progress bar" similar to what XP has, and on one machine, the progress bar moved for a couple of minutes, then the screen went blank, and I waited for "X" to come up. No deal.
The machine, a dual pentium pro 200 mmx with 256 MB of RAM, can run Red Hat Linux 9.
The other box, a HP 6330 with a 400 MHZ AMD K6-2 processor, and 128 MB of RAM started Ubuntu, but after a minute or so, the progress bar "froze", and that was that.
Apparently I need to run Ubuntu 6.10 on a P4 HT, (I have one) with a GB of RAM, and a 128 MB ATI graphics card.
I did try the "low graphics safe mode" to see if that helped, it didn't.
Not that I am being critical of a mention here of Ubuntu, but I did want to throw my cards on the table for all to see. Neither one of those boxes would run XP, of course, but I expected to at least get something to show up.
I did have bad luck installing FC 6 on the P4 HT (dual boot) also, so I am batting zero on the Gnome interface distros.

-- Rapidweather
 

How long? (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794134)

I honestly can't see them holding out for long with this policy (like the one about only being able to transfer the license to a new machine once that they dropped). Besides disaster recovery, there are times when you just want to re-install because it's the simplest way to get rid of all the crap you've put on your system, or that has been left behind by badly behaved apps that don't uninstall cleanly. No-one is going to put up with having to install an old OS first and then upgrade.

Re:How long? (1, Insightful)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794182)

Wanna bet?
I used to think "no one would put up with" insecurities in Windows...
Nor I know better. With the marketshare Microsoft has they can require people to sacrifice their first born (which I'll do before Vista gets on MY systems) and they'll STILL manage to get enough copies out for it to become standard.

Re:How long? (3, Funny)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794288)

With the marketshare Microsoft has they can require people to sacrifice their first born (which I'll do before Vista gets on MY systems)

Man, you must want Vista *real* bad. Or you just hate your firstborn?

Re:How long? (5, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794544)

I believe you underestimate what Windows users are willing to put up with.

not true (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794138)

Actually in previous versions an upgrade CD install would just ask of the original OS disk to validate, and then it would do a fresh fully clean install.

Symantec Called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794146)

and said make a ghost image like everybody else....

Re:Symantec Called (2, Informative)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794312)

and said make a ghost image like everybody else....

I'm not sure if it's ghost or another norton product, but there is one where norton thought it was a good idea to change the partition ID to refelect the fact that it employed some form of nortons crap. That sounds logical, and well and good, except for the fact that after blowing a motherboard, it was not possible to mount the drive in windows, it wouldn't see it. You "could" mount it under linux easily enough, it was a perfectly valid NTFS partition. Partition magic wouldn't touch it which is now owned by Symantec, paragon wouldn't touch it, nothing would. And it's not like i'd tweek with the paramaters until such time as I got the drive backed up.

Symantec has some good utilities, but unforunatly many of them are bug ridden pieces of filth, and none of the utilities they buy the rights to and sell seem to be aware of each other, which is the apex of stupid when you have one product using it's own unique partition ID number and nothing else in the Nortons sphere that deals with the drive on this level understands this idiot approach.

  Paragon backup seems to do the trick, without alot of bullshit. I wouldn't touch nortons ghost.

Re:Symantec Called (1)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794386)

Or use g4u, the paragon of drive backup simplicity...

Another reason to keep backups current. (4, Insightful)

Jhon (241832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794150)

since otherwise the only option for disaster recovery in the absence of backups would be to wipe a machine, install XP, and then upgrade to Vista.
I just don't see this as a huge deal. It's just one more of many many countless reasons to keep backups -- and in the case of VISTA -- it sounds like keeping an HD image of the OS partition is of particular interest.

I don't think we'll find a very large corporate install base of "upgrade" versions of Vista. This will affect home users the most.

I'm more concerned with the "'per device' obsession" TFA mentions. I'm in no hurry to swap out XP/2k workstations at my shop for Vista -- and this just re-enforces that. I doubt I'm the only IT professional who feels that way.

