Are You Still Stuck In Vista Upgrade Hell?

If you bought a laptop at the end of last year, you probably qualified for a free Vista upgrade. We did and although it took 6 weeks to get the disc in the mail from our laptop manufacturer, we didn’t run into too many hassles. No so for a lot of people, according to PC World:

“I was told it would be an easy process,” says William Bond, of Tampa, Florida. But, he says, the process has been anything but simple. Bond purchased a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion desktop in November at Circuit City and is still waiting for his Vista upgrade disc from ModusLink, the company handling the program for HP.

Bond says he has been asked repeatedly for his proof of purchase. “I must [have] e-mailed, faxed, and mailed that proof of purchase five times by now,” he says, but ModusLink still hasn’t acknowledged receipt. “I’m exasperated,” Bond says.

The problem is being blamed on ModusLink, the company processing the upgrades for HP, Acer, Fujitsu, Gateway, and Toshiba. ModusLink in turn blames the laptop manufacturers, who were 4-8 weeks late sending the discs. Admittedly, its hard to mail discs that you don’t have. Still…it’s May.

Says ModusLink’s Pothier: “Is it possible customers have had to resend things and are still not happy? Yes, and I apologize for that.” She says ModusLink is doing the best it can to resolve issues with the “few remaining” people who haven’t received their Vista upgrade yet.

Are you still missing your disc? Let us know at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. —MEGHANN MARCO

Outrage Continues Over Vista Upgrade Program [PCWorld]
(Photo: DanieVDM)


Edit Your Comment

  1. sleze69 says:

    As a system administrator, trust me. They are better off with XP.

  2. joshieca says:

    I had this same trouble with Dell two years ago with their “free” upgrade for Windows Mobile software….I went round and round with them for months, finally I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau…guess what….I had my issue resolved in one week and Dell express mailed me my update disc.

  3. DreamWalker81 says:

    I still hadn’t received my upgrade disc for my parents Acer PC a couple weeks ago so I shot off a e-mail to moduslink to see what the issue was and to let them know that I wasn’t happy (in a previous e-mail conversation with them i was told my disc would be shipped out at the end of February or beginning of April) 1 week after my e-mail was sent I got a shipment confirmation e-mail. I don’t know if it was because I shot off a pretty pissed off e-mail or just coincidence but I got the disc.

  4. Buran says:

    @sleze69: seconded. I use XP only for running City of Heroes and an online D&D gaming app I use for playing with my weekly gaming group. I will not be upgrading to Vista until one of those apps requires it. EVERYTHING else gets done on my Powerbook.

    That said … after that huge “rebates suck” expose from the other day, is anyone really surprised that they’re trying to weasel out of providing the promised rebate/upgrade? They are probably losing the proofs of purchase deliberately to cause “breakage”.

  5. elmyc says:

    My b/f bought one toshiba laptop at Office Depot on Thanksgiving and it had a couple rebates plus the vista upgrade thingy. I filled out the $200 rebate first and later when I realized it the upgrade needed a copy of the receipt it was too late.

    I went to the website in the upgrade form and filled out all the information (plus my CC number to pay for s/h) They then said thanks for registering Blah Blah you need to mail a copy of your receipt… I didn’t. Last week to my surprise the disc came in the mail and I did not pay a single cent (I checked my statements) so basically I waited seven months for the cd I did no pay for.

    To all the people out there still waiting give a month or so.

  6. Roundonbothends says:

    I upgraded my Media Center 2005 PC to Vista. The first time, I tried doing just the upgrade. I had some severe stability problems, and after learning that the Install Shield “stack” was corrupted, I backed up everything I wanted to keep to an external hard drive, wiped the drive clean, and installed a fresh copy of Vista from the DVD.

    And then, everything worked. I also upgraded to Office Pro 2007 with Outlook 2007. No problems since, and no crashes. I’m actually impressed with how stable Vista is on my PC, and after boosting the RAM from 1 to 3 GB, how FAST it is.

    The moral of this story is don’t believe the hogwash about upgrading your existing operating system. There’s too much that can go wrong.

    Save your stuff, wipe it clean, and do a fresh install of just Vista.

  7. Iron_Dragon says:

    @Sleze69: Did I misread the title? I thought this was a post about ModusLink sucking and not more Vista bashing. I have a dual boot setup and I only use XP when I’m forced to which happens rarely. Most programs/games run fine on Vista.

    I still think people should have waited though. A clean install is always better than an upgrade especially when you factor in all the crappy auto backup systems companies pre-install these days.

  8. Tush says:

    I’m so glad Dell is going to sell computers with Ubuntu. A breath of (open) fresh air, I tell you.

  9. jaewon223 says:

    it’s a lot more than just a “few remaining” people. I belong to notebookforums and there are thousands of people who’s complaint amounts to endless threads.

    I’ve been waiting for about 2 months now from my “order is approved” to being shipped.

  10. Iron_Dragon says:

    Do people who use linux even buy dell systems? This comes to mind right away:

    Dell Tech Support + Linux being pushed on non-tech customers = Nightmare waiting to happen

    Also would dell even offer a discount or would they pocket the extra cash? So many questions… I’m just left asking: Why?

  11. Bay State Darren says:

    I love my Mac. This is just one more reason to.

  12. LatherRinseRepeat says:


    This isn’t about why XP or Mac or Linux is better than Vista.

    It’s about a promise for an upgrade disc that was poorly executed by ModusLink.

  13. FLConsumer says:

    ModusLink is doing you a favour — stick with XP. I’ve already “downgraded” several Vista machines to XP at clients’ requests. Stable, no crashes, faster, fewer hardware requirements. If you want pretty eye-candy, there’s plenty to download off the ‘net for every OS out there.

