Thursday, January 22, 2009

Windows 7 beta on ASUS R2H

Now that Windows 7 beta is out I've decided to try it on my ASUS R2H see how it compares to Vista, which I became used to and why not even like it. W7 is supposed to be built on top of Vista and coming with a few usability and performance improvements - some of those visual improvements like Aero Peek won't be able to run on this tiny machine, but other nice things like Aero Shake or snapping windows to left or right sides might just work.

After writing the 2.5 GB ISO image on a DWD-RW, the installation from the USB DVD drive took about 40 minutes (some people installed it from a USB stick, see here), a clean install on a 9.5 GB partition where I used to have the good old XP. A nice surprise is that the installation only took about 8 GB of disk space (and that includes 1.5 page file and 950 MB hibernation - ?! no wonder the hibernate/resume takes longer in Vista/W7, it may need to compress the 1.2 GB RAM contents into 950 MB).


Graphics

Works fine with default driver (6.14.10.4543), but you won't be able to change resolutions from ASUS Settings Center (below) until you install the ASUS Vista driver (6.14.10.4764). You will have to run setup.exe in Windows Vista compatibility mode, otherwise it will complain the OS is not supported.
Update 23/01 : While my suggestion to install the ASUS graphics driver may give the ability to change the resolution from ASUS Settings Centre, it seems that this may be the cause of a system freeze when resuming from Sleep mode or when running Windows Live Messenger 2009.
Touch screen

While it works out of the box, I can't seem to get close into the corners on any side of the screen for about half a cm - the cursor follows the pen until you reach the limit and then it just stays behind. Btw, there is a new cursor just for the pen, different from the mouse arrow. There is also a new tablet screen calibration tool with additional touch points, maybe the outter additional points were meant to be closer to the actual screen corners, I don't know, I'll have to follow this. 


Thumb stick

It works, but with lower sensitivity, no click - you have to install the Vista driver / utility to get all that functionality.

Ethernet

Works fine with default driver.

Wireless

Doesn't work with the initial driver, you have to run Windows Update using a network cable to get the new driver and that one will work fine. You could also try the ASUS Vista driver, I would expect that to work as well.

If you want to use the Wireless hardware button at the top of the unit to swich on/off wireless and bluetooth and make the leds on the front of the unit light up, you will have to install the ASUS Wireless Console application, same as in Vista.

Bluetooth

Seems to be installed correctly, I don't have a device to test it though.

Sound

Not working with the default driver, install ASUS Vista driver.

Fingerprint reader

While the ASUS software for Vista seems to install correctly I couldn't get it to register the fingerprint as means of authentication. I found this AuthenTec press release announcing software to support Windows Biometric Framework within Windows 7 - see the contact details at the bottom of the page. Maybe that will get it to work directly with Windows without a need for the ASUS Security application.

Update 22/01 : I've eventually uninstalled ASUS software, although the AuthenTec driver seemed to stay behind. Probably based on that information later on W7 suggested installing this update from AuthenTec. I noticed then the device is available in Control Panel > Biometric Devices. The device is listed and next to it there is a link saying "Use your fingerprint to log on to Windows" that starts an application that allows you to record the fingerprints. The trouble is that I couldn't get more than 2 readings on the same finger, I got frustrated after a while and I dropped it. I noticed high CPU usage during the process...

GPS

Works fine, slow to receive the initial data as you alreay know it, but it works. Use the same DEVICE_SWITCH.EXE tool from ASUS to enable/disable the GPS device, also consider using Bogdan's tool to enable it at logon.
ASUS Settings Center

Install ASUS ATK Hotkey Utility and ASUS Settings Center for Vista. You can change brightness and volume, but you won't be able to change the screen resolution until you install the Vista graphics driver (see graphics section). To be able to change the power modes, you have to install ASUS Power4Gear eXtreme for Vista.

Windows 7 tips
  • User Account Control - you can customize UAC now to fit your needs, read some more here.
  • If you don't like the new taskbar and want to revert to the old style taskbar, go to Taskbar and Start Menu Properties (right click on Taskbar > Properties), in Taskbar tab tick Use small icons and change Taskbar buttons to Never combine.
Performance tips
  • Disable Offline files. Obviously if you don't use them, go to Control Panel > Offline Files > Disable offline files.
  • Disable System protection. This used to be called System Restore in XP, I don't know if there is any new functionality added since, I've only used it a couple of times to create restore points before. See before last screen here how to turn it off.
Performance tips - Windows services
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client - stop and set to manual. Read some more here, I've never missed it, I think the special folders like Favorites or My Documents, you can still move them around without the need for this service (I usally move those on a separate partition from the actual OS).
  • DHCP Client - stop and set to manual, obviously if you don't want to use a DHCP server and are used to set fixed IPs on your network interfaces.
  • IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules - stop and and set to manual if you don't use IPSec.
  • IP Helper - stop and set to manual. I haven't seen IPv6 used anywhere yet.
  • SuperFetch - stop and set to manual. Not sure about this one, the behaviour may have changed, there is free memory in Task Manager when started, where the behaviour in Vista was to fill up the memory in the background and that was causing serious HDD activity, at least on my machine, so it's up to you realy. Personally I only use a few apps on this machine, one at a time, I don't think I'll miss the functionality, we'll see.
  • Print Spooler - stop and set to manual, only if you are not printing from this machine.
  • Themes - stop and set to manual, only if you are using the standard theme.
  • UPnP Device Host - stop and set to manual. Sharing media in Windows Media Player might need this service, if it needs it will start it.
  • Windows Search - stop and set to manual. Do not have much content on this machine I need to be indexed, I can still search in Explorer the old un-indexed way.
* * *

Windows 7 looks very promising - Microsoft shaved off a couple hundred MB of memory usage - with file swap disabled (not recommended for most users, you can try it until Windows starts complaining) and Process Explorer the only user application, 700 MB free out of 1.25 GB.


