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Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting

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Charles Manning
Thumb Up

My Vista Upgrade

Feeling rather left out on my old XP laptop, I have found a solution. I used the article's screenshot as wallpaper.

I can force my laptop to run at half speed the upgrade should be compl;ete.

That wan't as hard as those Reg nay-sayers make out!


Single-core vs Multi core

Would be interesting to know if this has an effect.

Two or four brains better than one.




Not the only MS OS with copy issues

XP 64 has a nice one where it blue screens with an error in NTFS.sys if you try to copy a > 4GB file and the source and destination volumes are the same. It seems like the more headcount MS add, the poorer their quality gets...

Malcolm Hall
Jobs Halo

Get a Mac

This is why I switched to a Mac. On the Mac you can move files while they are open, and even move ones which are still downloading!



"Vista told him it would take more than 131 years to complete the job"

Just in time for the next MS upgrade then!

"Apparently not, as you can plainly see by the enclosed screenshot"

And who told her that it hasn't improved? Without SP1, it might have reported 52837 days and 14 hours remaining!

Herby Silver badge

Inquiring minds want to know...

Why does it take so long? I'm sure there is an explanation on the very advanced technique it is using to do this copy. Not having attempted Vista (I don't want to right now either), I can only surmise that it is doing a bit by bit check against some DRM database in a far away land. Yes, the screen shot is probably good for wallpaper!


My Vista Upgrade

Ok not a run of the mill machine (I buy top laptops and use them for many years, rather than crap machines and replace ona yearly basis) but...

Running Vista on a 1 1/2 yr old machine (2ghz Centrino Duo, 2GB ram, 256MB X1600) and so far nothing but praise for the system. Boots faster, shuts down faster, no crashes yet, and VS 2005 Professional loads in about (not scientifically tested) 25% faster than the same machine using XP.

The only issue I had was network copying - the the point where I used xcopy for everything as that wasn't slow. But a couple of months a go after an update even that was solved.

Sure if you use it on an old, crappy spec machine it's going to be slower than XP (but then that's going to be slower than 2K, which will be slower than 98 etc etc etc etc....)

Wonder if these people complaining have updated their system (or even have a system up to date enough to run the software?)

Anonymous Coward

May be because ......

Cold it be because all MS engineers and programmers are sick of Vista that they now use XP, so they dont have a Vusta machine to emulate/test the problem ?

As to the speed, I had so much problems with it as we do lots of copying to/from servers, I simply rolled back all to XP, life is too short, MS may tell me that Vista is the best of the best of the best, at the end of the day, I am the one who is eating the pudding, and this one tastes like shit.

I am suspecting some type of spying/file checking routines in the background, but may be because its build into the core, so its not that simple to remove it or just disable it, how else can one explain this fix takes that long ? I am sure a third rated programmer can run a debugger, copy some files and see where the bottleneck is coming from ...

Leo Davidson

It's Explorer, not Vista.

It's not Vista itself but Explorer and the Shell API (which is usually only for copying files by Explorer and one or two of the file managers that don't have their own copy functions).

I've been using Directory Opus (a filemanager which replaces Explorer) on Vista since January and the files copy at the limit of my SATA2 hardware. The underlying Win32 API and NTFS in Vista are as good as they were in XP. It's just the Shell file copy APIs which are b0rked.

Of course it's still a big deal that MS really need to sort out since so many people rely on Explorer, but Explorer is so horrible (and so much more horrible in Vista after numerous braindead UI changes) that I can't believe anyone who does a lot with their machine would really want to use it if they explored the alternatives, so IMO it's no reason to be put off using the OS.


That's nothing

I have a screenshot of Stuffit running on a G5. It's unstuffing a font and says that it has "about 2023406814 hours" to go. That's just under 231,000 years.

Nick Stallman

The mind boggles

@Herby: Your theory only makes sense if said database is manually checked by monkeys.

Its too slow for automated checking.

What puzzles me is that copying is a very fundamental process.

They had it working more or less ok in XP, stuffed it up big time in Vista and even a year later havent been able to fix it.

A little bit fishy.

Oh well. Back to the latest 2.6.23 kernel running on my Pentium 3 1ghz laptop.

Hell even Compiz works perfectly on it with onboard Intel graphics.

No need for me to touch any Microsoft product ever again (thank god).


