Ok, in large part due to some good advice from David Long, I now have Vista SP1 installed on my Fujitsu Lifebook S6510, and after two days it is still running with no problems. I have learned several things along the way:
- Based on what Ed Bott said in his ZDNet blog, I expected Windows Update to show SP1 as an optional update, although not offer it to me automatically quite yet. That turned out not to be the case, so based on what David Long said, both in his own blog and in a comment to my previous blog entry, I downloaded the full SP1 update and installed it that way. I believe that it would have also worked by just starting the Update Installation as David describes in his blog, but by the time I read that, I had already downloaded the full SP1 file, so that's the way I went ahead and installed it.
- Installation went very smoothly, and only took about an hour. Of course that was installing from the file that I had already downloaded, and it would have taken a bit longer if it had been downloading what it needed as it went.
- I believe that I have determined that the problem I had previously mentioned with Wireless-N connection to my Linksys WRT350N router is in fact neither a Vista nor a Linksys problem, it looks like it is caused by the Swisscom Unlimited Data Manager software that comes with the Sierra Wireless AirCard. I had no problem with wireless connection for the first two days after installing SP1, then I installed the UDM software, and suddenly got the wireless connection problem again. After removing the "Sesam" handover protocol from the wireless connection, and rebooting the router, it now seems to be working correctly again.
- I finally got the latest Intel 965 graphic drivers to install under Vista. I had been trying to use either the Intel "setup" program, or the Vista driver update search, and neither would work - they both complained that the driver wasn't certified for this configuration. When I went into manual driver update, and pointed it specifically at the INF file for the latest release, it installed.
- I figured out how to get the Lexmark driver for my E240 laser printer installed. I had to let Vista install the default Microsoft driver first, then select "run as Administrator" for Printers / E240 / Properties, and it would then let me select "New Driver", and point it at the Lexmark Universal PCL driver.
- I have updated various other drivers with much newer versions than are available on the Fujitsu support web page, including Realtek sound, AuthenTec fingerprint scanner, Intel 4965 AGN wireless, Intel TurboMemory, Marvell Yukon Gigabit Ethernet and Synaptics touchpad. I have no way of knowing if any or all of these drivers are contributing to Vista running better/faster/reliably, but I think it is a shame that so many of the drivers available from Fujitsu are so much older than what is currently available from the suppliers.
With all of this done, Vista is running noticeably better than it did before SP1. It boots faster, suspends and resumes much faster, and so far there have been no boot failures or crashes as I had before. The overall feel is better, but I can't put any specifics to what or why that is. One thing I did notice is that Vista still seems to have trouble figuring out how long it is going to take to copy large files. I copied all of my photographs from the XP disk to a Freecom USB drive, which took a bit less than 15 minutes. When I connected the Freecom disk to the Vista system and started copying them back, Vista said that it was going to take over 3 hours. It then jumped all over the place with its estimate of "time remaining", but in the end it actually took about 15 minutes - the same as on XP.
So, as things stand now, I am running Vista on this laptop again. I'm once again hopeful that it will be at least as good as XP has been - and my brothers are laughing at my eternal optimism. Obviously, I still have the XP disk ready to swap back in if something stupid happens.