If there is one thing that is going to frustrate user that migrate from Windows XP to Windows Vista is the important feature that is either playing hard to get or just couldn’t get. I quite sure there is more but I have chosen the two major features which are likely to frustrate users at some point during their Vista experience.
1. Hiberate that play hard to get
(And I thought hard to get only applies to gorgeous gal ! Couldn’t blame Vista as it look much prettier than Windows XP though it has inherited some nasty personalities too eg UAC (UnAcceptable Choice if you think about it compare to User Access Control )
Hibernate in XP and Vista
Among the valuable feature that definitely give user a bad impression of Vista is the hibernate feature. It is not that hibernate couldn’t work at all, but rather it’s simply work too sophisticated for its own good that at time user fathom if hibernate is playing hide and seek. Has it been a feature that user could ignore, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but hiberate has grow to be a indispensable feature that user come to love in XP and now to hate in Vista primarily due to poor implementation (Not to say Microsoft Vista team sucks, on the contrary, I think they are very smart people, but then having so much features and sophistication perhaps make them overlook the beauty of simplicity in design that simply works).
However, in Vista, that tab is gone for whoever’s good. It seems hibernate feature is enabled if you meet some conditions. The reason that it’s gone is because hibernate has become lot more sophisticated and has to co-exist with related feature like hybrid sleep.
Implementation of Hibernate
This article Troubleshooting Windows Vista Sleep and Hibernate, provide a thorough explanation why hibernate will disappear and only to get resurrect later (I promise you that it’s no miracle !). The file hiberfil.sys is the major culprit in the disappearance as explain:
If you figure out the role of Microsoft’s hiberfil.sys, then you understand why Hibernation sometimes is not an option. For example, there may be insufficient disk space on the c: drive to create this huge file, or some older Bios software cannot manage suspend to disk or suspend to RAM. You if you wish to use the Hibernate option, be careful that a Disk Cleanup operation does not delete hiberfil.sys, and thus at least temporarily, remove the option to hibernate.
Article Section from Troubleshooting Windows Vista Sleep and Hibernate that make Hibernate Appear
The recommended article also explain the difference between Sleep and Hibernate(Luckily, there’s no Coma option !) clearly. The most important of all is the following section which I extract from the article.
Vista has no Hibernate option
The situation is there is no Hibernate option on the Vista Shut Down menu. There could be several reasons for this absence.
1. The least alarming reason for this absence is that ‘Allow hybrid sleep’ is set to: On. (See screenshot).
The point is that by design, hybrid incorporates Sleep and Hibernate, thus you only see Sleep on the menu. Also, by default, desktops are set to ‘Allow hybrid sleep :on’. To troubleshooting this setting start at Power Options.
Solution: Make sure that you don’t enable hybrid sleep, whatever it is !
2. Does Microsoft Vista have enough free disk space for hiberfil.sys? My machine needed 2GB, the size of my RAM.
Solution: Make sure that you have enough space large enough for the hibernate file !
3. Another cause of the disappearing Hibernate option is an over-active Disk Cleanup program.
Solution: Make sure that you don’t enable the option to remove the hibernate file !
Solution to turn on Hibernate At All Cost
Now, this is the step you have to learn to turn on hibernate at all cost ! If it doesn’t work, perhaps nothing ever will .
If you are administrator, then just invoke the command interpreter, cmd.exe, otherwise right-click to run Cmd.exe in administrator mode.
After this, run command => powercfg /hibernate on
and volia ! Hibernate now appear as menu option in Start Button and also Power option dropdown.
Why is it a poor design ?
If user could force the hibernate feature to work through command line, then why not do the same in its Power Option dialog, placing an option that user can turn hibernate on and off just like Windows XP could ?
The dialog is what user expect the hibernate feature to appear everytime, and it should appear there, if not, at least the dialog should offer some explanation. The case of Hibernate function appearing and disappearing is beyond the understanding of many mortal user.
Maybe Microsoft will want to fix this inconsistency in the next service pack.
2. Network speed indicator that just couldn’t get
Frankly, what does those bar means ? How does it derive the third bar given that there is no maximum speed to compare at all ? Or is it some option that I need to enable ?
This is a bad design because user is more interested to know the quantitative speed rather than some meaningless bars. If the speed of network is slow, user want to know the exact speed at that moment. How does Microsoft expect the user to tell if the network is the bottleneck ? By bars ? If the speed is 10mbps, it shows 3 bars, and in another computer where network speed is 50mbps, it also show 3 bars, so what do all these mean ? Nothing , really.
In XP, at least a numerical speed is shown, and Microsoft should bring this back to Vista . Don’t make user look dumb . Hopefully, Microsoft will address this usability soon .