Thursday, December 31, 2009

BullDoze - File Cleanup Utility

Download: File-delete utility for deleting old log files. The "BullDoze" utility can automatically delete, move or rename files older than xx days. You are welcome to download and use this program free of charge.

Corporate servers often have processes that generate temporary files and those files sometimes need periodic deleting. Classic examples include
  • Fax Server sent-fax folders
  • Medical Image Gateways and other image processing servers
  • Sharepoint Log files in the bin\12\logs folder
  • Temp directories, etc.
The issue is this: Deleting files is easy. It is harder to delete files older than (30) days and logging what was deleted is even more troublesome. I wrote a simple program to do all of this and it is intended to run unattended.

You are free to download and use this program with no strings attached (see instructions, below).



BullDoze Features

BullDoze.exe is a .net 2008 compiled program that has the following features:
  • It can Delete, Rename, Move, or MoveRename files
  • Triggers on a file-age; all files older than xx-days
  • Optionally, all files can be deleted
  • Optionally, aged files can be moved to a different (backup) directory
  • No installation required; No registry entries
  • Command-line-driven
  • Auto-starts, runs, then auto-closes
  • The process can be run any number of times, against multiple directories
  • Full Logging is supported. Each process can log independently or all logs can be combined.
  • Scheduleable with Windows Scheduler or other
  • Can easily be batched
Installation:

1. Download exe from Keyliner's public GDrive: BullDoze on Keyliner GDrive.
You do not need to register when downloading.
2. Place exe on any Windows server or workstation, in any directory.
3. Launch the program passing command-line parameters. Typically launched in a scheduler of some type

Notes: DotNet 2.0 must be installed.
Generally, BullDozer.exe is copied to a UTIL directory or it can be placed directly in the (Log or Temp directory you wish to cleanup (it never deletes itself or its control or log files).


Command Line Parameters:

BullDoze is a command-line-driven application and for safety, once launched, you cannot enter or change parameters on the screen. Optional parameters are in italics:

Action=DELETE, RENAME, MOVE, MOVERENAME
SourceDir="directory\path"
Files="*.*"
Days=nn | Days=-1 to delete all files unconditionally
LogResults=y/N | LogResults="C:\path\filename.log"
AppendLog=y/N
DestinationDir="directory\path" (if using MOVES)
Overwrite=y/N (Allow overwrites on Moves/Renames)

Example:
BullDoze.exe Action=Delete SourceDir="C:\Temp" Files="*.*" Days=90 LogResults=Y

where all files older than 90 days, any extension, will be deleted from C:\Temp. Results are recorded in the current directory in file "BullDoze.log". This is typed as a one-line command and can be placed in a batch file or in Windows Scheduler.

Comments:
  • All parameters are keyword=value pairs. e.g. Action=DELETE
  • Parameters are not case-sensitive
  • Embedded spaces are not allowed unless enclosed in quotes. e.g. SourceDir="C:\Test folder\directory"
  • Do not use spaces as in (Action = Delete)
  • Source and Dest directories can be \\server\path names
  • Client must be pre-authenticated to remote servers
  • Bulldoze runs as the current user; use Windows Scheduler to run with different credentials

Typical Use:
From a server, open the Control Panel, Scheduler, and add a new task, calling BullDoze.exe. While building the schedule, click Advanced properties, and add the parameters. Let Windows Scheduler run the program once per day. Details on this will be added to this article in the future.

Parameter Details:

Action=Delete
In-use, write-protected, insufficient-rights, files are not deleted. Failures are recorded in the (optional) LOG file and will not cause the program to fail.

Action=Move
Requires a DestinationDir.
If the file already exists in Destination, it will not overwrite unless "OverWrite=Y" is explicitly stated.

Action=Rename
Renames the file, leaving it in the current directory.
Renames are OriginalFileName_yyyymmdd_hhMMss.ext
If file has already been renamed within the same day, it will not attempt a second rename unless OverWrite=Y.
Rename with date-time stamp is the only option supported at this time.
Failed Renames are logged.

Action=MoveRename
Moves the file to the DestinationDir and renames, following the same rules, described above.

SourceDir=
Path must pre-exist
Path can be in the form "C:\path\path" or "\\server\share\path"
Quotes should be used on all paths; required if embedded spaces
If server path, client must be pre-authenticated prior to running BullDoze. This will be a future enhancement.
Do not use file-masks in the SourceDir (see Files=)
Generally, the SourceDir is on the same machine as the program.

Files=*.*
Standard DOS file masks are supported.
Examples: *.* All files eligible
*.LOG only (delete) Log files
2009_*.LOG, etc.

DestinationDir=
Required if MOVE or MoveRename

Days=nn
Specifies the age the file must be, in days, before the action is taken.
e.g. Days=30
Use Days=-1 (no spaces) to delete all files, regardless of age.
Days=0 is illegal.

