BugBlog Special Report - Windows Vista
This special report covers bugs, incompatibilities and other assorted goofiness in Windows Vista. Bugs come from both the daily BugBlog and the BugBlog Plus. If this special report is useful, consider subscribing to the BugBlog Plus. A three month subscription is only $5. Use the links on the left or below to jump back to past months, or use the search form.
A number of bugs in the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.x and 2.0 may allow critical attacks against Windows 2000 and Windows XP computers, with less severe attacks possible against Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. Remote attackers may be able to exploit these bugs to run their code on the victim's computers. Microsoft has links to the patches at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms07-040.mspx. Microsoft credits Dinis Cruz of OWASP, Paul Craig of Security Assessment, Jeroen Frijters of Sumatra and Ferruh T. Mavituna of Portcullis Computer Security Ltd. for finding these bugs.
There is a memory leak in the Windows ReadyBoost driver for Windows Vista. ReadyBoost is a way to use flash memory to boost Vista's performance, and according to Microsoft, you may not even know if it is running. In some hardware configurations, it leaks memory which may lead to this error message:
STOP: 0x0000006F (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4) SESSION3_INITIALIZATION_FAILED.
Microsoft also said there could be other problems that could generate this error message, other than the memory leak. They do have a hotfix for it. Either wait for the service pack, or see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939008/ on how to get it earlier.
Information Week tells us a sure-fire way to crash Windows Vista -- hold down the Windows key and the E key together for ten seconds. Read about it at http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/06/how_to_crash_wi.html. Not having a Vista machine, I can't test it. There's also a link to an article on crash recovery techniques.
According to Microsoft, because of the way the the Trusted Installer has changed in Windows Vista, third-party System Restore tools probably won't work correctly in Windows Vista. You won't end up with a completely restored system. Microsoft has a hotfix for this, which will be in a future service pack. Need the fix right away? See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935606/.
The three things in the title -- vertical fonts, Postscript, and Windows Vista -- don't go together. If you mix a regular font and a vertical font (typically an Asian font whose name starts with the @ sign) and try to print to a Postscript printer from Vista, and the printing won't be correct. If you do this often, you may want to get the hotfix that Microsoft discusses at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937018
Connect a USB telephony device to a Windows Vista computer, and Vista may decide to make it the default audio device. That should play havoc with audio/visual applications. Microsoft says this is because Vista sees that the device has audio capabilities, but doesn't determine the correct kind. There is a hotfix for this, which will be in a future service pack. If you need it right away, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936004.
There is a bug in the Windows Mail application within Windows Vista that an attacker can use to take complete control of the system. The bug is in the way Windows Mail deals with UNC navigation requests. Because of the scope of the damage, which can be triggered by reading an email, Microsoft considers this a critical update. Microsoft has patch information at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms07-034.mspx. In the meantime, reading mail as plain text can serve as a workaround.
Try to activate Windows Vista, and you may see this error message:
Activation Error: Code 0x8007232b DNS Name does not exist
Microsoft says this error would tend to occur if volume-licensed media was used to install Windows Vista, and not an ordinary retail purchase and upgrade. There are three workarounds: set up a Key Management Service server; use a Multiple Activation Key (MAK); or use a license key. See the details at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938107.
Switching from the secure desktop in Windows Vista to the unsecured desktop may trigger this Stop error message:
Stop 0x00000001 (0x00000000, 0x7ffdc000, 0x0000ffff, 0x00000000)
where the first, second, and fourth numbers in parentheses may have different values. This will happen if you are using the Windows Aero color scheme, and you entered your logon credential to unlock the secure desktop. Microsoft says that an event hook must also be running to trigger the bug, which is in Win32k.sys. They have a hotfix, which will be in a future service pack. If you can't wait for the fix, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935936 for information on getting it right away.
Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, CA and Microsoft.
If you start a Windows Vista computer in diagnostic startup mode, you may be prompted to activate your copy of Windows Vista. This will happen even if you've done this before. If you don't comply, Microsoft considers you a pirate (arghh!) and will switch Vista in reduced functionality mode. Given that you are probably using diagnostic mode because of a problem, this is about the last thing you want to deal with. It happens because Windows Licensing depends on Plug and Play, which is disabled when you use diagnostic startup mode. It appears that Microsoft realizes how brainless this is, because they have a hotfix for it. Either wait for a future service pack, or go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937426 for the fix.
