One of the things that people complain about the most in Vista is that transferring large files is painfully slow compared to previous versions of Windows. Thanks to a post over at Neowin, both users of the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista are able to install a performance and compatibility pack that will address this issue as well as several others.
Some sites appear to be thinking that these patches will be released on Patch Tuesday (a week from tomorrow) via the standard Windows Update system. I’m not so sure about that, and if you look at the bottom of this post I outline all of the things that these patches fix. It’s quite a lengthy list, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft held them back for the release of Vista SP1. So I would say that this is kind of like the Beta version of Vista SP1 that we never got.
As soon as I saw this I couldn’t wait to download the fixes, but the problem is that they haven’t been officially posted by Microsoft yet. Have no fear, these updates have been leaked (download links posted below), and I’ve already installed the 32-bit versions on my Vista Ultimate installation. There are just two installation files included that you need to install, and then you’ll reboot your computer. If something does go wrong your System Restore should have automatically made a restore point before proceeding with the installation of the updates (I checked and mine had made the restore point automatically).
What’s the result? The file transfer times are dramatically reduced, and it no longer takes forever for Vista to calculate the remaining time! AeroXP has even gone as far as to say that the transfer times are half of what they were.
If you decide to try these out you should remember that they have not been officially released by Microsoft. In fact, they could be some sort of beta version that isn’t even complete. I’ve had no troubles with either of the updates on my 32-bit version of Vista, but your experience may vary.
IMPORTANT: One thing that a Neowin user pointed out was that the 64-bit version will require that you disable driver signing each time your computer starts, which can be done by pressing F8 during the boot process. This includes everyone that’s using Rivatuner, atitool and/or Peerguardian on Vista 64-bit.
Microsoft has made these packs officially available.
Here are all of the details regarding the two updates:
938979 Vista Performance and Reliability Pack
This update resolves a number of individual issues which may be affecting some computers running Windows Vista. These issues have been reported by customers using the Error Reporting service, product support, or other means. Installing this update will improve the performance and responsiveness for some scenarios and improves reliability of Windows Vista in a variety of scenarios. Some examples of the improvements contained in this update are:
- Improves performance in resuming back to the desktop from the Photo and Windows Energy screensaver.
- Resolves an issue where some secured web pages using advanced security technologies may not get displayed in Internet Explorer on Windows Vista.
- Resolves an issue where a shared printer may not get installed if the printer is connected to a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 system and User Access Control is disabled on the Vista client.
- Resolves an issue where creating AVI files on Vista may get corrupted.
- Improves the performance in calculating the ‘estimated time remaining’ when copying/moving large files.
- Improves performance in bringing up Login Screen after resuming from Hibernate.
- Resolves an issue where synchronization of offline files to a server can get corrupted.
- Resolves a compatibility issue with RAW images created by Canon EOS 1D/1DS Digital SLR Camera which can lead to data loss. This only affects RAW images created by these two specific camera models.
- Resolves an issue where a computer can lose its default Gateway address when resuming from sleep mode.
- Improves the performance when copying or moving entire directories containing large amounts of data or files.
- Improves the performance of Vista’s Memory Manager in specific customer scenarios and prevents some issues which may lead to memory corruption.
938194 Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack
This update resolves a number of individual issues which may be affecting some computers running Windows Vista. These issues have been reported by customers using the Error Reporting service, product support, or other means. Installing this update will improve the reliability and hardware compatibility of Windows Vista in a variety of scenarios. Some examples of the improvements contained in this update are:
- Improved reliability and compatibility of Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
- Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
- Increased compatibility with many video drivers.
- Improved visual appearance of games with high intensity graphics.
- Improved quality of playback for HD-DVD and Blue-Ray disks on large monitors.
- Improved reliability for Internet Explorer when some third party toolbars are installed on Vista.
- Improved Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
- Improved the reliability of Windows Calendar in Vista.
- Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from XP to Vista.
- Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
- Increased reliability and performance of Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep.