Vista really does have driver issues!

Well, the Vaio Microsoft sent me yesterday arrived today! It is a SZ series, core 2 duo with 2gb of ram, and a 120gb hd.

Vaio SZ

It came with goodies like a HSDPA card from T-Mobile – not sure if that will work in Ireland and a memory card adapter for reading SD, XD and MC cards.

Unfortunately it also comes with the driver issues which have plagued other Vista owners who have upgraded from previous versions of Windows.

display driver error

Upgrading would appear to be the issue here as well – the sticker on the underside of the laptop is an XP sticker. It appears this laptop was upgraded to Vista and not all the drivers are ready.

The above error occurred after less than 10 minutes of using the laptop and re-occurred 3 more times in the next half an hour. Oh dear!

50 thoughts on “Vista really does have driver issues!”

  1. OMG, did they do any testing or they just trying to shoot themselves in the foot? I bet MS are trying to lay the groundwork for a new OS that drops all backwards compatibility in the name of stability.

    Hey, if Apple can do it 🙂

  2. Ouch, Once the driver issues are resolved it will calm down a bit.

    I use Vista 12 hours a day.

    I gets lots of “Not Responding” and “Explorer has to close” (3 or 4 times a day). I havent lost any work/data but what they say about waiting until the first service pack is sounding about right to me. (7 weeks in)

    Congrats and enjoy.


  3. As much as I might be tempted to guffaw, it’s early days yet. It’ll all work out fine…ish

  4. Microsoft sent you a Windows XP laptop to evaluate Windows Vista on? Oh dear. Such a pity really, they can do so much better than the past year’s efforts.

  5. At least over here they sent Bloggers a pretty honkin’ machine to test Vista on.

    Not paying attention I bought a new laptop the day Vista launched so I accidentally ended up with it.

    So far generally pretty stable – only one driver issue so far and it’s non-critical, hasn’t impacted me except for a pop-up when I boot up. Although I think there’s a couple of other issues that may be driver related but I haven’t been able to figure them out yet (DVD-ROM has a beef with regions occasionally)

  6. I sent back a Vista laptop for replacement to the supplier. It bluescreened constantly and blamed the video driver on reboot. No amount of driver updates fixed it. I’m pretty sure in this case I was dealing with faulty hardware but I have a slight suspicion it is the OS.

    A pity as I was really enjoying using it.

    I also admire them finally admitting that having spaces in important directory names like “Program Files” and “My Documents and Settings” was one of the most stupid things they ever did (was that Windows 95?) and they have finally fixed it.

  7. Tom,

    The laptop originally had XP installed, but it’s not an upgrade to Vista we did (you can see on the CD that came with the laptop that it’s a full version of the Ultimate). What we did was a sysprep and putting an image over the XP, replacing the OS with the new one.

    As for the display driver, I’ve been having that issue as well. I kind of managed to prevent it by switching off the dreamscape (your moving background). I know it sounds silly, and it’s something that’s being worked on. But try it and let me know what it does for you. (by the way, I like the fact the message says: “… and recovered” without you having to do anything, plus it also took like a few seconds for the driver to recover)

    We opted not to remove the XP logo, also because of the transparency we’re trying to maintain. The fact we’re running Vista on a device that originally wasn’t meant to go out with a Vista OEM is for us a very interesting angle of approach.

    It’s part of the reason why we ask people to test it ‘heavily’, and it seems from the suggestions of your readers that it is exactly your intention to do so. I’ll follow your adventures closely. If there’s anything I can do, just ping me… you have my contact data.


  8. Hey Miel,

    thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    It is interesting you say that the dreamscape may be the cause. I turned this off because I found it a bit distracting and now that you mention it, I haven’t had any driver issues since!

    Don’t worry, I’ll be in touch.

  9. Conor O’Neill, surprisingly, although it seems to be a hardware failure as what the error code indicates, it might be something more silly.

    I have a machine newly built running extremely unstable in Vista but work without much problem in XP. The failure encountered is about the same as what you do.

    I realize that it tends to be a driver issue, casuing the system unstable.

  10. I now remember after running Microsoft Vista Adviser program.
    (Download from Microsoft site) I had a warning that the Grafic card in my VAIO was not up to scretch so some functions would not been able to be applied.Well Vista runs fine as it is but I have to admit
    I spent about 24 Hours to get it to do everything.
    Suggesting go to control panel click device manager.
    click on every device go to properties and you will be able to see the status of every driver.I had most problems to get the soundcard drivers.The first moments my earphone conn was dead and only the
    Digital player worked via a media extender.Also you find that most older programs do not work in VISTA.If you check all the updates for VISTA from microsoft you can read that they admit.
    Ref all KB upgrade packages from microsofr I received about 13 Packages I have printed every package so I know exactly what is going on!!
    I am musicien and retired measurement and control engineer.

