Friday, October 19, 2007

Again, Bug on VISTA!

The new Windows Vista still has a significant bug or two

Early adopters of Windows Vista have experienced a rather bumpy ride. Facing public outcry, Microsoft agreed recently to let OEMs bundle XP with computers as opposed to Vista, a reversal of their previous policy, as reported at DailyTech.

Now a major error in Vista has been found that may affect a number of power users or anyone who, in the words of Microsoft, has "lots of files." Microsofts support pages for Windows Vista feature this jewel, featured on ZDNet.

When you use Windows Vista's Windows Explorer to try to copy files to another Windows computer, the following message may greet you:

"Out of memory
There is not enough memory to complete this operation."

According to Microsoft this can occur if "the files include extended attributes." Or, more humorously, if "you copy lots of files in a single operation."

Ironically users must specially request a hotfix in order to fix this problem which seems like it could frequently occur, as many users do copy "lots of files" between computers on a network. The problems are due to a memory leak in the Windows OLE component.

The fix was originally planned for inclusion with Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Unfortunately the beta version of SP1 does not contain the fix, so it appears to have been ditched from Vista SP1.

The magic number, it turns out is around 16,400 files. These do not have to all be copied at once. If a user copies this many or more files at any time between reboots, the user will frequently get errors.

"Black screens of death" (BSODs) have also been reported with the error. Ironically, early reports indicate that the file size does not necessarily matter in whether or not 16,400 files will cause the memory error.

The problem is apparently excaberated by Kapersky Antivirus, which somehow makes the crashes more likely to happen, according to reports.

Windows Vista also has issues with selecting more that 1,500 files. Doing so will cause dramatic memory spiking and slowdown. This was another issue that was supposed to be fixed in SP1, but is not currently included in the Beta, so also appears to have been scrapped.

Windows Vista users have many gripes, one of which is the high memory requirements of the system, and overall problems in memory useage and inefficiencies. Microsoft requires 1 GB of memory to run its OS, but users with less than 2 GB will experience less satisfactory performance.

As Microsoft struggles with its Vista woes, it can take solace that users will likely simply go back to its other product -- Windows XP.

This only occurs when you copy files from one computer to another. This is a typical scenario in a business or home network setting, so it is still significant to many users.

Again, this is not fixed in the Service Pack 1 beta, though a hot fix is available upon request. Note the crash does not occur during every copy, but does occur more frequently when running Kapersky, as noted. This article only intends to point out a current flaw in the Vista OS and not to discount Windows Vista or Microsoft's overall efforts to produce quality software products. Microsoft has indicated its intention to fix this error, and will likely include the hotfix in a future service pack, possible SP2, though this may be some time in the future.

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