Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
As you'll recall, back in December I purchased a Dell XPS 420 then posted comments about my new toy. There was a lot of interest in that post and it received a lot of comments from the community. Since December, my baby has been running all of my applications very nicely. I'm still on Windows Vista Ultimate x64 and the last clean install I did was the early part of January.
I've refused to add any updates or applications that were beta. The only exception I made was for Expression Encoder v2 Beta. I needed it to crank out a big project which is discussed at my post titled, "How Do You Learn?" That encoding job took 5 hours on my quad proc machine. Imagine if I had used my laptop. Toast.
I've been tempted by all sorts of interesting betas but have managed to keep my temptations in check. Because I knew SP1 was being delivered to the world today, I did a nice little Ghost backup of my machine yesterday and waited for the announcement today. Funny, I just noticed they jumped from Ghost v12.0 to v14.0. What happened to v13.0 ??? The ghost guys are apparently superstitious. That's what they get for playing with ghosts too much.
Ok, back on topic. I downloaded the standalone installer from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=874a414b-32b2-41cc-bd8b-d71eda5ec07c&DisplayLang=en then let it rip. It completed without issue in less than an hour. My XPS 420 is still able to watch and record premium high definition content delivered courtesy of Verizon FIOS TV. I am glad that still works. Otherwise you would have seen a grown man cry. Grin.
I expect all of my other applications to continue to work but I have not had a chance to test them all. I'm testing some other stuff that gets released to the world tomorrow. Hint hint.
[UPDATE for 3/21/2008] Right after I did this install, I went out of town so I didn’t get a chance to really shake it down properly. It became apparent this morning that my machine doesn’t like SP1. It would freeze then unfreeze. I would see the NVIDIA video driver crash and recover. HD playback wasn’t good. So I restored my Ghost backup (that I took just before applying SP1). I have reported it issues internally and hopefully Dell and Microsoft can reproduce the problems then come up with a solution. I won’t be testing SP1 on my personal machine until I get a strong indication that things are resolved. I have way too much video work right now and I need it to be stable.
<cough> There is no Exchange 13 or Office 13 either Keith</cough>
I tried several times to get SP1 to install on my Sony Vaio VGN-SZ470N which came pre-loaded with Vista. Got various hexidecimal error codes (what is it with you guys and hex codes anyway???). Looked around the web and thousands of people are also getting aborted SP1 installs -- my unscientific poll shows that SP1 installation fails more often than it succeeds, which makes me wonder how it could have possibly passed a QA process.
Any reason you are using Ghosts instead of the Vista Backup and restore feature?
I get that question every time I mention it.
I like Ghost. It's reliable and fast. I've been using it for years.
If I was going to use the Microsoft tools I have available, I'd probably just setup a client/server model where I could take snapshots of machines with the WAIK, MDT, or SCCM tools and store them on a WDS or SCCM server. But this is a home environment for the most part so it's just easier to park one of the laptops next to the 1TB drive and do a 20 minute backup with Ghost.
If the Vista CompletePC tool was a little more flexible and reliable, I'd switch to it.
I got a Dell xps 1330 just a week ago and i'm struggling with the instalation of SP1 ever since. When I run the SP1 exe, after 20 secs I get the same internal error message. I tried everything - updating all drivers, disc scan/check, calling MS support center 10 times and still nothing..
Any suggestions? :)
Have you contacted Dell for support? Do they have a XPS 1330 installation procedure for SP1? Have you tried the Microsoft free support at
And lastly, you might take a look at
http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board?board.id=Tech_Talk_XPS_Laptop and see if there are any known issues described there.