    Jan Verweerde

  11. hi, is any one having the same problems as i am, with the sony vaio fs315m drivers, the one driver ive been trying to get is the util drivers that will allow be to reduce the brightness of my screen because vista is eatting my battery at the moment due to full screen briteness. I have checked out sony Uk and downloaded and installed there vista updates, but none of them work !!!!!

  12. Tom

    I have the same machine, albeit the SZ3 version (in fact all of my team at MS do) and we’re running along very nicely with Vista Ultimate on it. Sony has actually been pretty good with Vista drivers and I even got a packaged upgrade DVD last week for my SZ3 which originally came with XP. It included the OS, apps and drivers. You can get all the drivers from

    need any more help? just shout


  13. My laptop was returned with XP. 100% rock solid.

    So it appears that whilst the Dell Latitude D420 is “Vista Capable”, it cannot run Home Premium for more than a few minutes without blue-screening. Interesting use of the word “capable”.

    I really do like Vista but I have to wonder if MS have a disaster in the making here.

    Compare this experience to my ancient Inspiron 3800 which came with Windows 98 (plus a voucher for Windows 2000 upgrade). When I did the Win2k upgrade, the only thing that did not work was a Psion PCMCIA modem (and that was only because Psion were exiting that business).

    Surely every Dell laptop and PC should have been in constant test for months by Microsoft, Dell and Intel to make sure that Vista support was perfect for launch?

  14. Steve,

    apologies for the delayed response but I’m just back from holidays.

    My Vaio is also the SZ3 (it is the SZ3VWP/X to be precise). It is running Vista Ultimate also.

    However, when I go to, the video driver referenced there for this machine is the same version as the one installed on the Vaio unfortunately.

    Can you run Second Life on your Vaio, or is it just me having this video driver issue?

    By the way, Device Manager shows all my drivers as being ok.

  15. Tom

    Exact same machine as me. I haven’t strayed in to Second Life so can’t say on that one but happy to try to help. I just signed up and downloading. will feedback more soon.

    is your graphics switch on speed or stamina?


  16. tom

    same drivers as me for the NVidia. I just fired up Second Life and though it said “not responding” for a short while, it did run okay. Do you have the battery mode set to high performance?


  17. I just bought a new Toshiba laptop with Vista and my Lexmark Z25 printer cannot be installed due to old drivers. I checked Lexmarks web site and they aren’t going to have any updated drivers that will work with Vista.

    Is there anywhere else I can search to try and find a driver that would work for my printer and Vista or do I have to buy a new printer now?

  18. anybody got a solution to “display driver has stopped responding but has been recovered” ???

    it happens to me frequently now but it didnt used to, i’ve had vista 32-bit installed for about a month…

  19. I’m not sure if this is the right place to air this grievance – maybe someone can tell me if I’m being unreasonable – but I just bought a Sony Vaio VGN-C21 with 512MB, it came with Vista Basic, and it’s incredibly slow, frustrating and often unusable. All I’m running is Office, Mozilla, Flickr Uploader and pretty much just using it for word processing and internet. It sometimes freezes and ‘thinks’ for several minutes, during which i can’t do anything. It’s very slow to respond even to switching between program windows or tabs in Mozilla. Sony helpline guy said I should really be running it with at least 1GB – but they sold it to me with 512MB so in my book, it should bloody well work with 512MB! Angry! Any suggestions?

  20. Bianca, sorry for your trouble but 1GB is a workable minimum.

    It should work with what they sell it on but there you go, thats computers for you 🙂

  21. There is no way Sony Vaio and the Intel board run Second Life.
    This is a shame for a brand that claims to be so sophisticated.

  22. Marcio, I run Second Life on the Vaio and so does Tom. Maybe you should just update your drivers…

  23. Drivers, drivers, drivers! I have had to return most of the hardware that I use on a regular basis, as the manufacturers are too lazy to produce drivers, making my system very unstable at times. I have replaced them with ones from better manufacturers that have vista support. The OS itself doesn’t yet feel like a true upgrade to Windows XP. It seems as it is as Windows ME was to Windows 98.

  24. I just bought a Vaio VGN-AR41S… with Vista Home Premium. I am going to have to re-install Vista… or Go back to using XP… cause basically the system is so unreliable… blue screen of death 2 times an hour… I am almost scared to do anything cause it seems like even clicking the start can cause the thing to crash…

  25. I just bought an sz230 with vista pre-installed and its working fine for the most part. Even with all the drivers updated from sony support, my utilities keys still doesn’t work because the bios is unable to read my systems information. I also find it awkward that my system info reads “DELL”. A bit curious but nothing to be concerned about. It only has 1 gig of ram but i wish to upgrade, and since I am unfamiliar with notebook ram, any suggestions on what I should buy?