Windows 7 will probably be well received by most people that slagged Vista when it came out and some of them will feel frustrated they didn't get all this goodness in the first place :-) hopefully Microsoft will come up with fair upgrade plans, at least for home users. There's been rumors of a Windows 7 netbook edition which will probably suit better UMPCs, but it's probably too early to talk about that.

I only had a couple of problems with Windows 7 itself, the touchscreen sides issue and that I couldn't get a system rating (the whole system hung when it reached the Windows Media Decoder Performance stage) and one with applications, where I couldn't install Adobe Reader 9 (didn't do anything past the extraction phase). Other than that, Windows 7 looks nice and performs well even on a machine that most people wouldn't think or even want to run it on :-)

116 comments :

  1. Hi Dan,

    Excellent job as usual.

    Kind regards,

    JC

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  2. Thanks JC, glad you found it interesting!

    Dan

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  3. Hi Dan!

    Sounds really good!

    I'm planning to install Windows 7 on my R2H as well.
    Did you try to use the GPS as well?

    Best regards,
    Rudi Hendrix

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  4. I have another question (and I don't know how to contact you other than through this comment field).

    I'm looking for Dutch speech recognition software. And I've found Dragon Naturally Speaking. Unfortunately that requires a 1Ghz or higher CPU. Mine is 900 Mhz. Do you know of possibilities to either overclock the processor of a R2H, or just simulate for a programm to have it on 1 Ghz?

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  5. Hey Rudy,

    No, I haven't tried the GPS yet, I'll have a go later on today and I'll update the post.

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  6. Sorry for mispelling your name earlier.

    You can contact me at dan.dar33@gmail.com (I know I should've created it a while ago :-).

    I found this project here (http://www.codeproject.com/KB/system/Processor_Speed.aspx) showing two ways of getting the CPU frequency, one by reading a registry key (HARDWARE\\DESCRIPTION\\System\\CentralProcessor\\0) and another one by querying a performance counter.

    I don't think there is any way you can overclock the CPU on R2H, and even if there were, it's very likely it will get fried under heavy use :-) Hopefully your application simply reades the registry key above, it seems that you can change its value. Try changing it just before the install and see if it works - you can confirm if it's reading the registry by using say RegMon or ProcMon from Sysinternals.

    I doubt though that the software will perform very well on the tiny R2H, even if you manage to install it, due to a missing L2 cache in the CPU. But if it works for you, why not, let us know. Good luck!

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  7. Hi there Dan,I am using Windows 7 to do this comment on my R2H. I didn't do a clean instal but did an upgrade from Windows Vista Business. It has been an interesting journey.....

    John

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  8. Hey John,

    you took the rocky road there :-) we'd like to hear some more if you could share.

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  9. Dan,

    Installed Win 7 on my R2H over the past weekend. Had the same experiences as you. I've been very happy with performance (I think it runs faster than XP - never tried Vista on it).

    I have run into one problem - although hibernate works fine, putting the system to "sleep" causes it to lock up. In goes into sleep fine but when you hit the power button to wake it up, the power light comes on solid (blinks when sleeping) and the fan comes on but that's it...everything else id dead. Have you seen this?

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  10. No, I haven't tried the sleep yet, will do - are you using it on battery or a/c? i know it sounds silly that, have you tried to touch the screen or move the stick to get rid of the black screen? i actually got something like that once on Vista and the "lock" button was on :-) You could try enabling the Remote Desktop and try to connect over the network, see if it's actually working underneath, and it's just a screen issue. You could also try leaving a media player running before you put it in standy, see if it starts playing when it resumes - the remote desktop would be better, cause that could trigger the screen to change to logon dialog and make it refresh.

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  11. Rudi,

    good news, I just tried the GPS and it works fine, same tool as in Vista to enable the device.

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  12. I've also tried the sleep (plugged in) and I can confirm it freezes. Not sure whether it's the graphics, but I've tried to get the webcam working and tried to install Windows Live. I don't know if this is connected, but when starting the Messenger the whole machine freezes completely, little hdd activity but nothing moves, no keyboard lights no anything. I see some solution suggested by W7 for an updated on the Bison drirver, I might try that...

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  13. About sleep mode...
    are you using it on battery or a/c? - both

    I know it sounds silly that, have you tried to touch the screen or move the stick to get rid of the black screen? Yes I did try those - especially after seeing that media center, when maximized, causes the screen to go black.

    You could also try leaving a media player running before you put it in standy, see if it starts playing when it resumes - it didn't :(

    Tried enabling and disabline every combination of drivers/devices, tried updated video and wireless drivers (from windows update) - still hasn't worked.

    Oh well...there's always tomorrow!

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  14. Hi Dan,

    Sorry, I haven't checked in on this site for a while.

    Thanks for your responses! I've found the registry key that you're reffering to. As I see it that would be a way to "trick" the system in order to have a 1 Ghz processor without actually pushing the processor to its limits. I'll let you know if it worked out.

    Next to that it's nice to hear the GPS is working fine.

    I hope to get to install Windows 7 in the coming days. I'll share my experience here as well.

    Regards,
    Rudi Hendrix

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  15. I was hoping for the best. Unfortunately the programm is looking somewhere else for the processor speed. I'm going through the rest of the registry now to see if there is another possibility

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  16. @Anon

    I'm going to try disabling a few other devices, specifically what's used in Live Messenger - sound, webcam etc and see if that fixes the sleep problem. I searched the web last night and i've seen other people had a similar problem in Vista (not necessarily on R2H). Tried it myself and Vista and it worked fine, I dont' think though it's a flaw in the system, but more related to device drivers. We'll see how it goes.

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  17. @Rudi
    Sorry to hear that, maybe contact Nuance and ask if an older version of the software will work...

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  18. Never mind that. You gave it a try, thanks for that! No, an older version of the software will certainly not work.
    I'm also still aiming at buying a R2Hv, but in the Netherlands there are not many of them sold.

