Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Woe to Vista...

I have just one laptop with Windows Vista installed on it. As it was purchased a year after the launch of Vista, most of the weirdness and faults that give the Vista OS its unique "charm" had already been patched and fixed. I wouldn't say it offered many, or any advantages over XP, but it was on the machine, and it worked.
A couple of weeks ago I started noticing that some updates and patches for the OS (the ones that come down the Interweb pipe to the laptop on a semi-regular basis) were repeatedly failing to install. A little digging, and a lot of the failures were due to something called the .net framework failing, and also an update/service pack for the .net framework. A little googling revealed that several other people had exactly the same issue as me, and had tried all manner of fixes, including time with Microsoft's tech support, and had failed to resolve the issue. I was sure I wouldn't be added to the list of the severely frustrated. Little was I to know.
After trying the various fixes outlined by Microsoft MVP's on the web, nothing worked. So I called Microsoft's Tech support. Very nice "help" from people in Indonesia, and then later in India, but everything they tried failed miserably. I spent a total of two and a half hours on the phone with them, essentially for nothing.
The next day a chipper voice called me from Microsoft, asking whether the issue was resolved or not, and was a little perturbed when I told him the sorry state of affairs, and that I was just not interested in spending yet more time on the phone.
I suspect the only sure "cure" for this issue is a full reinstall of the OS, followed by interminable downloads of the hundreds of security patches, followed by a reinstallation of all the applications, user data and settings. In other words: hours and hours of work.
Meanwhile, I "hid" the offending .net framework update. At least it doesn't try to repeatedly keep failing to install itself any more. The laptop isn't optimally functional, but I will keep on using it till the day I HAVE TO reinstall everything.
Memo to Microsoft: this is unacceptable.