Showing posts with label vista. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vista. Show all posts

Saturday, May 30, 2009

No Internet After Installing Vista SP2

I'd just noticed Vista service pack 2 had become available via Automatic Updates, and decided to take the plunge and update my Lenovo N100 laptop.

Upon rebooting, I was able to connect to other XP machines on my LAN, but not the internet.

I found a helpful newsgroup post where some other users described similar woes following the update, including links to a variety of workarounds for a variety of situations. My laptop connects to the router with a static IP, so cases where DHCP mysteriously failed to acquire an address didn't apply to me. I also don't keep my router on a different subnet, so another possibility gone.

Fortunately, in my case I was just able to uninstall my wireless network adapter, in this case a Broadcom BCM43XG, and have Vista reinstall it.

  1. Open Device Manager by holding the Windows key and then hitting the Pause key, then clicking the Device Manager link in the upper left corner of the Control Panel => System screen. Alternatively, you can open it using one of the methods outlined here.

  2. Expand the Network Adapters category in the device list, and then right-click on your wireless network adapter (in my case, its display name is listed as "Broadcom 802.11 Network Adapter"), click Uninstall, and then click OK to confirm. If prompted to remove the device driver associated with the network adapter, do not do so. In this case Vista is the problem, not the device driver.

  3. Right-click the entry at the very top of the device list (indicated by your computer's name) and click "Scan for hardware changes". Vista will find and reconfigure the wireless network adapter and should shortly inform you that it's ready for action.

  4. Use either Vista's built-in wireless network management tools, or a third-party utility (in my case, ThinkVantage Access Connections 5), to reconfigure your wireless connection properties (if you aren't already using a wireless security protocol like WPA, I strongly suggest you implement it).

Given the myriad of notebook and wireless configurations out there, it's not at all surprising that a given configuration will not emerge completely intact from a typical Windows service pack install.

In this case, I think that whatever particulars about the configuration of my wireless network adapter, which incidentally has remained much the same since before Vista service pack 1, introduced a monkey wrench which shot out my adapter's knees under service pack 2.

By uninstalling the adapter and then reinstalling it under the updated "device bureaucracy" of Vista service pack 2, this allowed Vista and the adapter to happily coexist once more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vista Capable, (Not Quite) XP Ready


So my wife's office has a DELL OPTIPLEX 745 that's having issues. Every few hours its hard drive cooling fan sounds like it's a Pratt & Whitney™ turbojet engine prepping for launch off a convenient flight deck. I checked the BIOS under Maintenance -> Event Log. Saw some colorful error messages such as:

  • Previous shutdown due to thermal event
  • CPU0 fan out of range
  • Her office manager calls Dell. They send one tech, then another. They replace a fan, remove another. The problem recurs. Level 2 tech support engaged, and Dell nicely sends the office a warranty replacement, a DELL OPTIPLEX 755.


    Geeks, you know what I'm thinking. This is Dell, this is a 755, a close incremental revision up from the old model. Windows XP Repair Install, baby! Wait a minute, not even that, I could just clone the drive, boot into Safe Mode, a little Device Manager magic and driver download deliciousness and I'll be home free!

    Using the still accessible old PC, I'd attach my external USB hard drive, and use Acronis True Image Home to take a snapshot of the 745's hard drive, then restore it over the top of the 755's. Then, the XP Repair Install to get Windows reacquainted with the hardware, intimately.


    My initial efforts were thwarted. The symptoms of thwartage included a "quick" BSOD, despite having installed the Intel Matrix Storage Drivers from Dell's support site specific to the 755. These are the type of drivers which you would supply to Windows setup upon hitting the F6 function key when prompted for any third-party drivers to help Windows communicate with hardware that isn't currently supplied on the install disc.

    Immediately upon reboot, the system quickly yielded a BSOD and rebooted. I haven't got photographic memory, but after a few attempts with identical results I caught hint of a driver issue. Whether trying a Normal, Last Known Good, or Safe Mode boot, I got the same result.
    The answer hit me like a pound of bricks (for a ton would just leave a gooey mess for CSI to scratch their heads over).


    I entered the BIOS, discovered the Drives -> SATA Operation option, and noticed that Dell had set it by default to AHCI, which according to Wikipedia is Vista-specific. I switched this to plain old ATA which XP is quite fluent in.

    Upon reboot, Windows XP loaded successfully and began acclimating itself to the new hardware. A few additional driver installs for the audio, video, and network and the system was its old self in more time than I'd originally have liked.

    Lessons Learned

    Given the industry strife inspired by Vista, prompting even system builders like Dell to respond to customer demand and offer XP on some of their new desktops, expect that even if your PC, when new, was preloaded with XP, a warranty replacement might be outfitted with newer hardware for a newer world. Not necessarily better, just newer.

    "Why'd the Dell dude get busted? Because pot is a Gateway drug!" - Anonymous