Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vista SP1 makes some undocumented changes

Microsoft MVP Rick Strahl has a very informative blog article: Vista SP1: Terminal Services /console switch no longer working. Rick and the follow-up comments provide some valuable information about the disappearing /console switch. His anger and frustration are palpable.

It also makes me sad. Here Microsoft made a rather simple change and handled it quite terribly. They didn't document or publish the change and they didn't provide backward compatibility by continuing support for the old parameter. Could they have made any more mistakes? - And this was a simple change!

The reason this makes me sad is that I have been hoping for massive changes to Vista. Me, and many of my colleagues, regularly encounter ill-conceived approaches to the design and implementation of Vista. When we hear Steve Ballmer make statements that Vista is a "work in progress", we get our hopes up that some of this stupidity will get resolved. I've long said that SP1 was coming out too quickly and was so focussed on bug fixes that we wouldn't see any real changes until SP2. But the poor handling of the /console switch retirement causes me to lose hope.

I'm beginning to realize that the changes I want made to Vista are just too big. Too many dependencies will be broken or change behaviors to be manageable. I realize now that fixing UAC or improving the intelligence of Folder Redirection just isn't possible in a Service Pack. I think Microsoft realizes this as well. There's a reason we are getting mixed messages out of Redmond about a Windows 7 release schedule. I think various stakeholders are making realizations and the script is being rewritten on a daily basis. I know Microsoft still has many more lessons to learn from Vista before moving on, but I also know that I won't get what I want until Windows 7 (maybe).


Derek said...

Have you noticed or is this a known bug whereas any Vista version with SP1 will not map the user's Home Folder?

i.e. we set the login script in AD and also the Home folder (connect: P: to: \\server\share\username. The network folders map fine from the login script but not their Home folder?


Gordon Martin said...

Hi Derek,

That's a new one on me. But I did experience other changes in the way network drives were handled by SP1. We had been modifying the registry to redirect User Files Folders to drive mappings rather than to UNC paths. It worked just fine pre-SP1 but with SP1 caused the OS to seek out and destroy (read delete) the redirected folders. Nasty!

It looks like you might have a support call on your hands. Please post back here when you find a solution.

Gordon Martin said...

BTW, Microsoft is offering free support for SP1 related issues. I suspect this would qualify.