back to article No end in sight for Vista's Long Goodbye

Seven weeks ago, when we first reported Vista was causing many machines to stall indefinitely while deleting, copying and moving files, we were sure the problem was caused by a bug that would be fixed relatively quickly. After all, Vista is Microsoft's flagship product. It's also an operating system. And everyone knows deleting …


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Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Good grief!

"To recap, an untold number of Vista users are unable to delete, copy and move files without interminable waits, in which the OS appears to be calculating the time the job will take"

Is Vista still doing this old Windows "feature" of wandering off taking twice as long to work out how long it's going to take to copy files? Is this just so it can display an estimated time on the screen?

Simon Hazelgrove


Surely any DRM feature will not delay the *deleting* of files?!?

As far as I know its not illegal to delete any file, wether you paid for it or not!

Myles Molloy


With the new Ubuntu 7.04 release a few weeks back, surely this is another reason for why linux is a good solution!!

If you do need windows then build yourself a small vm with an XP build on it and run it when you need to. No need for dual boot, no need for faffing about and as soon as your done just close it down and get back to whatever it was you were doing

Robert Lee

Something hidden inside ?

As Simon said about the DRM, I am just wondering, during the process of copying/deleting/moving, could Vista be actually monitoring the content of the files, ie, checking for sensitive information or some type of US goverment hidden agenda of forcing Vista to check each byte being copy/move ?

Just in case these files were used by terroists, so before they get a chance to delete, Vista would check each file and its content, and if any are found, either flag them or secretly copying the content to a hidden location or even wire them online to some secret service HQ ?

How else could one explain that something as simple as copying/moving and even deleting could take so long ? when Windows since 95 had been working perfectly on these everyday functions. This is not MS's first OS, if anything, the operation should be even faster than XP/2000.

But as we are no Bill Gates, we are simply guessing.

Ed Haszard Morris

Duplex mismatch perhaps?

I finally took the plunge last week and made the Vista test machine I'd had for a while into my main work machine.

The hardware is exactly the same as it was with my XP machine (I mean _exactly_, I just swapped the hard drive out of my test machine).

I experienced the exact problem with copying across the network that's reported here (the Long Goodbye) and became very frustrated - it had been fine with the XP machine.

After a few days, I actually bothered to check the switch (Cisco 2950) I was plugged into - it was set to Auto, as was my NIC, and Vista said 100/full.

However, once I changed both the NIC and the switchport to explicitly 100/full, everything became fine.

I can't believe that this would answer _all_ similar problems out there, but mybe it'll help some people?



I think this problem is incredibly rare, and it's been hyped up purely to bash vista.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Incredably rare my ass

I've had two Vista Ultimate machines do this to me. Needless to say they are both back on XP now. This was one of a dozen problems I ran into with Vista. (The biggest of which was not being able to install unsigned drivers. MS's NVidia drivers simply don't work.)


re: Exaggeration?

I've had this problem too on my PC, both copying across the network and locally and it is monumentally frustrating.

This aside, I've found the Vista experience to be far better than XP. This one thing though is a true nightmare that *really* needs fixed.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Your Call Is Important To Us....

Please continue to hold. Friend was looking for a version of XP Pro here to replace the OEM Vista install for removal of annoyance. He's decided to wait until driver support is a little better, hopefully that will get rid of stuff like this.

De Zeurkous

RE: Good grief!

They're probably still trying to figure out how to port the guts of NetBSD's progress(1) ( for windoze lusers) without breaking the serial port driver code...

Pauli Jokela

It's not imminent

I've actually had Vista running on my laptop for a few months now. Although, I've reinstalled it a couple of times. The first time I had the exact same bug, which I remember reading about somewhere (something to do with thumbnail generation?).

At any rate, the current install of Vista on my laptop has no problems, whatsoever. I've turned off indexing (completely) and UAC. Aero's running with everything it's got.

I think it's a common bug, but I also think that something I did solved it, atleast for me. Might've been indexing, might've been UAC, who knows.

