Windows Vista running in reduced functionality mode

Windows Vista running in reduced functionality mode

Summary: This gallery shows you what you can expect from Windows Vista when it enters reduced functionality mode.


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  • This gallery shows you what you can expect from Windows Vista when it enters reduced functionality mode.

    This is an unactivated copy of Windows Vista running in Virtual PC 2007. Things are currently running normally - but this is about to change as I push the date forward to 1 day after the deadline for activation.
  • Uh-oh! The first thing to kick in is a message telling me that Windows is not genuine and that Windows DreamScene isn't working. OK, I can live with that.

  • I reboot the system and now I'm faced with a Windows Activation dialog box that offers me a number of options.

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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  • Finger Pointing

    Who is going to take the blame when errantly a host running Vista decides it isn't WGA-compliant especially in a patient care or mission-critical setting?

    There's going to be A LOT of 'finger pointing' going on.
    D T Schmitz
    • There's only one place to point the finger...

      When these issues occur on LEGAL installations of Vista, it's Microsoft's fault. Period.

      Like having to have WGA validation EVERY time you try to download a file. What, has this thing got Alshiemers or something? It can't remember it's been validated 100 times already?

      Microsoft doesn't care. Monopolies don't HAVE to care about their customers, and Microsoft proves that daily.
      • The reason

        The reason Vista calls home periodically and re-authenticates is because MS knows you're a thief (they must have been talking to the RIAA) and they know you've uploaded your license key to the warez sites and they are checking because they know your key is going to show up on their black list and they need to de-activate your copy of Vista for no longer having a valid key.
    • Great example

      The medical records example is a good one.
      • As if...

        Microsoft would really give a crap. If it means they make a few extra thousand I'm certain they don't much give a rip who is falsely accused and/or wrongly locked down. It's not about right or wrong, it's about money.
  • No Only VISTA

    I just was asked to validate, not the first time, my copy of XP. Thye informed me that this would happen peridically. I agree with one reader who asked can't they remember? It all boils down to money. They (MS) could care less about the user. Big business not independent users are their pririty. So we just have to suck it up or do without. I am going to do without MS as much as possible.
    • Big businesses have corporate keys that unlock as many PCs as they please.

      Therefore why does Microsoft "care" about end users at all?

      Hurry up Linux, get those Windows emulation programs to a usable level... ;)
      • Get your facts!

        Even Corporate Users have to activate. MS requires that companies that will have huge roll outs have their KMS (Key Management Server) running on the network so that the enterprise and business editions (which most businesses will buy) will check in with the KMS every six months or possibly deactivate. If there were so many damn thieves out there stealing MS apps this would not be necessary. But they complain all day that MS is squeezing them, but they steal software. That is what happens when you steal - the sw maker clamps down and it hurts everyone. Dont use it if you dont like that. Use one of the other "so-called" alternatives. :-) Linux will never get to this level. Their development style requires volunteerism. You can't build an XP or Vista replacement with Volunteer dollars and he be enterprise useable, standardized and fully compatible with other businesses running Windows. Think about it. If it really was that easy, it would be done already and some mayor 100,000 seat corporation would have signed up and it be the talk of the tech world. But it hasn't happened and never will. MS has to far of a headstart and too many billions. I am not saying "alternatives" are a lost cause. I am saying, if you think ANY solution is going to REPLACE MS WINDOWS in any version available today or future, EN MASS, you are dreaming. Deal with it!
        • Linux DOES work

          Why is MS Windows everywhere? Because they refuse to sell to major OEMs at a nice low price if they sell anything else. There are a few Linux OEMs, but due to their size, they can't get good price deals on hardware and reduce their prices to the same level the other OEMs can. That's why System76 doesn't sell as low as Dell, and that's why Dell is more likely to get the business. System76's prices have gone down quite a bit though. They're pretty reasonable really, I just haven't bought a computer in so long the inflation surprised me. Oh, that's another thing. The companies can save money by running Linux on old hardware instead of buying new computers. And they wouldn't have to worry about blue screens. Linux is very stable (more than Windows can say)
        • replacement with Volunteer dollars and he be enterprise useable

          Sounds like a reply from someone that has not tried Ubuntu. Ubuntu and Linspire are merging to create a very useful Linux.
        • Just the facts, man

          I agree with you 100%: if you don't like windows, switch to Linux (or buy a Mac). On the other part, I dispute your facts.