LogResults=y|N
If not specified, results are not Logged.
If LogResults=Y, a default log file (BullDoze.Log) is created in the current DOS directory.
If LogResults="C:\Filename.exe", "Y" is assumed and this log-name is used.
Log files can be stored in the SourceDirectory and are not deleted.
Log Files are a standard ASCII text file, viewable with Notepad.
Subsequent runs overwrite the log file, replacing the older copy, unless AppendLog=Y.

AppendLog=y|N
If AppendLog=Y, log entries append, newest last. Caution, log files can get large. This utility will not manage its size and it can grow very large. Use with caution.

OverWrite=y|N
During a Move or Rename, if the destination file already exists, it will be overwritten if this switch is set to Y. Otherwise, the file fails and is logged. Generally, all MOVES and RENAMES should allow overwrites.

Update:
I just used this program to delete 1.8M files (yes, that is in Millions) from a Rightfax server.  It worked swell, although I could see a minor problem in the display, where it did not report "deleting" until several minutes into the process.  This is a cosmetic issue.

Licensing and Restrictions on use:
For personal, commercial and governmental use. You may distribute with other software, provided credit is given to the author and a reference to this article. If you make a lot of money with the help of this program, consider me and my family. I am open to custom enhancements.

Future enhancements
If there is enough demand, I am contemplating these enhancements:
  • Support for INI file parameters
  • Support for multiple actions within one INI
  • Support for File Inclusion/Exclusion lists
  • Logic to map and authenticate to drives
  • LogFile truncation after xx-bytes
  • Self-scheduling
Suggestions are welcome. I'd like to know if you use the program, drop me a note here on this blog.

Keywords:
auto-delete
automatically delete old files
cleanup old files
bulldozer file-delete

Monday, December 28, 2009

Windows 7 and Vista Network Problems

Windows 7, Windows 8 and Vista laptops may have problems with "Unidentified Networks" and broken network connections. This article discusses the solution, mainly by disabling IPV6.  This works on all Windows 8, 7 and Vista computers and is likely due to a conflict with older routers.  This article also describes a fix for the Teredo Tunneling Pseudo Interface and the Microsoft ISATAP Adapter.

"The network crashed"
"Laptops crash the network"
"The laptop kicks off the other users"
"My new Windows 7 (Windows 8) computer crashes the wireless network"

This article permanently fixes the problem.

Symptoms:
  • Windows 8 / 7 / Vista report an "Unidentified Network" error.
  • Task-tray icon shows "Access: Local" only; no Internet
  • Network Discovery and File Sharing may mysteriously turn off.
     
  • You may loose both your intranet and Internet network connections.
  • Other wired desktop computers in the same network may temporarily loose their network connections.
  • The entire home network may "crash" when a laptop connects to the Wireless.

  • The laptop has an Intel 3945ABG Wireless Network adapter or related cousins; or a Atheros AR5007 Wifi Adapter (Readers suggest other network cards are also a problem -- indicating this is really a problem with the Router). 
  • Likely, this is an older wireless router.
In Vista and Windows 7, the Network control panel will look similar to this; Windows 8 will show "Not Connected" and will imply no network connections are available:





Interesting Update: 2012.05:
This is an issue with older Linksys routers, such as the WRT110.

Today, I retired that router and replaced it with a keyliner reviewed: Linksys EA2700.  The new router behaves properly when PCs have a mixture of IPV4 and IPV6.  These steps listed here allow you to keep using an older router with newer operating systems. 


The following steps can be applied in any order.  
I recommend applying these changes to all wired and wireless Windows 8, Windows 7 and Vista computers on the local network.

Do not use these steps for Windows XP machines, which may also reside on the same network.


1. Disable the DHCP Broadcast Flag

Note: The first two steps above could be considered somewhat optional.
Steps 3 through 8 actually "fix" this problem.

Edit the Registry and modify a DHCP Broadcast flag setting.

This does not disable the feature but it does change the order DHCP addresses are discovered. As dangerous as this sounds, it is benign, only changing how DHCP is searched. These instructions assume you know how to edit the registry; if not, please talk with a knowledgeable friend.

a. Start, Run "Regedit" and tunnel to this HKLM key
See this article for instructions on exposing the RUN command or type WindowsKey-R.


HKey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\ Services\TCPIP\Parameters\Interfaces

b. In the key you may find multiple {GUID}'s -- especially if you are working on a laptop.

Within each populated {GUID} key:

- select Edit, New,
- Click DWORD-32 Value
- Create/name "DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle"
- Press Enter

c. Double-click the newly-added value, Set value to (Hex) 1 (one).



d. Make similar changes to the other GUID's.

Leave Regedit open for the next step.

For reference: See Microsoft article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928233/en-us for details. Note they are vague by saying "click the GUID that corresponds with your network adapter." They do not explain how to tell which GUID belongs to your wireless. It is safe to make this modification for all network adapters.