Brian Hall

Index me not!

Indexing, huh? Could be. Anyone remember that horror called Fast Find? MS seems to have a vapour lock on the whole subject.


Ah well

I've been running Vista Ultimate at home for two weeks now. I've moved large files, and large quantities of files to and from my Win2k server without any noticable problems. I'm running a 3com Gigabit switch at home.

Apart from the slightly more than occasional BSOD, Vista has been a pleasant experience - and the BSOD's only seem to happen on shutdown for me, so they're bearable.

Overall, I'm happy with Vista.

Webster Phreaky

Meanwhile 'cross town in Cupertino...

Vista just hates to part you with your files ... meanwhile, a BRAND NEW version of OS X 10.4.x "Apple Pro Application Support 4.0" manages to mangle, strangle and kills Apple other "Power Applications - Logic Express and Logic Pro ... geez, I think I'd rather wait for Vista to empty or move file??

Ps, WHEN will we see THIS referenced in those oh so honest Apple Switch ads??

Quote: (per

Monday, May 14 2007 @ 09:30 AM PDT

Apple Pro Application Support 4.0 (#3): Logic crashes, potential fixes; Aperture will not launch, potential fix

Users continue to report an issue where Logic Express and Logic Pro 7 repeatedly crash -- sometimes at launch -- after applying the Pro Application Support 4.0 update. One reader writes:

"Just wanted to share my frustration with Apple's Pro Application Support 4.0 patch. Basically the patch completely broke my installation of Logic Pro 7. Every-time I open Logic the application crashes with a " Program quit unexpectedly" error. Right now there seems to be nothing I can do. I have tried all the usual fixes including reinstallation. I am on a Macbook Pro with 2 GB RAM running OS 10.4.9."

Other users are reporting miscellaneous issues with Logic after the update, including problems saving. A reader writes:

"Since the last Apple Update I have problems with Logic Express. I cannot 'Save As, Save a Copy,' nor set the Recording path."


Vista Bashing hmmm

Just a quick note any OS requiring multiple reinstallations is not stable. I've a couple of clients that have chosen to become Vista early adopters desipite my warnings and 2 of the 3 have had to reinstall the OS a few times due to odd behaviour.

I've noticed slow transfers speeds when moving files from one drive to another so the DRM scan or goverment inforced scan idea makes sense to me but I'm open to other options. The only thing I know for sure is it doesn't happen under XP.

Finally Aero having put together a system that scores 5.9 across the board I was expecting some really cool looks instead I am left wondering what all the fuss was about. I've seen better from linux desktops that were out 6 months before!!!

Roll on SP1 for a bit of stablity.

Steve Skipper

Vista Spook

I have had this bug working with files and folders on local drives a well a networked, it happens randomly I’m beginning to think Vista is haunted. I have noticed that empty folders and files that register as “0 bytes” seem to really confuse it.

Glenn Gilbert

Need more meatballs?

They're probably struggling with some obscure conflict in the spaghetti that is their codebase. Maybe the kernel NetBeui driver:-)

Bill Buchan

Yup. Saw this..

And many other exciting bugs. I endured Vista for just over 2 months before switching back to XP.

My next laptop will be a Mac.

---* Bill

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

files associsation

Vista seem to take very seriously the type of file you are trying to manipulate. I use to have the long goodby problems. Local file that won't delete, well in fact local file that can't do anything after been created. It was .UFO created by Ulead Photo Impact 12. Vista just seem to stall when calling Photo Impat to get info on the file (even when inside a folder and trying to delete the folder).

The Solution: Delete .UFO entry in the registry and pouf problem gone... sure you need to open .UFO from whitin Photo Impact, but at least no stalling. Divx file use to have similar problems (witch seem to have now been resolved with the last Divx codec)

I am sure that peoples who have problems deleting huge number of files will find out that Vista hang on a particular file extention.

