Solved: How to turn a good PC into a bad one? Install Vista!

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Darth Amilo

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Oct 25, 2007
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29
Hello

This may be a familar scenario to some, but it's a situation which has become an extreme annoyance and pain of the highest magnitude to me. I really would appreciate some advice on a logical course of action to try and resolve things, and I apologise in advance for the length of this post, but I'm trying to tell it "like it is". :)

I have a DELL PC (not a good start to things I know :rolleyes:) and have recently installed Vista Home Premium and SP1. My PC spec is, I think, fine (it even says Vista compatible on the tower! - it did run XP Pro). Have ample memory and disk space, and Vista is telling me I have all the right drivers installed. I have a Netgear wireless router connected to the PC, broadband modem, DVD writer and printer. Software running on the PC is deliberately minimal at the moment - only essentials (antivirus etc.) are there and I have no known issues with them.

What seems to be happening with Vista Home Premium and SP1 installed? Well...

1. I get random PC freezing. No warning anything is going to happen (a program can be running) then everything stops. Mouse sometimes freezes and you can't access task manager. The hard disk light usually remains on during the freeze. 2-3 mins later it starts working again and you can use the PC. It seems to "cycle" through this behaviour and is basically unstable.

2. When I connect an external hard drive the PC slows down or freezes completely. I had previoulsy used this hard drive with no problems on an Amilo laptop running Vista Home Premium. The MESH PC sees the external drive etc. but accessing its contents is very slow. Is it possible this drive has been "affected" by being connected to and used firstly with the Amilo laptop? I have had a similar problem using a USB 2 memory stick which I also used previously (and firstly) on the laptop.

I have run numerous diagnostic checks (memory, hard disk) and they all come out OK for the MESH PC. Could this be a driver issue even though Vista says I have the drivers needed. Should I download a driver scan program?

The MESH PC behaved the same way before SP1 was installed too, so I doubt the update has done much to make things worse.

Would be very grateful if someone could advise on how to try and sort out these problems.

Thanks
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Mar 23, 2005
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81,396
To start out on a negative note, many PCs sold as "Vista compatible" should have been labeled something like "can run Vista, but barely." This is not my idea; this is the subject of a class action lawsuit.

From your description this is probably not your problem unless the graphics card is too underpowered. Suggest that you check your Vista Experience index and the explanations to see if there are any hints there.

You could also try turning off the Sidebar and the special aero effects to see if you get any difference.

Chipset drivers (and the drivers for any integrated devices) should have come from the PC manufacturer's (or motherboard manufacturer's) web site. Sometimes the driver for an integrated device has to be modified to work in the particular system so if you (or Windows) gets it from elsewhere it may give unpredictable problems. If you haven't already, download the latest chipset drivers and other drivers that the PC manufacturer has and install them; chipset drivers first.

Suggest you run with Task Manager active so that you can attempt to find unusual CPU or memory usage when those freeze ups occur.

My Vista Home Premium is mostly working fine, but I've had a couple problems of extreme slowness and I've just had to work and work on them until finally finding the right combination of whatever. Good luck; and it's just possible that an updated set of correct drivers will give you nice results.
 

Darth Amilo

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
29
TerryNet - Thanks for replying in detail and giving me some food for thought. I'm in no way an expert, but I suspected installed drivers/or lack of them may be the problem. The Pc did throw up a corrupted/missing drivers error message once on rebooting. How that happened I've no idea.

Monitoring the PC with Task Manager open is an excellent idea which I will do (hopefully that will give me some leads).

With respect to drivers, and updating etc., the MESH website is next to useless. I don't mind paying for a prog that installs the drivers automatically after scanning the system. Can you recommend anything to help me in that department please?

Thanks
 

crjdriver

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Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
43,418
It would help if you posted your exact system specs. Generally for vista to run, you need a min of 1gig of ram. With 2gig it runs well; with 4gig it flies. As far as cpu, I would not attempt running vista with less than a C2D or dual core amd64. I have vista running on one system here with an old Pentium D 940 and the difference between that system and this one [C2D 6850] is like night and day.
 

TerryNet

Terry
Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
81,396
The MESH site, support section, seems to require a login to get anywhere. Are you saying that they do not have drivers for download? If so, I would contact them and request the proper drivers. Remind them that their PC is "Vista compatible," which should mean driver availability.

I know nothing about driver scanners.
 

Darth Amilo

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
29
TerryNet - thanks again for replying.

Sorry for the delay in getting back but I've been trying several things. However, now I've abandoned the idea of installing Home Premium on the MESH PC (it only has 1 GB of memory too). I know Vista will run OK-ish but it's been such a drag the last couple of days trying to resolve lots of issues, with at least 4 clean installs. Vista has come up with driver errors on restarting after a re-boot. I can't find a logical reason why because to all intents and purposes Vista has "OK'd" things (it downloaded 1 driver for a display adapter).

For this particular PC I'm sticking with XP Pro, which is a shame because when Vista works (as it does on my laptop) it's good. I now have a redundant OEM copy of Vista. :(

Thanks
 
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