2. Disable TCPIP6

Windows 8/7/Vista supports the new IPV6 IP Addressing scheme, which is great, except the entire world still uses the older IPV4 standard. There appears to be conflicts between this new protocol and most home routers. Here is how you can safely disable it. Note: In order to properly disable the protocol, you need to make changes in the Control Panel *and* in the registry.

Still in Regedit, continue with these steps:

a. Tunnel to

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\
Services\TCPIP6\Parameters


* Note: this is not the previously-edited TCPIP key -- this is one folder down *


b. Create a new DWORD-32 value:

Name: "DisabledComponents"

Set the value equal to (hex) "ffffffff"
(8-f's in a row. Decimal 4294967295)

This change is only required one time in the registry, regardless of the number of network adapters. Detailed reference on IPv6, see this Microsoft article: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/network/ipv6/ipv6faq.mspx.

Microsoft has a warning when disabling this protocol: If you disable IPv6, you will not be able to use Windows Meeting Space or Windows Home Gruoups. However, regular peer-to-peer networking works. My opinion: if you don't use Home Groups, this is still a good fix to apply (2010.01.29 - trw)


3. Cleanup old Network Connections:

There are two keys to look for:

a. While still in Regedit, tunnel to:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version
\NetworkList\Profiles


b. Click on each numeric {GUID} key and note the internal names (e.g. HomeNetwork, My School, etc.).

c. When you find the network that is failing (at your house), press Delete and delete the entire numeric {guid} key. If in doubt about which entries to delete, delete all of the GUID's -- this is what I do.

d. Tunnel to this next key (directly below):

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version
\NetworkList\Signatures\Unmanaged


e. In the Unmanaged key, find two similarly-named network {GUID}'s.   Delete (both) key-folders.

For example, my computer has two unmanaged folders:
01013000f000f008....D6D7
01013000f000f008....C7F6

The deleted folders (GUID keys) rebuild in a moment.

f. Close Regedit






4. Disable IPV6 on the Cards

a. in Control Panel, "Network and Sharing Center,"
(or See this article for instructions on exposing the Network Desktop icon and choose Network Neighborhood, "properties).

 

b. On the Control Panel's left-menu



Windows 7 users: Click on left, "Change adapter settings" (or type: Start Run, "ncpa.cpl")
Vista users: Click on left, "Manage Network Connections"



c. From the displayed adapter list, other-mouse-click your (wireless and or wired) Network Adapter, select "Properties".

d. Uncheck [ ] "Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)"
(leave [x] IPV4 checked.)



When you uncheck the current, active IPV6, and click OK, Windows 7 and Vista will prompt to re-select "home/work/public". Choose the appropriate type of network connection; for most, select "Home."

Windows 7 and Vista will next prompt "Share with other home computers running Windows 7".
Click Cancel.

e. Do the same for *all* other Network adapters, unchecking [ ] IPV6 -- even if they are not connected or you are not using them.  Uncheck for Bluetooth and other copies of the existing wireless that might exist. Also uncheck IPV6 on the Wired connection.



5. Reboot for these changes to take effect.

You must reboot before proceeding to the next step. Upon reboot, the PC may prompt to re-establish the wireless internet connection. Choose "Home Network" or "Work Network", as appropriate.


6.
Teredo Tunneling or ISATAP

Once rebooted, continue with this step.

If you are using an Intel Wireless driver or an Atheros adapter (possibly other brands), open the Control Panel, "Device Manager," and scroll to the Network Adapter section.

You will likely see a failed "Teredo Tunneling" yellow-bang icon.
  • "Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface
    (yellow-bang and 'This device cannot start. (Code 10)').
or
  • Microsoft ISATAP Adapter (yellow-bang on multiple items 'This device cannot start (Code 10)'
These are protocols allowing IPV6 traffic to tunnel over IPV4 routers. Because IPV6 has been disabled, these protocols should also be turned off:

a. In Control Panel, Device Manager, "Network Adapters",

other-mouse-click "Teredo Tunnelling Pseudo Interface" or the failed ISATAP adapters
Choose "Disable" (or optionally press the keyboard's Delete key)

This assumes you have disabled IPV6 in the steps above.


7.  Repeat these steps on all Windows 7, 8 and Vista machines in the network.


8. Set Power Settings keeping the network adapter at full power

Optional:  If you are working on a laptop computer, consider these steps because some laptops do not recover from power-save mode on their wireless adapters. If you have reasonably modern equipment, skip this step:

a. Click the System Tray Battery Icon (or Control Panel, "Power")
Choose "More Power Options"

b. Under "Balanced",
Click "Change Plan Settings"
Click "Change Advanced Power Settings"

d. Tunnel to "Wireless Adapter Settings, Power Saving Mode"

e. Change "On Battery" to "Maximum Performance"
Click OK to save

f. Repeat these steps for the "Power Saver" profile.



See Microsoft Article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928152 for details on this issue. Obviously, this affects battery life.


Other things that can cause network failures:
These steps are optional or may not apply to your computer.

