Posts Tagged Windows 7

Setting up the new machine


After going through the initial setup on the machine, which I configured the date time, wireless network password, and the home group password. There were a couple of steps which I believed needed doing, before going forward with installing the drivers for the various pieces of musical hardware, and installing the music software.

Windows Update

This one is something you may thing, just one run and things will be fine. My experience has shown that the first run gets a bunch of updates, but you need a couple more “check for updates” to completely exhaust the list of things which need to be updated. The joys of having consequential update dependencies (update A installs component Y which has another update B available).


I’ve the machine talking straight to my gigabit switch (chunk of Cat 5 cable comes in handy), as the built-in wireless networking card “Dell Wireless 1510 Wireless-N WLAN Mini-Card” goes too slow (See Blog post » Dell Wireless 1510 Wireless-N WLAN Mini-Card – Slow!). The windows configuration start up wizard goes through the basics of the networking up and running.

Networking and Backup

One of the big “bug bears” I have with Windows 7 is that Windows 7 Backup will only backup to a network attached device in the higher levels of Windows 7 (Professional or Ultimate) . My preference is to backup my machines to my NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. So, I need to upgrade the version Windows.

Another grumble at Dell, I was not presented with the option of upgrading, or specifying, the version of Windows 7 installed on the machine.


After doing the following:

  1. Making sure the version of Windows 7 has all of the patches installed from Windows Update,
  2. Upgrading the version of Windows 7 to Ultimate (it was only $20 difference between professional and ultimate through Windows Anytime Update),
  3. Replacing the wireless network interface with on that works at a reasonable speed, and
  4. Taking a full backup image of the system, before I start installing anything music related on the system.

Finally, I’m ready to start installing the music software, and music device drivers, I want to run on the system. That will be tomorrow, I need some relaxation time this evening. The “ups and downs” of the installation process, will undoubtedly be another post (or two) to this blog.

One important thing to note before I start installing. I will be installing all of the device drivers first for the music instrument interfaces first, and then the music software (Guitar Pro 5 to start with). I really want to give the software the best chance of installing as smoothly as possible, and this approach should minimise the chances of “things going wrong”.

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ATI Mobility Driver Upgrade – Installer Blue Screens


Every since upgrading my Dell Studio 1510 to Windows 7 64 bit, I’ve been having all sorts of crashes (blue screens, and sometime blank screen then straight to a reboot and the BIOS loading screen). I’ve held the belief that the ATI Catalyst Mobility Radeon HD 3400 version 10.5 driver was causing the problems. So, I’ve finally tried to upgrade the driver.

 CatalystThe download, and unpack of the software went smoothly, but when I started the installer, the machine would crash (sound of breaking glass). The install process would get to this screen and then blue screen the machine.

After, trying some of the of the pieces of advice which flashed past as the machine went from blue screen, to the BIOS loading screen, which included:

  • Run chkdsk /f. to do this you need to open a DOS box with administrator privileges (right-click the command prompt menus item in task manager, and then select the run as Administrator. The will queue a chkdsk for the next time the machine reboots.
  • Booting into safe mode, and trying to install that driver. Which did not work,safe mode would not allow the installer to install the detection piece of the installer.

How to get this to install?

Well I found a way around the problem. Windows has many ways to achieve the job you want to do, most of the time if path A does not work, path B may.

Installing The Drive Update Through The Device Manager

To do this (if you don’t know this “nook or cranny” of Windows 7):

  • Run the ATI Installer, and take note of where it puts the software. On my machine it was “C:\ATI\Support\10-8_mobility_vista_win7_64_dd_ccc”.
  • Stop the install when you get to the screen above (don’t need to crash the machine again).
  • Go to the Control Panel
  • View the Control Panel in “small icons” mode (I still have no idea why the default hides all of the “good bits”).
  • Select the Device Manager
  • When the Driver Manager opens, after the UAC message, Expand the Display node in the tree.DriverManagerUpdate1
  • Right Click the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400.
  • Select the Update Driver Software

  • This will bring up the following screen, select the “Browse my computer for software” Option.
  • DriverManagerUpdate2 


  • On the following screen select the directory where the driver software was installed.DriverManagerUpdate3
  • After then Windows goes off and does the install. My display went blank a couple of times, redraw its self in a mess, and then sorted its self out. By the end the drivers were installed.


  • Then I restarted the machine. I wanted Windows to sort itself out, make sure all of the updates were in the correct place, and generally “tidy up”.


Thus far, the machine has been up and not crashed since the install (a big improvement in stability). It could be my imagination, but the display is a “bit snappier” now as well.


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Upgrading from 32bit to 64bit Windows 7


This post continues the saga of the installation Windows 7 (previous post The start of the saga)

Problem 1 Resolved – Sort Of

I’ve finally got the machine to boot from the DVD – the 64 bit one at that!


Hit F2 when the BIOS is loading (the first thing after a reboot). Change the sequence that the machine was looking for bootable devices. The original settings had the hard drive before the DVD. What was needed was the DVD before the hard drive.


  1. I was on the right track to start with, but fell down a “trap for young players”. I should have been smarter (but then again, it is the first time I’ve done this, so I’ll let myself off – just this once).
  2. Waiting for the next “issue” to be fixed". At present it is quite happily “Expanding Windows Files” (I hope it does not jamb up like it did in the Vista upgrade).

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