Tag Archives: Dell

Why don’t I see Windows 7 SP1 in Windows Update? Could be Video Drivers!

This weekend was Daylight Savings Time.. Spring Ahead. You are supposed to set all your clocks ahead 1 hour if your area observes DST. With that, you are also supposed to change your batteries in your smoke alarms, or that is at least what “they” tell you to do. Probably another good thing to do is run patches on all your systems!

I updated around 4-5 Windows 7 Machines at home, couple desktops, few VM’s, and it was fine. My work laptop (a Del Latitude E6410) I couldn’t see the update in Windows Update. I figured maybe it would get pushed later from WSUS or whatever, but also had a hunch something else was up, and I was right.

If you look here (Microsoft KB) there is a nugget about

 

Check whether you have Intel integrated graphics driver Igdkmd32.sys or Igdkmd64.sys and whether you upgraded the driver

Windows 7 SP1 will not appear in Windows Update if update 2454826 is not installed. Windows Update will not offer you update KB2454826 if you are using one of the following Intel integrated graphics drivers:

  • Igdkmd32.sys (32-bit), versions 8.15.10.2104 through 8.15.10.2141
  • Igdkmd64.sys (64-bit), versions 8.15.10.2104 through 8.15.10.2141

These drivers are known to cause problems with certain applications that use D2D (Direct2D). For example, if you use these drivers together with Windows Live Mail under certain circumstances, Windows Live Mail could crash. 
To check for the Intel integrated graphics driver and driver version, follow these steps:

  1. Start DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To do this, click Start

    Start button

    , type dxdiag in the Search programs and files box, and then press Enter. 

  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Note the driver and driver version.
  4. If you have the Intel integrated graphics driver and driver version 8.15.10.2104 through 8.15.10.214, visit the computer manufacturer’s website to see whether a newer driver is available.

 

Well, that is what I saw on my laptop. So I updated the drivers, and rebooted, re-ran Windows Update, and boom! Windows 7 SP1 showed up. Nice.

Note: not sure this is the right link, but here is what I installed: Dell drivers and downloads

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ATI Catalyst HDMI and Overscan/Underscan

I bought a new Dell machine a couple years ago for the sole purpose of doing Windows Development (my main home machine is a MacBook Pro). Everything is fine on the windows machine, except the dang monitor. By default, ATI and their “Catalyst Control Center” – which I have found to be utter garbage over the years, decides to set to underscan at 8.5% by default. Which leaves you with a big black margin around your main desktop from the edge of your monitor.
I had this all fixed a long time ago, but Windows Update had an update for the driver, which updated the CCC from ATI, which was completely wacked. Wouldn’t even let me set all the settings I used to be able to set.

I went and found the updated CCC at their site and installed over the top, and now could set the overscan/underscan to 0%. It is beyond me why this isn’t the default setting to begin with. Back when I first got it I had to search around to figure this out, many other people have the same issue. Not sure why they don’t set it to 0% out of the box. Anyway, here is the place you can change it:

Dell Dies, And In Its Place..

A MacBook Pro. Yes, and it is awesome.

So the story, my Dell laptop was humming along fine, but then recently I heard some clicking, and was like WTF? Asked Emily “Did this fall on the ground or something”… “No… but I dropped a glass on it”… Oh man, and you know, one month after the warranty expires, as usual.

So this weekend I went to the Apple store and spec’d out a sweet MacBook Pro. 4 GB ram, High Res, everything. Picked up .Mac cheaper since I was getting a machine (soon to be MobileMe).

Right now I am running Vista in a virtual machine, giving it 2 GB, and it flys. This is probably the sweetest machine I have ever used :) I am using VMWare Fusion instead of Parallels like by MacBook, figured Fransen said it was good, so I would try it. I like it.

I really like the light up keyboard. What else? Like they say, everything just works. Take for example my Verizon EVDO card. In XP or Vista, you have to install the connection manager, hope it works, hope all the drivers install, and then hope it launches. You run into admin issues, and just a ton of other stuff. In the MacBook? I plugged in the card, 2 seconds later, connected. No install, nothing. Just worked. God send.

So I think I am an Apple Guy now. iPhone, MacBook, MacBook Pro. Mighty Mouse (wired and bluetooth) and a bluetooth Keyboard. And on the 11th, I will get the 3G iPhone. When I think about it, all I need Windows for is Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and SQL Server stuff. Everything else I can do on the Mac, and with Virtualization, it is almost seamless. I like it.

What’s next? AirPort Extreme, AppleTV, Time Capsule…

I don’t think I will go back, unless something totally changes with the machines and the OS…

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron – Linux is Cool, Linux Wireless is Not – 10 Step Program

Gah. I have a love hate relationship with Linux. It is pretty cool, can do pretty much everything. But.. But.. wireless support is just a joke. Same issues with Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3.

Wireless should JUST WORK.

I downloaded the 8.04 iso, and burnt it to cd. Installed it in windows, which is cool, a 10 GB partition. rebooted and the windows boot manager lets you choose , Vista or Ubuntu.

After getting set up, logged in, I tried to get on wireless. Doesn’t work. The thing is with Linux, is if you start configuring stuff here and there, it can get WAY out of hand, and then its just wacked. That happened, so I reboot to Vista, uninstall Linux, reinstall.

Now, lets search the forums, blogs and what not to get wireless to work. These are the steps I took to get it to work. My laptop is Inspiron E1705 with Broadcom wireless..

Fire up terminal..

