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Comments on Vista 32?!?!?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bsharpbass, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. bsharpbass

    bsharpbass Guest

    Hello all,

    I've been an analog engineer for over 10 years now, and I'm making the dreaded switch to digital. The "Type A" in me won't let me go willie-nilly purchasing equipment without doing a fair bit of research first.

    I have a 2.40 GHz Quad Core PC with 3G RAM running Windows Vista 32 and works just fine. I consider myself computer savvy, but not to the extent that I would be an IT person for a medium/large business.

    That being said, I'm seriously contemplating the Presonus Firestudio, along with Cubase 4. In my research, I have read many posts and reviews of different gear and have heard of many problems with Vista 32 as an OS in general, regardless of the software & hardware used.

    My question is this: Is there any truth to this, or are the people posting those reviews not as smart as they think they are?

    I am not trying to start a Mac vs. PC war here, but truth be told, if I could justify spending money on a new iMac I would. But for now I can't do that, so I must make my PC work.

    All thoughts, comments and concerns are greatly appreciated!
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I'd suggest installing XP, if only to get back to a tried and trusted for audio work, rather than Vista with it's dodgy support for software.

    Is there anything which makes you need Vista, would you consider dualbooting, and do you have an XP Disc available?
  3. bsharpbass

    bsharpbass Guest

    Thanks for the reply.

    I do have an XP disc to use from an old PC I once used for gaming. I have no real need to use Vista, in fact I'd rather not. I just considered using Vista out of sheer convenience more than anything else. Looks like the hassles aren't worth the convenience. I've got plenty of HD space, like 300GB allocated on a seperate volume.

    Would you recommend installing XP on that seperate volume and booting from that when I need to record?
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Not to fan the flames, but just givin' you some real world experience.

    In 30 years of IT work, I've never seen a more disappointing OS than Windows Vista. It's a sore excuse for stability and a HUGE memory hog. OK, maybe Windows ME was a tad worse... but not by much.

    All in all, I've had 100% failure of Windows and less than a 10% failure of Mac's. Granted, I've been responsible for a bit over 1000 Windoze boxes and not quite 200 Apples, but even the oldest of the Apples are still viable boxes after 10 years. I don't have a single Win box older than 36 months.

    From an economic standpoint, the Apple's are far more cost effective than the Win boxes... and I had everything from whitebox to every major manufacturer's boxes.

    That being said, your money is your money and it looks like yer' probably stuck for awhile anyway. That being the case, I would have a tendency to scrap the Vista partition entirely and format up a base XP install. Kill off as much of the junk as you can and create a backup disk image as soon as you get a working DAW running.

    Generally, I'd put your OS on a separate small-ish drive and put your audio files on the 300Gig.

    Getting the OS on it's own physical drive is going to do you more good than you can imagine. It will ease up the drive I/O enough to actually create a seriously stable machine for audio... at least until Windows decides to choke and blow itself up for no apparent reason.
  5. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    Reading this I was about to say, "How soon we forget the horrors of WINME" but you got to it. Man, that was truly the worst OS ever made. It took them how long to come out with it and then it was horrible?

    Now days Microsoft comes out with a new OS almost every year. So if you don't like one just wait a year. <--- I know this is an exaggeration but damn, Vista hasn't even caught on and Windows 7 is in beta.... Greedy.

    I think I'm going to buy a MAC next time. Might as well, I don't really play games that much any more.
  6. bsharpbass

    bsharpbass Guest

    Madmax, you're absolutely right. I'm trying to scheme a way to not use my PC for this project anyway. I can pick up a shiny new mac this afternoon without any worries and use that as a dedicated DAW, leaving the PC for my wife to pay bills and play online Soduku. Problem is, there goes my budget for other toys.

    It would seem to me that having a stable OS would be a far better investment in the long run, rather than making chicken salad out of chicken $#!% with my PC.

    This is the information I needed. It is good to hear from people who actually do the job, as opposed to the "somebody someday" folks who haphazardly post reviews without any serious thought to what they're saying.

    Thanks for the replys, I really appreciate the help. Looks like I got some head-scratching to do...
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Before you go throwing the baby out with the bath water, another opinion here, if you please....

    Let me take a stand right here and now and tell you something few others may agree with: Vista 32 is a very good program, and in many cases, works just fine for most apps., including Audio & Video; even better in some cases. (I'll let that sink in for a few minutes while others may want to fire up their flamethrowers at me.... ;-) )

    You're already ahead of the game if you have a machine that has a clean (new) install of Vista 32 and assuming it all works; why go backwards and drive yourself nuts, if what you have works fine? Try out your toys and see how it all works. You may find you like it just fine, and then you'll be ahead of the pack.

    Upgrades to Vista from XP SP3 and so on seem to be problematic (which probably has caused a lot of confusion and pain for many - including myself - who tried that route.) Clean installs seem to be the better choice for most. It was a MUST for me, then it all worked perfectly.