    For my WinXP setup (including office and Autoroute etc) I've always used approximately 10GB. Would you think the same amount of disk space is enough for Windows 7?

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  19. @Rudi
    That would be nice, yes. I looking the ASUS UMPCs, but I was also considering Samsung Q1 Ultra, but maybe not for a while... I'm sure you can find one in the states if you have someone to bring it over, that's how I got mine at the time.

    W7 installed on mine in 8GB, that would leave you with 2 GB to spare, for applications - that's not too much to spare though. But again, this is Ultimate edition, and you can probably do things as in disable Hibernate if you don't use it or move the swap on a separate partition, uninstall features, if you need more space.

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  20. I already created a 15 GB partition... That should definately be sufficient! :)
    It's installing right now. I'm really excited about this thing!

    If I don't need the 15GB I can always play around with the free space.

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  21. Somebody was also having problems with running live messenger on Windows 7 right?
    I had Live messenger running on a Windows 7 environment on a virtual machine without problems. I didn't use it long, but I don't remember it getting stuck.

    Just a FYI

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  22. @Rudi

    I did, when I run it on R2H it freezes the machine completely - my assumption is that it tries to access things like audio, microfone or webcam and that's causing the problem. I was thinking that might cause a similar problem when resuming from standby, as Windows tries to reinitialize a device, probably one of the above... not sure yet though...

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  23. I'll try installing Windows Live messenger then before installing any sound drivers or whatsoever.
    See if that works.

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  24. I had no problems installing and using Live Messenger.
    And now I really would like to install the rest of the drivers, because this resolution is killing me :)

    Where can I find a tool to align the pen again? I notice the same problem as you did: the outer corners can't be reached.

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  25. I think it's Live Messenger together with the VGA drivers.
    I had no problems with Live Messenger (nor the system), installed the VGA drivers, mandatory reboot and after every reboot it freezes.

    I'll try to remove Live Messenger again and reboot...see what happens.

    Further I'm using my device to connect through bluetooth to a phone. So, once I'm satisfied with the setup I'll try that as well.

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  26. Argh, it might be the ASUS Vista VGA drivers... You need to stop Messenger Live to autostarts, go into Safe mode and run Autoruns to prevent it from starting every time, just happened to me yesterday as well :-)

    Search in Control Panel for Tablet.

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  27. Yes, uninstalling the VGA drivers made my machine to run again.

    Now I just disabled the auto start of Live Messenger. Assuming that starting Live Messenger with the VGA drivers installed will immediately kill the machine.

    Found the calibration tool. However calibrating doesn't exactly do the trick... one has to be creative with it.

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  28. Uhm...sorry to ask another question again...
    After changing the resolution to something different than 480x600 (I think that's the default) I need to scroll through the screen. Whereas before I just got a new screen where everything was smaller.

    By the way it's definately Windows Live Messenger that cannot cooperate with the VGA drivers.

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  29. @Rudi
    I think you're back on W7 default graphic drivers is that correct? Well, that's the default behaviour and that's why ASUS had to release their own version of the drivers for Vista for the ASUS Settings Centre to work properly when changing the resolution - rather than scrolling up/down to actually scale the image. I don't know if that was achieved through some registry keys in the .inf file or they've had to build a different driver.

    I was going to have a look at that tonight, to revert to the original W7 driver as it's causing problems in both WLM as well as the standby issue.

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  30. No I'm not back at W7 standard. I think I installed the VGA drivers the wrong way. I used the setup of the drivers CD and selected only VGA.

    Now I just ran the setup from the "VGA" folder.
    Still the same result

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  31. How did you install the ASUS ATK Hotkey Utility and ASUS Settings Center for Vista?
    I tried to install it from the separate directories, but it returns an error and the hot keys don't work.

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  32. Sorry, found it. I'll have to use the menu of the drivers CD to install drivers; not the separate directories.

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  33. This may be interesting:
    http://www.windowsbbs.com/windows-7/80498-windows-live-messenger-crash-my-windows-7-a.html

    So it's not a specific R2H problem I guess...

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  34. Sorry to keep you bugging here... Perhaps at some point you can throw all my comments in a few helpful lines of text :)

    My machine kept on returning an error once selecting 1024x768 on the on screen display. Also: selecting the resolution in other ways forced me to scroll through the screen.
    Installing the AUDIO drivers fixed it!

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  35. @Rudi
    Keep posting man, no problem :-)

    I uninstalled myself the ASUS Vista graphics driver and now I'm back on Standard VGA drivers. WLM 2009 works fine now, but I don't the option to Sleep anymore, fair enough this driver doesn't support it. I can't seem to be able to reinstall the W7 graphics driver through Computer Management, tough, it probably works through a reinstall... The thing is that I don't see ASUS coming up with drivers for R2H specific for W7, so we're stuck with trying our own things here :-) so keep going man :-)

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  36. If we managed to go back to Windows Intel 910/915 graphics driver, we might be able to check some registry keys and maybe get the resolution change to work properly with ASUS Settings Center, a small chance, but who knows...

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  37. You can get the Intel 910/915 graphics driver back by either: deleting your graphics adapter (sounds worse than it is) or by just hit update driver from the device manager.

    I have the resolution change working now.

    So far on a "clean" Windows 7 this is what I installed:
    -VGA
    -Asus Setting Center Utility
    -INF Update driver
    -Alle ATK dingen
    -Asus Wireless Console2 Utility
    -Audio driver
    -Mappoint 2009
    -Office 2003

    Right now I'm also looking into the GPS. For some reaon I don't have the GPSSwitch.exe available. Let's take a look on the Asus site.

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  38. Isn't it possible to install an older version of WLM? (Just for the time being.)