  14. rekoil says:

    @Iron_Dragon: I don’t think they’re “pushing” Linux on non-tech customers – I highly doubt they’re going to base an ad campaign on it, for example. But it’s obvious that there are enough customers asking for an alternative to Windows on Dell machines that they’re offering that option for those who want it. And within reasonable boundaries, giving customers what they want and are willing to pay for sounds like good business in my book…

  15. bedofnails says:

    @Bay State Darren:

    “I love my Mac. This is just one more reason to.”

    Like clockwork.

  16. Yogambo says:

    I purchased two laptops, one on black Friday, one in mid-December, one Sony, one Toshiba. Both were bought at Best Buy.

    About one month ago, I got the upgrade disc for the Toshiba. About two weeks after I got the Sony upgrade disc. The rebate stuff was sent in about the same time. I’ve been doing rebates for eons, so I was on it. But there really wasn’t much trickery aside from a bit of a delay — I got in Early April rather than late March.

    I’ve not done the upgrade yet. I likely won’t on the Toshiba. But the Sony I may, not that it’s got 1.5GB of RAM.

  17. mavrc says:

    Moduslink is colossally bad. How bad? So bad that you think for a while that they’re some sort of Monty Python-esque parody of a horrible company, and then you realize you’re not dreaming. They won’t even help you when you work for a company they are handling upgrades for.

    Best bet would be to call your computer reseller, and follow standard procedure – be calm, but escalate as needed, until you find someone who’s willing to work around Moduslink.

    Oh, and please, please, don’t do an upgrade to ANY OS unless you back up your data first.

  18. Buran says:

    @bedofnails: I’ve met plenty of platform zealots on all sides. Those of us who use Macs and believe they are better do like to say why, but honestly, responding to someone who just said something quiet and polite with a page that is rude and insulting doesn’t say much about “your side” that’s any good.

    Different people have different tastes, deal with it, no need to pull out the swearing.

  19. robk says:

    I faxed in the information required for Vista upgrade three times (each time including the cover letter and cover sheet from the previous time). I also did the scan/email trick once. No joy.

    So I printed out the whole shebang, mailed it (with delivery confirmation) to their PO Box, and FINALLY the website changed from “received request” to “received everything”. Disc arrived in the mail two weeks later.

    Moral of the story? Sometimes low-tech is the way to go.


  20. metalhaze says:


    Like clockwork…

    Friggn PC user commenting with the friggn Maddox link…

    Wow you are so original…Man, I bet we’ver never seen that shit before..

    You have opened my eyes to a whole new world! I am going to go out right now and get a PC! Whatever could I have been thinking! Wow,by reading that website I realized how wrong I have been this whole time for liking Macs! My life as I know it is a lie! thank you! You are my savior!


    Go Mac!

  21. mavrc says:

    @metalhaze: Are there still people on the planet that think a good old-fashioned Mac versus PC flamewar is even remotely productive?

    Don’t get me wrong. I love my Macs dearly. But I’m always disappointed when Mac evangelists can’t seem to be the “better person,” and always have to answer the “My PC is broken” question with “Shoulda bought a Mac,” possibly the most useless reply to anything ever.

  22. Kloud says:

    This is starting to sound like those Mac vs PC commercials; plain, old-fashioned, and retarded.

  23. kazoni says:

    It sucks to see everyone having issues with Moduslink. I ordered a custom HP laptop over my Christmas break. Ordered the Vista upgrade on 1/27, was able to scan and email my proof of purchase and had my order confirmed and accepted by 2/11, shipped 3/12 and in my hands a few days later without any problems. I haven’t upgraded my laptop with it yet since my campus won’t support Vista until Trend Micro gets their Vista version of OfficeScan out here in the next week or so.

  24. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    I received my laptop for Christmas (Thank you, Mommy!). Dell was offering a free Vista upgrade (of course, after you pay for shipping). I ordered it in January and didn’t receive it until the middle of March. I hate Vista. Not only is my computer running slower but I have to authorize EVERY little fucking thing I do–even to access my own files. And to add icing to the cake, it shut down my D drive so now I have to wait for a Dell “technician” to “show up” and fix it. This sucks…

  25. ReverseCarpetbagging says:

    I just ordered a PC, not because I don’t want an Apple, but because I have to take the bar exam this summer. I was thinking about Vista, but I have to use Windows XP for the bar exam. I actually think that will be a blessing in disguise because I already have Office & Quicken for XP, so I’m actually saving a couple hundred bucks to stick with XP.

    After the bar exam, I’m heading for a Mac.

  26. Onouris says:

    This isn’t a Microsoft problem, I don’t know why people are blaming them. It’s whoever they bought their laptop from because you’ve already paid for it, why would they give a crap how quickly they post off your Vista disc.

  27. arachnophilia says:

    hey, that’s a new one. normally microsoft upgrades stall sometime AFTER you get the disc and put it in your drive.

  28. CattyMe says:

    Don’t be too quick to salivate over that Windows Vista you’re waiting for. It came with my Dell, and I’ve had all sorts of problems. It chews up memory; most 2007 or earlier software isn’t compatible; I’ve had to do a FULL system restart three times on a brand new Dell XPS; and spent hours on the phone with Dell BEGGING for Windows XP, which they won’t give me.

    Unless you have enough free time to download software patches, wait until the first service pack comes out (which when I checked in August, won’t be out until July, 2008 — why the wait?).

  29. mmeehh says:

    by the way when you use the upgrade disc the OS is no longer supported by HP,no longer in factory configuration.