Windows Vista does not recognize the Secure Digital (SD) card for these Casio digital cameras: Exilim Card EX-S3; Exilim Zoom EX-Z3; CASIO QV-R40. Connect one of them, and Vista shows it confusion by giving this error message: Please insert a disk into Removable Disk (E:). Microsoft has a fix for this that includes a Registry edit. See the details for this, plus important warnings about editing the Registry, at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934332/.
There have been many complaints about the poor battery life you may get when running Windows Vista on a laptop computer. The problem is the new Aero Glass interface, because if you turn off the new interface battery life shows much improvement. ZD Net has another story summarizing the complaints, and also details the work that HP has done in changing the power management functions on their Vista laptops. Read the whole thing at http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1040_22-6181366.html.
Try to start Mozilla Firefox on a Windows Vista computer, and you may see this error message:
"The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete. Please restart."
Restarting Firefox, or waiting and restarting Firefox, doesn't seem to do anything. What you need to do, according to Mozillazine, is to start the Task Manager and stop the "xpicleanup" process, if it is running. Then go to the C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox folder, and delete the xpicleanup.dat file. Still having problems? See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser_will_not_start_up#Windows-specific_problems for more help.
Connect an external monitor to a Windows Vista laptop computer, and you may not be able to play a DVD after you close the laptop's lid. This will happen if, in Power Options, you selected Do Nothing as the response for "When I close the lid of my portable computer." When you close the lid, you will get an error message saying:
"Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copyright protection between your DVD drive, decoder and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card."
Microsoft says you will need to restart the DVD playback (and you'll probably need to open the laptop lid to do so.) There is no permanent fix yet. Watch http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933421 for updates.
There is a bug in Microsoft Windows animated cursors. Hostile websites may be able to exploit this bug to load hostile code on your computer. Just about every version of Windows is vulnerable, including Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. At this point, there is no fix yet from Microsoft, although they have issued a security advisory at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/935423.mspx. A story at Computerworld says you may be safe if you use Mozilla Firefox. Read the whole thing at http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9015079
Giving up on Windows Vista? Microsoft has posted detailed instructions on how, if you upgraded your computer to Windows Vista, you can revert back to your old operating system. Some of the success depends on how you upgraded to Vista in the first place. Read the long article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933168 to see what is involved.
Microsoft says that there are incompatibilities between unspecified USB audio devices and USB audio TV tuners on Windows Vista computers. They won't work if you try to use them. Microsoft has a hotfix for this, so if you have one of these audio devices or TV tuners giving you trouble, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933262 about getting the hotfix.
Apple iTunes 7.1 for Windows clears up some, but not all, of the incompatibilities with Microsoft Windows Vista. According to Apple, when using iTunes 7.1 and with your iPod connected to the Vista computer, you don't want to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature in your System Tray. You may end up with a corrupted iPod. If that happens, reconnect it to the computer, and in iTunes go to the iPod panel and click Restore. Then, only disconnect the iPod using the Eject button within iTunes.
There is an incompatibility between some integrated video cards and Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 on a Windows Vista computer. The incompatibility is in the drivers that come with these two integrated graphics chipsets: Intel 82865G Graphics Controller (Microsoft Corporation - XDDM), and Intel 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family (Microsoft Corporation - XDDM). They might cause a vertical bar or band to appear in the middle of the playback window. This line may be discolored blue or green. The drivers in question have a 8/1/06 date. At this time, there is no fix so you'll probably need to wait for a driver update. Keep an eye on http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933708 for news.
Microsoft has the Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update available. It fixes a number of incompatibilities between some mainstream applications and Vista. These applications include: Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1, Photshop Elements 4, and Create Suite CS2; Microsoft Money 2005 and 2006; Google desktop 4.2006.1008; AVG Anti-Spyware 18.104.22.168; and Opera 9.02. Read the whole list, and find the link to the download at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929427
Try to install Windows Vista, and you may get this error report:
Error 0xC004F02A - The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is invalid.
What Microsoft says might be the case, however, is that the BIOS for this computer is incompatible with Vista, or is outdated. That means you may need a BIOS update. Microsoft has the details at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929818.