    Out of seven PCs (and one IMac), I have Vista running on four of them - three of these are clean installs, and one was a blow-it's-brains-out-new install on a clean/new HD. They all work superbly with little or no problems, and the networking is about as fast as if the drives & data are local to each machine. I can work with the data from HDs to/from any machine without wait times; a total joy. I use Sequoia and Samplitude V10, as well as (ocasionally Mackie Traction), and Sony Vegas Pro 8, and DVD Architect V5. THey are all utterly seamless and smooth, with no problems. (To be fair, they are all Vista compatible upgrades, as well.)

    The three remaining machiens are WinXP SP3, and they too benefit from the enhanced networking features with the other machines running Vista. (And one of these PCs is basically a duplicator - an Elite pro running XP Sp3, networked to all the others for easy file transfer.)

    There are, of course, some gotcha's and "Cant get there from here" with Vista, just like many new OS. Many hardware and software manufacturers simply waited or hesitated too long to get their act together, and so the blame game continues. It's a different world out there now than before XP came along. (When XP came out, everyone made DAMN SURE their gear and software worked with XP's requirements. That was a longggggggggg time ago in computer years. With Vista, a lot of folks decided to wait and see instead. Like the housing market, even the IMPRESSION that something was bad led to a lot of collapse of confidence and (again) plenty of blame to go around.

    You MUST do your homework before buying software and hardware in terms of Vista Compatibility. Go to forums that are specific for your software & hardware and poke around. Find out which gizmo works well with which PC/motherboard, Firewire card, etc.

    Once I got the latest versions of all my software (Audio, Video, even printer drivers & servers), it all started falling into place. My seven networked computers, printers, DAWs and hard drives have never functioned better. My hardware is FINALLY transparent for the work I do.

    There are some serious tweaks needed to get the things going the way you'll want them to, but once you sort it all out, you should be ok.

    One MAJOR tweak is for hard drives (esp. external drives holding things like Audio & video files). There's a security setting that must be set to "Allow all" (in the properties section) that will literaly drive you crazy if you don't set it up properly. (If it's not set to "Allow all", many of your programs may simply freeze up and give you strange error messages like: "File not Found". - This can happen after a LOT of work on an audio or video file, for example. You don't get a windows error message in this case, you simply lose your work, or the app. freezes up or shuts down. VERY upsetting, but it's a 20 second fix if you know where/how to do it.

    There's many cool and useful things going on in Vista, but it takes a little time (and cracking the manual, or reading Vista-based magainzes, etc.) that will clue you in some great stuff. The Search function, for example is slammin', like it's on steroids, but you have to do a little learning to get the hang of it.

    Contact me privately if you want to know more. As much as I love & enjoy XP SP3 and what it can do, I'm very happy to lurch forward (running, in most cases) with Vista.

    Seriously, it's a MUCH better OS than the boo-birds would have you believe. If you've never had the joy/pain of the older OS's, don't start now.
  8. bsharpbass

    bsharpbass Guest

    Thanks, Joe. By default, I must power through with Vista until I can justify the expense of an iMac. I do have a relatively new and clean machine. To be honest, the machine hasn't given me any trouble at all. The only problem I have is with MS Flight Simulator (I use it to practice instrument procedures - MUCH cheaper and safer than in real aircraft) but I think the problem lies with Micro$oft, not the machine itself.

    I can't help but to think that there are scores of people who successfully use PC based DAWs with few, if any problems.

    The biggest problem I've run into has been the availability of compatable software/hardware and drivers. I have downloaded drivers that were supposedly compatable with Vista 32 for both MOTU 828mkII and Presonus Firestudio and neither of them have worked. The tech support hasn't been very supportive, or I'm just not that receptive (which may be the case! :oops: )

    It could be the hardware, too. Maybe the interfaces I have bought have been lemons, which is alltogether possible.

    All I know is that as of right now, I've got to return my Firestudio because of bad drivers (downloaded and installed twice)/bum hardware/faulty chipset/bad karma/plain stupidity on my behalf, I've considered them all.

    I'm open to any and all ideas. It just frustrates me to no end watching mac users meander happily about their projects while I'm stuck using my rapidly-aging Roland VS-1880 non CD-R. Although it has never, ever let me down, I have long since outgrown it and I'm concerned about head and plate wear.

    I really do appreciate all the feedback. It's been a lot to digest. If I keep scratching my head, I'll be down to the skull before long...
  9. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Just don't bore a hole in your head to relieve the pressure!!!

    I will warn you though... while a converted cool-aid drinker of the Redmond Rootbeer, there is no panacea in computing... even the Mac world.

    Horsepower is not necessarily horsepower.

    I LOVE my iMacs... but I for one am subject to the philosophy that versatility and expandability are essential requirements in a professional environment. The iMac just doesn't offer near the flexibility that a dual or quad offers.

    RAM is going to always be the biggest failure to efficient production. I don't like the limitation that an iMac offers. Plus, if you should require to move to a card based system, you have no option.

    In the next few months, more drivers are likely to come for Vista 32. Once folks understand that 32 is just another pretty face on a decent 32 bit core... other than the security kludge that got shoved in the pipe, that clogs the way.