Re:Another reason to keep backups current. (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794268)

I just don't see this as a huge deal. It's just one more of many many countless reasons to keep backups -- and in the case of VISTA -- it sounds like keeping an HD image of the OS partition is of particular interest.
Typical recent HDD size: 320 GB
XP base install: less than 1 GB

It might be worthwhile to keep an XP partition around just to satisfy the installer when you reformat the Vista partition. You'll probably need it for stuff that is broken in Vista for a while anyway.

Re:Another reason to keep backups current. (4, Interesting)

EvilSS (557649) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794364)

Vista will even do the image for you. In the new backup utility included with the OS there is an option for a full system backup. Vista creates a VHD (Microsoft's Virtual Hard Disk format from their virtualization products) file of the entire disk and saves it where you tell it to. It's easy enough to boot up to restore mode and drop that image back on.

How realistic is a full HD backup? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794482)

I don't keep one (OK I use Linux, and most valuable stuff is replicated elsewhere), but I doubt very much that more than 5% of Windows users keep full backups, let alone current ones. Suggesting that people should do this as a matter of course is just ignoring reality.

Good. (2, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794152)

Microsoft is crippling Windows and making life harder for their customers? Good. I welcome this change and hope to see more changes like this one!

I'd really like it if Microsoft could deny OS updates to anyone running an unlicensed Windows, too. Does anyone know if Vista does that?

huh? (4, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794438)

Microsoft is crippling Windows and making life harder for their customers? Good. I welcome this change

what do you mean "change"?

what part of upgrade do you not understand ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794160)


upgrade has never meant install from clean hence the price differential

tagged with moran

Re:what part of upgrade do you not understand ? (1)

jrobinson5 (974354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794240)

If you're gonna call a group of people "morans", at least learn to spell moron.

You remind me of this [about.com] person.

Re:what part of upgrade do you not understand ? (1)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794330)

You remind me of this person.


I think that was the point of the spelling. Wake up and smell the internets, n00b.

Re:what part of upgrade do you not understand ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794530)

-> upgrade has never meant install from clean hence the price differential

I disagree. Upgrade is a recognition that you bought a previous version of windows, and therefore as a token of customer recognition you're not being required to pay full price to move to the latest and greatest that Microsoft has to offer. It's a licensing upgrade, not necessarily a physical upgrade.

Under those circumstances I think it's completely reasonable to expect to be able to do a clean install of the OS, as I think it is pretty commonly recognised that physically upgraded OSes have historically not been the cleanest in the world.

Disaster recovery (2, Insightful)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794170)

install XP, and then upgrade to Vista. This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.'"
It sure will. Especially after you've lost/ditched the old XP disk.

Re:Disaster recovery (3, Insightful)

Ekhymosis (949557) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794260)

Indeed, or if you have a comp from large retailers that don't give out os disks, only the 'recovery cds' or have a recovery partition on the hard drive, you are in trouble. However, as mentioned above, this has been done for ages since 3.1 (I bought the windows for workgroups upgrade) and dos 5 (6.22 upgrade. god i loved 6.22) days.

Trouble is, as windows gets more 'advanced' it gets more 'stuff' that makes an upgrade go 100% smoothly. Hell, even upgrading between version updates from any linux distro you see many people have problems, just look on the forums (especially the ubuntu 5 to 6 update, gentoo during the major portage change,etc.)

Like the forums always say, it is better to install a clean version of the newest OS instead of upgrading from old, if you can that is =)

Re:Disaster recovery (1)

Drgnkght (449916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794592)

The previous version check on the MS-DOS 6.22 upgrade disk set was pathetically broken. The setup program on the boot disk for it didn't really check versions. You could use the boot disk to partition the hard drive, format the hard drive, and transfer the system files from the boot disk to the hard drive. Once that was done you could reboot the machine using the boot disk and it would allow you to "upgrade" to MS-DOS 6.22. No previous version of DOS was actually necessary. (Of course this may be what you meant...)

Re:Disaster recovery (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794496)

Imagine if it was always like this....

Since I've upgraded since DOS 3.11, I have to install DOS 3.11, upgrade to 5.0, upgrade to 6 then 6.11. Then upgrade to Windows 2, then 3, then 3.11, then 95, then 98, then 98se, then ME, then 2000, then XP, and THEN I could finally get Vista installed.

Ghost your boot drive.