I have been using vista on various machine since early january and have been able to solve *ALL* of the problems i had and run *ALL* the applications i needed to run.

So before bashing Vista for all your problems, try to think: This is a radical OS change in many way compare to XP and it will get better with times. The solution is sure not to install Linux (Linux is a good idea, but it is extremly far from ready for regular joes)

Most of vista problems as in fact application problems, vendor had plenty of time to make they application vista friendly. but most of them faild and now a rushing in to fix it (Divx is a good exemple).

As for drivers signing. i have used Nvidia drivers (from Nvidia, not MS) in both 32 and 64 bit and did not have any problems.

Nathan Askew

I thought this problem was solved...

I had the same problem with my install of Vista and after lots of searching I found a solution.

There is a setting in Folder Options which is "Always show icons, never thumbnails". If you uncheck this, the problem does not occur. I would have thought it would be the other way around but it is not.

Why MS can't fix the problem and why they released the OS with these sorts of problems after there massive amount of Beta testers, I will never know.

Douglas Belford

seen this in XP also

I have seen this issue in XP. With larger files or lots of larger files. I think it is something to do with the Indexing Service.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Never seen it...

I'm running Vista 64bit, dual boot with XP, I have no performance problems, but as a previous poster mentioned, all my ports are 100/Full fixed. I never use auto negotiate, because of the problems I've seen with this at work (I work in Storage/Backup).

As an aside, why does any problem with Windows OSes result in a bunch of 'Windoze Lusers' and 'Change to MacOS/Linux' comments? Grow Up!

Dan P

There's a simple workaround for this...

... turn UAC off and the problem goes away, at least it did for me on Vista 64bit Ultimate.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not imminent

"I've actually had Vista running on my laptop for a few months now. Although, I've reinstalled it a couple of times."

If this was a decent OS you'd be saying:

"I've actually had it installed for a few years now. Although I've had to restart it a couple of times."

How can you not see this as a problem? Are your expectations really so low?


Justin Flavin

1500 packets to delete a single file

have a listen to this edition of FLOSS weekly, where Jeremy Allison of Samba is interviewed. SMB2 is covered about 40 minutes in.

The Samba guys discovered that in order to delete a single file, 1500 packets of data are transmitted over the network.



It's a good idea and will be a good addition to security, once MS have got it bug free. In the meantime though I'm running Trendmicro's AV, Firewall and Spyware protection so I'm happy to switch UAC off until it's working properly, never had a problem since and removed most of the issues with older software (games included).

Come on MS, sort UAC out.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

There is a similar bug in 2003 server...

but you could only run into it when a few rare conditions occur at the same time. In case of the win2k3 server the problem lies in the cache and ntfs journaling. When you create an empty file and want to delete it just after creation because it was a mistake, explorer will hang for some very long time. The solution is to kill explorer on the local machine, force a cache flush on the server and restart explorer. The problem goes away as soon as you turn off indexing, set the cache to write through (a seriously bad idea on a server) and use a file manager other than explorer (or disable thumbnails). It seems that when a kernel service holds a file, you can't do anything with it and most operations block the process using the file. The solution seems to be to move the service in question out of the kernel. In case of cache management, file system journaling this can not be done with the win2k3 architecture. The chances are high that the same 'the kernel is using the file' problem blocks the operation under vista too. Disabling the service in question would solve the problem. Unless it's a critical one. The drm system or the indexing database is imho not ciritical but ntfs journaling is.

Just my 2 cents...

Andrew Mooney

RE: Linux

Nice idea but I fail to see how Linux is any different to Vista in regards to problems. I have spent the last 2 days trying to get FC6 and Ubuntu 7.04 to work with my wifi connection. I have tried 2 different wifi cards using 2 different chipsets using ndiswrapper and although I have managed to get FC6 to recognise the second card I can't get it to use WPA even with wpa_succulant. No one wants to spend hours trying to get there computer to work. So if it causes someone with a good technical background so much trouble what would the average user do?