  26. After years of sticking it out with Microsoft, I am finally a die-hard anti-Microsoft consumer. I have stuck with them through even MS-DOS and Windows 3.1. I chose windows mobile over palm. I chose IE over netscape, mozilla, and firefox. I even had an easier time with Windows 2000 than this.

    My next PDA will definately be a palm-based OS. I am running ubuntu on my computer, and I have helped install linux on my entire family’s computers. I recommended that my sister get Apple. For Christmas I was thinking about getting my little cousin an XBOX 360, but I am getting a Nintendo Wii instead. Microsoft’s focus on predatory strategy and getting the hype and wow right but the basics wrong has pushed me over the edge. I urge all of you to tell as many people to abandon Microsoft en masse. Microsoft needs to hear about this.

  27. Vista is a mess. I am a computer programmer and IT specialist, and I could not get bluetooth devices to work properly. My soundcard doesn’t work properly. I could not get my USB drive to work. And even hardware with driver downloads from the original company did not work (for example an HP 1315 all in one, the installation asked for me to connect the printer– which after doing the setup program would not recognize that I had connected). I’ve tried installing anyways by clicking a “connect later” box and hitting next; however this did not work. HP and Microsoft have both failed me. On the plus side I am switching out 10,000 computers in my office to Linux, and so my pain will be felt a lot more by microsoft in the years to come.

  28. I have a Vaio with ATI display driver and had the same blue screen problems like most of you and system lockups.

    Few seconds before reinstalling windows XP i found this link…

    Now my vaio works without crashing, and I am still trying to find how to make my brightness/volume keys to work.

    Please leave a note if you find something.

  29. Lessee…the Hitachi video cam is no longer viable, the replacement SB Audigy SE sound card is basically junk, I am afraid to buy a video card to replace the POS included with the Intel chipset and at times the DSL modem doesn’t sync unless I reset the ethernet card. That’s just off the top of my head. I used to have XP Pro spinning in my hand until I saw this $600 ACER POS speced out as I would for a new machine. Core duo at 3M each and a 19″ widescreen monitor!
    I had in my mind – I will have to do it some day…go!
    ACER includes so much shitware that impedes my understanding of Vista I can’t believe it. I have contacted them several times and asked for a disc of Vista home premium sans their software and they claim they cannot do so. HEY!!! Didn’t I pay for a license for Vista that allows me to get the updates that now number over 50 at this time?!
    I can’t have a clean copy of the software without the proprietary crap?!

    Is it MS alone or is it HP/COMPAQ, ACER, DELL, GATEWAY and others that share the blame? Too much 3rd party crapware makes for an ugly mess that far too many of us stumble upon while we attempt to comprehend the ugly beast.

    This beast would fly with 2K PRO. Perhaps I should purchase a new SATA drive, swap it out and install a previous version of windows on it. NAH…that sounds too easy, right?!

    15 years ago I had dreams of a PC with no hard drive. Why put a spinning disc inside when memory will do the same. I was an electronics technician at NASA and maintained those old refrigerator sized VAX computers/peripherals and wondered why the technology was stalled. Those things used tape drives and stacked discs. A lot of that can be done with flash memory. How much flash can you stack into a PC tower?

    I coulda/shoulda bought a MAC. I know how to use them while employed at JHUAPL – Mac was the preference of a lot of people there

  30. Microsoft is selling Vista without drivers & all the vendors are not upgrading their drivers to Vista. Isn’t this like buying a car without tires

  31. I’d say it’s more akin to buying a car without the right pressure in the tyres. since Vista launched literally thousands of drivers have been added to Windows Update and with the speed of product changes it’s becoming unrealistic to ship every conceivable driver in the box.

    this isn’t an excuse for the missing drivers at the launch of Vista but I think this problem has been well documented and well acted upon.

  32. Thanks for that Steve.

    How do I update the drivers for a given device if they have been released since Vista came out?

    Does it happen automatically through Windows Update or do I need to go in and look for them?

  33. Tom

    In many cases it happens through Windows Update though it’s always good to periodically do a manual check there.

    with the Vaio, they have an updater of their own (I know…I wish there was just one system too!) which does a good job of updating you through a system tray icon. if you’re not running that, it’s worth a check on the Vaio page

    the rub of this some OEM’s seem to put their stuff in Windows Update better than others which makes things very simple. When they don’t the onus falls back on the user which is dumb IMHO. The good news though is that the driver quality and availability has dramatically increased since Vista shipped.

    for your Vaio, go here

  34. Thanks Steve,

    May be worth a post in its own right. I imagine people would find it useful.

    I may come back to you for more info if I get to write that post!

  35. Worst, worst, worst, worst, worst worst operating system devised.
    Anyone who says they like Vista ought to have their human operating system examined.

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