The encryption that Windows Vista uses for communicating with secure web pages via SSL (Secure Socket Layers) is not compatible with the encryption used by Cisco PIX 515E firewalls. Try to use Internet Explorer 7 on Vista from behind one of these firewalls, and you may see this error message with secure pages: Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage Microsoft says the Cisco firewall can only use the weaker DES. They have a workaround at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929708 that weakens security. They also prod Cisco on that page to provide an update.
In the 2/5 BugBlog we said that Apple was warning about problems with iTunes running on Windows Vista. One day later, and Apple has a iTunes Repair Tool for Vista. According to Apple, it should fix the problems people had playing songs purchased from the iTunes Store. Get it at http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/itunesrepairtoolforvista10.html.
When you use the Windows Vista File Sharing Wizard to share a folder, you may inadvertently give a user permission to delete files or folders created by other users. Microsoft says this happens if you give a user Contributor permissions. See more at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930090.
If you upgrade a computer from Windows Vista Home Basic to Windows Vista Home Premium, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate, you may have problems with Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.0. It may not display HTML files correctly, because configuration information wasn't correctly added to ApplicationHost.config. Microsoft has a workaround available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930901.
Apple says that iTunes 7.0.2 "may work" with Windows Vista on a typical PC. Their official stance is to wait for the next version of iTunes, which is promised for a few weeks after the official Windows Vista release. One of the compatibility problems is with digital rights management -- you may not be able to get iTunes store purchases to play on a Vista computer. See more at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305042
If you are running a version of Windows Vista that does not support the Vista Aero theme, such as Windows Vista Home Basic, you will get bad video playback performance if you move the mouse pointer over the video playback and you trigger a tool tip that appears over the video. This will happen near the playback controls, for instance. This may cause slow playback or dropped frames. The only workaround for now is not to trigger a tool tip.
There are a number of situations where a DVD-R or DVD-RW burned on a Windows Vista computer may have problems playing back on a stand-alone DVD player. Microsoft lists some of the problems, and some possible cures, for DVD playback at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931698.
If you are using Internet Explorer 7 on a Windows Vista computer with protected mode enabled, you won't be able to use a shared printer within IE 7. Microsoft says this is because protected mode locks down parts of the Registry that are needed for the shared printer. There are two workarounds if you want to print. Either turn off protected mode, or use the Add Printer Wizard to connect to the printer. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927842 for details.
If you have your iPod connected to your Windows Vista computer, don't use the Windows System Tray icon to "Safely Remove Hardware". Apple says this may corrupt your iPod. This is one of a number of Windows Vista problems with iPods. Apple says you may want to wait for the next iTunes upgrade before using your iPod with Vista.
If you start making changes to the Default Format list for audio devices in Windows Vista, you may disable the ability of some other programs to play audio. You may also see some variation of this error message: Failed to play test tone. Microsoft has a hotfix for this, which will be in a future Windows Vista service pack. If you need the fix right away, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930883.
If you have a FireWire (or IEEE 1394) device hooked up to a Windows Vista computer, the computer may be very cranky when you try to wake it from sleep. It may give you this error message:
STOP 0x0000009F DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE
Microsoft has an update to fix this. Get it at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929762
Microsoft already has a reliability update for Windows Vista. It fixes a number of USB problems, including bugs that cause devices such as fingerprint readers or Windows Media Center remote controls to stop working. It will also fix a problem that prevents you from reconnecting a USB device after you use the Safely Remove Hardware option to turn it off. Get the update 925528 at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
Microsoft says that if Windows Vista is running on a computer that uses the Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset and the Microsoft Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) chipset driver. You may have problems waking it up from sleep about 10 percent of the time. Microsoft says it is due to a bug in the ATAportDeviceBusy function. Microsoft has a hotfix for this, which will be in a future Vista service pack. If you need the fix right away, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929909.
Laptop Windows Vista computers may have problems waking from sleep to do network-related tasks. If the network is wireless, the computer may wake up and give you this error message: STOP 0x0000007E. Microsoft has a hotfix for this, which will be in a future service pack. If you can't wait for the fix, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930311.
You may have problems using a screen reader program with Windows Vista. Microsoft says the bug may occur when you open a common file dialog box to a WebDAV location. Microsoft has a Registry edit that should fix this. See the details, and important warnings about editing the Registry, at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926822.
