Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Make Vista look like XP

Never thought you would call Windows XP good, and old would you? How many bars of soap would your mother have made you eat for all the bad words you uttered towards XP, and the headaches you had installing it and learning it.

Guess what … it’s “start me up” - all over again, if you've been bit by the Vista bug.

Microsoft has changed some of the rules in upgrading to Vista from your previous version of Windows. The first problem is upgrading from XP. It also seems that Vista makes the decision whether it will let you upgrade or not.

Generally, it looks as if upgrading any Windows version always has some surprises in store. Forget the fact that the upgrade just might not work. It would be better to allow the user to make the decisions about partitioning, formatting, and where to install the version, but sometimes we just want fast and simple. So Windows makes those assumptions and decisions.

Nevertheless, there are some tools and options in the setup of Vista, but you have to really dig – and heaven forbid – read the documentation.

The first Vista annoyance – Vista renames and moves many folders, including:

  • your existing Windows Installation folder
  • your profiles folder (C:\Documents and Settings)
  • your Program Files folder
  • Your My Documents folder

It doesn't delete them. It only manipulates and buries them.

Get that shovel out again, and be ready to dig! After you have installed Vista, browse your C: drive, you will notice a folder called Windows.old. Open that folder and you will find all your previous data. You will also see a C:\Users folder. Microsoft did away with Documents and Settings naming conventions and changed to the obvious – Users isn’t that where the user folders SHOULD be?

If you have come to love the look and settings of Windows XP, and Windows 2000 for that matter, there is some saving grace to get some familiarity of Windows of old back. You can easily change your Start Menu to the one you have been forced to love.

Right-click on your start button\circle\bubble? Select Properties, then left-click that to get Start Menu and Taskbar Properties. Under the Start Menu tab, select Classic Start Menu. This will bring back some Windows XP/2000 familiarity and have you screaming through Vista in no time.