9. McAfee Security Suite.

Check to see if you have an expired McAfee Security suite. If so, un-install all McAfee products. When it expires, it reportedly disables the firewall and this can also appear as a failed network connection. My opinion: Uninstall it even if it is not expired and install Microsoft's Virus scanner. See this keyliner article: MSE.


10. Installed iTunes, Safari, Adobe CS3, or GizmoPhone

Look in Control Panel, Administrative Tools, "Services" and look for a
Bonjour DNS Responder Service
##Id_String2.6844F930_1628_4223_B5CC_5BB94B87 9762 ##

If found, mark the service as "Disabled" and reboot. (This is from a Windows7Forums.com thread). I have admittedly not seen this myself and would appreciate more precise steps.

11. Update your wireless drivers to the latest version

Optional:  There are known bugs with IPV6 processing on Intel network adapters and it is always a good idea to upgrade to the latest versions. Unfortunately, those of us who upgraded to Windows 8/7, may not find appropriate x64 drivers. Resolving this will take research and the details are not discussed here.

If the control panel shows a default Microsoft Network drivers; these should be upgraded to the vendor's real drivers.
Contact your OEM vendor or check your shipping manifest for the correct network card. For laptops, the Wired and Wireless will use different drivers; usually an Intel driver. See this Intel link for an index of all versions: Link


Note: Microsoft Update periodically updates drivers, but I still recommend using the vendor's (usually Intel) latest versions.

12. Upgrade your Router's Firmware

Optional:  I recommend upgrading your home router's BIOS / Firmware to the latest version - admittedly this is a technical step. If you are comfortable with this type of work, see this Keyliner article: Upgrade Linksys WRT110 Firmware or check the Vendor's site for details. Skip this step if you are not technically inclined.

If you decide to upgrade the firmware, you can do this after all the other steps in this article. Linksys routers have had some bug fixes in this area and I've moved this higher in the list. If the local network continues to crash after performing the remainder of these steps, update the router's firmware.

Unconfirmed: Newer routers may not exhibit these network problems.



Last-Ditch Efforts if all else fails

The steps above solved the Windows 7 / Vista "Unidentified Network" problem for dozens of  computers that I have worked on -- but I did find one laptop where these steps failed. Here are additional things you might consider. These last-ditch steps are roughly described and are meant for technical users.

Last Ditch - 1. Confirm the NIC's MAC address:

* From a DOS prompt, run this command:

ipconfig /all

* In the displayed list, locate your adapter (laptops will show two adapters; look for the Wired or Wireless one you are using). Confirm the Ethernet's "Physical Address" (the MAC address) has a legitimate value.

Address look similar to this: 84-2C-2A-A1-22-8F (varies - anything but zeroes)


* If you have all zeroes 00-00-00-00-00-00 (00:00:00:00:00), then something is amiss.

Consider doing one, but not both of the following. If you have a legitimate MAC address, skip to "Last-Ditch 2":

Contact your OEM and download the latest Windows 7 (or at least Vista) driver and have it stored locally. Then, in Control Panel, Device Manager, "Network Adapaters", delete the offending network card. Reboot and re-install the driver - saying "Have disk." Confirm this fixes the problem and confirm the card was assigned a valid MAC address.

Or do this option: In Control Panel, Device Manager, Network card: Other-mouse-click the offending adapter, "Properties", "Advanced." In the Network Address property, type/invent a new MAC address (00-00-00-00-00-00 (6 pairs of numbers, no dashes or colons)) - using random numbers and letters A-F. (Note: when editing this property, it is normal for this field to report "not present" - which means it would prefer to automatically get a MAC address). Reboot to test.

On this particular laptop, I noted it connects to other WPA-Personal networks without a problem. One suggestion, which I did not try, was to change its MAC address to another random address -- even though this machine's original address was valid.


Last-Ditch 2: Change your encryption

If the IPCONFIG /ALL command shows a valid MAC address, consider this poor solution, which was recommended by Linksys support. On one particular laptop, this poor-excuse-for-a-real-technical-solution worked. While this "solved" the problem, it introduced others:

I'd bet you are using the recommended "WPA-Personal" TKIP encryption on the Router and the router is possibly so old that it does not properly support WPA-Personal TKIP encryption.

Linksys recommended re-configuring the router to use the older WEP (40-byte encryption standard). In this particular case, it solved the network disconnect problem -- but WEP is an older, slower, and hackable encryption that is no longer recommended. Plus, this forces you to re-configure all other computers, Nooks, Kindles, iphones, and other devices in the network to match this connection.

Before I did this solution, I'd try changing the MAC address. If you reach this state in your problem, write with your experiences.

Conclusions

Admittedly, disabling power save features and other registry changes are not elegant solutions, but these changes solved my networking problems on a half-dozen computers. The real solution is to have all the computers on the network with full support for IPV6 and most of us will have to buy newer routers that properly support IPV6. Additionally, the ISP's need to support IPV6 - and my understanding is most do not.