If you have a Microsoft Office 2007 document in a shared folder on an international domain name (IDN) server, and the computer running office is a Windows Vista computer, you will be prompted twice for a username and password when you try to get the file from the shared folder. Microsoft says to click "Remember my password" when you give the information the first time.
January 29, 2007 and Earlier
Try to activate Windows Vista, and you may get an error message that includes one of these error codes:
0XC004D401 or 0x80080250
According to Microsoft, these codes show that there is an incompatibility between Vista and your antivirus software or your digital rights management (DRM) software. You'll have to upgrade that software before you can activate Vista.
It appears that Intuit QuickBooks 2006 is not compatible with Windows Vista. In this case, the blame appears to lie with Intuit, for QuickBooks uses some techniques in communicating via the Registry that violate Windows XP standards, much less the newer Vista. David Berlind covers this in a number of posts at http://blogs.zdnet.com/Berlind/?p=316 and earlier.
If you are running a Microsoft Office 2007 application on a Windows Vista computer, and you try to print to a Dell printer, your computer may lock up. Microsoft does not specify which Dell printers have a problem, but they say to check with Dell for a new printer driver. You may also want to switch things so the Dell printer is not the default printer. Keep an eye on http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931408 for updates.
Windows Vista license packages check whether you are using a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version that is compatible with your computer hardware. If you try to install the x64 version of Vista on an x86 (32-bit) computer, you will see the error message: Cannot Install License Package. You'll have to switch to the correct version of Vista.
The Windows Defender program may not like some of the items on the startup list on a Windows Vista computer. While your computer booting up, you may see a message over on the far right of your taskbar that says:
Windows has blocked some startup programs. Windows blocks programs that require permission to run when Windows starts. Click to view blocked programs.
Clicking will show you what's been blocked. (Chances are, they are older pre-Vista applications, especially if this is a computer you upgraded to Vista.) See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930367 for various things you can do as a workaround.
Try to use the Windows Anytime Upgrade to upgrade to another version of Windows Vista, and you may see this error message: Unable to open the license. Error Code: 0x8007000D. Error information: The data is invalid. There could be two causes for this error. Either data got corrupted during the download, or the Automatic Update Manager incorrectly formatted some XML. Microsoft has workaround information at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930378.
If you use the Microsoft Windows Anytime Upgarde (WAU) to upgrade from one version of Vista to another version of Vista, you may not be able to uninstall that version of Vista and go back to where you were. Microsoft has a workaround for this at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928900.
Microsoft says that unformatted DVD-RAM disks cannot be formatted by Windows Vista. However, Vista is able to reformat a DVD-RAM disk that has already been formatted. The only workaround is to make sure you buy pre-formatted disks.
Microsoft has a list of when third-party VPN (virtual private network) clients will be available for Windows Vista. These include clients for Aventail, Checkpoint, Cisco, Citrix, F5 Networks, Juniper Networks, NCP, Nortel, and SafeNet. At this point, the majority of them are unavailable. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929490 for the estimated dates.
If you configure Windows Vista to use the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature, sometimes the encryption isn't completed when you find you have to go into the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) or the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE). If this happens, Microsoft says you will run into very heavy hard drive activity. Microsoft has a workaround for this. See the details at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926186/.
You won't be able to make a serial cable connection or an infrared connection between a Windows Vista computer and another computer. Those connections just must be too old-fashioned, for Microsoft says Vista will only support Ethernet, WiFi, or a home phone network adapter (HPNA).
According to Microsoft, some audio applications are hard-wired to look for the audio components in Windows XP. When you try to run some of these applications on a Vista computer, you will have problems, since some of these components have new file names. For instance they say that if you are running Windows Media Encoder 9, and click Mixer, all you will get is an error message saying a component is missing. In this case, you can use the Windows Volume Control in place of the mixer. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930095 for other workarounds.
IBM says that neither Lotus SmartSuite nor Lotus Organizer will work with 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. This is due to incompatible legacy code in the Lotus products. They also say that while they haven't heard of any compatibility problems with the 32-bit version of Vista, they aren't supporting the Lotus programs on Vista.
iDefense Labs will be paying a bounty for bugs that can be exploited remotely to run code on Windows Vista or Internet Explorer 7.0. Bounty hunters have till 3/31/2007 to bring in the bugs, dead or alive. See http://labs.idefense.com/vcp/challenge.php#more_q1+2007%3A+vulnerability+challenge for the details.