1) sudo apt-get install build-essential

2) wget http://bu3sch.de/b43/fwcutter/b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2

3) tar xjf b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2

4) cd b43-fwcutter-011

5) make

6) cd..

7) wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2

8) tar xjf broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2

9) cd broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0/kmod

10) sudo ../../b43-fwcutter-011/b43-fwcutter -w “/lib/firmware� wl_apsta.o

Now, reboot a few times, and then maybe.. just maybe your wireless will connect and work. Once it latches on, it seems to be fine. I am on Ubuntu right now, writing this post.

Only 10 steps to get wifi working, all manual, and just a PITA. Granted it took me about an hour to patch together 18 different ways to get it to work..

Now I know why people use Mac and Windows. There is now way regular users are going to put up with that. Its like having to turn a crank to get your engine in your car to start. Just ain’t going to happen. Maybe in version 9 :)

Windows Vista vs. Windows XP Debate. Who Wins?

I have been using Microsoft’s Windows Vista since it came out RTM, Oct 30 2006. I had it on a Dell desktop, which worked fine. Some driver issues before January 2007, but it still worked. I have had it on my main Dell laptop since May 2007. I use this laptop for work (read: Visual Studio 2005, 2008, SQL Server, Office 2007 etc, etc)

I started using XP the same way since it came out in 2001. Even though, at work, I was forced to use 98/2000 for a while, but I had XP running at home, and ran it all they way up till I installed Vista fresh.

Now XP SP0, was very buggy, driver issues. Same with Windows 2000, SP1 came out and a lot of issues were fixed and it was more stable, yet insecure. SP2 fixed most of the big problems and it was very stable, mature OS, and now SP3 is RTM which adds a few hidden features, as well as all the security patches since SP2. Good deal, yeah, XP is stable, mature and works. Guess what? So is UNIX. It doesn’t mean we want to use it on our machines.

Vista is the new OS in town from Microsoft, and it works just fine. Great almost. Yeah, you heard me right. It works, it doesn’t suck, and yeah, it is better than XP.

Anyone who says otherwise either

a) Doesn’t know how to setup and work Windows

b) has hardware that they can’t get working

c) has an OEM machine full of bloatware slowing it down

d) doesn’t know how to tweak a machine for performance.

e) they haven’t used Vista (because of work reasons or whatever)

Yes, XP works, it works well, for people running Compaq Pesarios or HP machines that are 5-6+ years old. It works well for Linux geeks who really don’t know how to work Windows. It works well for Mac people that need Windows every now and then.

But Vista, just works. My desktop was purchased in Nov 2005. 2 GB of ram. Vista works like a champ. Laptop in May 2007, once again, runs like a champ. Even my MacBook with 1GB runs Vista very well using Apple’s Boot Camp.

Vista IS more secure. You can run it without added bloat of an antivirus/spyware in my opinion. And if you are behind a router, you don’t need a firewall. Now, in XP’s case.. you probably need all three, just because XP is more vulnerable, and when by chance it does get hit by malware, it makes it MUCH harder to get it off XP (I know from helping people) compared to Vista.  Vista has built in tools to identify rouge programs, processes, and things that just shouldn’t be there. It gives you more insight into what is going on – the control panel has tons of options to monitor everything, and, Vista is locked down by default.

Yes UAC is a pain. I disable it, I am a power user. You don’t even need to be a power user, just a smart user. Don’t install crazy things, use Firefox, things like that.

I have been using Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5 now for about 6 months. It is OK, it works, depending on what you want to do. If I wasn’t a Windows developer, I could get by on Mac. I could get by on Linux (I have used it on and off for 8 or so years). But could an average user get by on Linux? No. That is why Linux will never become mainstream for end users – it is too difficult. Even Mac/Windows (and pssst Linux) geek’s give up on Linux because it is just too damn non-user friendly sometimes. No, I shouldn’t have to recompile my kernel to get wireless working. No, I shouldn’t have to edit config files ANYWHERE to change settings, not as an end user. As a power user, yea, that’s fine.

Back to XP vs. Vista – the petition to keep XP alive is just like trying to keep VB6 alive – it will always fail. VB.NET is superior to VB6, Vista is superior to XP – it just is. Vista MCE is much better than MCE 2005, just a ton more options and features, and it works, I could just keep going on and on listing feature comparisons, but it isn’t worth it.

I can say from experience, that Vista wins this war with XP, and until someone can convince me, that is how I roll :)

Dood! I’m getting a Dell

Hopefully it will be here this week. Here are the general specs:

* Intel Pentium D 820 (2.8GHz) w/Dual Core Technology
* 2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
* 19 in (19 in viewable) E193FP Flat Panel Display
* 256MB ATI Hyper Memory PCI-Express X16 (DVI/VGA/TV out) Radeon X600 SE
* 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
* Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, English
* Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet
* 16X DVD-ROM and 16X DVD+/-RW
* Remote Control for Media Center

Dell: Windows XP Home or Pro?

If you have ever browsed the Dell website, maybe you have seen this, it really doesn’t make sense to me.

Everywhere on their site, they say “Dell recommends Microsoft Windows XP Professional”. But here is the catch, for all home PC “customize” links, it defaults to XP Home Edition. I just don’t understand why they do that. If they “recommend” XP Professional, then why don’t you get a deal if you buy it, instead you have to add 70$ to the starting price of a system on the main page. So at first glance, you see these cool systems that don’t look that bad in price, but right away, you might as well add 100$ to the price.

Dell