Recently, I have been seeing an Apple commercial on TV that rags on Vista.   I am starting to think Apple may have a legitimate point.

I go and insert a CD into my DVD/CD drive.  I open my Windows Explorer and I do not see my DVD/CD-ROM drive. Ok, what is going on. I have not installed any new hardware or added or removed any programs recently (other than Vista updates).  I proceed to Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Device Manger->DVD/CD-ROM drives.  Sure enough, there was an error icon on top of the drive.  I select properties and see the following message:

Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)

OK, there is a button to click on to help solve the problem.  I click on the button--totally useless.   I then resort to Googling on the error message and came up with the following fix:;EN-US;314060  (use Method Two), which involved deleting two entries from the registry and rebooting my PC.  The fix worked and I was able to see my DVD/CD-ROM drives.

We are now almost half-way through 2008, and I am working with an OS that

  1. Does not notify me that a critical hardware device is not working.
  2. Provides no immediate help to fix the problem.
  3. Requires me to perform an arcane maneuver to fix the problem. 

I believe Vista is a big improvement over XP; however, a basic problem like I described above should not be happening.