There is a bug in the power management options for Windows Vista. According to Microsoft, if you set the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option for a USB root hub, the configuration information may be lost after you restart the computer. Microsoft's workaround is to turn on the USB selective suspend option. Find out how to do that at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930312.
Microsoft says that if you have Windows Vista running on Lenova T60 or Z61t computers, you may have problems with the screen brightness if you put the computer into a low-power sleep state, and then wake it up again. This is more likely to happen if you adjusted the screen brightness before sleep, either using a function key or the Windows Mobility Center. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929249 for more details.
Don't connect a Windows Mobile device to a Windows Vista computer, unless that computer has the Windows Mobile Device Center installed on it. If you don't, Microsoft says you won't be able to add or remove programs on the device. You can download the Device Center from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929659.
Microsoft has published the Windows Vista Security Guide, which is supposed to help you harden you Vista installations against attack. Reports are that both the National Security Agency and the NIST both helped with this report. Unfortunately, the report had to be re-released because of some errors. It comes with its own set of release notes to show what had to be changed. You can get it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=A3D1BBED-7F35-4E72-BFB5-B84A526C1565
There seems to be a driver problem with Sony USB hard disk drives. If the drive is locked, then Windows Vista cannot recognize it, and won't be able to access it. Microsoft says it's because the Sony drive is not sending the correct status codes, and you'll need to look to Sony for a driver update.
Even if you shell out the extra money to buy the Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, you won't be able to get that computer to join a domain. Domains, I guess, are for the corporate world, and Microsoft says this version is for the "home". That means they left out some of the networking stuff.
Microsoft says if you are setting up for unattended installation of Windows Vista, it's possible that Vista may get installed in the wrong partition of your hard drive. Microsoft says that's because Unattend.xml file does not assign a drive letter to the installation partition. Read more about what you need to do at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929848.
Microsoft has a Windows Easy Transfer tool that will let you move files and settings from one Windows Vista computer to another. However, if you are going from a 32-bit Vista computer to a 64-bit Vista computer, some settings will get left out. See the details at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929459.
PCI ExpressCard devices may have compatibility problems with laptop computers running Windows Vista. Check the Device Manager, and you may see the yellow exclamation mark warning next to it. The problem occurs if the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) BIOS has resource rebalancing turned on. Microsoft has a hotfix for this, which should be in a future Windows Vista service pack. If you need the fix right away, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929550.
If the time and date are not approximately correct on a Windows Vista computer, you will not be able to search for new Vista updates. Instead, Microsoft says you may see this error message: Windows could not search for new updates (Code 80072F8F). You will need to set the date and time correctly, since the security used during the update (Secure Socket Layers, or SSL) is based on it. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929458 to find out how to do this.
If you use the Windows Vista Disk Cleanup tool, Microsoft says you may break the Hibernate option within Power Options, or the sleep feature may lose it settings if power is lost. If you find that hibernation got broken, Microsoft says you can use the powercfg -h command instead. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928897 for the details.
If you run into application compatibility issues in Windows Vista, Microsoft has compiled a set of troubleshooting steps, plus links to other information, at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927386.
If you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, and still use a dial-up modem, you may no longer hear the audio handshake, (also known as that annoying squeal) when a dial-up connection is made. Microsoft says that is because some modem drivers don't know how to stream their audio to Vista. However, the connection will still get made. If you want to hear it, you may need a modem driver upgrade.
On a Windows Vista computer, if you have configured your screen saver to display the logon screen box, and also have set Require a Password on wakeup, then if you try to watch a video in the Windows Media Center in full-screen mode, the screen saver may turn on. As a workaround, Microsoft says you will need to reverse one of those two conditions. See the details at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929526.
Microsoft is finally sharing the programming interface, or APIs, for Windows Vista with third-party security firms. It appears that the firms are happy now, but it will probably take awhile for them to have software that works with Vista. Read the article (and possibly between the lines) at http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6145285.html.
Copyright 2003-2007 BJK Research LLC