Just Plugging Holes (3, Insightful)

JavaPunk (757983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794172)

This is just to keep people from buying the upgrade for new equipment. Everyone I know has been doing that (unless they buy the OEM). It's always fun to go searching around from my Windows 3.1 disks everytime I need to reinstall. (Actually that was windows 98, but you get my point.)

Well... (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794178)

Who is going to use Vista?

Media companies: Heh heh, if you like 520p.
Regular companies: 2000 is good enough for them.
Small businesses: Whatever looks good to pirate (not vista).
Gamers: PS3 and Wii, and XP (no game co's will make for one OS only)
Media users: 2000 or Linux. Both play things good enough.

"I just bought a Dell": Vista.

Well... I think that sums it up.

Re:Well... (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794428)

Gamers: PS3 and Wii, and XP (no game co's will make for one OS only) Well, you know, except for that little thing called DirectX10. And game companies DID make games working only on one OS, I remember when windows 2000 came out, some game (I think streets of sim city) wouldn't work on anything save for windows 2000.

PITA (1)

milatchi (694575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794184)

This sounds like a Pain In The Ass.
Recovering of data and reinstalling Windows is what I spend a lot of my week doing.
Oh well, we'll probably have business edition or ultimate at work anyway.

Sounds Annoying (2, Insightful)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794186)

Well, I don't know how good Vista's repair is, but I know I usually reformat my computer once a year or so. That would make things extremely irritating. I don't see what real purpose this serves though. Will it stop people with pirated versions from updating? That I could understand, but still, wouldn't using a pirated liscense key from XP do the same thing then? This decision just doesn't make sense to me.

Re:Sounds Annoying (1)

LO0G (606364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794236)

If you're reformatting your machine once a year, then the upgrade edition isn't for you.

The upgrade edition is for people who are UPGRADING their machines. That's why it's less expensive than the full edition.

If you're too cheap to pony up the cash for the full product (which allows clean installs), then you should switch to *nix.

Once your hooked (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794188)

How many lusers will buy the upgrade edition, then after it crashes buy the full edition? I think MS will get a lot of bad press from this.

Re:Once your hooked (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794582)

About the same as the number of users who run out to buy XP after having bought sub-$800 PCs which did not come with XP reinstall (or even restore) media after hard drive crashes or major spyware infestations.

Ghost (4, Informative)

adambha (1048538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794204)

This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.
Not if you ghost the drive after doing the upgrade.

Re:Ghost riding (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794426)

Not if you ghost the drive after doing the upgrade.

Totally off-topic, but I initially read that as, "Not if you ghost drive after doing the upgrade," thinking "ghost driving" was something like "ghost riding" [youtube.com] . I could see how ghost riding your "whip" (and subsequently crashing or getting it stolen [youtube.com] ) could make OS disaster recovery less irritating by comparison.

Then I realized you meant Norton Ghost [symantec.com] , the drive-imaging software, and your comment was suddenly much less funny.

And if I buy a new computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794224)

Absolutely ridiculous.
Most people who upgrade the OS will probably also be buying a new PC within a few years.
This policy makes installing Vista with a transferred license on that new PC a total chore (and maybe impossible, if you've thrown out the original media and license data for the old OS installation).

Screw Upgrading (4, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794226)

Screw Upgrading, I finally have the hardware to allow my Windows XP install to boot as fast as my Amiga used to.

Re:Screw Upgrading (1)

jcgf (688310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794414)

Cool, what hardware did actually take compared to what the Amiga had?

do we really care? (2, Interesting)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794232)

Ya know, for an online community where almost everyone wishes Windows would just go away, there are sure an awful lot of articles here picking at MS for every little thing that they do. It's like we don't care a whit about Vista, practically no one here's going to install it, and yet we want to give it the anal exam and scrutinize every nook and cranny.

Re:do we really care? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794320)

Your estimation of slashdot demographics is way, way off.

Re:do we really care? (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794332)

A somewhat different point of view, but using the same subject title.

I'm not about to "upgrade" any of my XP boxes to vista. I doubt that many people will, lacking any profoundly great reason to do so. (I.e. unless their significant other wishes it done.) There really isn't enough incentive to do so.

I'm not certain to whom Microsoft expects to sell their upgrade, unless it's the people buying machines now expecting to run Vista ... and I'd want a full license, were I in that situation.