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  39. That's what I did, I've uninstalled the Intel software and then deleted the device, that's how I got the Standard VGA. Driver updates said that is the latest version. Even went on Intel website and tried the auto-detect tool they have (http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/detect.htm), said Standard VGA and no driver proposed. There is a post on Intel blogs about some Intel WDDM 1.1 driver for Windows 7 (http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2008/12/11/intel-releases-preproduction-windows-7-graphics-driver/), but not clear if it's for 910/915 nor that it can be installed separtely, probably the one that comes through Windows Update.

    I haven't installed the INF Update, as I couldn't find any version for Windows 7 on Intel wesite - are you talking about the one coming through Windows Update?

    I found an earlier version of Windows Live Messenger 8.1 here (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=d78f2ff1-79ea-4066-8ba0-ddbed94864fc&displaylang=en).

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  40. I did install the INF Update from the Vista drivers CD (actually I wasn't sure what it was and just installed...not the best practice :))

    No, what I meant with updating is the following: you go to your device manager, find the properties of your graphics adapter (which is now standard VGA something). There on the second tab click "Update driver" in the next screen browse to the place where your Vista R2H VGA drivers are and have that installed.

    Tomorrow is a new day for testing MSN. And looking how I can change the taskbar. And of course see if I can connect my GSM through the mobile device center. (Bluetooth seemed to work at first glance.)

    Now it's time for bed! Thanks for all your help so far!

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  41. @Rudi
    I thought you found way to go back to using W7 default driver (6.14.10.4543)... I could install the ASUS Vista driver (6.14.10.4764) but I wanted to see if there is a way to get the default driver work with WLM, standby/resume and maybe even ASUS Settings Centre. I'll maybe reinstall W7 soon and I'll list the driver files from the same place, on Details button and back those up.

    Good luck with the GSM connection and let us know how it works!

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  42. Ah of course! Because when you delete the VGA device it'll automatically reinstall the 6.14.10.4764 drivers again once it's back up.
    Nope, sorry I'm not back at default W7 drivers. Sorry I haven't tried going to standby while running on W7 drivers.

    Another thing I tried today is to run the "Rate computer's performance" wizard, but it returned an error. I'm looking for a way to run some kind of Aero experience, because I want to change the color of the task bar and get rid of the standard task bar. Bu the computer performance wizard returns an error that some devices returned errors and therefore the wizard cannot complete.

    That's why I also tried to install the webcam using the Vista drivers. Browsing the Vista drivers DVD didn't find the drivers automatically, so I selected them myself using following steps:
    1: Update driver
    2: Let me pick from a list
    3: Show all devices
    4: Have disk
    5: On drivers DVD browse to Camera\D-Max and select STK1135.inf
    6: Select 1.3M webcam
    7: Ignore warning

    I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS!
    I had to restart my system in safe mode to remove the drivers again. The system was not able to start anymore.

    Still my taskbar has that shabby standard W7 look and feel :(

    Next to that yesterday I connected a phone through bluetooth and used a Personal Area Network (PAN) to connect to internet. This worked great. In my car I had E-mail access, latest updates on speedcams and streaming internet radio. The downside however is, that I haven't found a way to create a shortcut to that connection yet. Everytime I have to go to the desktop select the phone and enable the connection again. But further it works like a charm!

    At the moment my computer seems to get stuck on the rate and improve computer's performance wizard.

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  43. To be more specific it gets stuck when assessing the Windows Media Decoding Performance. So I'm afraid I'll have to do a reinstall as well :(

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  44. @Rudi
    I had a problem rating the computer performance too, it got stuck on Windows Media Decoder, I thought it had something to do with the graphics driver, I'll try with the standard VGA, see how it goes.

    Webcam: I have a Bison webcam, check the ASUS website for Vista on details on how to identify the webcam device if you are not sure. I belive I run the installer actually, set the compatibility mode to Vista. It worked from the Integrated Camera utility, it installs a shortcut on desktop, I thought initially the problem with standby and rating was with the webcam, but it may have worked anyways - i'll try again.

    I don't think you'll get any Aero with either the 910/915 driver, and less with Standard VGA - you should be able though to change the color of the taskbar and windows, even with standard drivers - you won't get transparency in taskbar or window frames, that's Aero stuff.

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  45. @Rudi and others
    See the new post - reducing the video display hardware acceleration fixes the WLM 2009 freeze, and might as well fix the resume from sleep problem.

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  46. Hi Dan! Tried the hardware acceleration fix. Unfortunately for the resume from sleep mode it is not a solution.
    Next to that decreasing the hardware acceleration creates some blurry screen next to your mouse pointer in 1024x600.

    Tried synchronising my HTC device with outlook using Mobile Device Center trough bluetooth and it works perfectly! Now I can synchronise in the car as well!

    Further I'm still looking somewhat to change the color of the taskbar, but I guess I haven't looked for it hard enough. When going there through the personalization menu I don't see "Taskbar" mentioned anywhere as an option to change.

    Another thing I noticed is that my screen goes blank/the system goes to sleep mode when I'm not using it for a while. This while I set the power plan to never shut down. I'm going to look into the more advanced settings to fix this.

    Haven't tried WLM2009 yet.

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  47. Dan, are you (or anybody else here reading this) familiar with a way to enlarge the memory used for the graphics card? I understood it was shared memory that can be changed.

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  48. @Rudi
    To be honest, I don't know how, read this for some more info.

    http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/applnots/30262403.pdf

    As I understand, yes the Intel 900 GMA uses a shared memory architecture, which basically means instead of using it's own dedicated graphics memory like most graphic cards, it uses the cheaper main system memory. Check out the Intel graphics properties, that allows you to print a report, where it says how much memory it uses.

    On the other hand, I don't see the advantage really, for example for a screen of 800 x 480 x 32 bits it needs 1.53.6000 bytes = ~1.4 MB of RAM. Reading the docs, rather than allowing for memory memory, probably the "Fixed" mode would provide for better peformance, if that's not the default mode already...