About the same speed you get with Virginmedia XL broadband package then

As title says

Carlo Graziani

That Screenshot


80GB (top line) at 10MB/s (bottom line) works out to 8000s, a little over 2 hours. Vista's estimate of 36843 days seems a little off. Certainly, that progress bar should not be anywhere near 2/3 of the way across if the estimate is right, unless the submitter started the test on an advance copy of Vista, sometime around 1937.

Anonymous Coward
Thumb Down

Re: Get a Mac

OS X is not immune to filesystem glitches, either:

"A blogger has uncovered what he claims is a "massive" bug in Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Finder app that could result in the loss of data when folders are moved from a Mac to directly- or network-connected storage."

Peter W


"Wonder if these people complaining have updated their system (or even have a system up to date enough to run the software?)"

I've encountered this problem on a 2.4GHz dual core desktop with 4gb (count it, 4) of ram. Not much in the way of graphics not that it should matter.

Is that an "old, crappy spec machine"?

Just because you haven't experienced the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Vista is a big pile of smelly dog turds. Worst OS I've ever used IMO.

Chad H.

with appologies to iron butterfly

you know that microsoft vista baby, dontcha know that its sooo crap

you know that microsoft vista honey, dontcha know that it will always be crap


oh won't you come with me... and format C:...

Morely Dotes
Thumb Up

Minor correction

The article title ought to be:

"Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for felching and coprophagy"

Anonymous Coward
Thumb Down

Re:My Vista Upgrade

You're lucky. I'm runnig Vista on a Dell Desktop E521 Athlon X2 5000 with 2GB of memory, ATI Radeon 256mb card. It's a fairly beefy machine, but since the day I got it out the box (February), it has been so slow, that everytime I use it I think I must put XP on this thing....

The hard drives are continually whirring, and basically anything that tries to access the disk just takes forever...

It takes around 5-10 minutes to get to the point where it's usable after turning it on in the morning.

I tried last week turning off superfetch(and run away), which has improved matters considerably... but it's still definitley not as fast as i would expect.

I've tried downloading every update going for it, including disk controller

updates etc... but it's not improving.

I've also been trying to install SP1 RC1, only that comes back with error 80070002. Update Failed.

I only use the machine as a Media Machine, so it doesn't get loads of crap installed on it.

Not a happy vista user!

John P

If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

I've not used Vista alot except a couple of times on a colleague's laptop but it seems that this 'complete rewrite' as MS calls it is just a big load of shit. They've taken what was a quite stable OS (after a little bit of tweaking) and completely ruined whatever microscopic amount of credibility they had left.

XP wasn't perfect but it was a vast improvement over 98 and hardly ever crashes or freezes. The only complaints I have is when it occasionally tries to misguidedly help you and just screw you instead. I copied one 145Mb file on Vista and not only did it crash on the first attempt but it came up with a stupid estimate of 30-odd thousands hours for the transfer on the second go.

This was on a brand new top of the range laptop (lucky ba$tard), just a shame about the Vista.

I dare say I could write the program I was transferring from scratch faster than that!

I only gave it a few minutes for the progress bar to start moving and when it failed to I just cancelled the transfer, dug out an old file transfer app I wrote ages ago and used that instead.

So does this bug just involve the estimate being woefully wrong or does it actually take a RIDICULOUS amount of time to complete the transfer?

Either way, there's no chance of me switching to Vista before atleast SP100, which should arrive in roughly 4857694758600000000000000000000000000000000000000000 hours.

Adrian Esdaile

Register National Sport: Kick the Vista!

Yeah, I've had few funny numbers show up in file copying boxes. I even run Vista! The difference with me though is that I actually like it.

I remember seeing these kinds of time errors frequent under NT4, then NT2000, and certainly a lot under pre-SP2 XP! It seems they fixed things for XP SP2 though. I also seen similar esitmates for time given under Linux and... Mac!

And guess what Mr.Smug Mac User above... I can copy a file that's open under Vista, (and XP for that matter). It's just a VERY STUPID thing to do, as the copied file is likely to be corrupted if it's anything important, like your customer database or CAD file. Oops, silly me, Macs only have MP3 files and scanned sketches by cushion tossers, and other unimportant junk.

Edward Miles


Another reason for me to avoid putting vista on any on my boxes. Alas, I will have to soon, as it's gonna be the only way I can keep my lucrative sideline in fixing stupid peoples computers in a Vista world :(

This post has been deleted by a moderator

skeptical i

All your transfers ...

