I will say, for as much as Vista bugs the hell out of me (see Windows Vista Sucks I and II for some thoughts on the matter), I probably wouldn’t have done anything about it and just lived with the pain. The wife however, wasn’t as forgiving/lazy and convinced me that something *had* to be done. So I got a copy of XP and am starting the downgrade process.
The process of backing up my files has highlighted many of the pain points, flakiness, inconsistencies and bugs that still exist in Vista.
- When moving a chunk of files, Vista will sometimes leave behind a bunch of empty folders on the source drive.
- The computer powered down suddenly (damn battery lasts like 45 seconds) and when I restarted it, it wanted to do chkdsk on the external drive. Fine, fair ’nuff. Well I got distracted and wandered off and ended up rebooting the computer again the next day. It asked to do chkdsk again. This time after it finished and I tried to access the drive it said (*gasp*) “Drive cannot be read without being formatted, do you want to format now?” OMG, I have already moved 30 GB of files over! NONONONONO!!! Thankfully, I detached the drive and reattached it and it worked fine.
- Next I moved all the files from the “Pictures” folder to the external drive. It didn’t move the files but rather just copied them. When I tried deleting the files from the source, it deleted them from both places!
- I tried moving certain “special” folders (AppData, Local Data) and nothing happened. After trying several times I tried copying them and it worked. I am fine if it is not going to allow me to delete files it thinks it needs, but at least give me a damn error message telling me as much. The silent treatment is not cool.
- I generally move a couple of folders at a time. One ~2GB folder took a couple of minutes, the next ~2GB folder however said it would take 20 minutes! This folder was all music (iTunes, legal and everything) so clearly some extra checks are being done on it.
Well after 5 minutes, I vaguely recalled something I read online and I dropped the network connection. Funny thing, the “time left” dropped very quickly from 15 minutes down to 10 minutes down to 8 minutes. Hmmmmmm….
Anyways, everything is backed up and I have downloaded all of the XP drivers from Dell.com. It’s midday on Sunday and I have some real work to take care of so I will probably not do the actual downgrade for another 2 weeks (next weekend is ACL). More then.