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How to Fix Windows Vista Problems
Step-by-Step Vista Problem Repair Guide
Updated October 31st, 2007
The purpose of this guide is to help Windows Vista users find a cure for various types of Vista problems and errors, without the usually required time-intensive research. If you have a problem, solution or thoughts to add please post your comments at the bottom of this research paper.
Windows Claims Vista Error Messages More Intuitive
General Error Recovery
The Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor
Windows Upgrade Errors
Windows Vista Disk Errors
Application Installation Errors
Internet Connection And Browser Errors
VPN Errors
Dialup Connections
Bluetooth Device Errors
Sleep And Hibernation Errors
Sidebar Errors
Firefox Vista Errors
Corrupt iPod Problem
Adobe Problems
Conclusion And Summary


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The 21st century is the age of digital communication. The Internet has continually grown in technology, stature, and reach as more and more people connect on a daily basis. Email, instant messenger, and blogs are very much in the fore of many computer user's minds and, as such, the latest incarnation of the Windows operating system aims to combine all of these tools in one easy and intuitive interface.

Vista has been dubbed the greatest looking and the most feature rich of all Windows operating systems but it offers much more than this. In light of the increased power of newer computers Vista is a highly capable platform, although it can be guilty of being very processor reliant.

For all of this glory, though, Vista has suffered a similar fate to many of the earlier releases of Windows operating systems – namely it includes various bugs and problems that can cause untold errors when performing certain tasks.

With each new update and security release many of these problems are certain to be ironed out but meanwhile it is down to the user to attempt to find a fix for any errors they encounter.

Among the most common of problems are those related to installing new software. These problems are not specifically Vista errors, however, as the majority are related to the fact that a lot of applications have yet to offer full Vista support or Vista compatible drivers. Again, this situation is likely to change in the near future and already a lot of applications and hardware devices have upgraded to include Vista support. For now, though, some care must be taken when considering upgrading to Vista.

Before upgrading it is strongly advised that users ensure their system, regularly used software, and attached hardware is Vista compatible. This can typically be done by looking on the manufacturer's or publisher's website for a Vista compatible logo or a Vista compatibility page. Without making this check first you may be left with unusable applications and hardware or you may need to run two operating systems; neither of which are exactly desirable.

Computer security has been a problem since the Internet was first offered on anything close to a global scale. Spyware and viruses have been known to cause serious errors because of their destructive nature and the fact that they typically operate in and around the main operating system files and the Windows registry. Vista again promises to offer more protection against these threats and this is something that all users should certainly take advantage of.


Windows Claims Vista Error Messages More Intuitive

Simplicity and intuitiveness were key aspects in the design of Windows Vista. In particular, Microsoft have made error messages more intuitive.

 In XP and earlier versions of Windows it is fair to say that error messages could prove to be general at best, and even misleading and seemingly inaccurate in some cases.

While the majority of the more common error messages are certainly more helpful than their predecessors they still require research. Very few computer users have the technical know how and ability to remedy operating system errors and, as such, error messages are only as intuitive as the error is easy to fix.

The rest of this guide is aimed at outlining some of the more common errors that occur using Vista. There is also a section that contains some general methods of repairing and recovering from general errors. Many of these methods of resolution are similar to those employed in earlier Windows versions. While it would be impossible to list every error encountered with every application the later stages of the guide do include details of errors that have occurred in the more popular applications available.


General Error Recovery

There are some general steps that any user should attempt when first trying to address a problem or error. In many cases these steps will resolve the issue, but for more complex problems you may need to find the specific problem later in the guide.

While it may sound like an unrealistically simple solution restarting your computer can help resolve many issues. It gives the Windows operating system the chance to restart and reload the necessary files to ensure your system runs smoothly. Where possible ensure that you use the Windows Shut Down or Restart buttons rather than the power button on your computer.

Some errors can be caused by an infected computer. Even once you have upgraded from an earlier version of Windows it is possible that Spyware or viruses may reside on your computer. Update your antispyware and antivirus software and perform a full scan to determine whether any files need repairing, cleaning, or fully removing. Follow the on-screen instructions provided by your security software in order to rid your computer of threats.

Another useful application to consider is a registry cleaner. Registry cleaning software scans the Windows registry looking for unnecessary and obsolete, as well as duplicate, registry entries. These can cause software conflicts and operating system errors. A registry cleaner will, after prompting, remove duplicate items and inform you of any other necessary changes to improve the performance and reduce the likelihood of errors on your system.

Take full advantage of the Windows updates. These updates include vital system patches, fixes, and cures for reported errors and problems. They may also include necessary changes to system files and plug any known security breaches on your system. If you are experiencing problems when using or attempting to install a specific application then you should ensure that you also have the latest updates for these applications including the latest driver versions.

Most applications require updated drivers that are compatible with Windows Vista. If you haven't already done so ensure that any software you are struggling with has the latest drivers installed and ensure that they are fully compatible with Windows Vista. If not then you should contact the manufacturer to discover whether a new driver is set to be released, or if a version is already available.

Another way to beat errors with particular applications is to reinstall the software. Use the application's uninstall utility or, failing this, the Windows utility in order to fully remove the program and all of its components. Once you have done this reinstall the application using a clean version of the installer. If any of the application files were damaged or corrupt then this will replace them with files in perfect working order.

A system restore is sometimes seen as a last resort, but it can be a very useful and relatively painless way of restoring your system to a time when it did not experience any errors. If you suddenly find that you are experiencing problems that you believe may be due to changed settings then try restoring your system to a time when you knew it worked properly. Vista includes an improved system restore and backup utility so take advantage of this as far as possible.

Within Windows Vista Administration tools there are some utilities that can help you determine the cause of any problems and improve system performance while repairing these problems. The Disk Defragmenter is well trodden territory for experienced Windows users and exists in similar form in Vista. Accompanying this tool are memory diagnostic and performance diagnostic tools that help you determine any problem errors within your system setup.


The Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

Ensuring that your computer can cope with upgrading to Vista is essential. The Vista operating system is an extremely powerful one and while that offers the advantages of extra features, greater looks, and more uses it also makes it a more intensive operating system to run. Computers with small amounts of RAM, poor graphics cards, and slower processors in particular may well struggle to use Vista and will almost certainly fail to enjoy its true power.

Many new computers that are capable of dealing with the load are being billed and advertised as Vista compatible or Vista ready but this doesn't help those looking to upgrade. According to the Microsoft website in order to run the very basic components of the Vista operating system you will require the following:

>  800MHz processor

>  512MB RAM

>  20GB Hard Drive with 15GB free

>  Super VGA graphics support

>  CD-ROM drive

However, in order to enjoy the extra features such as Windows Aero that are a big draw of the new operating system you will require the following:

            Home Basic

>  1GHz Processor

>  512MB RAM

>  20GB Hard Drive with 15GB free

>  Direct X Graphics support with 32MB of graphics memory


>  Internet Access

Other Home Editions

>  1GHz Processor

>  1GB RAM

>  40GB Hard Drive with 15GB free

>  Direct X Graphics support with 128MB of graphics memory, WDDM Driver, Pixel Shader 2.0, and 32 bits per pixel


>  Internet Access

Fortunately, Microsoft has also envisaged that some computers won't be able to cope with the power requirements. Instead of leaving you in any doubts as to whether your system meets any of these requirements they provide a tool called the Upgrade Advisor.

The Upgrade Advisor is a small utility that can be freely downloaded and run to check your system specification. The Advisor will then compare this to the Vista requirements and let you know whether your current PC setup is capable of successfully running Vista.

A recent update to this tool means that you can also check your hardware and even applications that are already installed on your system. As such you should plug in any USB devices such as printers and mass storage devices to help determine whether these are compatible with the new operating system.

When ready download and install the Advisor. Once you have attached all the hardware you typically use on your computer then run the application. Typically, it will take a few minutes to complete but once completed it will provide you with details of any shortfalls in your system that will make running Vista difficult or impossible. It will consider applications that are currently installed, hardware and peripherals that are attached to your computer, and the computer hardware itself.

Each item highlighted by the Advisor can be viewed. This information includes precise details and advice on how to remedy the situation. You will also receive advice on the best version of Vista available  to you.


Windows Upgrade Errors

Upgrading to Vista is supposed to be a much simpler and more streamlined process than with any of its predecessors. While this is certainly true in the case of upgrades that go off without a hitch there is still a lot of room for errors. Microsoft itself has drawn up a list of the eleven most common errors and how to beat them, if possible.

The boot.ini File 

During the upgrade of operating systems the Windows installer will require access to your boot.ini file. This file contains pertinent information that relates to the current setup of your hard drive. Specifically it contains details of any partitions, your current operating system and your previous operating systems. This information is used by the installer to determine the files you require and what action will need to be undertaken in order to properly upgrade. As such it is absolutely essential that your boot.ini file is accurate.

It may be necessary during the course of installation to update or edit the boot.ini file. This is only necessary when you experience errors or problems with the upgrading procedure. More information can be found regarding how to backup and edit the boot.ini file at the following Microsoft knowledgebase article:

Knowledgebase article 289022

Common Upgrade Errors

Below are some of the more common errors according to the Microsoft website. Links are provided to the Microsoft knowledgebase articles for further reference as well as details of the error message, the cause of the problem, and the best way to resolve the error in question.

Knowledgebase article 927295

            Windows cannot determine if another operating system exists on your computer.

            Try repairing the boot configuration, and then begin the installation again.

This error message is caused by an incorrect boot.ini file, which is required in order to upgrade from your existing operating system to the new Vista platform.

In order to combat this problem you will need to alter the boot.ini file in order to ensure that it accurately contains the relevant information and entries. The boot.ini file includes vital information pertaining to your existing operating system as well as any partitions that exist on your hard drive.

Knowledgebase article 927296

            Your upgrade partition has multiple operating systems.

Typically if you have multiple operating systems installed on a PC they should each have their own partition. However, if this isn't the case on your PC then it is highly likely that you will receive this error when attempting to upgrade to Vista. You may also receive this error if your boot.ini file references more than one operating system.

One can either remove any unnecessary operating system files from a partition or move each operating system to a separate hard drive partition. This should also alter the boot.ini file on your system to ensure that you can upgrade at will.

If the boot.ini file does not accurately represent the way your hard drive is partitioned and how existing operating systems are installed then you will need to edit the boot.ini file accordingly. This will again ensure that the Vista upgrade is able to properly and accurately upgrade from your existing operating system to the version of Vista you have opted for.

Knowledgebase article 927297

            You must rename or remove <Folder> before upgrade can continue.

This error specifically pertains to three folder names that may exist on your computer – Windows, Users, and ProgramData. Essentially this error is caused by duplicate instances of these folders. If you have more than one copy of any of these folders or more than one of these folders on your hard drive then you will receive this error message.

Resolution of this error is simply a case of renaming or deleting the folder as indicated by the error message. Simply navigate to the folder in question through the Windows Explorer.

To rename the folder highlight it, right click and select rename. Add the word “Old” to the end of the folder name or rename it so that it doesn't conflict with any of the aforementioned folders and hit Enter.

To delete the folder highlight it and either click the Delete button or right click and select Delete from the drop down menu that appears.

Once you have renamed or removed the folder restart your Vista installation.

Knowledgebase article 926069

To upgrade Windows, your hard disk partition must be formatted as NTFS. To reformat the partition, cancel the installation, open the Command Prompt window, and then type: convert c: /fs:ntfs

Vista must be installed on an NTFS hard drive partition. If you are currently attempting to install onto a FAT32 partition then the installation will fail and you will receive the error message above.