... are belong to us. Or not at least not to you. Not for a looooooong tiiiiiiiiime.


Paris Hilton


"I'm sure there is an explanation on the very advanced technique it is using to do this copy."

Blue Russian midgets impersonating Smurfs located inside your HD have to check every byte, of course. What do they teach kids nowadays?

Steven Hodson

Been There Done That

I've been documenting this *feature* for some time now on my blog and posted the other day about the joy after installing the SP1 RC for Vista

It is much the same results as the pictures with the article .. in other words it's still not fixed

Anonymous Coward
Jobs Halo

@ Get a Mac

if you fan boys could be any more narrow minded you would need a microscope to measure your capacity for something else than a Steve Jobs special, open your minds think bigger than a glorified crayola set.

Jack the Bat

I'm betting on DRM

Friend of mine got a Vista-powered Vaio this summer (his previous laptop screen had broken). He had just gotten married and was anxious to show his new bride all the new high-definition video he had had made of their wedding.

Vista-machine would not let him copy his own video onto his own computer. This guy's no stranger to digital video or working with computers, but he could NOT get the files to transfer. When I phoned him I literally had to hold the phone away from my ear for a few minutes while he vented.

Once he'd calmed down, I inquired why he hadn't asked my advice. "Because I knew you'd tell me to get a Mac," he replied. Well. What a concept.

I suggested he go back to the store and request a downgrade to XP...then had to hold the phone at arm's length again. "Downgrade?!?" he screamed. "You mean an UPGRADE!!!"

I think this must be some DRM-scheme: Vista is looking for some flagged-bit that signifies "approved media content" to Redmond and if it doesn't find it, goes into the spin-cycle. Anyone else out there have any insight?

Anonymous Coward

a rose by any other name...

You can't sugar coat a turd. If you do, at the end of the day it's still a turd.

Gates Halo

Stop picking on Vista!

Why is everyone so hard on Vista?

Sure, it's overpriced. But MS worked hard for their monopoly, they should be allowed to reap the rewards.

Sure, its bloat slows it down: it's the same with all new software. But if you go out and buy a machine like mine (quad-core Q9550 with 4GB RAM) it's actually acceptable.

Sure, it doesn't add much in the way of functionality over XP. But the latter will be unsupported in a few years, wouldn't you rather have an OS with a future?

Sure, it takes a lot more work to keep it secure than so-called 'alternative' OSes. But those OSes don't run the best software, like IE7.

Sure, it has more bugs than what's left of the Amazon Jungle. But... erm... that is... damn.

I'm sorry. I can't keep defending this piece of crapware.

Anonymous Coward

A Way to Upgrade from Vista

The first paragraph:

"I have finally decided to take the plunge. Last night I upgraded my Vista desktop machine to Windows XP, and this afternoon I will be doing the same to my laptop."

Anonymous Coward

Come on you 'mericans...

...sue the b'stards.

I'm sure some lawyer could make a few bucks from a lucrative class action suit.

For goodness sake, what are Microsoft trying to hide here. Oh, of course it's the DRM TURDS*

*Technology User's Rights Denial System

Xaiver Adams

Hate to rain on the MS S*** storm ....

I have copied all my music, (20 GB's) worth from a xp machine to a vista laptop and it worked fine..(45 Min). I know these are smaller files but still a lot of Data.. Copied 8 gigs of Human Genome files too (larger single files), and these copied fine also..

Don't get me wrong I don't like Vista anymore than anyone else but i don't see the errors yet.. I guess I'll try some other large single files and see what happens...

James O'Brien

All i have to say is this...


Hell i could probably copy the file faster by hand......

wonder if MS should pay me to be the new way files are copied on their OS?

Anonymous Coward

it still amazes me

that in this day and age people still choose to run a windows-based operating system, when there are COMPLETELY FREE solutions out there like ubuntu. sure, some of us don't have a choice because we need to run photoshop or the like, but i'm fairly certain the mass majority just need things to *WORK*.

even worse, people have been conditioned and now expect their machines to run like a piece of crap.

i sometimes feel like there's this small group of us sitting on this big secret that distros like ubuntu exist, and installing and running it is not the big-deal it once-upon-a-time used to be. ANYONE, even the most basic user, will be able to install and run it these days.

