was impressed with how smoothly the install went, but that
is not to say that everything went perfectly after
the upgrade. As with most OS upgrades, some programs are left
in the dust and this one was no different. Below is a list
of items (in no particular order) that I noticed after the
Soundblaster Live! - While Creative Labs makes good
soundcards, their driver situation is a mess. If you ever
visited their site and tried to figure out which update you
needed, you will know what I mean. Unfortunately, their approach
to Windows XP has muddied the waters even more. Their are
new Windows XP drivers for SOME of the Soundblaster
Live! cards but not all. The rest of the Live! cards won't
get optimized drivers until the END OF NOVEMBER. Why
the frick can't they use a unified driver like NVIDIA? Also,
by default, the Rear speakers were disabled. You have to go
into Control Panel>Sounds & Audio Devices and select
Advanced under the Speaker Settings section to enable them.
Finally, with Creative Labs recent decision to distribute
their software updates via CD's (you pay shipping!), Soundblaster
products are looking a tad less appealing.
Power DVD - If you are using version 3.0 of PowerDVD,
then Cyberlink has a free
upgrade for it. However, if you are using an earlier version,
you will be forced to buy the upgrade. Windows Media Player
8 can play DVD's, but with out the proper codecs, it just
Easy CD Creater 4.X - The Upgrade Advisor tells you
this program is not compatible with Windows XP. Roxio's site
tells you the same thing. So here's another upgrade you will
have to purchase. (note: one reader said that he was able
to get Easy CD Creater 4 working in XP...I have not confirmed
WinTidy 95 - Not a big deal, but I loved a little program
called WinTidy 95. It would save your Desktop Items and restore
them if your Desktop got whacked. It won't run under XP.
BlackIce Defender - I had both a hardware and software
firewall. Unfortunately, my software firewall, BlackIce Defender,
was not compatible with XP. However, Windows XP comes with
a built-in software firewall but it is disabled by default.
To enable it, go to the Advanced Properties of your network
connection and select the firewall..
Systray Anomalies - I've had a few problems with icons
not showing up in the System Tray or appearing, but be corrupted.
XP seems to have the most problem with ICQ. Even disabling
the "hide icon" feature didn't help.
Video Drivers - Windows XP loaded drivers for my GeForce
2, but the Display Properties were missing many options. Installing
the lastest drivers from NVIDIA's site fixed the problem.
Unfortunately, there is no "optimal" refresh option.
Red Alert 2/Yuri's Revenge - Had to reinstall both
games. Shortly after a game was started, all my buildings
would disappear and it would say that the mission failed.
My saved games were fine after the reinstall.
Start Menu - While some publications have raved about
the new Start Menu, I can't stand it. Fortunately, by right-clicking
on the task bar and selecting Properties>Start Menu,
you can switch back to the classic format.
It's not over yet - If you thought the OS install was
complete, think again. There are almost 20MB worth of updates
over on the Windows
Benchmarks - I ran both 3D Mark 2001 and DroneZmark.
The results were nearly identical to my Windows ME results.
Using SiSoft Sandra 2001, I noticed a slight improvement in
memory performance and a slight dip in hard drive performance
TweakUI - Microsoft has released the final version
of their Powertoys.
This is a set of unsupported applets that greatly improve
aspects of Windows XP. One of those applets is TweakUI which
gives control over many of XP's "hidden" features.
are many little annoyances
(too numerous to mention), but in general, the whole process
went a lot smoother then I predicted. My biggest gripe would
probably be with drivers. With XP being made public a long
time ago, you would think manufacturers would have had plenty
of time to produce good drivers in a timely manner. In fact,
I still need to find new drivers for my printer and scanner.