In order to successfully complete the installation you will, as the message suggests, need to format the partition so that it is in the required NTFS format. Again, the error message is an intuitive one and users will need to perform the following in order to resolve this issue and successful complete the installation.

>  Click Start

>  Click Run

>  Type cmd and hit Enter or click OK

>  Type convert c:/FS:NTFS and hit Enter

This is presuming that the hard drive partition you wish to format is on the C drive, if not then replace the “c” in the above command with the appropriate drive letter and continue as normal.

Once completed restart the Vista installation.

Knowledgebase article 927688

This error relates to specific hardware installed on your system and the error message will vary depending on the hardware that is causing the problem. As with other errors in this section the installation will not complete and you will not be able to select the upgrade option until you have resolved the problem.

This error occurs when an item or items of hardware on your computer are not compatible with the Vista system requirements. Use the Vista Upgrade Advisor mentioned earlier in this guide and run it to determine any problems that exist. The Advisor will also advise you of how to resolve this issue. Take the appropriate steps, as outlined by the Advisor, in order to upgrade hardware or resolve any issues.

Once you have upgraded your hardware as appropriate begin the Vista installer.

Knowledgebase article 928432

This error may occur should you attempt to start your computer using the Vista DVD in your DVD drive and the upgrade option is unavailable. No error message is displayed but upgrading is not possible in some circumstances

Remove the Vista DVD from your computer, restart the computer, and then insert the DVD. This should result in the display of the Vista upgrade dialog box. If this box does not appear then do the following:

>  Click Start

>  Click Run

>  Type cmd and hit Enter or click OK

>  Type D:\startup.exe replacing D with the appropriate DVD drive letter if appropriate

Once the dialog box appears select the upgrade option and continue with the installation.

Knowledgebase article 932004

The legacy OS does not meet the software update requirements: “Service pack 2 for Windows XP”

For a successful upgrade from XP to Vista it is necessary to have a version of XP installed that includes Service Pack 2 because this service pack includes vital files and settings that are essential for the upgrade.

In order to resolve this problem cancel the current Vista installation and install Service Pack 2 (SP2). SP2 can be downloaded from the Microsoft update site at http://update.microsoft.com.

Once SP2 is downloaded and installed begin the Vista upgrade and proceed as directed.

Knowledgebase article 932005

You cannot upgrade Windows in Safe mode. Cancel the installation, restart your computer in normal mode, and then try to upgrade again

The installation of, or upgrade to, Windows Vista must be done when your computer is in Normal mode. If you attempt to upgrade in Safe mode you will receive the above error message.

To resolve this problem restart your computer in Normal mode and begin the installation again. If you are in Safe mode because you are suffering errors with your existing operating system then you will need to resolve those errors so that you can restart your system in Normal mode. Once this is done and you can enter Normal mode begin the upgrade to Vista again.

Knowledgebase article 932006

The upgrade cannot be started because the content on your installation disk is written in a different language than the language on your computer. To fix this, get an installation disk that uses the same language as your computer.

If you currently have one language version of XP installed on your system and you attempt to upgrade to a different language version of Vista then the installation will be disabled and the above error message displayed.

In order to resolve this ensure that you have the correct language version of Vista that matches your existing XP language version. If not then you may have to start a clean install of the Vista operating system without upgrading from one version to another.

Windows Vista is only available in a number of limited language versions when compared to XP. Should you attempt to upgrade an XP computer that is one of these unsupported language versions then you will receive the above error message.

In this case it will be necessary to install, rather than upgrade to, the Vista operating system. This may require the formatting of your hard drive or the creation of a new partition and the deletion of your old operating system.

Knwoledgebase article 932007

The installed operating system does not support an upgrade to Windows Vista

This error occurs if you are attempting to upgrade to Windows Vista on a machine that currently has an unsupported operating system. Only certain versions of XP can be fully upgraded; if you are receiving this error message then your current operating system is not one of these.

In order to combat this issue and continue with the Vista upgrade you will need to upgrade your existing operating system to one that is fully supported for Vista upgrade. Alternatively you will have to complete a clean installation, rather than an upgrade.

Knowledgebase article 932009

To upgrade, start the installation from Windows

There are various reasons for receiving this error. If you attempt to upgrade to Vista on a machine that is not currently using a Windows platform then you will receive this error. This includes attempting to upgrade to Vista on a machine with no current operating system.

In order to resolve this issue then you will need to run a clean installation. This is done by selecting Custom (Advanced) from the list of installation types.


Windows Vista Disk Errors

A disk error is a relatively generic term. Not only does it encapsulate physical damage that may have been caused to your hard drive but it also includes damage or corruption that occurs within the files themselves. There are many reasons why file damage or disk errors of this type can happen. A bad installation, infection with spyware or viruses, or a poor removal of applications are just some of the ways this can occur. Even shutting down your system using the power button rather than the Shut Down facility could potentially lead to disk errors.

Determining whether you are suffering from a failing or damaged hard drive or whether you have corrupt files is a difficult process. The most successful way is to work through the following procedures. If the problem persists then there is a very good chance that your physical hard drive is the problem. If this is the case then the only real solution is to use a different hard drive instead.

As ever the first step is to restart your computer. This does genuinely fix a large number of errors because it enables the Windows operating system to reload essential files that may not have loaded properly in the first place.

Like Windows XP the Vista operating system includes the Check Disk tool. This tool is easily accessed and will scan your system in order to determine whether any problems exist that can be quickly and easily resolved. In order to run the Check Disk feature follow these simple steps:

>  In Windows Explorer navigate to the partition of your hard drive that contains Windows Vista

>  Right click on the partition

>  Select properties from the drop down menu

>  Select the Tools tab

>  Click the Check Now button under the Error Checking Utility header

>  Enter your admin password if prompted to do so

>  Select the option you wish to use and let Check Disk run to completion

There are two options within the Check Disk utility:

Automatically fix file system errors – enabling this option lets Vista attempt to recover any errors or faults that are found during the scan. Disabling it means that all errors will be reported to you with no further action taken without prompting.

Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors – this lengthy process is a powerful feature that will attempt to find files and folders that are damaged or corrupt and unreadable. In the event that it does find any the Check Disk utility will then attempt to recover these files so that they can be accessed as normal.

When using Check Disk, like any tool that scans your hard drive, it is strongly advised that you do not use your computer while the scan completes. Opening and closing files can cause changes in the areas that are being scanned and this, in turn, can cause the utility to believe there are errors where none exist.

It is highly likely that you run this utility on the partition where Vista exists. In this case the utility will not actually be able to scan the partition straight away. Instead it will provide you with the option to scan the desired area when you net restart your computer. This ensures that the scan will complete properly and fully. If you are provided with this option when you attempt to run the scan ensure that you choose Schedule Disk Check.

Dual Hard Drive Error 

A lot more PCs now include dual hard drives in order to beef up the amount of available hard drive space. In most cases this won't cause a problem with the operating system or life with the computer in general. However, when installing Vista on one hard drive it is possible that certain parameters are stored on the other, empty hard drive. This means that formatting that hard drive or removing it from the computer will prevent Vista from booting properly.

If you are installing Vista for the first time then it is strongly advised that you install on a single hard drive. This may require the removal of a secondary or slave drive to be sure that all files are installed on the partition you want them.

If you have already installed Vista and have run into this problem since then your best option is the Vista DVD. In the BIOS settings you should choose to reboot from DVD, and restart your computer with the DVD in the DVD drive.

When your computer does restart select the Repair option, rather than the install option.

Recovery Console Not Recognizing Your Vista Hard Drive

Some users have experienced problems with using the Repair option in this way. Specifically they have reported that the disk will not recognize the drive where Vista is located and, as such, recovery is not an option. There is a temporary work around in the event that this does happen.

>  Run the Vista installation disk and, instead of attempting to choose the Repair option, choose the Install option

>  When asked whether you want to install or upgrade choose the Install option

>  This will “force” the disk to recognize your hard drive

>  Cancel the installation and start again from the installation DVD

>  This time choose Repair and then Startup Repair

>  Your hard drive will now be recognized and you can let the disk repair any problems it finds


Application Installation Errors

The biggest and most common error when attempting to install one or more applications on Vista is that the application itself is not compatible with the Windows Vista operating system. More and more applications have introduced Vista compatibility either into existing software or with a new version of their application.

The first step you should take if you do experience problems installing an application is to ensure that it offers Vista compatibility. This is typically well publicized information on of the software publisher's website and even a cursory look will, in most cases, enable you to determine whether the software you are using is truly Vista compatible.

The Vista Upgrade Advisor can be used to determine whether many of the applications on your system are already compatible and, if not, whether any action can be taken in order to ensure that they are compatible. Alternatively, you will need to consult the software manufacturer or distributor to ask for details.


Internet Connection And Browser Errors

A large part of the Vista operating system is designed around the fact that we are much more likely to use our computers to connect to the Internet. Internet Explorer is included as standard with all Vista packages and incorporates some handy features that have not been seen before on a Microsoft browser. However, some problems have been reported that can prevent the effective use of the Internet. While some are Vista errors some are specifically Internet Explorer 7 errors.

Internet Explorer Cannot Display This Page

This error can be caused by a number of different factors, however, if you are also experiencing difficulties logging on to Messenger and it takes an unusually long time to open web pages when successful then it is possible that Vista could be struggling with your router. Vista uses something called Auto Tuning in order to determine security and general Internet settings. When attempting to connect through some routers this can be a problem.

>  Open the Command Prompt by clicking Start and then Search

>  Type in cmd and hit Enter

>  Type netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled and hit Enter

This turns off the auto tuning feature and ensures that you can connect to the Internet with a reliable and fast connection. Browsing will become quicker, Messenger connection issues should be resolved, and you should no longer receive the above error message.

Internet Explorer Has Stopped Working

This error does not typically occur immediately upon installing Vista and Internet Explorer. Rather it occurs after some use of the operating system and browser. Most commonly it is associated with the addition of third party browser add-ons and utilities such as toolbars. There are several ways you can attempt to get round this issue although the simplest, and first suggestion, has so far proven to be the most successful.

>  From the Control Panel select Internet Options

>  Ensure that you are under the Advanced tab and click the Reset button in the bottom right of the Window

You can also attempt to uninstall any third party add-ons or software that you have recently installed. Some of these add-ons do not work well with Vista. While the situation is likely to change in the future, you are limited for now to the additional applications and features you can use with IE7 and Vista.

For users that have not installed any additions to IE7 it may be necessary to reinstall IE7 by repairing your Office installation.

You must be an administrator to open Internet Explorer on this desktop.

To open Internet Explorer, right-click the Internet Explorer icon, and then click 'Run as administrator'

This error is a bug within some Vista installations. It prevents any user beside the default user from accessing the Internet. Obviously this is not an ideal situation because it is not uncommon for all users on a single computer to want regular access to the Internet without having to log in as an administrator and without having to be assigned to an administrator group.

Microsoft has released a hotfix that is designed specifically and solely to deal with this bug. This hotfix has been included in a recent Windows update so you should ensure that your Windows PC has the ability to download the very latest service packs otherwise contact the Microsoft customer support in order to get a copy of the hotfix sent directly to you.


VPN Errors

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a network of computers where some of the ports are connected over the Internet. The connection is encrypted in order to ensure that all data and other information passed between ports remains private and secure. Typically a VPN is used within a corporate environment in order to ensure that Intranet and internal networks can be established with a secure connection. A VPN may also be used within a home environment to transfer files and settings from one computer to another or to share information.