Finally, tunneling through the Toredo interface seems like a poor solution and it probably entails its own set of bugs. Deleting IPV6 and Toredo seems to be the most stable solution, for now.

Your comments and experiences on this are welcome. Please leave unregistered, anonymous comments below.

These steps will not solve the problem where a laptop is on one wireless network, goes to sleep and wakes on another (I am still looking for a solution to this) - to date, the best solution is to reboot the computer.

Related Links:
This is an interesting article on why Windows 7 should enable IPV6: Why IPV6 is worth the Bother. However, even with this article, I did not bother. The author points out that Windows 7 incorrectly implemented IPV6 and this command will help resolve the problem: netsh interface ipv6 set global randomizeidentifiers=disabled -- but even with this, most of us still have other hardware issues to contend with -- we need newer routers.

 

Related articles:
Review: Linksys EA2700 
Vista Spiffs
Optimizing the Swap File
Vista UAC Nags
Upgrade Linksys Firmware

Linksys EA2700 Smart Wi-Fi Router App enabled N600 with Gigabit

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 has stopped Working

Problem: Corel Photo Pro X2 has stopped Working on Windows 7. There are several possible issues with known conflicts with MSSQL 2008, SQL Express, Windows 7 and PSP. This also affects Vista users. Article updated on 2010.03.05.

Symptoms:

On a Windows 7 / Vista computer:
Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 ("PSP") hangs / freezes with a faded white screen.

The steps below are convoluted but appear to fix the problem and the steps have been tested against PSP x2 versions 12.00, 12.01 (SP1), and 12.50 Ultimate. PSP x3 appears to be immune from these issues and I have since then upgraded to that version Related article: PaintShopPro x3 Reviewed with Windows 7. In the mean time, these steps may help you.
Related Keyliner article: PSP X3 Hangs



Possible Solution:

Corel says you need to buy the new version: Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate (Version 12.50 -- and now they say version x3), "as these are the only version supported in Windows 7" - See Corel Windows 7 Compatible Products.

As you will see, this may or may not be true; the real issue might be a SQL Server installation, which can be installed by Visual Studio, Windows Live, and some Video Editing software. Additionally, a Microsoft auto-update, applied in February, 2010, appears to have damaged this program. Read on for details.

1. Temporarily disable Windows Updates

a. Open the Windows Control Panel
b. On the Right-side, select Windows Updates
c. Click "Change Settings"

Change to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install"


2. Disable/Uninstall MS SQL Server

According to Corel (after speaking with a technician), there is a known conflict with MS SQL Server, SQL Express or MSDE (SQL Server); this software must be un-installed. This is especially true with 12.0 and 12.0sp1.

Corel has not had a good solution to this, shy of de-installing the SQL Servers. You may have one of these products installed if you have installed Microsoft Visual Studio. Also, some third-party products, such as Dell's Video Editing software (almost all new Dell computers have SQL installed).

Corel responded on a trouble-ticket: There is a conflict with Windows 7 (and possibly Vista) computers running any version of MS SQL Server (or SQL Express 2008). From their notes: "Application crashes in module MFC80.dll upon launch or a Visual C++ error occurs". Corel Technical Document 763564, referencing an update to the Microsoft Foundation Class MFC to version 8.0.50727.762 (.Net 2005 Framework 2.0).
Although, I did not see these specific DLL errors, all other symptoms matched and this was indeed the original problem.

Updates:
Originally, this article recommended de-installing Microsoft SQL server (or SQL Server Express), which was installed by other products. At the time, there was a known conflict between SQL Server and PSP X2. When this article was written, this was still true and de-installing worked for several months until Microsoft released a series of patches on-or-about 2010.02.15. If these patches were applied, then PSP failed, again. No other information on this is available.
a. Open the Windows Control Panel, "Programs and Features" (add-remove programs).

b. Uninstall MS SQL Server or SQL Express 2008 and its related utilities. (Naturally, if you need this software, you are in trouble.) Leave the "SQL Server Browser" and the "SQL Agent".

While de-installing, watch for minimized prompts on the taskbar. If you do not find this type of software installed, continue with the next steps.

3. Install a Microsoft VC++ patch

a. Download from this unusual-looking Microsoft MSDN page:

Microsoft 2005 VC++ Redist Link


b. From the list, look for two files with your language-prefix, where ENU = English

c. Choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit version, depending on your installed operating system.

- ENU (vcredist_X86.exe) or
- ENU (vcredist_X64.exe)

d. Install the downloaded Microsoft Patch.
e. Reboot

4. Download Corel's Uninstall Utility

a. With your browser, connect to Corel's site and download their PaintShop Photo Pro uninstall utility (On Corel's site, search "PaintShop Pro X2 Uninstall" or click this link):
Uninstall Utility: MSICleanup.exe


b. Follow the instructions on this page; download and run the utility, choosing "ZAP".

c. When you get a "CorelIOMonitor" message,

-press Ctrl-Alt-Del
-select Task Manager
-At the bottom, click "view Processes All Users"
-Locate and end the task "CorelIOMonitor."


