I finally got a replacement media disk from Microsoft and eventually did a clean install – it worked perfectly.

I should have kept updating this journey – but you know how it goes – things get away from you and before long a couple of months have passed.

So what happened? After a few more emails back and forwards Microsoft finally realised I was being naughty by ordering replacement media from the US & told me I could order it from Australia. Interestingly Microsoft no longer have support based in New Zealand & are unable to supply media from here.

After placing an order and waiting about a month I got a replacement disk for Vista SP1 which installed flawlessly last week – Problem solved!!! I also purchased a new hard drive to do the installation on. As my PC is a business machine it just wasn’t worth the risk that I would loose something important when I did the re-install.

The question has to be asked tho – Why do Microsoft supply replacement media to US residents free and charge the rest of us? The disk cost me $56. So after also purchasing the SP 1 update on disk as well  for $19 when they sent me the wrong re-order link the whole exercise has proved reasonably costly and for what? My original install of Vista worked well, never crashed and was quite quick.

Are we subsidising Americans?  Is this just a little bit of US parochialism?

Bottom line for me is that as usual its never a good idea to buy a Microsoft operating system on its first release. Always wait until its been released with its first upgrade. In the past I’ve always done this. It means I can’t be referred to as “an early adopter” by marketing experts but it also means you get better software and a system that has been well tested before you buy.