Vista Driver Update: Getting Better But Still Not There

This is an update to my earlier posting on Microsoft Windows Vista problems with the unavailability of drivers. As a review, I tried running Vista on my upgraded Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop but ended up reverting to Windows XP because of a lack of drivers. Without these drivers, I could not use my laptop to do any useful work.

The good news is that drivers for my printer (HP 2600N) and PCMCIA Cingular/AT&T Sierra Wireless 875 modem card are now available.

The downside is the Samsung CD-ROM/DVD slim cobo drive is still not working. I’ve tried searching for whatever I could on this problem but I all that I’ve found are firmware updates. Unfortunately, none of the updates work in Vista (the installer fails). Although I could replace the drive, or use an external one, I don’t want to spend any more money on what is an already aging laptop.

In addition, no driver for the built-in analog modem (Broadcom) is available. Not that I use dial up anyway, but in an emergency, it would be nice if I could.

What’s more, the copies of the CD burning software and DVD movie applications that came with the Dell do not install under Vista. Conversely, Adobe seems to have fixed its Acrobat Reader version 8 install problem so that now works.

The updated bottom line is that drivers are becoming available but that Vista is still clouded with compatibility issues. Based on this, I cannot recommend switching to it unless you are sure that everything you need to run works. At the present rate, it may be another six months to a year before things settle down (although some hardware may never be supported). So, if you can wait, that would seem to be the wisest choice. YMMV. Insert Disclaimer here.

PS One wonders when, if ever, Vista 64 will take off. Even if the hardware is there, it is useless if the software does not support it.



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