5. Re-Install PSP

Using your original installation media, re-install Paintshop Pro. If the install program prompts to "Uninstall" a previous version, allow it to un-install (it appears the MSICleanup is not perfect). Allow the re-install to run.

If prompted to Register, close the window with the big red-X (if you attempt to register, you will have to re-install again).

6. Test

(You *must* test by launching PSP twice):

a. Launch PSP (it should open properly); Do not allow it to register the software (click the Red-X to dismiss the registration screen).

b. Close PSP and launch a second time.


7. Allow PSP to update to the latest service patch

a. Launch PSP, click "Help, Check for updates."
b. When prompted to install the update, close PaintShopPro manually before clicking Install.

Once the update installs, 12.50 will still show the same version.

If PSP still crashes with a white-screen of death, de-install and re-install PSP a second time (this is what I had to do on both of my computers). By this stage, PSP worked correctly.

8. Update your NVidia Video drivers (if applicable)

If you have an older computer with an older NVidia graphic Chip Set (see Control Panel, Device manager, "Display Adapters"), Corel strongly recommends updating your video driver to the vendor's latest version. See www.Nvidia.com


A Better Solution?

These steps worked for me, but the problem has been a nuisance and I fear future Microsoft Updates will break the program again. Because of this, I decided to upgrade to PaintShopPro x3.

I called Corel's sales line and explained the how 12.50 was supposed to fix these problems. Although I hoped for a free upgrade to x3, I was past their 90-day window. Instead, they sold me a downloadable copy for $25.00 -- which they called a "technical upgrade." PSP X3 installed flawlessly in Windows 7; see this article.


Related articles:
Paint Shop Pro x3 - Initial Review
PSP X3 Hangs (different problem)
Paint Shop Pro x2 Commentary
Cropping with Aspect Ratios



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Windows 7 - Show MyComputer Desktop Icons

Howto: In Windows 7, use these steps to put the Computer and Network (MyComputer, MyNetwork) icons on the desktop.

Use these steps to expose / display the Desktop icons for "Computer" and "Network"

Steps:

1. Start, Control Panel, "Personalization"
2. Click "Change Desktop Icons" on the left side Quick Launch
3. Check [x] Computer and [x] Network; click OK



Note: This preference is stored with your profile and does not migrate when another user logs into the computer.

Related articles:
Streamline Windows 7 Start Menus
Exposing the RUN command
Cleanup Startup Programs (for faster boots, faster computers)
Windows 7 Initial Look (how to best install)
Fixing Slow Computers

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Excel - Import Leading Zeroes

HowTo: Import numbers into Excel without stripping, truncating or loosing leading zeros. A classic example are zipcodes being imported from an external source. Codes, such as "08401" can import as "8401".

When Excel imports numbers, it assumes the "General" format for each column. Fields, such as part numbers, zipcodes, SSN, and other non-numeric numbers will have leading zeroes stripped because Excel thinks they are real numbers. Prevent this by forcing the import as TEXT.

In order to do this properly, you must run Excel's Import Wizard (steps 1 through 3). For this article, assume a simple tab-delimited data file with City names, State codes, and ZipCodes (file columns may not line up this pretty in your actual data file):


Launch Excel and start at a blank sheet

1. Select File,Open: Tunnel to your test data file. Be sure the file extension is .txt, .tab, or .csv in order to trigger the Import Wizard

2. On the 'Text Import Wizard', step 1 of 3, choose "Delimited"

3. On step 2 of 3, choose ([x] Tab)

4. Here is the key to the problem:

On step 3 of 3, click the first column, then Shift-Click the last column (highlighting all columns). Select Option "Text" and complete the import. (Most files should import all columns as text. Optionally, you could select only the ZipCode column.)


Results in Excel will look like this:


Related Keyliner Articles:

Excel UDF (User Defined Functions)
Using Excel for Raffle-Ticket Drawing: Prizeorama
Excel VLookup - a complete tutorial
Excel Coloring Alternate Rows
Excel Parsing City-State-Zip
Excel Importing Text with Leading Zeroes
VB - Return First Word, Last Word, Supertrim
Using VBA to Send Email
Using Excel to select Raffle Tickets - Prize-orama

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gateway FX530s Intel 975x Windows 7 64 bit Drivers

Reference: Gateway FX530s Intel 975 Windows 7 64-bit Driver notes.

Windows 7 Drivers for a Gateway FX530 desktop, which uses an Intel D975xBX2 (Intel 975 Motherboard). These instructions should work for any 975x. Once these drivers are installed, you will have a functional 975x computer, albeit with minor issues in the control panel, which are not causing problems.

Only use these instructions for Windows 7 64-bit
Do not use for Vista 64 or XP.