Re:do we really care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794362)

"It's like we don't care a whit about Vista, practically no one here's going to install it, and yet we want to give it the anal exam and scrutinize every nook and cranny."

We do this mostly due to the fact we will be begged to help freinds/family when THEY buy a new computer with Vista installed and it fucks up, or alternately, we will be made to deal with it at the place of our employment.

Personally, I could give a flying fuck aboy vista, professionally, it looks like the future is going to really suck if what is predicted for the OS holds true.

Disaster in the making (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794246)

The last time I tried upgrading a Windows OS was ME. That compounded a disaster on a disaster. Most of my system fonts disappeared and it largely killed a machine. I managed to somehow scrub ME out of the machine and managed to even recover my fonts, they were still there. I swore never again to try to install a Windows upgrade. Better to get a full copy and just swap out the hard drive until you are sure all is well. I then use the original hard drive as a back up drive then drag across my files. Costs a bit more but it's a lot safer.

Re:Disaster in the making (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794358)

That was 7 years ago... I suppose you wouldn't buy an IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad laptop purely because the PCjr "peanut" was a worthless system, and you wouldn't buy an iPod because the Apple Lisa never caught on?

As a matter of fact, just about every corporation has had some serious screwups - does this mean you don't buy products anymore?

Re:Disaster in the making (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794542)

The PCjr "peanut" is NOT a worthless system. They sell on eBay now for much more than a pretty well-loaded Pentium III system. And the Apple Lisa? They are worth a TON to collectors, if complete. I won't even guess how much a Lisa with all the disks and original carton would go for on eBay right now.

Fresh Install Woes (4, Informative)

Kraegar (565221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794250)

I decided to take the plunge and give Vista a go at work. We have a volume license deal with MS, so I grabbed a brand new, unformatted hard drive, and tried to install Vista. Nada. I couldn't even boot from the CD. Tried this in 3 machines.

Out of morbid curiosity I decided to install XP, worked like a charm. I then put in the Vista CD, and it booted and installed a fresh copy of Vista without problem. (Complete overwrite, not upgrade).

So, from my experience, Vista won't even install on a totally fresh hard drive.

A co-worker had a very similar experience, but had to go with installing XP, then upgrading - which leaves you with some decidedly annoying problems with the admin controls.

Overall Vista isn't as bad to work with as some stories would lead me to believe, but there are definitely days where it's easy to see it is not fit for prime-time.

Are you kidding me? (5, Insightful)

Ancil (622971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794266)

This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.
If your idea of disaster recovery is to install the OS from scratch, I hope to hell you don't work in my company's IT department.

Backup space is expensive. (2, Interesting)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794516)

Many companies only backup irreplaceable data. Have you priced LTO3 drives, tapes, or autoloaders recently? Those damn things are expensive. Why backup operating systems and consume precious, expensive backup space?

Most companies have hot/warm redundant systems off-site for mission critical systems. System images don't usually help in the event of a Katrina type disaster. After all, how can you guarantee that you'll get the exact same hardware you had? DR companies like Agility only guarantee that you'll get a 1u Intel Xeon server, not necessarily a Dell PowerEdge 1850....

Because of these limitations, entire operating systems are seldom backed up.

-ted

Re:Are you kidding me? (2, Insightful)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794556)

No, I don't. I do, on the other hand, have the pleasure of supporting myriad computers for small business and residential customers. The disaster recovery process is as varied as my customers and it's sad to say, this will only add to how much it costs to own a computer. Whether you reinstall(and pay extra for the xp image loading) or decide to just buy a new computer, both will cost more than what it does with XP or 2000.

At this very moment, I have a Gateway with no recovery partition or disks, virus damaged, and the need to do a fresh install. Shall I call MS and explain that I don't have their oem cd or ask the customer if they'd like to never (Ubuntu) worry about this kind of problem again? This dilemma with Vista tips the scales toward the latter since calling MS isn't even an option...it'll just take more time every time.

Re:Are you kidding me? (2, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794578)

He works in EVERY IT department. You must not have had a 'disaster' to recover from yet.

Performance hit? (1)

BirdDoggy (886894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794270)

I'm not sure if it is still the case, but I remember a lot of the beta testers complaining that there was a noticeable performance hit when upgrading to Vista from an installed XP. In order to get the best of a Vista install, they recommended fresh installs.

yet another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794272)

to not buy Vista.

XP works just fine for me.

They can't make it too easy (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794284)

I don't see an overwhelming problem with this. Most disaster recovery situations need a professional or someone who has significant know-how with computers. If you backup the entire drive and need to recover it, you won't need the Vista install disk anyway. The only situation where it will be a pain is if you reformat your drive often and install a fresh copy. There will likely be a way around this soon.

For professionals, they will likely keep a Windows XP or 2000 image hanging around if they need to reformat a customer's computer that has vista upgrade. It also keeps computer techs one step ahead of customers.

Moo (2, Informative)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794296)

95 did this too. But, it only checked for one file, and by name. The answer was to create a zero-length file names whatever.dll and put it on a floppy.

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794392)

Ah yes. C:\WIN386.EXE at a few dozen bytes would work. It also disabled the license key check: Press next, get the license key message, press next again, it proceeds. At least that's what it did using all zeros for the key.

How about a little confirmation? (1, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794298)

"...as new information indicates that the company is breaking tradition when it comes to Windows Vista upgrades." (emphasis mine)

Perhaps Ken should have included a link to his information. It is the web after all. Until then I think Ken's full of shit and spreading FUD. Where did this information come from? Has Microsoft been given the ability to respond to the criticism or was this just hack/ambush journalism? Ken is the worst blogger on Ars (I hesitate to call him a journalist).

Ultimate? (1)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794304)

So does this mean the Ultimate upgrade works like the XP upgrade?

And can you have both the version of XP you own as well as a Vista upgraded from that same copy of XP on the same system?

It would have been clever of them... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794306)

...if they would treat an existing Linux install as an "upgrade." This is not flame-bait, it's just an observation of a marketing gimmick that Microsoft might have pulled but no doubt it would have backfired on them in some way... for example, people saving money by simply installing Knoppix or something and then spending less to get the upgrade... or worse (for them) people install Linux and decide to keep it. :)

MS is becoming it's own enemy (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794316)

Or maybe I should say that they're becoming their own BIGGEST enemy. Inconveniences like this will drive people away from Vista and into the arms of Apple or Linux.

Nick

I just wish... (1)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794328)

that game companies would get their heads out of their collective asses and start releasing games for Linux based OS's

I know the only thing holding me hostage to Windows is gaming. I have an Ubuntu box and would gladly switch to it full time if it was not for the games.

The day that happens will begin the death, or at least the crippling, of Microsoft.

Re:I just wish... (1)

PenguinGuy (307634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794448)

Nice fantasy, but it won't happen...game companies are too chicken shit to do anything to piss off MS.

Don't believe it + security? (2, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794334)

I don't believe that repair will always work, especially on a system that has had a few service packs installed. I've seen a "repair" turn a system that was malfunctioning into one that would not boot.

Secondly, what does repair do to security? In my experience, after a repair, the system does not require all the security patches to be re-installed, yet the repair must have overwritten some files that had been patched for security fixes. In other words, some of the security patches have been rolled back, yet the system does not apparently detect this.

What is an "upgrade" about? (3, Insightful)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794340)

I always assumed that getting an "upgrade" version for cheaper was to reward you for loyalty: since you bought their previous OS versions, the new version is only an incremental extra amount of features, so you shouldn't have to pay as much.

In my opinion, an "upgrade" version, says NOTHING about how you actually install it. It's just the same thing but cheaper because you bought the old one.

I see a bunch of people suggesting that it only applies if you're "upgrading" your machine. That seems like a complete non-sequitur, given the usual rationale (as above). Are we seriously to believe that an upgrade edition is only an "install once and that's it" version? Completely ridiculous.

I'm fine with a... (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794346)

I'm fine with a Vista license... as long as it means I can have a valid XP Pro install on my machine with that Vista License.

I dont know about you but... (1)

deadlock911 (629647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794360)

I for one welcome our new time wasting overlords

So what? (1)

Len (89493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794398)

I'm not planning to upgrade any of my Windows machines to Vista, and I bet you're not either.

Why would they do this? (1)

G1975a (913602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794400)

In the past, we've been lucky enough to just stick the CD in the drive when I install an upgrade and have it work. I hope they haven't put this into place but I guess I'll find out on Tuesday.

