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Randomelements :: Blog > Posts > The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

Note: this post relates to Release Candidate builds of Vista SP1 and not the final RTM build (see here) so do not read this in the same context.
As I mentioned before, there have been a number of bugs submitted regarding problems with the Vista SP1 RC install (including the Control Panel being empty and Aero not working) but have been closed as Resolved (won't fix) - I have added my bug to the list. These have been also verified by other testers so why are they seemingly being dismissed out of hand?
Having received a couple of comments on the blog from people who have suffered similar issues to myself I decided to have a look at my stats on Google Analytics to gauge the extent of the issue:
SP1 Google Analytics stats
The above is the stats for those visiting the blog since my "Vista SP1 problems being swept under the carpet" post (link above) that I made on 6th December where the search term includes "control". All 71 visits/51 keywords relate to a problem with the control panel in Vista SP1. These stats do not account for other searches relating to Vista SP1 install issues, Aero not working or other searches.
For something that Microsoft say they won't fix there seem to be an awful lot of people with the same issues.
What is the basis for closing these bugs without fixing them? No justification is given on Connect as to why these bugs are being closed so I think it's time that we had some answers. It may be something perfectly innocuous but without any communication we are just left with an ever increasing number of people reporting the same problems but a wall of silence from those responsible for SP1.
Please let me know if you are also having problems.
The argument that these problems are caused by Vista entering reduced functionality mode seem to be all over the web but checking KB925582 I fail to see how this would account for all of the issues experienced. The article says that the features unavailable in reduced functionality mode are as follows:
Play built-in games

The games that are included with Windows Vista are unavailable in reduced functionality mode.
Use premium features

Windows Vista premium features such as Aero Glass, ReadyBoost, and BitLocker are unavailable in reduced functionality mode.
Log on for more than one hour
Surely, even "Premium Features" cannot include having an empty control panel. I suppose the real test would be to stay logged in for an hour and see if Vista kicks you out - if you're reading this because you have these issues please try staying logged in for an hour and then if Vista DOES kick you out run the following from an elevated command prompt:
  c:\Windows\System32>slmgr.vbs -rearm
Even if Vista IS entering reduced functionality mode Microsoft REALLY need to sort this out - a service pack should not cause perfectly genuine installations of Vista to crap out on people like this.


# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

"...a service pack should not cause perfectly genuine installations of Vista to crap out on people like this."
Windows Vista SP1 even at RC is still beta. It is NOT the final service pack and there WILL be bugs. To expect a pre-release version of a service pack not to have bags is just plain silly.
Installing the RC should be by choice by users who understand the risks.
We've highlighted this on the Windows Vista Team Blog. It is also highlighted that the SP1 RC is "pre-release" code and WILL change by RTM and advises all users of the risks and should back up their data:
That being said - in regards to bugs being marked as "won't fix" and Microsoft Connect in general I can't really say much.
- Brandon
Posted by Brandon LeBlanc at 16/12/2007 22:07

# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

I've been beta testing software for longer than I care to remember and am more willing than most to put myself through the challenges it provides. I have even done a complete wipe/reinstall just to make sure that I could get the RC build installed correctly.
I hear what you're saying about this not being final code and completely accept that but, unless the pre-release naming convention no longer means anything, a Release Candidate is deemed stable enough to be forward as the potential final build unless any show stoppers are found. Well, guess what, I think we've got a show stopper here.
I originally didn't bug my issues as I presumed that they were related to the hardware problems I had experienced. I was willing to give SP1 the benefit of the doubt but when you see many others having exactly the same problem you get concerned about a build that is supposed to be potentially final especially when the bugs are being closed as won't fix without any explanation.
I would urge you to have a look through the feedback on Connect.
Posted by Colin at 17/12/2007 04:21

# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

I hear what you're saying and have seen the Connect feedback but I'm not here to debate issues with Connect.
I too have been testing software for a while. If I remember correctly, Windows Vista RC1 still had major issues for me - and that was RC1! Then they released RC2 and things got better. Windows Server 2008 has had two RC builds to-date (RCO and now RC1).
My point is... this RC is pre-release code and I've always been told pre-release code can often have bugs that could cause major issues thus why Microsoft continues to advise folks to back up their data and make them aware of the risks in using the RC (URL I pointed to above). Sure, the RC has the "potential" to be the final build but thats why Microsoft made it available publicly to find possible show-stopper bugs that need to be fixed.
I can't really say much on why bugs in Connect are closed as won't fix without any explanation but I'll forward this post on to some folks at MS.
- Brandon
Posted by Brandon LeBlanc at 17/12/2007 04:35

# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

I will expand on this in a full post but my main concern is that when an RC build leaves your PC effectively unusable and you are being told that the issues will not be fixed you are essentially being told that you will not be able to install the final build of SP1.
Down the line SP1 will become a pre-requisite for future fixes so people will be forced to go through the hassle of reinstalling Windows hoping that SP1 will work so that they can stay secure.
Posted by Colin at 17/12/2007 04:55

# failed vista sp1 rc1 install

I tried to install vista sp1 rc1, but it just did not want to install, maybe it did not like my pc. After the 2 restarts and 2 install tries it restarted windows normally, but i had to wait an other 20 min for some windows modules installer to finish in the BG,because it eated up 50% of my Dual core 2.2Ghz pc...
Posted by digibluez at 05/01/2008 11:45

# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

I've heard of a number of similar issues in the beta feedback so this is obviously something that should be addressed in the next RC build.
Posted by Colin at 05/01/2008 16:48

# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

I have exactly the same problem. installed SP1 RC1 and woops! empty control panel. searched half the internet (and obviously found your site) but found no fix that could help, pointing in the direction of nero, nvidia, some borked system driver,... . uninstalled SP1 and everything is back to normal!
I fear the day that SP1 releases, will I need to do a fresh install or not? only ms has the power :)
Posted by Whosrdaddy at 07/01/2008 11:51

# Re: The Vista SP1 problem evidence is mounting up.

If you read some of the later posts then you'll see that the issues with the Control Panle etc. are actually being caused by an activation glitch in the RC build where Vista drops to reduced functionality mode (the blank control panel is part of this).
This will be resolved for the final build and, as SP1 should no longer have reduced functionality mode in it, even if there are any issues with the upgrade you should still have access to everything.
Posted by Colin at 07/01/2008 12:03

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