Windows Vista stability – update to upgrade experience

Previously I posted a blog on a pitfalls I ran into with my NVidia video card.  Since then the ATI 1950 pro video card has seemed to be working flawlessly. Now I have to add that I was impressed with the way Vista handled the video card problem. At the point where the video driver became unresponsive, after a minute or so Vista restarted the GUI with a generic driver and a warning that the video driver hang.  I’m guessing that the video driver in Vista was removed from the same ring as the kernel to prevent the video driver from crashing the system with a blue screen, but I have not verified this.

I have run into some other issues/bugs with Vista.  My ABIT 3rd-eye motherboard has a built-in gigabit network interface that seems to work fine with Vista, but the networking tab on task manager shows some peculiar things.   The interface shows in a regular pattern the utilization going from 0%-100%-0%-100% etc.  if you look at details, it shows 0% then 1125899906842624%, then 0% then -3220323232% etc (note theses are examples, not actual.)  Both Microsoft and ABITs drivers seem to have the same result.  Since it’s not causing a problem that I can tell, I have not put much effort into fixing it.

I’ve been pretty impressed with the stability of the OS, but I had my first real hang of Vista.  I had 3-4 intense applications running (photo editor, photo development, etc) and the system just became unresponsive.  I was able to alt-ctrl-del to select task manager, but even after 15 minutes task manager never was shown.  There was occasional disk activity so it seemed to only be the GUI that was unresponsive.  I tried tapping the power button which in most cases would start a graceful shutdown, but to no avail.  It was a “5-second hold the power-button” resolution.  When windows came back up, the only pop-up notice I received was DreamScrene was disabled do to a potential problem. 

Since posting, I’m getting less happy overall with the Vista’s stability. Hardware diagnostics check out, but I contiune to have system hangs. I’ve had perhaps 7 so far since installing Vista some months back. My advice: wait until sp1

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