Compared to a laptop, Windows 7 desktop drivers should be easier to find and less work, but I was surprised in the amount of research it took. As you will see, this is less than perfect, with some unresolved driver issues. Your assistance in this is welcome.

Hardware
Intel D975xBX2 (Intel 975 Motherboard)
Install these first, in this order.

For reference, you can always search for the latest Intel drivers at this site: Intel DownloadCenter



Network:
Intel Pro/1000 PM Network
Windows 7 default install shows as an "Intel(R) Pro/1000 PM Network Connection" but in the Device Manager it reads as 'Microsoft 3/26/2009 version 9.12.4.10.' I recommend downloading this newer version:
Note: This link now takes you to a newer version on Intel's site, but as of 2009.12.25, the link is broken. This link should be fixed within a few days.

(accept the defaults during the install)
After it installs, the control panel shows version '9.13.16.0 2009.09.01 Intel,' even though the download shows version 14.7.



Video:
Several different video card options were offered with the machine.
In my case, I am using an NVidia GeForce 7600. If a generic Microsoft driver is being used, Device Manger, Video, will report "NVidia GeForce 7600 GS (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM)". If you see this, you should upgrade to the latest NVidia driver:


Other NVidia hardware: NVidia.com Downloads
Other ATI hardware: ATI Downloads

Note NVidia Video drivers differ from desktops to laptops and there are different versions for each. If selecting the download manually, choose carefully.

To properly install the Video, follow these steps:
a. In the Control Panel, Programs and Features (Add/Remove), Remove "NVidia Drivers".
b. Allow the computer to reboot, once de-installed. When the computer reboots, the default Microsoft drivers will install.
c. Install the new NVidia drivers


Audio:

IDT Sigmatel HD Audio Driver. Be aware Intel has this newer versions of the IDT driver, but they did not install on this machine. Link: Intel IDT
  • Gateway: Sigmatel (version 6.10.5939.0 2008.09.16)
With all Sigmatel/IDT drivers, install with these steps:

a. In the Windows Control Panel, Device Manager, Sound, Uninstall existing Sigmatel/IDT drivers. Check the box "Remove files". Do not reboot.

b. Install the IDT Sigmatel drivers. The install starts, takes several minutes, with no hourglass; give it time to install.

IDT drivers are the hardest drivers in the world to find. You will see other motherboards have newer versions, but the drivers may or may not install, with little rhyme or reason. The link above is the newest version that I have been able to find. If you are tired of chasing this driver, follow this link and write the vendor a letter (a real, honest-to-goodness paper letter); it might get their attention. I've done the hard work: IDT Sigmatel Letter


Other Hardware:

Intel says in this post, they are not providing Windows 7 Drivers for these discontinued motherboards, including the D975xBX2. Device Manager reports these three errors, which I have not resolved yet. Even with these errors, the machine works correctly, including USB devices:
  • IPMI Interface (hardware monitoring drivers; likely optional/unneeded)
  • PCI Serial Port
  • Unknown Device
Update: This is a possible solution for the missing drivers; unfortunately, the link in this article: Gateway Article on IPMI is no longer alive, but it did point the way: From a previous life, I know that AMT drivers are the key for two of the three drivers. However, Intel's current AMT drivers are not working... I am still researching this.


Related articles:
Windows 7: An Initial Look (this does not cover the run-of-the-mill features)
Windows 7 Drivers for Dell XPS M1530
Write Sigmatel IDT a letter
Streamline Windows 7 StartMenus

Monday, November 9, 2009

Microsoft Product Activation

Reference: U.S. Microsoft Product Activation phone support: 1.888.571.2048

Microsoft's Product Activation phone support number is impossible to find. All Microsoft pages refer you back to your computer (Control Panel, System) but that hardly works when the computer's Activation is awry. It took me several hours to find this number.

US Product Activation (Windows 7) voice number: 1.888.571.2048

When installing Windows 7, I recommend waiting to Activate your product for as long as possible. This way, if something blows up (while fiddling with obscure drivers, for example), you do not have to call Microsoft and beg for your license again.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Windows 7 / 8 Exposing the RUN command

Howto: Reference article: How to Expose the Start Menu's Run command for Windows 8, 7 and Vista. This is an excerpt from this article: Streamline Windows Start Menus

Windows 7 / Vista - Expose the RUN Command:

The Run command is a handy way to launch programs like Notepad, mspaint, and other obscure programs, where you know the name, but not the icon. Often, typing Start, Run, "notepad" is faster than finding the icon. By default, the Run command is not visible on the Start Menu; here is how to expose it.

Click image for larger view; click "right-x" to return

1. "Other-mouse-click" the Start-button, choose "Properties"
2. Click the "Start Menu" tab
3. Click button "Customize"
4. Check "Run Command"


Other Recommended Changes:
Check [x] Network
Uncheck [ ] Use Large Icons



Windows 8 - Expose the RUN command

1.  From the Start Page, "other-mouse-click" the background (or swipe from bottom).
Click "All Apps"





2.  From the Charm menu, search for "Run"





3.  "other-mouse-click" the Run tile, choose pin to task bar



Use these same steps to expose the Command Prompt icon or Notepad.

