Archive for the 'microsoft' Category

“Windows is unable to install to the selected location. Error: 0x80300024”

Encountered this while trying to install Windows – Windows 7 – onto a newly-acquired second drive. Looking on-line, it’s not clear whether Windows simply needs to install onto the first hard drive (Disk 0, or SATA 0) or just needs to be able to add a ‘System Reserved’ partition to Disk 0, or both. Or something else altogether.

In any case, I had files on Disk 0 which needed preserving so for me the solution was simply to swap the SATA cables connecting the drives to the motherboard. Thus, Disk 1 became Disk 0 (and vice-versa) and Windows installed without either further comment, or – apparently – creating a ‘System Reserved’ partition on either disk.


Latitude XT + 128GB SSD + Windows 7 RTM

Windows Experience Index rating for a Dell Latitude XT under Windows 7

The scores for graphics are higher than under Windows 7 RC – lifting the overall score – but the experience is not much changed: it’s still snappy and responsive.

Drivers are provided, out-of-the-box, for for all of the XT’s hardware bar the multi-touch screen. The touch screen’s manufacturer, N-trig, have made Windows 7-specific drivers available; although the as-of-writing link on the page refers to the “Windows 7 Release Candidate”, the download itself seems to contain up-to-date drivers for Windows 7 RTM.

To enable automatic re-orientation of the XT’s display when switching between notebook- and slate-modes, install the Dell QuickSet application (the XT does not have an accelerometer like, say, the iPhone). Dell do not appear to be providing Windows 7-specific drivers (and other software) for the XT, but the Windows Vista version of QuickSet seems fully compatible with 7.

UPDATE: The KingSpec SSD featured in this post died after 10 months.

UPDATE 2: A second KingSpec SSD lasted just a further four weeks before it, too, expired.

Windows 7 SDK for x64 RTM

As of writing, the ISO download page for the Windows 7 RTM Software Developer’s Kit, only lists the version of the kit which will install on PCs running x86 (32-bit) Windows.

Until the page is updated with links to the other versions, the x64 version can be downloaded, directly, here.

Latitude XT + 128GB SSD + Windows 7

Speaking of ZIF SSDs:

Windows Experience Index rating for a Dell Latitude XT and a KingSpec SSD

That is, a 5.8 for a 128 GB KingSpec SSD under 64-bit Windows 7 Release Candidate. Apart from the “Disk data transfer rate”, some of the scores for other components are lower than under Windows Vista, possibly because the scale has changed, at the top end, from 5.9 to 7.9.

To use, the SSD-equipped XT is snappy and responsive, though only slightly more so than when fitted with a 5400 RPM HDD (and the cache had been warmed up). The more substantial difference is that the machine is available for use almost immediately after log in; no need to wait for SuperFetch to fill its cache(s), which seemed to take as long as ten minutes.

Beyond the SSD, Windows 7 seems a good fit for the XT: drivers are provided, out-of-the-box, for every component bar the touch screen, drivers for which are otherwise available here. Once installed, the touch experience is much smoother than under Vista, up to and including inertial scrolling, which exhibits a pleasant bounce effect at the top or bottom of a page in Internet Explorer.

UPDATE: The KingSpec SSD featured in this post died after 10 months.

UPDATE 2: A second KingSpec SSD lasted just a further four weeks before it, too, expired.

Virtual Jaunty Jackalope in Widescreen, Technicolour

The latest-as-of-writing release of Ubuntu, Jaunty Jackalope, installs quite straightforwardly under Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (SP1) but the desktop defaults to a screen resolution of 800×600, with no obvious way of switching up to something more.. useful. Additionally, existing guides to making higher resolution modes available refer to previous versions of Ubuntu and seemed not to work.

Happily, however, someone has taken the time to work out, and share, the settings necessary to properly configure the display adapter and monitor emulated by Virtual PC. Integrating these with the xorg.conf generated by Ubuntu’s installer, we end up with something along the lines of the following:

Section "Device"
    Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
    Driver "s3"
    BusID "0:8:0"
    BoardName "86c764/765"

Section "Monitor"
    Option "CalcAlgorithm" "CheckDesktopGeometry"
    Identifier    "Configured Monitor"
    HorizSync 30-95
    VertRefresh 50-75
    UseModes "Modes[0]"

Section "Modes"
    Identifier "Modes[0]"
    Modeline "1280x800" 60.50 1280 1296 1360 1472 800 802 804 822

Section "Screen"
    Identifier    "Default Screen"
    Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
    Device        "Configured Video Device"
    DefaultDepth 16
    SubSection "Display"
        Depth 16
        Modes "1280x800" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"

(xorg.conf can be opened for editing via a Terminal window – ‘Applications‘ > ‘Accessories‘ > ‘Terminal‘ – as follows:
sudo pico /etc/X11/xorg.conf [Enter/Return])

After saving the changes to xorg.conf and rebooting the virtual PC, the higher resolution modes are available via the ‘System‘ > ‘Preferences‘ > ‘Display‘ menu option.

Quit and start a new game. This counts as a loss in your statistics.

Playing around with the new version of Solitaire bundled with Windows Vista, and I find that, having saved a game (which I was fairly confident of winning – correctly so, it turns out), I find that everytime I restart the program, I am prompted to resume that same game. This, of course, results in a by-now-inevitable victory, each of which counts (seperately) to one’s overall running score.

This is the sort of .. ‘bug’ isn’t the word for it .. side-effect which can be difficult to unearth when you’re putting the software together but upon which a Random Other Person can land within minutes of using the product (if not instantly).


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