Can Vista unzip files any slower? - Adventures in Switching to Linux

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Can Vista unzip files any slower?

While preparing to run the scanning software for the Open Source Census on my wife's Vista laptop, I realized another reason why I am switching to Linux instead of the next Microsoft OS: Extracting zip files is ridiculously slow!

When extracting the 43 MB archive that contains just over 14,700 items and about 100 MB of data, Vista took an eternity in comparison. Extracting this file on my old slow laptop (Pentium M, 1.4 GHz) running Ubuntu 8.04 took 35 seconds, on a slow old (6 years old, Pentium 4, 1.4 GHz) XP desktop extracting this file took about 2 minutes, on the newest computer in the house (less than a year old, Core 2 Duo 1.5 GHz), it took well over 20 minutes!! That is Vista for you.

This is the release version of Vista and not service pack 1 so maybe the problem has been fixed. That is no excuse for something this slow though in a release product. Vista is over 10 times slower than XP and 34 times slower than Ubuntu 8.04 for this particular file. Did no one test extracting files before releasing Vista? Surely they would have noticed how slow it was.

I am not alone in noticing this either.

Does Vista SP1 fix this problem? I am a little too scared to install it to find out. Some are happy with SP1. This guy still has the problem and so does this guy who upgraded to SP1. The real solution (though I have not tried it yet) seems to be install a new application to handle your archive files like WinRAR or 7-Zip. Remember when we had to do that on Windows 98 and earlier? Moving back to move forward should be the new Microsoft motto.


Unknown said...

I gave up on Vista, and this was just one of the many reasons. I'll wait for MS to get their act together before I "upgrade" from XP again.

I can't believe there hasn't been more of an outcry about the ZIP performance.

Alex said...
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