Many users have experienced difficulties while attempting to establish a VPN. This is equally true of users attempting to upgrade from an XP based VPN to one on a Vista based computer. Many of the errors associated with a VPN are numerical only with little or no explanation of how or why the occurred or how to remedy the situation. The Microsoft support site does include a list of the possible VPN errors at the following link, each with a very brief explanation.


Two errors or problems, in particular, crop up on a fairly regular basis for Vista VPN users.

Error 741

Knowledgebase article 929857

When attempting to create a PPTP Virtual Private Network connection to a host server you may receive the error 741 and be unable to establish the connection. Typically, in these circumstances, it is because the server computer is running a version of the Windows operating system other than Vista while the remote computer is running Vista.

Default settings found in Vista and other Microsoft platforms differ greatly and, as such, configuring the two computers so that they are compatible should help resolve this problem effectively and relatively easily. You should first configure the server computer before progressing to configure the remote computer that will be used to access the server.

To configure the server computer:

>  Click Start

>  Hover over Programs

>  Hover over Administration Tools

>  Click Routing and Remote Access

>  Click the arrow next to server_name to expand and click Remote Access Policies

>  Double click Connections to Microsoft Routing and Remote Access server

>  Click Edit Profile

>  Select the Encryption tab

>  Select Strongest Encryption

>  Click OK twice

>  In Services restart Routing and Remote access

To configure the remote computer:

>  Click Start

>  Click Connect To

>  Right click the desired connection and click Properties

>  Select the Security tab

>  Click Advanced and then Settings

>  Under Data Encryption click Maximum strength encryption (disconnect if server declines)

>  Click OK twice 

This configures the two computers while still ensuring that the connection is encrypted and secure. There is another method but this entails removing all security settings leaving you with an entirely unsecured VPN connection, which is not a desirable path.

A Slow VPN Connection

Knowledgebase article 934202

If you experience a VPN connection that is noticeably slower than usual or slower than you would expect then the likelihood is that you have logged on to your computer as offline and then established a VPN connection.

Vista includes a slow connection detection utility, but if you establish a connection once logged on this can take some minutes to establish fully and properly. In the meantime it is possible that your VPN will be unusually slow, but these symptoms typically pass within a few minutes of establishing your connection once the slow connection detection begins to work.

A hotfix has been released by Microsoft to combat this problem, and it is available in Windows updates. Log on, download, and install all Windows updates to remedy this situation as well as many other errors and problems that you may be experiencing.


Dialup Connections

Vista is especially powerful when connected to the Internet and certain versions of the operating system will only work fully under these circumstances. To enjoy Vista at its best users are advised to connect to the Internet using a high speed or broadband connection. This ensures a quicker transfer of data, fewer page loading errors, and a faster online experience. However, not all users have the luxury of this and, as such, dial up connections are still supported.

Error 624

Knowledgebase article 934588

Cannot write to the telephone book.

Error 624: Telephone book file cannot be updated.

This error message typically occurs when attempting to connect to the Internet via a standard dial up modem connection. It will be accompanied by a failed dialup connection. Retrying the procedure may cause the same error to reproduce or it may eventually work after several attempts. However, this is not a desirable situation and it can be resolved.

The reason that this error occurs is that you are running Internet Explorer 7 using Protected mode. When running IE7 in Protected mode certain registry entries have restricted access and because these entries are required for the proper connection to a dial up network your connection will fail and you will receive this error message. Unfortunately, Protected mode is enabled as default in Internet Explorer 7 on all Vista computers. As such, this is a very common error for IE7 users attempting to connect to the Internet using a dialup connection.

In order to work around this problem it is necessary to start the connection before you attempt to open IE7. This ensures that there is no restriction on any registry entries when you make connection and the connection will hold when you come to open IE7.

In order to connect to the Internet in this way follow these instructions:

>  Click Start

>  Click Connect To

>  Click Setup a Connection or Network

>  Click Setup a dialup Connection

>  Enter the details regarding your dialup connection

>  Open IE7 once the connection has been fully established

Failed Dialup After Hibernation

Knowledgebase article 936835

This is a slightly misleading error that is caused by having a dialup connection that is still active and then waking the computer from hibernation. Under these circumstances it may appear as though the connection is still active on your computer, but even though the connection appears active it is not. The Network Center correctly shows the status of the connection as being inactive.

Unfortunately, there are only two known methods to get round this problem and neither are long term fixes. As a one off solution you should restart your computer and then reestablish the connection if needed. Alternatively you should disconnect from the dialup connection before putting your system into hibernation or sleep mode.


Bluetooth Device Errors

Bluetooth is a standard of wireless connectivity that has been heavily adopted by manufacturers and producers of cell phones, PDAs, computers, and other peripherals and accessories. Vista offers a number of Bluetooth connection wizards in order that you can transfer files from one Bluetooth enabled device or computer to another. However, Bluetooth devices have been known to experience problems especially when a computer is put into hibernation during its use.

Bluetooth Audio Device Failure

Knowledgebase article 933144

Users have reported that Vista does not automatically route an audio output to a new Bluetooth audio device once the device has been added. This is not considered an error or bug on the part of Microsoft Vista and occurs primarily because Vista does not automatically configure audio settings when a new Bluetooth device is added.

Settings will need to be changed manually in order to enjoy the benefits of a new Bluetooth audio device on your system. The device can be set as the default in order that you do not need to enable the device every time you connect it. In order to select a new Bluetooth device to handle all audio outputs as standard follow these instructions:

>  Click “Start”

>  Click “Control Panel”

>  Click “Hardware and Sound”

>  Click “Manage audio devices under the Sound heading”

>  Under the resulting Sound heading ensure that the Playback tab is selected

>  Select the Bluetooth device you wish to use and click Set Default

>  Click OK

You will need to restart any multimedia or audio programs that are currently running in order to use the new Bluetooth device for the first time. However, once you have done this Vista will continue to use this device for the playback of all audio.

