Archive for the 'windows 7' Category

Waveson WindowShade

Waveson WindowShadeOver at Waveson, I’ve put up the first version of Waveson WindowShade.

Waveson WindowShade is a utility for Windows which draws an unobtrusive, translucent shade over the desktop and windows other than the one with which the user is interacting, helping him or her focus on the video they’re watching, the document they’re editing, etc.

Installing Windows 7 under Boot Camp 4.0 (OS X Lion)

This is odd. But true.

This week, I upgraded the hard disk that shipped in a mid-2010 13″ MacBook Pro (MacBookPro7,1) to a larger capacity disk which necessitated clean installs of OS X and Windows. But the Windows 7 installer (quietly) hung at the last step in the installation process. “Completing installation…”, indeed.

Looking on-line, I came across posts from several other other people who were having the same problem, but just the one, improbable-looking, solution.

Improbable as it may have appeared, after following each step, exactly as described, Windows 7 Professional (32-bit edition) installed without complaint..

Re: Slowly, then all at once.

A second KingSpec 128GB 1.8″ 40-pin ZIF Solid State Disk only survived four weeks’ very occasional use before it, too, expired. On one otherwise unremarkable evening, I placed the XT on a sideboard and shut the lid, putting it to sleep.

A short while later, on hearing the fan running at full speed, I opened the lid only to be greeting by an unfriendly MS DOS-style error message. “System Error”, “Error reading from disk” or somesuch. Whatever it was, the computer refused to boot at the next time of asking. I was, later, able to use Windows 7’s System Recovery Options to recover some files from the stricken SSD.

Much to their credit, the drive’s vendor agreed to RMA it (again) and replace it with a RunCore Pro IV 1.8″ 5mm PATA Zif Solid State Drive SSD. Three weeks later, and it’s.. well, still working.

Slowly, then all at once.

The blurb for the KingSpec 128GB 1.8″ 40-pin ZIF Solid State Disk (MLC) claimed a “write endurance” of 10 gigabytes per day for 80 years, and an “unlimited” “read endurance.” After very nearly 10 months’ reading and writing considerably less than that, mine went wallop.

It happened much as per Hemingway‘s description of how people go bankrupt: the first sign of trouble was Windows Explorer hanging while copying (reading, not writing) a file. This failed with a Device I/O error, then chkdsk reported “10 bad clusters”, and then the host PC refused to boot at the next time of asking.

Happily, the drive’s vendor agreed to RMA the drive and exchanged it for what looks like a later revision of the same model. Once installed, Windows 7 reported the following:

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

Which is to say, not quite the same but also not very different.


UPDATE: This second KingSpec SSD lasted just four weeks before it, too, expired.

“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.



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