I don't 'upgrade' any OS, I backup my data and start from scratch. There's so many pieces of software and drives out there that aren't yet released, how do they expect it to work?

I really hope everyone to runs into this call Microsoft for support, maybe that'll cause them to fix it.

I love it (3, Funny)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794406)

I love Microsoft. I don't care how difficult they make make it for me. I will pay as much as they demand to get Vista. I will do anything they ask. You must all realize that it is not just an operating system - it is GOD. It is the only reason to live. It is more important than air, food and water. Without Microsoft there is simply no meaning to life.

Now just be quiet and send them money.

Scumbags (2, Insightful)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794424)

I can't tell you how many times I've seen people buy new computers because theirs was filled with spyware, viruses, and tons of crapware. I'm sure Microsoft is aware of this trend....especially with $500 computers.

Now that consumer versions of Vista are not bootable, this trend will only increase. More people will say "fuck it....i'll just buy a new one".

I can't think of any other reason for Microsoft to do this nonsense.

-ted

Well, I'm not the first (2, Funny)

Klowner (145731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794430)

But I think I speak for everyone when I say, boy oh boy, I can barely wait until Tuesday to get my $300-something Windows Vista Ultimate Bill Gates Limited Edition... ...BAHAHAHAhahahahahaahahahahahahahahaahaha

Practical joke? (4, Funny)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794442)

This OS must be some sort of practical joke just to get all of us talking about it. No company that respects its customers... oh wait, nevermind.

forget disaster recovery... (1)

bwy (726112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794452)

What about just installing the OS? Upgrade simply means you own an existing version and are getting a discount to upgrade that license to a Vista license. Perhaps I want to start clean and format my machine when upgrading. Why the hell should I have to install XP first? From my experience this is a shitty way to install an OS anyway. I never install one OS on top of an old one.

I hear some people saying people like me should buy a full license? Why??? Just for the privilege of being able to install on a blank hard drive even though I already paid for XP?

What happens when the next version of windows, post-Vista comes out. Do I have to install XP, install Vista, and then install whatever they call the next shitty version of the OS? Fuck.

Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17794454)

Explain to me why you schmucks are still using Windows. Wake up people, MS doesn't give two shits about you. They are only interested in your money and the quickest way to remove it from you. Do your self a favor, switch!

Bullshit (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794492)

98 SE upgrade required a working 98 installation.

So this may potentially mean... (1)

Helldesk Hound (981604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794498)

This may potentially mean that the user that upgraded from Win3.11 to Win95 to Win98 to WinMe to Win2000 to WinXP and then wants to upgrade to WinVista, but in the meantime had done several hardware upgrades, may in fact need to reinstall each and every version of MS Windows that they'd ever installed if they get a crash of the PC that requires re-installation of the OS onto a new HDD. :o|

Disasters vs Pirates (4, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794508)

All that requirement will do is force everybody doing a disaster recovery to use a pirate copy of Vista, since it will be much less trouble.

it's a good thing (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794522)

For its part, Microsoft seems to be confident that the Vista repair process should be sufficient to solve any problems with the OS, since otherwise the only option for disaster recovery in the absence of backups would be to wipe a machine, install XP, and then upgrade to Vista. This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.'"

Well, it's a good thing the only real reasons for a reinstall nowadays is a massive virus or spyware infection.

Oh, wait... vista is windows right?

Way no famly pack like apple? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794540)

There should be one and the pay more for Ultimate and get 2 home for $90 each is not the way to go.
It should be like apple use one key for up to x systems.

The article doesn't name a source. (1)

kiwioddBall (646813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794562)

Is it based on guesswork? More FUD?

I will never trust Microsoft enough.... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794588)

to "upgrade" my existing OS. Too much changes and I am just not comfortable without doing a full format.

That said, I'm admittedly a Microsoft fanboy (to a reasonable extent).

Uh...Win 95 upgrade (1)

jim_deane (63059) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794594)

As I recall, my Windows 95 Upgrade required the presence of Windows 3.1/3.11 to install. Now, this was tied to exactly ONE file, so if you had a copy of it and you could produce it at the appropriate step during install, it would go ahead.

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