    I've seen enormous stability in Windows since XP... well... stability IS a relative term. I just never like the fact that Windoze will lay down and bluescreen at any moment, or scramble it's ini on a simple cold boot. Which is why I wouldn't think of building a DAW w/o creating a base configuration backup... which is something essential to do with ANY platform.... which reminds me... I'm due to back up myself... it's the 1st of the month!
  10. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    I agree with you Max on the stability of XP. Probably like you did, I remember the horrors of all the preceeding OS's from MS; Windows Millenium, early versions of 95, etc.

    Stability was what people wanted, and they got that in spades from XP. It's hard to leave something like that for something new, esp if there are stories going around about the dangers of this "something new." (Wait a minute; am I describing an OS or tomorrow's election? :wink: )

    There were more than a few moments early on when I was tempted to dump the first Vista upgrade and run back home to XP's comforting arms. (Not to mention the lost time learning what the problems were!) My upgrade experience from a crippled XP SP3 hard drive was two days of nightmares, until I just wiped it clean and did a new install from the Vista disc. Then I had to upgrade the graphics card. My other three machines came with Vista already loaded, so it was smooth sailing there.

    I recently sold my old original MOTU 896 (the "Mark I" version, I guess) specifically because of driver issues. It was a lovely machine but stopped working entirely somewhere between XP SP1 and SP2. No idea why, and MOTU has (of course) abandoned the product to the point where it's not even listed on the website; not even a legacy product. There's simply NOTHING THERE - poof! - it never existed, I guess. Fortunately, I sold it via Craigslist to a young Mac guy (I still had the driver disc, power cord and owners manuals, so he was all set and hasn't had a bit of trouble with it.)

    Since the box was only being used for cassette and ADAT tranfsers, I swapped it for an M-Audio 1814 firewire box - which is ALSO much more suited, it would seem, for MACs. Soldiering on, I finally got it working properly (while solving a few firewire issues of my own) with their latest driver for XP SP3. I'm not holding my breath for them to do much more with it in terms of support. To be fair, M-Audio (AVID) has a pretty good tech support online, with an amazing amount of drivers for all their products, and all the bewildering OS's from Apple & Microsoft.

    I can understand, sometimes, while companies just can't keep up. I do think that's a big part of why Vista has become the whipping-boy for disappointed folks who are having problems with it.

    These days, the computer hardware/software industry is hurting, and doens't have the manpower like it use to in the old days to keep on top of every product working with every OS. (To my knowledge, Mackie, for example, still hasn't released a Vista-ready driver for their firewire card for the ONXY series. I'm able to make mine work ok (esp with ASIO) with Vista, but life would be a LOT easier if Mackie spent a bit of time in R&D with a developer to create a damn driver that is Vista-ready, through and through. With all the gear they sell, you'd think it would be a no-brainer.

    Anyway, bsharpbass may find there are other compatible interfaces and sound cards and things out there that work just fine or even better than what he's got, and hopefully this will all be in the past for him soon enough. (I'm assuming, bsharp; that you've gone to the users forum and/or googled your problem to see if it's happened to others? Sometimes the answer is out there on a users forum or message board, just waiting for you to find it....)

    Hope you can get around to making MUSIC soon enough.
  11. bsharpbass

    bsharpbass Guest

    There's no real hurry with me. Just my own self-imposed, want-it-right-now limitations. My band and I want to start another LP recording project, and I thought I'd start fresh. I'll find something that works, as I firmly believe it was actual hardware issues that I'm experiencing (the MOTU I used had a bad firewire port, and the install disks for the new Firestudio seem corrupt)

    Once I get those issues and drivers downloaded & installed, I'll check back to steal some Vista secrets from you pros here.

    Meanwhile, I can start with a few scratch tracks on my VS-1880 for now. I really enjoy using that unit, but it's just so limited on what it can do and the pres are absolutely horrid.

    Thanks again for the help!
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    One big irk is that half of the media software/hardware industry seems to have shoved Windows, and develops mainly for mac.

    Yeah, you can get Windows versions of most software, but people have problems.

    A mac is only better because you get X + Y + Z where it was all designed to work together from the start.
    Windows suffers from too much third party BS (like a Behringer, with non-standard output levels) and the result is terrible.

    The last version of linux wouldn't run on my machine because my chipset is a hunk of junk from a Chinese punk. On macs, the chipset is practically made for the OS and so, you get an OS that runs smoother.

    Given a level platform and functioning hardware/drivers for each big OS, I'd rather have a PC - for upgradability and (future) compatability.
    If you run:
    -- Windows. The software and potential to do other things, and ability to upgrade it, is far better.
    -- Linux, it's solid enough for audio, or you can easily strip it right down, and it's more flexible.
  13. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Vista: seems safer than XP SP3 but heavy as a pig. Use only to surf the web with my Acer Notebook.
    Studio and heavy work:MAc Pro with 10.4.9 ( soon 10.5.5) and G4800 with 9.2.2 ( soon 10.3.9).

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