Vista on the other hand installed perfectly on my Laptop and has not given me any more teething problems than the previous incarnations of Windows. Remember XP is on service pack 2 and has had numerous hot fixes so these problems are normal and have become an expected part of a new Windows OS.

If you don't want to suffer the teething problems stick to XP if like me you want a challenge and to gain experience in troubleshooting Vista take the leap and hope for the best.


Fanboy's back

Good Lord, another Windows article another fanboy telling us all to use Linux.

XP works quite well for most of us so until I can play all my lovely games on Linux go and annoy Mac users.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Incredibly rare

I have to side with the "incredibly rare" fellow above. I'm not a fan of Vista, but I have experienced this kind of phenomenon elsewhere. A piece of hardware of software that I own, and that works without a hitch for me, is drubbed online by what seems like an endless procession of people who have the same problem. The reality is that they are only a small majority of the total user base, and that we never hear from people such as myself who do not have the bug; I am part of a vast silent majority. The speculation above - that this is a result of DRM, or an anti-terrorist plot - does not help shed light on the problem.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward


Comments about this problem being hyped to "bash" Vista are somewhat reminiscint of the posts one finds on game forums, where the fanboys all claim there is no problem, and the rest of the world + dog all complain bitterly that the problem exists. As I've posted on some such sites, given the wide range of platforms that software is run on in the real world, it's hardly surprising when this kind of thing crops up.

What is a surprise however is that the MS techies have made no feedback about the issue at all. Simply blanking the issue is ridiculous. Let's all get a sense of proportion, the ability to copy, delete or rename files is about as essential as it gets in an operating system and an answer needs to be given prontissimo...

The author of this article points to "DRM conspiracy" in a somewhat derisive way, but the truth is, that Vista DRM gets more time than many user interactions. According to one academic article, Vista DRM is woken up every twentieth of a second, just in case the user has decided to rip content, regardless of what the machine is doing. It strikes me that the approach to DRM on Vista isn't seriously a proportionate response, it's hitting all users with an overhead, and doing so all the time. Bearing in mind the inability many users have had getting hi def content to display in hi def I tend to believe that all this overkill DRM will manage to acheive is to get legit users of Vista, who have honestly paid for their content properly browned off.

Should the Long Goodbye issue transpire to be DRM related, then I believe that it would tend to mitigate against Vista in the market place for any serious use of any kiind until it's fixed.

Andy Enderby

Peter W

it's not incredibly rare

we've got one test machine - same problems copying data onto an external drive - put same external drive into an identical XP machine and it flies.

Just one of MANY Vista annoyances (tried to get free VNC working in service mode yet?)

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

The Sims 8 in 1

I tried to install The Sims "8 in 1" which fits on three CDs - about 1.8GB. It took over THREE HOURS with a 24x speed drive. Think it's the drive? I copied the file off the first CD onto the hard drive first. The copy didn't take long but the installation still spent just as long on the first file as it did on the other two. My friend told me that the whole thing only takes a few minutes on XP.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

All OS's have their problems

Sorry to be a realist but all OS's have their problems as well as their fans.

I've just taken my Desktop machine back to XP from Ubuntu 7.04 after an automatic update for Ubuntu killed the desktop and all menus on logging in. After 2 weeks worth of tweaking my configuration and getting all my hardware working correctly I wasn't impressed. I'd love to run Ubuntu but I don't want to spend hours setting it up and searching forums to find out why I can't get a wireless connection. The latest release is much improved, but still can't handle hidden ssids with the standard wireless configuration guis.

As for Vista - I'm running my (finally received) Express Upgrade Business edition without issue, and copied 70GB worth of remote files without issue (and in considerably less time than XP used to take). I had 2 minor issues on upgrading, both of which were resolved in less than 5 minutes with a bit of Googling.


re: files associsation (file associations?)

So, using Linux is bad for 'regular joes' but messing with regedit to fix a broken operating system is OK?

Hmmm, sounds like Linux bashing to me. Tried Ubuntu 7.04 yet?