          100,000 seat corporations have already switched to open source. (Your misstyped mayor is amusing since many cities have switched): Munich was one of the first. Massachusets mandated open file formats already (pioneered by open source), forcing MS into promising open file formats themselves. 75% of the world's web servers are running on open source, built on volunteer dollars. I have been "living in Linux" since 1996, and have freely exchanged files and connectivity with Windows since then.

          Sure, I have had occasional problems, but <i>no worse than users of different MS office version have experienced</i>.
    • A bit of counterpoint

      I had an issue where I had an Microsoft Office problem. When I used the, "repair," option it killed my WGA. I went to the MS site and sent an email saying what my problem was. In a few hours I was issued an issue number and was informed who was handling my issue. I sent an email with my phone number. I got a call back from the person handling my issue. I sent what information that was asked for.

      In the meantime I decided to wipe my drive and start with a clean install. I was able to activate and get WGA automatically. I still got a call back from an MS rep asking if I wanted to keep the issue open. I explained what I did and said they can close the issue.

      From all that I went through I got the definite impression that Microsoft seriously wants to investigate every issue that breaks WGA. All software can be corrupted. As much as WGA is hated, I do believe Microsoft is not an evil empire that doesn't care.
      Insight Driver
  • Over the line?

    At what point does the added hassle of registering and another wave of updates and intrusive anti-piracy measures overcome the usefulness?

    I know that a lot of people out there would still be using Win98 if it was getting updates. I'm sure the vast majority of XP users are going to ride that out until it's no longer supported, and probably even further.

    Microsoft is handing the corporate world to Linux, if the Linux people can get their at in gear.
    • Yes, They

      are and Microsoft making me angry with their WGA. I left Windows ME and 98SE for Windows XP. I'd still use Windows 98SE at home on a old PC. I can deal crashes by imaging a drive and backups, but WGA you can't do this, even in XP. I tried it and it called me a thief, so I called support they said about the same thing......still they did help. I won't buy Vista, not untill MS gets it right.............
      I've been using Linux on my Internet PC. Now only if the hardware makers would fully support the Linux OS and at home I could run my games I fully go Linux.
      I like to remind Microsoft I don't steal; I don't like it when the WGA says this isn't genuine. That says I'm a thief to me. LOUDLY & CLEARLY!
    • vista

      • gamble on a quarter

        Before u chuck your current machine I encourage u to at least download and burn a live distro or two. maybe pclinuxos or ubuntu both are live distros so just pop it in the cd drive and boot. If u don't like it, your out a quarter. If u like it you save the price of an apple.
        Hrothgar - PCLinuxOS User
  • Microsoft & Windows

    I have spent the last year or so switching to Linux. I got frustrated with the daily updates to XP and all the fuss and clutter. I will admit that I still have a few Windoze app's that I can't quite replace easily in Linux, but my dual boot systems spend over 98% of their time in Linux.

    Every time I read about about the silliness being perpetrated on innocent users of the latest MS Windows, I feel happy about my decision to simply forget Windows.
  • That looks terrible!

    This headline would work nicely: "Unix, coming to a PC near you." Businesses do not enjoy spending precious hours getting IT to fix this garbage while they have legit keys in hand. IT has better things to do. Home users don't deserve to be constantly checking in with their PCs seeing if they are ok. PCs are not pets. Even if a KMS is present, or a legit key is bought, the only way to prevent major disruptions from happening is to uninstall the OS. Props go to the "Finger pointing" response. I seriously hope nothing goes wrong in the medical sector, if anyone reading this is having problems with their computer that contains time sensitive information, slap a Knoppix CD with in there immediately.
  • Guilty until proved innocent

    Microsoft's whole approach with WGA is to start from a presumption of the
    customer's guilt and illegality. Yet I seem to remember isn't it Microsoft that has
    spent years in court and been found guilty?

    The number of times I have had to recover and reinstall Windows XP and then
    perform the updates and the activation because of the non-existent BSOD. It
    made me make the leap to the Mac without regrets. By the Way in XP the only
    reason that the BSOD does not exist in Microsoft's eyes is because they change the
    default settings to do an automatic reboot after a BSOD. Which makes trouble
    shooting REALLY painful!

    Why do legitimate customers want this pain? Microsoft needs to rethink their
    • uh huh, uh huh . . .

      Unless the computer is re-architected from scratch, which will not happen in the next 100 years, we are set on a path of never-ending misery. Windows Vista proves it.

      John C. Dvorak
      PC Magazine
      Jan 29, 2007
      brian ansorge