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  49. @Rudi
    Interesting stuff with the mobile devices - W7 is supposed to improve experience with connected devices (printers, mobile phones, mp3 players etc), especially when the manufacturers will start providing drivers to take advantage of the new features - it's called Device Stage.

    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2008/10/arspdc-the-new-device-stage-in-windows-7.ars

    Disabling hardware acceleration is not ideal, my missus just complained she cannot play the Windows games, which was one of the reasons she wanted to try it - the good news is she liked it overall though and she's going to continue using it :-)

    I'll come back on the taskbar color thing, it may be related to some other color in the scheme.

    Check your power plan for the screen timeout setting,that is it turns off the screen if you don't use a few minutes.

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  50. Hi Dan,

    Thanks! I've found a shit load of documentation by now! Haven't found how to adjust the memory size though.

    In the properties of the graphics adapter (it's some kind of information screen that is part of the driver package I guess) I saw that sleep mode is not supported. I never checked those settings on my XP environment.

    I'm looking to change the memory to "Fixed" mode for example. That may just be what is killing the system after starting up WLM 2009.
    Further I was wondering if anybody has found the time already to "play" a little bit with the 3D Open GL settings. Perhaps that can be used to make WLM 2009 run as well without freezing the system. To be honest, I don't really have the time because I'm at work right now.

    Yes, the device stage does look interesting. However, my HTC Tytn II is not yet really shown as such. It is just a mobile device.

    On a media center forum I also read that Windows 7 is good for "spouse acceptance" :)
    For myself: I love the better on screen keyboard (compared to XP) The keys are a lot bigger and this is actually useable while driving the car. This makes it less necessary to have dutch word speech recognition.
    I dislike the poor calibration of the touch screen. When it is right for one area of the screen it doesn't work for another area! Let's hope that is fixed in a new build.

    I thought I already checked and updated the powerplan. I did it again now and now it does work.

    Perhaps today I'll freeze my computer again for a few times while attempting to run WLM2009.

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  51. Hey Rudi,

    The "Fixed" mode would probably prove slighly more performant, I don't think it will fix the issue though. I'll install the ASUS Vista graphic drivers and have a look at what you say with sleep not supported.

    I found that as well the on-screen keyboard is nicer, more like an actuall keyboard :-)

    I had a problem with the power plans on my missus laptop too, I thought it was just me and wasn't worth reporting - I configured the power button to make it hibernate, but on the first try it actually went in sleep mode. Went back in, checking that it was actually set to hibernate, pushed ok and then it worked fine... must be a couple of small bugs still in there, we should report anything through the Send feedback thing I guess... I did send feedback on a couple of things.

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  52. Ahum...with regards to reporting: I haven't really taken the effort of registering my version of Windows 7. For testing purposes I just pulled the 7000 build from a P2P network. :$

    I did find some time to fiddle around with the WLM 2009 issue though.
    First of all: putting hardware acceleration to notch 3 --> start WLM --> put hardware acceleration full again doesn't make the system freeze.
    Closing WLM and opening it again does make the system freeze.

    I'm now about to change the next setting after bit depth and test it again. So far: no luck.

    However...in one of my attempts I started WLM (with hardware acceleration to full) and hit ctrl+alt+del to start the task manager. Expecting a hang again...it didn't! So...as long as you have the ctrl+alt+del screen in front of you while WLM is starting up everything is fine! After that you can use WLM with hardware acceleration.

    Obviously this is not a full solution as well, but it probably can bring us closer to the solution. I think WLM does some kind of check that freezes the computer. Probably the same check as the one that is done while rating the computer.

    Another thing that I noticed is that WLM always opens two items on the task bar. Clicking them sends me to the same page.

    Perhaps I should register my copy of W7 as well. Is that easy to do?

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  53. Interesting findings, Rudi. I'll try to find the proper place where these bugs should be reported - I'm sure eventually it will get fixed in either W7 or WLM2009.

    Yeah, simply follow the download link, you might have to login / create a Live account and you'll get a serial no, no need to download it again.

    Once you got your own product key, follow the info here on how to change it and then activate from the same screen.

    http://techblissonline.com/vista-change-product-key-changer/

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  54. Yes! I've activated my copy. So I think I can start sending feedback now as well.

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  55. I've installed Messenger 8.1 again. I've just enabled full hardware acceleration again. Because my mouse cursor was showing a distorted block while having hardware acceleration to a lower setting.

    Perhaps this is interesting to sign as well (I did it) http://www.petitiononline.com/intel915/petition.html

    Would it hurt to (for example) try to install the Mobile Intel® 945GM Express Chipset Family drivers?
    I've been looking here and there but I wasn't too sure.
    To me it seems as if Intel just didn't want to spend time on it!
    Hmmm...I've been looking into a lot of interesting sites and perhaps it's not only intel who didn't create the WDDM drivers. It was more Microsoft who did not allow them to create the drivers.

    Haha! I just saw that you are on the Asus member forum as well. (I'm "Plantje" over there)

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  56. @Rudi
    I've been using the latest WLM 2009 (14.0.8050.1202). I've just had the same freezing problem with an ATI Radeon Mobility 9200 on missus laptop so it may not be related to Intel 910/915.

    I wouldn't install the 945 Express chipset drivers, unless they specifically say they support 910/915 Express.

    Yes :-) I used to go there a while ago, if they had some email notification when someone posts something on a thread, I would've gone more often, I actually requesteed it specifically - I don't go anymore, only every now and then, I'll keep that in mind :-)

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  57. Ok then... let's hope it's a general WLM2009 issue that will be fixed by MS.

    There's no real need for me to have the aero experience apart from the fact that that seems to be necessary to have the possibility to change the color of the taskbar. I've been investigating the matter of WDDM drivers for the 910/915 chipset and it's a painful matter :)
    What it comes down to in the end is that MS has accepted the chipset's lay out for the Vista beta version and WDDM drivers could be created. Later on they added some requirements for chipsets and that's why the 910/915 doesn't meet those requirements and Intel cannot create WDDM drivers. It's very painful to people that in the beta version the requirements were less high.