I don't think there is any conspiracy theory here, just shoddy programming. If you have any sense wait for SP1 before switching to Vista. Does anyone else get the feeling that Microsoft release their software too early? Remember Windows ME? Ho ho.

PS. Does M$ Office have a spell-checker?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Is it similar to XP when it stalls...

I have seen issues with XP reading long files or files which it has no codec installed.

The issue and a fix is detailed here, is this the same thing?


A Possible Cause?

Until last night when I finally had enough and removed Vista, I was experiencing exactly the same problem. However, during the process of re-configuring my machine I removed my slave IDE drive from the IDE 0 channel. Large files transfers were instantly possible with very high transfer rates. Maybe coincidence but perhaps the problem is IDE drives sharing the same channel.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"WPA Succulent"

I think I may have some of them on my windowsill at home...

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

making do?

Although i want to laugh and laugh as a i am linux user and have had systems installed in the time it takes to read the MS EULA, I do find it quite alarming that so many of these comments seem to accept that Vista is not perfect and they must accept it. Given the amount of money you have paid MS for this dubious pleasure i think you should perhaps demand a little more for your money.

I was entitled to a "free" upgrade with my laptop as i bought it in december, but i wasnt going to waste my life trying to get them to send it (which i believe they still havent managed to sort out) and now all these people with BSODs and accepting it!!!

You people are crazy, as another comment says a stable system does act like this and given the time it has taken so far, i dont think Vista will ever be finished, they just shippped it as it had taken so long already.

And to the person with the wifi problems, try Ubuntu, check the forums and ask for some help. I too have had wifi problems with Debian, Suse, and others only for them to dissappear with Ubuntu and the help of the good people on the Ubuntu forums.


Bought a Mac and a bunch of dells with XP when Vista launched

When Vista came out I bought a Mac. I told My client to buy new Laptops before Vista came out so they wouldn't be forced to buy Vista. A little hassle finding good replacement utilities like FTP on the since it OS X is new for me. But now I am glad to see I made the right decession. I spend my time making things better on the machines not just trying to get them to work as well as they did a year or two ago.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

RE: Linux

Yes, Yes, very good. I'll install Linux on the desktop when it's in a position to be installed on the desktop. It's good, but it's still a server OS that has a crap desktop UI shoved on top of console. Think Windows 98 with a more stable core. (DOS is bash/kernel and Windows is KDE/Gnome - nice try, will work for some but generally it's still sh*te for mass roll out without a huge amount of support)

Anyway, fanatic's aside - had Vista Enterprise, Business and Ultimate rolled out across 30 machines since November as a testing pool across various hardware types (laptops and desktops from different vendors, randing from brand new to 3 year old devices) and haven't come across this issue anywhere.

Had lighweight and power users playing with it as their main machine and we've had such a drop in support requests from these users that run Vista we're rolling it out across the network as soon as possible.

The DRM thing is complete bollocks. Take a peek at what the various DRM proceses are doing when you copy a file. See any surge in CPU cycles used by these processes, or increases in the amount of RAM it wants to gobble? Nope? That's because it has nothing to with DRM.

One day bias journalists will actually do first hand research rather than putting a slant on 3rd hand research to get a grabbing headline. (Well, maybe)

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

So nobody knows then...

Judging from the raft of different replies/suggestions, either nobody (including MS) really knows what the problem is, or it is caused by a multitude of things.

Either way, I think I'll hold off until :

a) it's a bit more stable

b) the price ceases to be a blatant rip-off


I gave up...

I bought a brand new top of the range Sony Vaio running with Vista...

I tooked (well, I aborted...) 106 days to move 35Gb... I spent three weeks trying to work with my new notebook, and just before becoming mad and killing myself, i sold everything and bought a MAC.

I am recovering my sanity and i have just ditched my Windows mobile phone!

and it feels really good...


The problem isn't...

