This is day 4 of my experience upgrading my Fujitsu P1610 to Vista Ultimate. That’s right, day 4. In order to help other prospective upgraders I felt it wise to chronicle my experience to aid other upgraders in any way I can.
I am already hearing from family members and friends who want to upgrade to Vista and looking for recommendations if they should do it and how they can do it with the least trouble. I decided since my P1610 was running flawlessly under WinXP that I would try to upgrade that OS to Vista, much as my family and friends would be needing to do since they are not very computer savvy. At least, I wouldn’t want them wiping their system clean and doing a clean install because I know that would create big problems for them, much as it will a lot of consumers. Big mistake.
UPDATE on the Zune situation: Further mucking about shows me that the music downloaded from the Zune Marketplace will now play fine on the Zune player. It will not play on the PC side, however. Now I’m wondering if it’s a file permission thing that Vista has imposed. Who knows?
I started the upgrade at 10 pm last Thursday night, I figured the install itself shouldn’t take too long since it was an upgrade install and didn’t need to replace all my documents, etc. You’d think I would know better than that. The upgrade took a very long time scanning my existing programs for compatibility as it was trying to determine if any of these programs were known to not work under Vista. After about an hour Vista told me that one of the programs, a Fujitsu WinXP utility, would not run under Vista and the upgrade was going to abort. It informed me that I should uninstall the offending program and then restart the Vista upgrade. It kicked me immediately back to XP, I uninstalled all Fujitsu XP utilities and fired the upgrade install again.
It went through the whole process again, and gave me a short list of programs that might not work under Vista, and carried on. One curious thing about the upgrade, I was only given two options: upgrade (which I wanted) and a clean install which would back up my entire WinXP installation to a folder named “Windows.old”. I chose the upgrade path and let it continue on. About 12:30 Friday morning it was still chugging away so I went to bed to return to it later that morning.
The install was finished and it was waiting for me to do the first start things that Vista requires, user name, password, etc. The system came up and it was awesome seeing all of my programs and data intact. For a while. Throughout the day I had so many problems with the OS, video driver problems, stability problems, and fatal program problems. I witnessed two blue screens of death, something I haven’t seen in over two years on WinXP. Yes, Virginia, the BSOD does live on with Vista. I tried valiantly to fix the various problems but late in the day on Friday I gave up. Based on my experience there is no way I’d recommend anyone go the upgrade path, something that will confuse my computer illiterate friends who purchased the upgrade license. I anticipate major support problems for Microsoft for those upgrade licenses they are probably selling like hotcakes.
Late Friday I began the familiar process of performing a clean install on the Fuji. I chose the clean install option and hoped I had enough disk space to perform the upgrade and hold the backup of my WinXP install like I mentioned above. I did not partition the disk and start over, instead I let Vista do a clean install in place. The install took a long time but finished without incident, and all of my data that was not in the My Documents folders, like my music files, were all in place when the install completed.
At this point I installed all of the Fujitsu Vista drivers, even though everything seemed to be working OK. I did not install the Video drivers, though, since that gave me so much trouble the first go round. Once I had the Fujitsu drivers and utilities installed I tested the system out and everything worked pretty well. The docking/ undocking sensing wasn’t working well, and the screen would not auto-rotate at all, but everything else was running solid. The OmniPass software that uses the fingerprint sensor to login worked better than the XP version, albeit a little slower. The rest of the system was very fast, in fact it seemed faster than XP but bear in mind I had not installed all of my core applications yet.
I restored all of my data files back to the Fuji, and had a bit of a problem when that ran out of disk space. I had forgotten to delete the Windows.old folder tree so I did so. The deletion took 30 minutes but freed up over 20 GB of space so I was good to go again. I installed my main programs at this point, Office 2007 Pro, OneNote 2007, Project 2007, TimeTTracker MX (more on this later), SnagIT, eReader Pro, QuickBooks 2007 and BlogJet.
These installs went flawlessly with the exception of TimeTTracker MX which I use daily to track my time for billing purposes. The install crashes and a trip to the developer’s web site informed me that the program does not work with Vista yet but they’re working on a version that does. They recommend that users who are dependent on their software not upgrade to Vista until their compliant version is released. Of course, they make no mention when that will be so I’m just SOL. Too bad, I’ve used their program for years but now I guess I’ll have to look around for another option.
At this point the system is running great, the new Tablet features in Vista are awesome and I can tell the handwriting recognition is even more accurate than before. I can’t wait to train it to get even better accuracy. Vista is easy to use and is running really snappy on the Fuji, and I haven’t even tried ReadyBoost yet. All was looking good at this point. I should have known that wouldn’t last.
The two main problem areas that have plagued me all weekend and kept me from doing anything productive are the Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) and the Zune software. It’s ironic that both of these programs are Microsoft programs. Here’s what’s happening with them (or not happening depending on whether you’re an optimist or pessimist).
I downloaded and installed the WMDC from Microsoft which worked fine. The problem is when I connect my Windows Mobile Smartphone that’s running Windows Mobile 5, also a Microsoft program. The WMDC will flat not recognize when my Smartphone is connected. It’s kind of hard to synchronize my data with the phone if the WMDC can’t see it. I’ve tried everything except hard-resetting the phone, something that I am loathe to do. Rebooting both the Fuji and the phone don’t help. Reinstalling the WMDC didn’t help. I am totally stuck at this point, pending the dreaded hard reset.
The Zune situation is totally infuriating. I installed the Zune software, told it I already had a Zune Marketplace account and let it do its thing. It insisted on wiping my Zune clean of all music and spent over an hour synchronizing the same music it had just erased, since it was the same music on the Fuji. The synchronization and Zune rebuild finished but I could not (and still can’t) play any of the Zune downloaded music on the Zune nor the Fuji. It generates an error that the help file tells me is either a problem with the sound device (it isn’t as I can play any music that came from anywhere other than the Zune Marketplace) or a corrupt file. I decided to take drastic action and physically deleted all music on the Fuji and told the Zune Marketplace to restore my library. This took a very long time but it faithfully restored all the of the songs. The problem is they still won’t play. So now I have a computer and a Zune full of gigabytes of downloaded music that I cannot play.
I decided to uninstall the Zune software and start over. That took another couple of hours that were wasted as I still cannot play my music downloaded from the Zune Marketplace. When I look under Account Management in the Zune software it only sees my initial free trial period and not any of the additional time I’ve paid for. I suspect this is the problem (I heart DRM) but I don’t know what to do about it. I went online and renewed the Zune Pass for 3 months and while I have an email confirmation from Microsoft that it’s been renewed it doesn’t show up in my Zune Account. So right now I am dead and have no idea what to do, other than try to fight it out with Microsoft. Some light checking on the web shows other Zune customers who have upgraded to Vista only to find that they too cannot access their music. I guess the Vista upgrade has kicked us out of the social.
The Fujitsu P1610 is running well with Vista. I did finally install the Fujitsu Vista video upgrade to get the auto-rotate working. It made the video switching while docking/ undocking work much better, although it still has trouble determining what it needs to do with the video occasionally. The system is pretty snappy even while running glass. If you want to wow your friends show them the window flipping in Vista by spinning through the different windows using the fingerprint reader. I did briefly try ReadyBoost with a 2 GB USB drive “enhanced for ReadyBoost” but to be honest I didn’t notice any difference. I’ll have to investigate this further, maybe track the performance differences somehow. I am glad I upgraded to Vista, the whole Tablet experience is just cool and works better than XP. I hope I can solve my two remaining problems with WMDC and the ZM. Then I’ll finally be welcomed back to the social.