Bluetooth Transfer Failure Because Of Hibernation

Knowledgebase article 937827

When attempting to transfer a file or a number of files via Bluetooth the transfer may fail because one of the computers goes into hibernation. Computers are typically set so that they enter hibernation after a set period of inactivity. If you or another computer user involved in the transfer does not move the cursor within the allotted space of time the computer will enter into hibernation, thus canceling any transfer that was under way.

The resolution for this problem is to ensure that both computers have adequate power saving settings so that they do not enter hibernation at least until the file transfer is complete. In order to change power saving settings follow these instructions:

>  Click Start

>  Click Control Panel

>  Click System and Maintenance

>  Click Power Options

>  Select the Select a power plan tab

>  Choose the appropriate settings you want to use and click OK


Sleep And Hibernation Errors

Vista offers enhanced power saving settings that enable you to alter the period of time your computer is inactive before being entered into sleep or hibernation mode. Entering hibernation mode ensures that you use less power and you suffer less damage to your monitor when compared to leaving your computer running as normal while you are not with it. However, entering hibernation under certain circumstances can lead to errors and problems with software, hardware, and attached devices (see audio devices above and dialup Internet connections above).

Connected Devices Fail Following Hibernation

Knowledgebase article 928631

Once you wake your computer from hibernation some devices may stop working or may work incorrectly. Vista may be unable to recognize some devices attached to your PC, especially those that connect using USB. Other devices may not be immediately recognized by Vista when you first turn on your system, but in less than a minute they become recognized and ready for use.

This is a known bug and Microsoft has released a hotfix to counteract this problem. This hotfix is available by contacting Microsoft support and requesting it or by downloading the latest updates, patches, and fixes from the Microsoft update center.

Various Network Errors Following Hibernation

Knowledgebase article 937477

On waking a Vista based PC from hibernation or from sleep mode you may experience various problems that are related to your network or Internet connection. These problems include the network connection icon not updating to accurately reflect your current connection status, an incorrect status despite attaching a network cable, and you mot not receive the screen tip when hovering over the network icon or having clicked it.

These symptoms are misleading but do not actually prevent you from connecting to a network. In some cases the connection icon in the taskbar may even state that you are not connected but you are still, in actual fact, fully connected.

These errors occur when the computer enters hibernation before it has chance to update the connection settings.

Restarting your computer should remedy this situation quickly and easily. Alternatively, in order to view the correct and current status of your network connection use the Network Connection Center by following these instructions:

>  Click Start

>  Enter Network and Sharing Center in the search box

>  Click Network and Sharing Center in the programs list that is displayed

As already mentioned these errors do not prevent you from connecting to the Internet, however they are misleading and will typically state that you are not connected even though you can access all areas of the network you have connected to. There is no immediate reason to restart your computer under these circumstances.

System Freezes Following Hibernation

Knowledgebase article 937500

When you wake a Windows Vista computer from hibernation you may experience a completely black screen followed by a seemingly nonsensical Stop error message. You will be unable to use or properly access your computer without restarting it. While the error can occur as a one off it can also happen regularly, although with seemingly no related conditions.

This error usually occurs when running a PCI-Express graphics or video card, and ASPM (Active State Power Management) is enabled on the device.

This error occurs because the graphics device did not have adequate opportunity to exit the Active State Power Management before entering sleep or hibernation mode. In order to resolve the issue you will first need to restart your computer. Once restarted you should download and install the latest patches released by Microsoft because these contain essential downloads and upgrades as well as fixes for these situations. You can set Vista to download and install these automatically or visit the Microsoft upgrade center to look for the necessary and latest patches. You can also request the appropriate hotfix directly from the Microsoft support center.

Video Camera Errors Following Hibernation

Knowledgebase article 938315

Webcam or USB digital camcorder users may experience problems receiving an image from their webcam when waking the system from hibernation. This is likely to be true if you use the camera for image capture (e.g. as a webcam), and if Vista entered sleep or hibernation while you were previewing images from the camera.

Under these circumstances you may either be greeted by a blue screen or a black screen with no image preview. Typically, restarting your computer will give you back full access and image viewing capabilities.

Microsoft have released a hotfix that was originally designed for use with Sony computers but it has proven to be effective with other makes of computer running the Vista operating system as well. You should download the latest updates from the Microsoft update center or contact Microsoft support and request a copy of the hotfix relating to this problem.


Sidebar Errors

One addition to the Vista operating system that has not been seen in any previous version of the Microsoft operating system is the Windows sidebar. Google desktop users may recognize the kind of software this is and will almost certainly be aware of its benefits. The sidebar houses gadgets such as a calculator, world clock, currency converter, and much more. Some of these gadgets are included as standard with the Vista installation while others can be downloaded and installed to further enhance the features offered by Vista and, specifically, the Windows sidebar.

These are some of the more common errors regarding the use of the Windows sidebar on a machine running the Vista operating system. Where possible we have included the error message text and a link to the appropriate Microsoft knowledgebase article.

Knowledgebase article 927825

A Runtime Error has occurred. Do you wish to debug? Line: <Line> Error: Unspecified Error

This error occurs when attempting to use a sidebar gadget. The error occurs because the code of the gadget attempts to assign a null value to the gadget function. All gadgets must have a function assigned to them in order to work properly.

In order to resolve this issue you can choose to remove the gadget from the sidebar by uninstalling or disabling it or you edit the gadget's .html file in order to assign a function properly.

Knowledgebase article 930099

There have been reports that some gadgets may not download and install correctly and that they do not display in the Windows sidebar. While there is no known error message associated with this problem access to and use of the gadget is difficult, if not completely impossible.

