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Just like teenagers, some Windows releases are GOOD and others are BAD. 

Good Windows are:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 10

Bad Windows are:

  •  Windows Vista
  •  Windows 8.x

If you have a BAD version of Windows, get rid of it.   If you have a BAD teenager, take my word for it:  they will go back to being good by the time they turn 18 years old

When networking Vista be sure to install a SizReqBuf entry as explained on Q#66 at: www.myfreepos.net/support.htm


Popular Vista Issues & How To Solve Them



For those people who still would like to know, here's an older article we posted back in 2012 about Vista:

[Editor's Note:  history seems to be repeating itself with Windows 8.x which has been buggy due to the dramatic changes 8.x attempts to make.   We recommend waiting for Windows 10 and skipping Windows 8.x]

Now that Windows 7 is available, there is absolutely NO REASON to use Windows Vista.  If you have Windows Vista, you should contact your PC manufacturer immediately... in many cases there are free upgrade offers.   Learn more at:


If you are stuck with Vista because it came pre-installed on your machine and your PC manufacturer is not offering a Windows 7 upgrade, it's probably worth:

  1. Paying to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional     OR

  2. Downgrading to Windows XP Professional (many Vista keys work with XP)

Vista has been an extreme failure in terms of its reliability and market success.   Because of this, it is best to avoid Vista.   If you must continue using Vista (which will be okay... but a big annoyance to set up) here are some pointers.


Here are the most annoying Vista-isms we've heard about:

  1. Every time you double click an icon Vista asks, "Are you sure you want to run this?"  or when you select an option from POS Configuration, the POS Configuration Toolbar closes.

  2. "Publisher not verified" keeps popping up.

    • Solution:  This message comes from Internet Explorer.   To fix it go to Internet Explorer and select TOOLS -> INTERNET OPTIONS ->SECURITY -> LOCAL INTRANET -> SITES -> UNCHECK all of the choices.

  3. Drive mappings won't reconnect after a reboot.

    • Solution:  Each Vista machine in your network must be set to log in as the administrator.  Microsoft ships Vista with administrator account turned OFF by default (arg!!)   To fix this, click START / RUN and type CMD and press ENTER.   A black command window will appear.   Type this command followed by the ENTER key:

    NET USER administrator /active:yes    (PRESS ENTER HERE)

    Now reboot the machine and use the administrator account on all machines.   Vista requires that a password be attached to each user account, however, you can enable Simple File Sharing to avoid this.


  4. Windows Vista slows down randomly.

    • Solution#1:  This is caused by Vista's hard disk indexing feature and/or scheduled disk defragmentation.   Both of these services should be turned OFF for fastest POS operation.   While you are at it, consider turning off automatic updates - after all you don't want Vista updating itself at 7:00p on a Saturday night.

    • Solution#2:  Consider putting Vista in CLASSIC mode - this results in lower quality graphics (aero will be disabled for example) but it will make your computer system much much faster.

  5. Windows Vista keeps powering peripherals & hard disks OFF.

    • Solution:  The environmentalists at Microsoft finally got their way and by default Vista has an overly aggressive power saving plan installed.  To fix this, be sure to enable the PRESENTATION POWER MODE.   In presentation mode, no power saving will occur - which is what you want for any point of sale terminal.

  6. Windows Vista won't let WINSpool send print jobs.

    • Solution:  A security feature in Vista causes this to occur.  We've made a new print spooler called VSpool that submits print jobs using a "vista friendly" approach.  If you're a registered user, just email us and we'll send you the files you need.  Vspool can run on 2000, XP and Vista.

  7. Windows Vista & Windows 7 get database timed out errors randomly.

    • Solution:   Decrease the dbthrottle in pos-cfg -> system settings -> dbserver.   Due to internal differences in XP and Windows 7 and service packed versions of Vista, the database server may be running in a higher performance elavation ring.   This means reducing the throttle will be an excellent idea.   Try a throttle of 200 - 250 milliseconds.

Summary - What To Do?
On average, implementing Vista or Windows 8.x  will cost $200 - $300 more per station because of additional hardware requirements and software bugs.

To summarize:  Use XP, Windows 7, or Windows 10.