Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vista and the R2H: I Just Can't Get it Right

Warner can do it, Dave Maiden can do it; what's wrong with me? Have I spent so long loading other people's images that I no longer know how to set up an operating system from scratch? Should I step up my plans to buy a better Mac?

Despite my embarrassing paucity of posts, I'm not new to Vista; I've used it a lot since I was accepted into the beta in September 2005. In fact, I used it to write the majority of this post on my ViewSonic Tablet PC V1250. It works ok there. However, the R2H and I have issues, and this isn't even the first time I've installed Vista on it!

For the installation, I mostly used Warner's posts as my guides. I knew that I wasn't ready to rely solely on Vista, so opted for dual-boot, sticking Vista on the second partition. Everything was going somewhat smoothly, until I decided I wanted my GPS to work. By accidentally leaving the original Asus driver CD in the external DVD burner, I learned that I needed the ATK0100 utility to make Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006 detect the GPS. As that caused some Blue Screen of Death nastiness, I got the ATKDrv utility for Vista from the Asus download site...the global link, since the US link always seems to be "busy." This is when my real trouble started. Whenever this utility was installed, my wireless NIC would disappear from Device Manager. It wouldn't always show up after a reboot. At first, I removed the offending utility and tried to get on with other installation tasks, but, judging by the messages I kept getting, the utility is needed if I want to utilize my hotkey buttons and higher resolution emulation, so I had to put the utility back and hope the wireless would settle down after everything was installed. The Realtek LAN card would sense the network and get an IP address, but would never see the world beyond my router, so I was essentially disconnected, which was completely intolerable. I've ended up using a USB wireless NIC during desperate moments or using my cell phone as a Bluetooth modem.

Goodness, I can't write a short post to save my life. That's enough for now, especially since the R2H has to go back to Asus, because it hasn't made a sound in any OS since it came back from repair, and I'm ready to send it back (I miss it already!). When I get it back this time, I think I'm just going to take those CDs that came with it, slip a second installation of XP TPCE on the second partition, and then try a Vista upgrade. I don't care what anyone else says, upgrades always work fine for me; perhaps it will work better than the clean install has.

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