    Perhaps for W7 the requirements will be lowered again, but I don't think so. So we'll just have to live with it.

    Still I would like to have my black taskbar. Because I really LOVE Windows 7 on my R2H!

    For the Asus member board I did the exact same request! It's not possible to go there every day and check to see if somebody answered your questions or if somebody has a new question. Asus makes good stuff, but poor websites!

    Another thing I was looking for is the following: now we run Windows 7. That will expire somewhere august/september. What happens then? Do I need to go back to XP? Vista? Will there be new betas to test?

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  58. @Rudi
    Checkout the two updates on Windows Update for Intel 915/910 on January 28 and 31 - don't forget to send your feedbacks people, Microsoft seems to read them :-) I'm struggling now from the standard VGA mode I was, there is a Video Controller entry in Other devices, I let Windows to update the drivers, it updates it as Intel 910/915 drivers, but upon reboot it gets back to what before, VGA and unknown video controller.

    See maybe you have better luck.

    I believe the color of the taskbar is controller by the theme color, if you go in Personalisation, the Windows 7 basic theme has a light blue color in the Window color - you need one that has a black, or try to save that as a .theme and see if you can change it, good luck!

    It's not yet clear when W7 is going to release, when the beta will expire or whether there will be a beta 2 or not. You could probably buy it and install it when it's out or upgrade from Vista, but I doubt ASUS will provide much support or new drivers for W7, you'll be basically on your own, but not alone ;-)

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  59. Hey Dan,

    I'm not able to find the driver updates. From the Vista drivers version that I'm running the system doesn't find anything better on Windows update.

    For the taskbar: no matter what theme I select the taskbar stays the same color. I also tried adjusting "Window color", but there is no taskbar option in there.

    I believe this is one of the current limitations of the 910/915 chipset together with Windows 7.

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  60. @Rudi
    Could be something with Windows Update, just noticed it went through the update quite quickly on my Vaio, try again later.

    You might be right, I just checked on my desktop in Windows 7 and you should be able to change the taskbar color, though the dialog is not available on R2H.

    http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1871,iid=169179,00.asp

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  61. Yes Dan! That was exactly the one I was looking for! :)

    I'm sure this has to do with aero or non aero. Because on my desktop this option used to be missing as well. After upgrading some parts (and thus making my machine aero-compliant) I did have the option to change the colors.

    However...in Vista I like the standard black color of the taskbar, so I never felt the need to change it.
    I'll keep on checking Windows update.

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  62. We'll keep looking then :-)

    Tried a few more things on my Vaio (ATI Radeon Mobility 9200) re freezing issue and it happens not only with WLM but also with the Windows Games like Solitaire when hardware acceleration is enabled - must be that these chips must be missing something, hopefull MS will fix this, it will be a shame not to be able to run W7 on them.

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  63. That would certainly be a shame! Especially because W7 is so much more "light weight" than Vista.

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  64. I agree, but in the same time you have to think from their perspective - not only that they need more effort to support older graphics that do not support all the new features and in the same time the OEM computer manufacturers most likely they will not try to support older hardware for maintenance costs and cause they want to sell the new & better stuff, obviously.

    I keep reading about this new WARP graphics layer in Windows 7 (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/windows-cpu-gpu,6645.html) and I'm just thinking that maybe in beta version things are not fully finished on that side and it might try to do stuff either in the graphic card that the old drivers are not supporting or maybe it's trying to do things in the CPU and in both my laptops it's missing SSE instructions... i don't know.

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  65. Yes I agree with you. On the other hand real UMPCs seem to lose ground compared to the netbooks. Asus hasn't released something similar to the R2H in a while and it looks like they're not really planning to do so.

    An R2H with 250 GB HDD, 2.something Ghz processor, standard minimum of 2 GB RAM and a decent graphics card would receive a warm welcome from me :)

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  66. Yes, people seem to miss their keyboards and netbooks came right after the UMPCs were the first wave with fairly high prices, so I guess netbooks will catch on. I still think the UMPCs will be a small part of that family, see the Samsung Q1 going forward with Vista and SSDs and Intel Antom.

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  67. Still no update on Windows update on the R2H :(
    I haven't been able to find anything on it on Google. Where did you find this information?

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  68. @Rudi
    From the Windows Update history, now I think that it could be the same update and it's suggested a few times as I running on Standard VGA... says it was published on 30/10/2008... that might explain it...

    Intel Corporation driver update for Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family

    Download size: 3.2 MB

    You may need to restart your computer for this update to take effect.

    Update type: Recommended

    Driver update provided by Intel Corporation for support of Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family

    More information:
    http://winqual.microsoft.com/support/?driverid=7732

    Help and Support:
    http://support.microsoft.com/select/?target=hub

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  69. @Rudi
    Bad news, my good man - just checked on my desktop and I found the entry in Control Panel > Personalization where you can change the color of the taskbar, it's called "Change window glass colors" - we don't have it on R2H. It's probably related to only having Aero Basic, not Aero Glass. This might change though, the fact that it is always blue, it means it can be changed... somehow.

    Next one is what everyone went about in Vista, in Control Panel > Troubleshooting, there is a "Find and fix problems with transparency and other visual effects" - no news there, Video card doesn't support Aero effects... on details says the driver is not compatible WDDM, bladibla we all knew that, i'm going to bed :-)

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  70. Hello Dan Dar3
    I have on Asus R2H with 2Gb memory and the very very slow HD with 60 GB....Your Asus r2H is witj HD or they are 1.8 SSD drives who it's possible to replace in the r2h ?
    If yes i test windows 7...if not...i rest with xp....
    I'm veri dissapoint with r2H, because it is very slow....

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  71. Jota, I also have a 60GB R2H with 2GB RAM.