...that there are bugs in Vista. It's new and it's complex. It works better than I expected. The real problem is MicroSoft's response - there isn't any. I know all software companies are guilty of this but MS is one of the largest, richest companies in the world and this is a critical release. They are trying to show that they are professional software vendors not money grubbing buy-or-copy monkeys. they need to be better than this.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

You just can't test *every* scenario

"Why MS can't fix the problem and why they released the OS with these sorts of problems after there massive amount of Beta testers, I will never know."

They might have had a massive amount of beta testers, but it's still a very small percentage of actual users there ends up being. Those testers can't test every scenario on every combination of hardware that people might have.


vista & aero - linux&looking glass

So i've installed SuSE OSS 10.2 on my acer travelmate 4500 and _everything_ was detected and worked fine, graphics card, wlan etc. Then i parallel installed w2k3 server and it detected neither sound, wlan, normal network, graphics so i had to run linux to get the newest drivers and store them for win$ on an extra fat partition - now that's an operating system ;)


re: Exaggeration?

I'm experiencing the same slow network transfers with Vista to/from SBS2003 and XP Pro. I'm dual booting Vista Business and XP Pro on my desktop PC, everything on our network is gigabit, and Vista is dead slow when transferring files across the network. The usual 1gb/min transfers I was used to with XP have been downgraded to 1gb/hour when I boot Vista on the same hardware.

UAC was the first thing to go, tcp autoscaling has been disabled on server and desktop, tried different gigabit NIC's(figured Intel Pro1000MT might have better drivers than onboard Yukon in desktop), spent hours reading forums about this problem, and no fix yet. I'm just dealing with this one for a while and using one of our tech PC's(XP Pro) whenever I have to move large files. Hopefully a fix will magically appear one day.

Otherwise Vista has been great, nice eye candy, lots of bells and whistles, love my weather, news, and cpu monitor in the sidebar, works well with our existing equipment and domain, etc. Driver support was spotty at first but after ME, 2000, and XP I expected to not have all of my stuff working well for 6 months until manufacturers can catch up. 3 months into Vista my Handycam USB connection is the only hardware that doesn't work-bravo! The biggest headache aside from network transfers has been upgrading all of the software we use to be compatible with Vista, some of our software was upgraded under maintenance contracts but I'll have to buy new versions for others and/or make good use of my XP partition.

Giles Jones
Gold badge


In response to Webster Phreaky's post about Logic 7 crashing. Logic 7.2 is the latest release, Logic 7 is the older PowerPC only release.

Stuff does break in all OSes, it's how it gets resolved that counts.

Jasmine Strong

"think Windows 98"

Linux is like Windows 98? Even in 1998, Linux wasn't like Windows 98. For starters, it's actually a real protected-mode operating system right down to the ground, whereas Windows 98 always had that weird real mode stuff going on. Unix was always designed to have services that ran in the background, whereas Windows 98 was never really designed. I could go on, but that guy probably doesn't care.

That said, I don't run Linux on my desktop machine except at work, where I need to. I use Mac OS X, which is a kernel with a shell on top of it, just like Linux.

Personally I think the problem is probably some weird interaction between filesystems, paging and locks being held in uncomfortable places...

A J Stiles

wi-fi problems in Linux

The wi-fi problems in Linux are due, wholly or mainly, to inadequate documentation released by manufacturers. That there are any drivers at all owes a lot to the dogged determination of a few hackers.

Don't blame the Linux developers; it's not their fault! Blame the hardware companies for not releasing sufficient information to enable Linux drivers to be written. If you're bothered enough to complain about the state of drivers, write to your MP and push for a new law requiring manufacturers either to document hardware fully (to the extent where a competent programmer could create drivers for a non-Windows operating system) or face having it banned from sale.

And it *will* take a law to accomplish this (although there is technically -already- a law, since the rightful owner of an object is by definition privy to any secret embodied in that object) because otherwise, firms will complain that they might be giving away information to their competitors (who in all probability are busy dissecting their products under a microscope even as we speak).


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