Vista hard reset this time takes my Explorer and Firefox settings with it

It’s happened again. Yet another hard reset of Vista and I’ve lost data. This never happened to me in Windows XP. After every running applications stopped responding and Explorer froze I hard reset the machine after waiting 5+ minutes for it to respond. I’ve since lost all of my Firefox browser settings, layout, history, proxy etc. as well as the icon layout on my Windows desktop, my taskbar positioning and who knows what else.

A number of my friends have given up on Vista and a few people here at Falafel have ongoing Vista issues. I’ve got it dialed way back to conserve on battery and memory on my MacBook Pro but I often wonder how much better Windows XP would work?

14 thoughts on “Vista hard reset this time takes my Explorer and Firefox settings with it

  1. Sounds like Vista lost some parts of your profile. I had issues with Vista on my work machine too and moved back to XP. My notebook, however, which I bought after Vista was released and which was "certified" by Dell to be Vista ready, works very well with Microsoft’s new OS.

  2. Not that it’s much help right now, but you might want to install the Google Browser Sync extension for Firefox. I use it to keep my FireFox bookmarks in sync between home and work, it would recover your FireFox settings when Vista nukes them. I’ve only had Vista lock up on me a couple of times, but I never lost any data. Is there any chance that it’s a conflict between Vista and your RAID 0?

  3. Steve,
    My brother and I have both pretty much abandoned Vista now. The 3GB I put into this machine to support Vista made it tolerable, but makes XP very nice.
    Vista isn’t terrible, but between the time lost figuring out where they’ve moved things, and the issues from the new security model, and the generally sluggish behavior, XP is just a better business decision.

  4. *youch* that has a high degree of suck. Personally I’ve had excellent luck with Vista, even on an old Dell 8300 with only 2GB of memory and a barely supported graphics card. My only real issues were debugging IIS under VS2005 but upgrading to VS2008 nicely sorted all those bits out. Given that generally people are having success with Vista I’m thinking it has to be a driver or software issue some where. Anything in your event logs? There is a wealth of goodness in there in tracking down issues.
    A frustrating paradox is that a lot of developers complain about Vista because of buggy, bad Vista software and so themselves don’t do much testing of the software they’re writing on Vista, hence propagating bad, non-Vista certified software.

  5. Hi Steve,
    what caused the machine to hang?
    I’m running Vista Ultimate on a Dell notebook and the couple of times when I had to hard reset the machine was during shutdowns that were never ending, but I didn’t suffer any data loss.
    Generally speaking Vista is so far a much better experience then XP, for example it never crashed running videogames, a couple of times the nVidia driver crashed, but Vista handled it and restarted the driver without crashing the system or the game, on the other hand on XP system crashes caused by the video driver was a pretty frequent problem.
    I would never go back to XP and it’s lousy driver handling.

  6. Take a look at the comments from that previous post. Four other people mentioned the same sort of data loss problem. I’ve actually had very good, what I would call, luck running Vista on my MacBook Pro and this was the first time I can recall losing data over a reset.
    My previous post was referring to the machine I was using at CodeGear and not my MacBook Pro so I’ve now lost data on two entirely different pieces of hardware. And as I said, this never happened to me on dozens of hard resets of XP over the last 5-6 years. I recall losing my FF settings on my other machine as well which seems to me like a users profile data is potentially at risk when a machine locks up though my .PAS files were elsewhere on the disk.
    In this case, the only thing I had running that isn’t normally running is SysInternals FileMon utility though it was not capturing any data at the time. Hmm, perhaps that’s something to Google on.
    After looking at the logs I can see an entry for "Kernel-General" with the error "{Registry Hive Recovered} Registry hive (file): ‘\??\C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\UsrClass.dat’ was corrupted and it has been recovered. Some data might have been lost."
    I now see this morning that there are updates dating back to before I got this machine that need to be applied. The more I dig the more serious I think the data was, not encouraging!

  7. Enrico,
    How about 99%? I’ve now experienced almost the exact same type of data loss (profile information) on two completely different machines. In addition, other people commented on my previous post that they’d lost data as well.

  8. Chris,
    Regarding Google Browser Sync, I’ve tried it and given up on it even as recently as a week ago. I still prefer SessionSaver where I store my session information via FTP on my domain for access on other machines. I think it works better than Google Browser Sync and the data isn’t stored on some Google machine. It’s not as feature rich but it’s faster and I prefer it.

  9. I’m having exactly the same problem – Vista is hanging every few minutes or so, and the machine is unusable – nothing seems to work, and I cannot find what the issue is.
    I have looked at uninstalling programs, and a lot have RESET to the current date saying that "today" was when the program was installed – mad!
    Vista seems to have lost its way somehow and many open programs or windows display "NOT RESPONDING" sporadically.
    Firefox and IE have both reset, losing all of my page layout settings and browsing preferences.

  10. If you are using x64 version of Vista (and I assume you do given that it shows 3.25GB of RAM) and having hard reboots (no BSOD), then you are probably having machine check exceptions. It took me a while to figure that one out. Read this article I wrote for some details – Link
    To put it short, I have given up on Vista for now because of grave instability and installed XP x64 SP2. Not a single crash so far.

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