Have I mentioned before how much I hate VISTA??

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Probably not on this blog, but on my old one, I'm sure I must have mentioned it.  I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get Vista to allow me to update Windows - Microsoft, in all its "wisdom" does not allow you to download updates and then install them.  No, oh, no.  Heaven forbid someone with a pirated copy keep that copy up to date.  Meanwhile, at least thousands of people (from the description of this problem on many, many techie websites), with bonafide, licensed copies of Vista (the most awful OS ever - give me DOS 5.9) cannot protect our computers from all the damn security issues that Microsoft so wisely left in their programs.  

It is like a Catch 22.  I can't update windows, so I go to the Microsoft website, type in the error # 80080005 and there is no friecking information on that error, and to use Windows Update to correct it - ARGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.  So I start looking in the forums on Microsoft and other places, and I see all kinds of people trying desperately to correct the problem.  And no one has an answer.  NO. ONE.

Blech.  So, I am going to have to copy all my files to my external drives, and try to find all the numbers and codes I need to reinstall Vista - the software that Dell gave me for reinstallation does not appear to have a freaking repair option.  And I'm going to lose a ton of stuff, I'm sure of it. 

I have been struggling with this for a year now.  

I really hate VISTA!!

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Barb? MCart? Anyone? Anyone?

All I can offer by way of VISTA advice is:


You can burn a Live CD and try it out before you commit.

I also have Vista. The cure is one of two options;

upgrade to Windows XP

or even better follow the advice of KCSteve and take control of your computer back. Unless you use your machine for games or some obscure program there’s no point using Windows.

My problem is that I use several photo editing programs that do not work on Linnux, Ubuntu, MAC, etc. These programs cost a LOT of money. I don’t really play any games like John does.

Yikes! About the only suggestion that I can suggest is to revert to XP Pro. If your machine doesn’t have a way to revert to XP, perhaps you can buy a copy on eBay.

The ideal situation is that you have a relatively small drive primary drive and a larger secondary drive. The plan is to install XP on the small primary and everything else on the secondary drive(s). This will allow you to separate the apps from the OS so that if you want to upgrade later, it is easier. Other situations can be addressed as needed.

First, make a backup copy of everything on your machine. If you don’t have a secondary drive, 500G drives can be had at your local Office Depot or Staples. The large size will allow you to totally backup your entire system and all of your data in a very fast manner.

Then, move all of your data (not apps, they will be reinstalled) to a separate physical drive. Find all of your apps CD’s plus the serial numbers of any downloaded code. You do have all of that stuff, right?

Secondly, wipe the C: drive and install XP.

Lastly, when you reinstall the apps, install them not on the C: drive but rather the other drives (D: E: etc.).

I too have high-end graphics (Pshop, Illustrator, Lightwave and others) all running happily on XP. Me? I’m waiting for Windows 7.


If it is the product key for Vista that you can’t find, there are some utilities you can download to ‘read’ the key out of the registry. I found some listed here.
However - you should only need to know that key in order to re-install and get activated.

You can manually download updates using the Catalog at http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/home.aspx However - that site can lead to Information Overload - because every single public update / security update / service pack for every Microsoft product is listed there. Start by limiting the search with a few keywords, then click on the headers if you need to change the sort order.

If you have a certain update you have tried to download through Windows Update, you can search for it by keyword or article number, and perhaps get it installed offline after downloading. If your problems are caused by Windows Installer issues, you can try starting with the latest version of the Windows Installer - which can be downloaded from http://support.microsoft.com/KB/942288. If that won’t install after manual downloading, then there is something busted, and I’d call support instead of beating your head against the wall.

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This page contains a single entry by Beth published on December 9, 2008 8:35 AM.

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