Friday Apr 20, 2007

XP -> Vista Upgrade: Error 80070103

I've been trying to upgrade an Ultra 20/4 GB RAM with Windows XP + SP2 machine to Windows Vista Ultimate and it's just a plain ugly experience. I've installed Vista on two other machines and it was a much better but this one is the other extreme.

I insert the Vista media in the drive and it pops up a window with an option "Install now". I click on install and then it shows the following error message:

It's hard to understand this error message because the primary drive has 91 GB of free disk space and installed using NTFS. Is the error message trying to convey something else ?

Searched on microsoft.com pointed me to this. But this article is only talking about this error code when installing updates, not updating the whole operating system. Anyway, I installed all the latest updates recommended by Windows Update Center. I also disabled my antivirus software as recommended in "What to know before installing Windows" (even though it's a weird requirement) but this error will not go away.

Tried searching if temp directory is somehow assigned smaller space but didn't find anything on that topic. Not sure if that's even possible.

I posted a question to Vista installation newsgroup. The responses there point to a mismatch (1, 2, 3) between default display drivers provided by Microsoft and nVidia. So I uninstalled the default display driver and installed nVidia's display driver. But still the same error message/number. BTW, the machine has Quadro FX 1400 card.

Then called up nVidia Tech Support. It took them few minutes to figure out that I'm "overwriting" my Window XP with Vista even though I began the call with "I'm upgrading my XP to Vista". Anyway, after the person on tech support understood my issue, I was told to format my Windows XP and then tried installing Vista from scratch! Another quote is "This is definitely a Microsoft problem because Vista is not even getting installed" even though I mentioned that all the links are referring about nVidia driver mismatch. Additionally, nVidia.com main website links to Can your computer run Windows Vista ? which test and reports whether a system can run Windows Vista or not. Interestingly, my laptop (which already has Vista) failed this test at Minimum, Recommended and Optimal level. And the machine on which I'm trying to install Vista passes this test at Minimum level but still giving this weird error.

Finally I called up Microsoft Tech Support and they transferred me to MSDN tech support which close at 5:30pm PT on weekdays.

As a result, I'm stuck this weekend waiting for MSDN tech support to open up Monday morning and then will follow up.

Is Windows Vista really ready for prime time for any serious application ?

UPDATE: Submitted a bug here.

Technorati: windows Vista XP nVidia

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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