http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=232339 I HATE WINDOWS VISTA, I HATE MY SONY VAIO AND WILL NEVER SHOP AT BEST BUY AGAIN For years I've worked on SFN from a brick of a laptop. It's a 10lb 17" widescreen monster that I've loved. It's made working on the site from a hotel easy and never done me wrong. The only thing wrong with it was it was too big. too big to use on the plane, too heavy to lug back & forth to Manhattan, hell, it was just too big for doing anything but sitting on my desk at home. After a month of comparison shopping and discussions here on SFN, I picked up what i though was the perfect replacement. I grabbed a Sony Vaio VGN-SZ430 from Best Buy. It was the fastest lightest, most featured packed thing I could find. I got it home and immediately realized I hated Windows Vista. None of my software works with it and when I looked for updated software that's compatible, I didn't have much luck. On top of that, even though I've set myself up as the admin and told it to always give me admin privileges, I still get bombarded constantly with popups asking me if I really want to do the crap I just told the computer to do. it's like every step is now 5 steps. Worse yet, I think my old laptop was faster. Everything seems to take sooo long. I searched the web and found out that it's nearly impossible to uninstall Vista and put XP on it, especially on these Sonys. I don't understand why. I seems like I should just be able to wipe the drive and install it but every writeup I've found has said don't do it because I'll have all kinds of driver issues. I shopped online and found an IBM Lenovo with the same specs that I could buy with Windows XP Pro. I went in to Best Buy less than 24hrs after purchasing it and they wouldn't take it back. They just kept insisting that there's nothing wrong with it. I told them "I don't want it. I hate it. Your sales person told me that all of my Vista concerns were not valid and that I'd be happy with this one. Well, I'm not happy with it and I want to return it." They finally agreed but said there would be a 10% restocking fee. I've had the thing for less than a day but they wanted a $190 restocking fee. After going back and forth, I finally spoke to the manager. He explained that there would be a 15% restocking fee. We're up to $285 now!! He explained that their policy is posted but when I asked him to show me where, he pointed over to the registers on the opposite side of the building and said it's by the registers. the registers where you can't possibly buy a laptop. they bring it right to customer service and have you pay for it there and the wall is blank at that desk. there's no return policy posted. They put me on the phone with cooperate where a person just repeated the policy over and over and said there's nothing I can do. I explained how the policy is not posted at the registers where you purchase a laptop and the sales person never said anything about it even though I made it very clear that I was leery about buying a laptop with Vista and he explained how it's in the fine print on the back of the receipt. back the receipt?!!?! I've already bought the thing by the time I have the receipt. What good is telling me about it after I already purchased it? When I asked to speak to his supervisor, he hung up on me. I told the manager to install Windows XP on it. Buying XP & having the geek squad install it had to be cheaper than the $280 they were going to charge me to return it. They wouldn't do it. They just kept telling me that there's no reason to do that because Vista is better. I told them I didn't care, I want to pay you to install Windows XP. Even though they had the software and a rate listed in their book to install the OS, they said they couldn't do it because that's not for new PCs. it's for PCs that are damaged and need a OS install. This laptop does not need one. By this time, I'm pulling the few hairs that I have left out of my head. This is all going down Wednesday night and I'm flying to Tampa in the morning. I don't have time to stand here dealing with all of this. The geek squad guy tells me that I should have had them optimize the laptop when I bought it. It's a $25 service they do to uninstall all the junk and set custom settings so the laptop runs smooth. I said fine do that. He took the laptop and essentially did nothing to it. Vista is so new, he didn't know what needed to be done. They usually run some software that changes settings but he didn't have one for Vista. He used the add/remove applet to uninstall 3 things. He was clear he had never been on a Sony with Vista and there was nothing he was going to be able to do to help me. When I asked him to uninstall Windows Defender, he did some crap to stop it from loading on startup. FYI, that doesn't work. All that did was give me errors every time I boot the computer. I've since found out that you can't uninstall it but you can turn it off. just start it up and change the options so nothing is automatic. I called my credit card company and told them to stop the payment. Since I use a debit visa, it was too late. I left Best Buy with the laptop feeling completely disgusted with their company and my purchase. I figured, I see if I could get used to it. After all, it was good looking and I like the keyboard. I charged it all night, loaded my software and SFN stuff on it and left for Tampa. Sitting in the airport, I started installing some of the software. About 45 minutes into it, I noticed the little battery icon the the try was getting low. It said I only had 1 hour 45 minutes left of battery time. I'm not even on the plane yet!! I felt like throwing it across the airport. It just gets worse and worse. I picked it up and carried it over to a table near a receptacle. When I sat it down, it was off. When I started it back up, I got a black screen with white letters telling me there was an error and I didn't shut down correctly. I assumed I must have bumped the power button or something and ignored it. On the plane, I got that black screen 5 more times. Every time I'd pick it up or tilt it a little the thing crashed and shut down. What good is a laptop that you can't move? Worse yet, it's got a finger print reader so when I'd go to log back in, I had to tilt the laptop to get my finger in the right position to swipe it and that would be enough to turn it off again. When I got the hotel, i plugged it in and turned it on. I got a message saying the hard drive had errors and it would take over and hour to fix it. I don't know if that fixed the problem with it shutting off or not because I'm afraid to move the laptop to see. I'm trying to upload the pics from last nights Killers of Comedy Show with Bubba & the crew and I'm having nothing but trouble. The WinXP image resizer power toy is not compatible with Vista. I tired using Paint Shop Pro but it's having issues too. I can resize the pics but saving them with the web optimizer fails. I'm very slowly getting some ready. oh, did I mention that Vista will corrupt your ipod too? Yep, when you go to disconnect it. Unfortunately, I didn't read about it until after I plugged my ipod in to the laptop to charge it. I felt like one of those bomb squad guys working on diffusing the bomb knowing that at any moment it could blow. After not finding any solutions that would work, I shut the laptop off and crossed my fingers. Once the computer was off, the ipod lit up and I was able to disconnect it without hurting it. FYI, you need to install the newest itunes and ALWAYS us itunes to eject the ipod. NEVER use windows to do it. Also, when I first plugged it in, Vista gave me an option to play the music with media player which I thought was very cool. meanwhile when it opened, none of the music was there. Just album art. What a mess. Bottom line, I'm going to try and return it again when I get home. I may even take the $280 hit if it's my only option but it's complete ********. this thing is broken. It's not supposed to crash every time you tilt it 10 degrees. I'll probably order the Lenovo. Jaeger says I should grab an Alienware. who knows. As long as it's not this. I may even resort to a Mac. I mean if I already have a laptop that completely incompatible with all my current software so what's the difference? The mac will at least let me install WinXP which ironically is something this Vista laptop won't. UPDATE 04-02: I'm trying to live with this thing but it's getting clearer and clearer that I need to toss it. I'm now getting errors telling me the battery is not compatible with this laptop. yeah, the one that came with the laptop is not compatible!! I've also gotten that shut down / black screen telling me I didn't shut down correctly a couple more times when moving from the kitchen table to the couch or from my lap to the coffee table. DAMMIT!!!! Also, it came with Paint Shop Pro which is perfect becasue it's what I use. problem is, Vista is so weird, it's almost unusable. it's amazingly slow and the things hangs. matter of fact, almost everything hangs. I'm always getting "not responding" notices. doing something as simple as zooming in on a pic takes forever. click, wait wait, click, wait wait wait, click. it's unbearable. i can't draw **** becasue of the lag. I finally gave up on saturday, shut the laptop down and went into my office to use my desktop. Here's my shopping thread where i researched laptops before making the purchase.