    Are you sure all 2GB are recognized? Perhaps you need to go to the BIOS to enable it. If Windows says it sees 2GB it should be ok.

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  72. Hi Jota,

    Mine has a 60 GB 1.8" Hitachi HTC426060G8CE00 (http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/c4k60_slim/c4k60_slim.htm) HHD drive. To be honest I've been quite pleasantly surprised all along, I thought initially it might be too slow but it does the job quite well.

    You can probably replace it with a SSD drive, but before you go that pricey route, you could do a few things.

    Do not keep the partitions full, they tend to slow down if you have stuff that you don't use better move it on an external HDD or backup DVDS.

    Use CCleaner say every week to clean up temporary files and such.

    Defragment every weeek, I can warmly recommend Raxco PerfectDisk (not free though) or even using the integrated Windows tool if none other available.

    If you have plenty of memory you could try disabling the disk swap, Iknow I am running without it on 1.2 GB RAM, mostyl browsing, listening to music, reading emails and ebooks.

    Also, very important you need to clean all that software that comes pre-shiped with your R2H otherwise the machine will be slow as hell.

    If you can't do all that by yourself, I can offer to show you a few things sometime this weekend in a TeamViewer session - I can definitely make your R2H purring like a cat :-) unless the hdd is soon to die, and the purring will be comming from the drive itself :-) only joking.

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  73. Does it really help that much to run defragmentation etc? I never use something like it.

    Has anyone tried accessing the shares of a R2H running Windows 7 from a Vista machine? I'm not able to do so and I've lowered all security. It keeps on asking for a username and password and I haven't supplied a password. Supplying the user name of my R2H doesn't work.

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  74. Found it... had to fiddle around with the sharing settings in the control panel (like in Vista) a little bit.

    Another thing that I would like to ask to you is: how do you experience the 1024x600 resolution?
    On my R2H it is not very stable. The 800x480 is bright and clear, but the 1024x600 resolution "moves" and has some twitches. I'm not sure how to call it :)

    ReplyDelete
  75. @Rudi
    I mainly use the physical resolution (800x480), the other ones only when a program's dialog doesn't fit proper into the screen.

    Just tried 1024x600 and it looks fine, sometime when the a conntrol receives focus the text does move a bit, which is probably normal since this is a software solution, trying display stuff that meant in a number of piels to recalculate and display in less pixels, probably each time a division occurus, the result it either rounded or floored... Anyways, it seems to get worse when using clicking the button to run the ASUS Settings Cener, makes the text "move"...

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  76. Thanks! Now I'm sure it's not just mine :)

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  77. Another question...

    How do people experience the new media player that is installed with Windows 7?

    I use the device to practice my singing for the band in the car. Further I use it to listen music all day at work. (That's why I'm asking)

    I've put 26 GB of music on the R2H and it has been "retrieving media info for: " for several CD's now for hours!
    Further I found that every song stops for a while towards the end and it takes a long time to skip to the next song.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Not that big music fan :-) I ocasionally listen to an album or two on my way to work, while reading a book... I use foobar2000, for low resource usage, but again it may not be as polished as WMP12 and all the features. You may have an unuasully large playlist maybe? keep a Process Explorer open when moving to next song, have a look at the threads or even maybe add the read/write bytes counters, maybe it trashes the hdd / media library and send your feedback to MS.

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  79. I disabled the retrieval of media information and that helps a lot!
    Is this something that should be added to the log? I don't think it is typical for Windows 7 on an R2H however.

    I think somewhere this weekend I'll dedicate some time to log all my findings and send them back to Microsoft. Can I just use the "Send feedback" option from the Control Panel for that or does one at Microsoft expect a different way of sending feedback specific for Windows 7?

    ReplyDelete
  80. You even found a workaround :) that will help them to find a solution.

    I would send it with the Feedback form, as well as maybe trying through http://connect.microsoft.com/

    ReplyDelete
  81. @Rudi
    See here http://windows7news.com/2009/02/11/first-details-about-windows-7-build-7032/, maybe you can find it somewhere and check out the WMP12 changes - I'll try to find on torrents...

    ReplyDelete
  82. Cool! Sounds nice! I don't think it will be easy to find something like this on torrent sites. Probably people are posting the 7000 build as being the 7032 build.

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  83. I've just sent in all my feedback with regards to Windows 7 on a R2H. Probably they've heard it al before, but it's not a problem to mention this.
    I'm hoping it will be updated and Windows 7 will be improved for the R2H as well!

    The next option that I'm looking into is the Asus T91. Only thing I'm not sure of is if it will have the tools like the R2H has to quickly change resolution, volume, brightness etc. That is really a must to me when using it in the car!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Very good Rudi, very good - there was rumours that a W7 Release Candidate was going to be released sometime in April, but that may be verywell postponed. Keep an eye on http://windows7news.com/ for updates.

    That is nice - I think I've seen a short video presentation at some trade show a while ago.

    http://i.gizmodo.com/5124948/asus-t91-your-1+inch-thick-convertible-eee-pc

    For that type of usage something like Origami Experience is what you need to use, with not much need for hardware buttons.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/umpc/demo.mspx

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  85. Hi Dan,

    Currently I'm planning to install build 7057 on my R2H. Let's see if that solves some of the issues.
    I'm not sure if I have the time to do this this weekend.

    Further I had another question: the on screen keyboard has some sort of word completion for internet explorer. It looks a little bit like word completion on a pocket pc/smart phone running Windows mobile. Do you know if it is possible to have this word completion working in all apps?

    Thanks!
    Rudi

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  86. I'm still testing here, but I can tell you one thing: screen calibration has been improved a lot in build 7057!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Rudi,

    I think the text-prediction feature works in more apps, not only IE, just tried it in Notead - give it a second or two before typing in the next character. I believe it is controlled by the on-screen keyboard > Tools > Options > Text completion > Show text prediction alternates (where available).

    Good one, keep us posted!