This problem tends to occur when the .gadget extension used by compatible gadgets is not associated with the sidebar. Resolution of the problem requires properly associating file types with the sidebar application and is done as follows:

>  Click Start

>  Type default programs in the Search box and hit Enter

>  Click the “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” button

>  Click “.gadget” under the “Name” heading and then click “Change program”

>  Under the “Recommended programs” header select “Windows sidebar” and click “OK”

Knowledgebase article 930100

If a gadget appears to have installed correctly but does not display within the Windows sidebar then the most likely problem is that it has been written using a language that is not supported in your Vista version. Another possibility is that you have not selected the language as one of your preferred languages.

First, you should attempt to install the appropriate language pack according to the language of the gadget. There are a number of language packs available. However, some languages are not supported and in these cases it will be necessary to ask the gadget publisher or distributor if they can provide a version in a different language that is supported.

Knowledgebase article 930277

The Windows sidebar should retain the display settings and layout that you choose. However, in some cases this doesn't happen. Problems have occurred whereby restarting your computer can mean that some gadgets do not display at all while others may have moved location.

In order to work around this problem you should first attempt to move the gadgets back to the desired location and then restart your computer. This problem should not have an adverse effect on the functions offered by the gadget.

Knowledgebase article 930371

Clicking outside of the gadget flyout Windows may result in the gadget and the sidebar becoming unresponsive. This is an error that is usually caused by a mistake in the programming of the gadget itself. This error represents the fact that the gadget code contains beginTransition and endTransition functions that should not be included within the flyout Windows code.

In order to resolve this issue it will be necessary to contact the gadget author in order that they can fix the code so that it meets the sidebar requirements. Typically this means replacing the two features within the appropriate area of the code.

Knowledgebase article 931272

Service not available in your language or region

If you receive this error message when attempting to run the Weather gadget that is included with the sidebar then there are two potential causes. The exact causes will, of course, determine how and if the error can be fixed.

You may be located in a region that can not collect the appropriate Weather data for this gadget. Another possibility is that within the Regional and Language options the settings may not match one another. This conflict in settings will cause problems with this and some other gadgets so users should ensure that the options are set correctly by following these instructions.

>  Click Start

>  Type intl.cpl in the search box and click OK

>  Click intl.cpl in the resulting Programs list

>  Ensure that the Location tab is selected

>  Ensure that the selected Current Location in the Location tab matches that of the Region in the Format tab

>  Shut down the Weather gadget

>  Drag the Weather gadget back into the sidebar

The Location setting can be used by a number of gadgets and other utilities and applications. News readers offering local highlights as well as Weather and Travel news in particular use this setting to determine your results. Ensuring that this is correct should also help ensure that all other regional utilities are correct and work properly.

Knowledgebase article 932652

Not compatible

One or more gadgets could not be turned on or off

If either of these error messages are displayed when attempting to access a Windows sideshow application then it is highly likely that you have a corrupt or incorrect SideShow driver. You may also notice that certain gadgets have become disabled or inaccessible, certain settings (such as Language and Region) appear blank, and synchronization of various files may not work properly.

In order to resolve this issue ensure that you have downloaded and installed all of the latest Windows fixes, patches, and releases. There are two important hot fixes that are included in recent updates and only by using these fixes can you resolve the above issues.


Firefox Vista Errors

Microsoft Vista comes with the latest Internet Explorer 7 as standard, however, many users prefer the functions and security features that Mozilla's Firefox browser offers. A Vista compatible Firefox is available that offers the same functions and security levels as users have become accustomed to. The following are certain errors that have been known to occur for Firefox users on the Vista platform.

Only one Microsoft knowledgebase article is available on the topic, however, there are a number of known fixes also described in this section of the guide.

Error Code 203

Knowledgebase article 936490

Error code -203

This error is typically witnessed when attempting to install the Firefox plugin that enables you to view Windows Media Player embedded media. It is accompanied by an unsuccessful installation attempt and means that users will be unable to view any embedded WMP files that are on websites and web pages.

The plugin that is required is missing from the Vista platform, and it may also be missing from other Windows operating systems. Without this plugin it is not possible to view Windows Media Players embedded into web pages. In order to resolve the issue users need to download the Windows Media Player plugin made available by Microsoft at the following link:


Once the plugin is downloaded you should once again attempt to reinstall Firefox on your system.

Firefox Not Updating

Downloading and installing the latest updates for any application is generally the advised route to take. Recent releases of Firefox are known to cure a number of Vista compatibility issues as well as several bugs and other errors. However, a number of users have reported an error when attempting to upgrade to the Firefox release.

To most users this update is a very minor fix, if it has any impact at all. However, if you do wish to stay on top of releases and you are struggling because you keep being presented with the option to upgrade despite having upgraded then you need to follow these instructions:

>  Run Firefox as an administrator by right clicking the Firefox icon and selecting “Run as administrator”

>  Click “Help”

>  Select “Check for updates” from the drop down menu

>  Click “Download and install now”

>  Once download is complete DO NOT select the option to Restart Now

>  Instead, choose to Exit the application

>  Restart Firefox, again ensuring that you have Administrator privileges

>  The upgrade should continue as normal

There are more recent upgrades of Firefox available now and you may opt to install one of these upgrades instead, eliminating the need to perform the above actions.

Firefox Window Shakes

When using Windows Firefox you may notice that the main Firefox window shakes or bumps. There are a number of known reasons why this occurs. Primarily you should ensure that you do not use any additional third party plugins that may be causing this to happen as part of its features. One example is the eQuake plugin. This plugin will cause the Firefox window to shake when a new earthquake is reported.

If this is not the case then you should download the latest upgrades. This bug was fixed in Firefox release so using this release or a later one should ensure that your Firefox window does not shake unexpectedly.

