Alexander The Great

January 28, 2008

Widows Vista

Filed under: Software — alexanderthegreatest @ 12:59 pm
Tags: ,

A coworker was complaining about having upgraded to Vista to stay current with his software knowledge.  The trouble (apart from upgrading to Vista) is that the rest of his home network is made up of computers running

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Server 2003

You might think with such a diverse group of computing platforms, adding one more, and a small evolution on top of the others no less, would be easy.

No so.  The solution he found (thanks to almighty Google) is pased below.  The long and short of it is to run a Virtual Machine running Windows XP inside of Vista and then using that to Remote Desktop to other computers.

In my case I had to use software provided by the client to connect, unfortunately the software only works with Windows XP and not Vista. Rather than installing XP and going on a driver hunt, I decided to take the easy route and install XP in a virtual machine on top of Vista. So I created the virtual machine with a 10G virtual HD, 1G Ram and Network Address Translation.

Once XP was installed I connected to the Internet, downloaded the appropriate service packs and install the client’s communication package. No go, it wouldn’t connect. After around six hours of poking around, reinstalling XP and threatening the computer with physical harm a light went on. Because I was using NAT Vista’s built-in firewall was blocking the traffic to and from the client’s communication software, I could actually watch this happen.

The resolution turned out to be having XP virtual machine to share the hardware rather than us NAT.

Is this true?  Do you really need to run virtual Windows inside your native operating system just to perform the basics other versions are all able to agree on?  This is absurd!  If true, you might as well just use a Mac!



  1. Given this, I don’t see any future for Vista.Now we have to debug new software and be specialists without wanting to be… Buy Macintosh!!!

    But Apple is making me angry also. If I don’t have OS 10.4 and I cannot use most of the new programs and updgrades to old ones because they are not compatible with my 10.3.9 Mac system. I have two Macs, a Blueberry notebook that is pefectly fine but has old OS 9 and a G4 that will go the same route of the Blueberry. The hardware is ouliving the software by many years in the Mac space!!! I refus eto buy anothe rMAc just because the software changed. do they take us for stupids???

    I pity companies that have to be on their toes , always buyign upgrades because of this reason, and gttign into these type of time consuming fixing mod , Wahta waste of time!. What is this??? For how long they will continue squizzing us??? I will be a 70 year old lady using G4 and XP computers until her 90’s if I live that long and I still can ‘compute”.

    Comment by mayaritte — January 28, 2008 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  2. Well this is typical of Vista – I haven’t ever used it that much, but a lot of the people in my class have and it’s a running joke about how poor an OS it is. Given that, most people in the class are prejudiced against Mac simply because it comes from Apple.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t complain about OS X 10.4 – I’m a Mac noob as I’ve only used this version and only for about 5 months, but I’ve found it to be one of the best operating systems I’ve used (if not the best). Sure there are a few problems, but on the whole its more stable than the Microsoft OSs I’ve encountered (except 98) and its far easier than Linux. Upgrading to a new OS is fairly inexpensive with Mac too – if you find that a lot of software you use is outdated, then just buy the next version for like £90. It’s a lot cheaper and easier than upgrading Windows and it requires less resources 😀

    Comment by Dan — January 28, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  3. I don’t know who your coworker is, but he’s an idiot. A dyed-in-the-wool idiot.

    I’m not a big fan of Vista either, but this is dead wrong. Remote Desktop Connection within Vista can connect to computers running all three of the OSes listed above, without any additional software required. I know this to be a fact because I’ve done it in all three cases. Nothing else needs to be installed…period. The reason he selected to run a Virtual Machine running Windows XP is a waste of resource.

    This is one of the biggest problems with Microsoft…so-called “tech guys” who can’t get their heads out of their own asses long enough to realize how to do things.

    Comment by Adam Senour — January 29, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  4. I do realize that the way to stay abreast is to stay on top with the upgrades, but why so soon? Anyway, I don’t know if OS 10.4 is cmpatible with my G4 hardware. IS it???

    My point as a hoem based user with these upgrades is: aren’t they releasing less than ready OS some times just for fetaures that are mostly visual – or to compete with each other- and not practical for the majority of users ??? I do believe Mac is much more easy, productive and advanced, It has been compatible with an array of systems for long before Windows was. Most people in the Windows world have never even tried using a Mac or know what they are talking about. If they had, they wouldn’t be talking like that. My Macs will be working with 10.3.9 after Vista becomes a legend in teh distant past.
    I am nou much of an advanced tech and I am not supposed to be. Most of us are average users. The OS should be transparent and we should be able to get the OS it from the start or just after a few basic readings. If that is not correct, the OS is not ready. If you have to twick it, install somehtign else for yor computers to communicate, it is not ready. we all have our bad and good expweirences with software. I hear them all and would not move to Vista until I hear something good coming from reviews.

    Comment by mayaritte — January 29, 2008 @ 9:29 am | Reply

  5. No truth whatsoever. Remote desktop acts the same regardless of what version you use. The only difference in connecting from Vista to XP or ’03 is a security warning. Your friend just needs to click “yes.”

    What’s typical about this story is how wildly unbelievable it is, and how ready everyone is to believe regardless. Buying a laptop with Vista seemed like it would be an end-of-the-world mistake, until I actually used the operating system. It’s not half bad. I don’t know how many of the complaints about it are based in reality, but this one isn’t.

    Comment by Forrest — January 29, 2008 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  6. Forrest is correct on the warning. I’d forgotten about the warning, because it became second nature to me after the first few times, but it does exist. But, as Forrest also quite correctly said, all your friend has to do is click “yes” to accept the “security risk.”

    Comment by Adam Senour — January 29, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

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