A Vista bug is frustrating some users with extra-long wait times to move, copy or delete files - and the only way to fix it is to call Microsoft's support line for a patch.

A thread on a Vista support forum has been active since late January, with users regularly complaining of ultraslow file operations on the new operating system. The volume of messages spiked yesterday.

"I downloaded a 1.8 Gbyte file over the internet to my D drive," a user identified as BadBlock said today. "Moving the tmp file from C to D took three times longer than downloading the file on a 6Mb connection! I'm thinking of going back to XP."

Another user was equally scathing. "I simply cannot believe that I updated to a new computer and put Windows Vista on it to find that it's not even capable of moving and deleting files in an efficient manner. The most basic of features that I use all the time is a slow train wreck. Who do they have designing these programs - monkeys?"

According to a document on the Microsoft support database, the company has produced and tested a hot fix that solves the problem. But because the fix has not been posted for public downloading, users must contact Microsoft to obtain the patch. A £30 support charge may apply, although Microsoft's general policy is to cancel such charges if the support representative decides the hot fix is necessary.

Microsoft typically rolls such hot fixes into the next Service Pack for the operating system in question. A first pack for Vista, however, has not yet been scheduled.