Look, you can even get a FREE CD shipped to you, so those low bandwidth excuses aren't even valid either:

and you can get free STICKERS too:



Iain B. Findleton

Vista Speed Records

Having just been forced to buy Vista (You can't get a laptop without it), it took me 6 hours to load the O/S and make disaster recovery DVDs. Why do the M$ gang get such delight at torturing their customers? The speed bug is likely the source of most of my agony, as is the ridiculous 11+ GB of O/S image that is Vista.

Gates Halo

Satisfied Vista User

Lets see, HP Pavilion machine with 2gb of ram and 256mb of graphics memory......oh and a 3.2ghz processor.

Not a wildly over-specced machine but Vista runs fine with no complaints.

I've used Win95, 98SE, ME, XP, XPSP1, XPSP2 & Vista Home Premium, and the only one I have a serious complaint about and would refuse to ever use again is ME.

Steven Hewittt
Jobs Horns


To be fair, the speeds aren't actually that bad, even with the explorer shell issue. They're worse than XP, and much slower than they should be, but it's still usable.

Good example is the sceenshot shows it's around about 70% done. I very much doubt that he's been running Vista for so many 1000's years.... It's slow, but it's the reporting that's really screwed.

As mentioned above, this appears to be a bug not in the Vista OS as a whole, but in explorer. Use command line and it all works fine. This sorta rules out the whole DRM conspiracy. Also rules out hardware not being up to scratch.

It's a bug in explorer. Needs fixing. But it's worth pointing out that it's only under some circumstance, and is NOT affecting the majority of end-users. (As a network admin who's been running Vista since beta 2 - I've never noticed it!)

And the Mac fanboi can go fuck himself with a 10ft iPole. Vista's explorer shell maybe slow, but at least it doesn't lose the file if you click cancel..!


re:So does this bug just involve the estimate being ..

..woefully wrong or does it actually take a RIDICULOUS amount of time to complete the transfer?

Real life operation:

Win XP, sempron, 512MB. Zip up my documents and transfer to USB key took a couple of minutes.

Brand new Vista dual core 2GB. Copy from USB key onto Vista took about half an hour. THEN unzipping on Vista took 2 HOURS!

Why does unzipping take so long?

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Brett Brennan

Need some measurement here

This might be a topic for one of the El Regulars (like Cade or Tony) to dig into...

Are the problems more prevalent on new purchase hardware with Vista pre-installed, or is it evenly spread over the new and self-upgraded hardware?

Although I uninstalled Vista nearly a year ago, in the brief period I was using it I had no performance issues to speak of. A LOT of incompatibility, specifically with mission-critical, high-dollar business or technical packages - but nothing like the problems listed in these many articles.

My best friend, a MS-certified data center architect, has 4 Vista platforms running at home with no problems, ranging from Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD Opteron gaming monsters running the 64 bit version with the MS VM support to an old Gateway convertible with a 1.5 GHz Pentium M. All are running Vista Ultimate, as was I.

In both our cases we did a "blank disk" install from the retail "OEM" installation media (multipack license) on existing platforms we were already running XP or Linux. In other words, swap in a new hard drive and do the install from scratch.

So far, my friends and family that have purchased brand new machines with Vista pre-installed have encountered numerous problems in both installation and operation, including the copy performance problems cited in the article.

Now, this is anecdotal, empirical analysis, but it seems the common thread here is vendors with "bad" installation images for some of their products.This does not surprise me, as there are constant updates to the hardware in systems within a single model from the "big" vendors, or even complete chipset changes within a major model release. If the install image for a model family isn't updated, it would be possible to get kernel images that are incorrectly built for the hardware. If ANYTHING works at all, it's probably running in "compatibility" mode - meaning just one step above "safe" mode. No DMA, no ACPI, reduced clock speeds all around, etc. This COULD explain the continuous problems people have.

Of course, if you take a tweaked installation of Linux or Mac OS and run it on a different chipset platform, you'll experience the same issues.

So, would one of you El Reg folks look into this and report?

Muchas Gracias!

Anonymous Coward

@ It seems like the more headcount MS add, the poorer their quality gets...

There is an old story in /usr/games/fortune that was lifted from the book "The Tao of Programming". It went like this:

A manager went to the master programmer and showed him the requirements document for a new application. The manager asked the master: ``How long will it take to design this system if I assign five programmers to it?''

``It will take one year,'' said the master promptly.

``But we need this system immediately or even sooner! How long will it take if I assign ten programmers to it?''

The master programmer frowned. ``In that case, it will take two years.''

``And what if I assign a hundred programmers to it?''