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  88. I'm not a big tablet user (I use mostly the thumbstick to navigate while on the bus), but I've noticed the "correction videos" in top-right corner of the writing pad, very helpful for novices, showing how to correct, delete, split and join words, very nice.

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  89. Rudi,

    That is good news, thanks!

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  90. It was also possible to run a system rating.
    And I was just able to revive the system from sleep mode! The guys and girls from Microsoft really did a great job here!

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  91. I'd say the did listen to all that feedback :-) now Live Messenger and MS games should be working without freezing the system. Getting the 7057 build myself, good job!

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  92. The funny thing is: if you install messenger through the default installation programm you don't get WLM2009 anymore! Perhaps that's the "fix"

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  93. I had installed version 8.1 of msn messenger. Today I got the message a newer version was available.
    I accepted and right now Windows Live Messenger 2009 is running without any problems on my Asus R2H! :)

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  94. I almost certain they fixed it when you said the system rating worked, good job. I might try to install 7057 today as well, looking good, thanks Rudi! :-)

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  95. You're welcome...

    You did te most pioniering anyway :)

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  96. However... Windows Mobile Device Center doesn't automatically start when connecting a device to build 7057. I'm currently downloading an update from Windows Update that can probably fix it.

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  97. Thanks Rudi, we did together look at the bunch of comments here :-) Keep firing those feedback messages, seems someone's reading them.

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  98. hi, i am little confused, the bison webcam is working or not? i have still vista on r2h and cant get the webcam and gps working... on xp it works fine, but xp has problem with my 2.25GB ram...
    Ala

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  99. I wasn't able to install the webcam either (but I don't find it really important so I didn't try very hard.)

    What problems do you encounter? How do you try to install the GPS?

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  100. Troubles with gps: cant find any satellites... I dont know why - in xp it was working - it took about 10 min before it found satellites... now I can wait even 5 hours and nothing...

    the webcam: I tried almost everything - only this http://dandar3.blogspot.com/2007/03/asus-r2h-working-bison-webcam-on-vista.html no becouse the link for drivers is down..

    Ala

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  101. And I installed GPS with files from xp - switch_device and others... gps is working - aplications can find it but it just doesnt have a signal...

    Ala

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  102. @Ala

    I've managed to install the webcam on W7 using the Vista drivers from vip.asus.com and it worked from it's own utility, it's just that we got sidetracked when Live Messenger was freezing. Rudi says everything is fine now and I'm installing build 7057 as we speak. You are right though we had to use those MSI drivers and registry fix, but I don't think there was a driver on ASUS website back then, log on to vip.asus.com and try with this one:

    BisonCamInstall Camera Driver for Vista 32bit - V6.32.0.04.2
    http://tinyurl.com/c73kck


    GSP worked fine for me in both Vista and W7 beta - there is an updated set of utilities at vip.asus.com - not actually a driver, more like a utility that enables it really. As slow as in XP, but it works - expand the antena and make sure you get good visibility, not behind any walls and stuff.

    Device Switch for WIN XP/Vista - V1.0.0.1
    http://tinyurl.com/cqgxwk

    ReplyDelete
  103. Hi,
    Very informative site for r2h.
    I just installed windows 7 on my r2h. I don't seems to get the GPS to work. I do not have GPSSwitch.exe in my asus driver CD and restore disc. Anyone idea where can I download or someone kind enough to send or upload to me? My email, ivanmoja@gmail.com
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hi Ivan,

    Thank you - see my previous reply to Ala. I'll be writing a new post on installing the drivers on W7 build 7057 in the next couple of hours, I'll try to post links as well.

    ReplyDelete
  105. 2Dan Dar3

    thanks very much for your help,
    I already have these drivers for gps but not these for webcam so I am going to try them...

    Ala

    ReplyDelete
  106. No problem, Ala, hth. See the new post on W7 build 7057, I tried to put the links to the Vista drivers, but I would recommend you to create an account at vip.asus.com for yourself, you get access to drivers as well as forums and all that.

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  107. Hi, so the webcam is still not working but I have still vista - so today I will try w7...
    I already created profile on vip asus but so far I didnt find anything new there...

    thanks for helping me :)

    Ala

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  108. Thanks Dan Dar, downloaded the drivers. Will try it tonight. You have been very helpful, thanks again.

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  109. No problem Ivan, you're quite welcome!

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  110. I found that in this build my Outlook 2003 every once in a while is automatically minimized to the system tray. I have the feeling this is happening for some other programs as well.
    So in those cases I accidentally click the program in the taskbar again, which starts a new instance.

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  111. Hi Dan,

    I just installed Windows 7 on my R2H and I cannot have the GPS working.

    I installed the Vista 32 version of the Device_switch utility but it keeps giving me the following error:

    "No device can be power off"

    It was working fine before in Vista.
    Have you any idea what could be wrong?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  112. That's a bit strange - I would assume you got the latest version of the DEVICE_SWITCH.EXE tool, I would open up computer management (right click on My Computer and choose Manage), go to device manager and see everything is fine in there, no devices with a warning sign or anything. I belive the GPS works off the COM2 port, see if that is installed in there and you haven't disabled that or anything.

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  113. I do not have any unknown device. I downloaded Bogdan's Tool and it works perfectly, even though Device_Switch still give me the same error but I do not care anymore.
    Thanks a lot for the support you are providing to us, it is really appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Thanks Michael, I appreicate it! Glad it worked, I guess Bogdan's tool should be much better suited if you are a regular GPS user.

    ReplyDelete
  115. hi dandar3

    question

    i am currently setting this one up for my boss..

    now he used to run at 1024x764 without having to drag the screen around meaning it fitted into the actual display

    in windows 7 it does. any suggestions

    BTW brilliant post

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  116. Thanks Paul! it's probably because you didn't install the ASUS graphics driver for Vista, check out the other posts with the "ASUS R2H" tag.

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