This Program Must Close

This program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete. Please restart

This error message is usually displayed when users attempt to access the Firefox application. The application will not start and the error message is displayed. The first step to attempt to recover from this error is to restart the Firefox application. Restarting your system may also prove useful so attempt this if the problem persists.

If restarting the Firefox application and your system does not have the desired effect then you should complete the following actions:

>  Click Start

>  Type %AppData% in the Search box

>  Navigate to Local\VirtualStore\ProgramFiles\MozillaFirefox

>  Delete xpicleanup.dat

If the problem still persists then you should delete the xpicleanup.exe file from the Firefox directory itself, which is usually located at the path C:\ProgramFiles\Firefox.

JS_DHashTableOperate could not be located...

JS_DHashTableOperate could not be located in the dynamic link library js3250.dll

This error occurs in Firefox version and has been fixed in later releases. It occurs when attempting to start the Firefox browser and results in an inability to access the application. It is usually caused by updating from an earlier version of the Firefox browser but without exiting or closing all Firefox windows and applications.

Removing and reinstalling the application should remedy the situation. This version of Firefox has been replaced several times, and users are advised to download the latest version in place of version The latest releases include a number of important patches, fixes, and other updates.

Can't Select Firefox As Default Browser

Selecting Firefox as your default browser ensures that whenever you click links or attempt to open an Internet page the Vista operating system will use the Firefox browser rather than Internet Explorer or any other browser you have installed on your machine. Some users have reported that they have been unable to select Firefox as the default browser.

This was an error in some earlier releases of Vista compatible Firefox browsers. In order to remedy this situation you should install the latest version of Firefox available, and certainly or later.


Corrupt iPod Problem

The iPod has become synonymous with mp3 and personal audio players. It is by far the most successful and popular of all personal audio devices and with new and upgraded versions being regularly added to the iPod family it looks almost certain that its meteoric rise in popularity will continue to increase.

When connecting an iPod to iTunes 7.2 on a Vista based computer you may receive an error message stating that unless you download the latest Microsoft software then unplugging the iPod from the computer may lead to the corruption of the iPod. All iPod users are strongly advised to download this software as per the instructions you will receive on screen in order to ensure that removing the iPod from your computer does not corrupt it.

Users should also be aware, however, that as long as they use the Eject iPod option from the iTunes software then there is no danger whatsoever of corrupting the device.

This patch has been released via the Microsoft update center and, as such, any users that automatically download and install the latest updates from Microsoft without being prompted will automatically have this software included on their PC.


Adobe Problems

Adobe Flash Player has become an integral part of surfing the web. Flash offers advanced, dynamic content to otherwise static webpages. Some pages rely entirely on the display of Flash animation while many more integrate small amounts of this animation into individual pages. Even spending a small amount of time surfing the net inevitably means you will come across a page or entire site that requires the installation and enabling of Flash.

Vista requires that you download and install the very latest version of the Flash player. This is available from the Adobe website at www.adobe.com and includes the latest features as well as complete Vista compatibility.

As well as being responsible for Flash player and other Flash based tools Adobe also create a number of other applications. The vast majority of Adobe programs offer a Vista compatible release that ensures you can continue to enjoy the power of these programs as well as the power of Vista. If you currently have any Adobe based applications installed and you wish to upgrade to Vista or have already done so then you are strongly advised to update to the latest version of the software that is available.

Vista Forcing Protected Mode In Flash Player

Some users have reported that when they first install the latest version of Flash player on their PC they are repeatedly prompted to initiate Protected Mode when accessing content. This is a known problem and recent updates to the Flash player software as well as recent patches released by Microsoft have put pay to this situation.

Alternatively there are other methods that prevent this prompt from continuously displaying on your machine.

Uninstall and reinstall the application. When asked by the installer if you would like to close down all Internet Explorer Windows confirm and let the installer close down these windows. This ensures that all the appropriate settings can be altered and amended as required without errors that cause this problem. Instead of letting the installer do this for you it will work just as well if you click No and then close down all windows and tabs yourself.

Restart your Vista system. As with many problems this is typically enough to reset any minor issues that can be worked around by the system itself. Restarting Vista immediately after you have completed the installation of Flash player ensures that you will not receive this error. Again, this may require the removal and reinstallation of the application.

Dreamweaver Crashes While Browsing For Files

A conflict between Dreamweaver and the Groove component of Microsoft Office 2008 can cause Dreamweaver to crash under a range of different circumstances. This is only a problem for Enterprise and Ultimate Office 2008 users because the Groove component is not included in any other Office packages.

Adobe does not intend to resolve issues in Dreamweaver or their other creative applications until they release new versions. In the case of Dreamweaver this is expected to be in Spring 2007. Until then it is possible to prevent this problem by removing or uninstalling the Groove component from the Microsoft Office 2008 suite.


Conclusion And Summary

Microsoft Vista is a powerful operating system and one that has been designed as a next generation type of console for all computer users. As with the new release of many operating systems and other applications, though, Vista did experience quite a large number of errors and problems. Some applications were not supported while errors cropped up regularly when users attempted to upgrade or install to a Vista platform.

Despite still being in its infancy Vista has already had a lot of problems ironed out. Microsoft regularly releases new updates and releases in order that users can enjoy as stress free an experience as possible. Users are highly recommended to install all of the latest patches made available by Microsoft and to ensure that they have the latest drivers and versions of other applications installed as well.

The Microsoft website is a good place to start for any problems that have not been covered in this guide. The knowledgebase section, in particular, provides a very good range of articles and fixes that are well documented and, in most cases,  very effective.

Some software is still not Vista compatible and, in instances where these applications will not automatically work in Vista, it will probably be necessary to wait for the next release of the software or for a new patch to be released in order to enjoy the software on your new Vista operating system.


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