The master programmer shrugged. ``Then the design will never be completed,'' he said.

Stuart Duel
Jobs Halo

Get a Mac

Re: Andy's anti-Mac diatribe.

If all those Microsoft fanboys would remove their hand from below the desk for a minute, check out OS X and stop being so bloody narrow minded, they'd realise that:

1) Windows is and always has been an upside down, backwards and poor copy of the Mac OS;

2) OS X is BSD Unix - and therefore the most robust, reliable and stable desktop OS on the planet with an enormous library of available commercial, specialist and open source applications and at its Darwin core, is open source to boot;

3) Macs are the most beautiful and efficient combination of hardware and software money can buy, capable of running any OS your heart or head desires. Why buy an OS limited PC when you can have an OS unlimited Mac for the same money?

The vast majority of Mac users have to suffer Windows at work or are refugees from years of using Windows at home. I fit into both categories. Windows shits me no end - it's frustrating, stupid, counter-intuitive, clunky, slow and generally annoying to use.

That's the other thing that sets us Mac users apart from everyone else - we generally have recent experience with both Windows and OS X so we're in a position to make authoritative comments.

Oh, and calling the Mac a glorified crayola set? Sounds like a description of XP and Vista to me.

Now get out of the way you boring MS drone with your technological dead-end, whilst we Mac heads get some real work done on a real OS.


RE That Screenshot

Yes its a fake, and not a very good one.

Gerrit Tijhof

Pity the fools

that choose to support the same OS year after year after year....


Vista install

While working a university IT support team, we decided we should install vista on a machine, just so we could get to grips with it before we had to support it. We spent a whole day installing it on a machine including trying to get all the hardware to work with it due to unsupported drivers. At the end of the day we had a meeting with the head of procurement, the director of IT and the corporate business manager. We told them in no uncertain terms that we would not be supporting Vista. They asked for how long, we replied "You don't understand, we won't be supporting Vista. Full Stop". They weren't too happy with that answer, but do you think we care?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

slow-ish but less crapware prone than xp

ok, vista has its faults but UAC and IE protected mode are worth their weight in gold where braindead family members are concerned - the 3 ex xp machined that needed disinfecting every 2 weeks are still clean 3 months in - and these family members refuse to use anything other than IE as its what their college internet use class taught...

a large proportion of vistas slowness can be aliviated by turning off windows defender real time scan (slow on xp too) and disabling the windows search indexer.

to remove the vista bloat get vlite (google it), its a vista install cusomiser that lets you remove the junk you don't need, my vista nano boots faster on a celeron 420/512mb than xp pro does on e6400/1gb

Kane Silver badge

@ Stop picking on Vista!

Barry, you crack me up!

David Urmston
IT Angle

Just say no - to Vista

One of my PC repair business clients phoned the other day to say that her new Vista powered machine can't find her wireless router. She said that her existing XP machine can still see it though, and could I come out to sort it out.

My advice was for her to take the laptop back to the shop and ask for one with XP or Linux, and when she has done this, to ring me back.

I don't give a monkeys about the very lucrative income I won't earn from these jobs as I can do without the boring task of relearning how to fix another MS Operating Shitstorm. I am retraining to be a chimney sweep instead, and it's much more rewarding. Also, I now feel that I've helped to save someones life, rather than their music/film collection. And I still get to use IT equipment.

PS, with a few tweaks, some additional memory and a separate graphics card, even Windows 98 could be made stable, more stable in fact than any MS OS since. My main machine has a dual core Athlon 64, runs Windows 2000 Pro and Ubuntu like a dream. I gave a new XP box to my kids to play Bebo and MSN with years ago, and still can't see any reason to change what I do except to fix other peoples broken boxes.

PPS Can someone please explain why people will pay over a £1000 for a MAC running *nix on Intel architecture ?


Roger Garner
Gates Horns

Its not *that* bad....

I've run Vista on my new laptop (dont shout at me, it came on it and figured I'd give it a shot) for about 3 months now. Well I've still got it installed so its not managed to annoy me enough to wipe it down and install something else at least...

I've had the 20k+ hours remaining displayed on the screen a few times but the copy always goes at around 22-23Mb/sec regardless. For me at least its just a display bug, the copy is always as quick as you can expect for to/from a slow ass laptop drive.


134 years!

I got a message that one 2GB file would take 134 years to finish copying. Unfortunately I have seen this 10000 days bug even with SP1...


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