Related article with other cleanup steps:
Windows 7 Streamline Start Menu
Start Menu Cleanup (removing unneeded startup programs)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Drivers

Howto: Windows 7 64-bit drivers for the Dell XPS M1530. Current as of 2013.01.07 -- All links tested.  No changes to driver versions; however, all links to Dell drivers were changed to new locations - Dell apparently likes to move their files around.  Advise if you see any problems.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2015.12: Windows 10 Update
I have successfully upgraded the Dell XPS M1530 to Windows 10, using the standard Windows 10 installation.  Only two areas were a problem:

I had to retire the Intel Wireless 3945ABG card, replacing  with an Intel 3160 ($16.00) because the older card dropped the network connection; this was probably a driver problem. When buying the new card, which is half-sized, be sure to buy a full-sized metal card-adapter ($2.00). Related, the white antenna wire was too short. I used a Dremil motor tool to carve a new groove through one of the supporting plastic supports to make the cable long enough.  Even with this, the cable will be a tight fit.  The laptop has three card slots, but you must use the same slot as before; the two other slots did not work for this device and I know-not-why.

The trackpad installs as a generic PS2-mouse driver, so no edge-scrolling or gestures are supported.  I have not researched this yet.  It is serviceable in this state.

Outside of this, all appears to be well. Windows 10 appears to have better driver support than Windows 8.  When I installed, I chose the "Install all new software" option.  I have not yet attempted a clean-install and see no reason to bother.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Related:  Dell XPS M1530 Windows 8 Drivers -an abandoned article, with the advent of Windows 10.

Dell considers the XPS M1530 obsolete and did not publish Windows 7 x64 bit drivers (64-bit) and instead recommended using Windows Vista drivers.

Dell's official recommendation: "Use Vista 64-bit drivers." This advise was a disservice and an insult. The drivers listed here are a better fit -TRW

The Windows 7 x64-bit drivers referenced in this article are from other Dell laptops and from 3rd party vendors -- and all work wonderfully on the XPS M1530.  These are the drivers I use on my own machine.  Thanks to readers who have helped fine-tune the original list. 

These instructions are tested on Win7 64 and are not recommended for Win-32 or Vista. These same instructions have reportedly worked well for the M1350.

Contents:
  • BIOS
  • Chipset, SATA
  • Graphics
  • Sigmatel IDT Audio
  • Ricoh Memory Card Reader (fixes Base System Device error)
  • Marvel Ethernet
  • IntelProWireless 3945ABG / Dell 1395
  • Microsoft Intellipoint
  • Alps Touchpad
  • WebCam
  • Upek Fingerprint Reader
  • WifiCatcher / PCMCIA Remote
  • BlueTooth

Install the following drivers in the order listed.







BIOS:


Upgrading the BIOS is required, especially for improved power-save features and because of Video driver concerns.  Note, the XPSM1530 mother board is an Intel Mobile 965PM.

Check your BIOS version during a cold-boot, looking at the bottom DELL splash screen. If you see "A12", the BIOS is current.



ChipSet

Install these two chipset/motherboard drivers:
Download and install both.
  • Intel Download: INF Update Utility (Chipset ver 9.2.0.1030 04/21/2011) for Intel 6, 5, 4, 3, 900 Series Chipsets. 
  • Intel Download: Intel Rapid Storage (10.1.0.1008_PV.exe  11/29/2010) Choose the STOR-allOS version.  Important Note: Intel's newest RST SATA version 10.6 and above do not work on the M1530 -- giving a message, "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing this software".
  • (Alternate download: Keyliner's Public Gdrive:  RST SATA stor AllOS 10.1.0.1008 PV.EXE  
When updating, there is no need to de-install previous versions; install over the top.

Video / Graphics:


On my original install, Windows 7 did not detect the video hardware properly. Symptoms: 800x600 resolution and a Windows Experience Index (speed test: Control Panel, System, Performance) shows a speed of "1.0" .  This was the default Windows VGA drivers.  If you see this, it is your clue to install better drivers. Dell had several video-card options from NVidia and ATI. Check your shipping manifest to see what brand of video you have installed.

My system has this card installed: NVidia GeForce 8600M; you may have an ATI. 

When downloading NVidia drivers, watch for variations: NVidia often has newer versions for desktops and older versions for the laptops -- stay with the laptop version. With any brand of Video, be sure to choose properly between the 64 and 32-bit Win7 drivers.

Important Note: NVidia *highly* recommends you apply the Dell A12 BIOS update (described above and re-linked here)

a.  Save downloaded .exe to a working directory such as C:\Data\Downloads\Hardware\Nvidia

b.  Launch the exe

c.  "Extract to" folder C:\Program Files\Drivers\NVidia (I do not recommend extracting to the suggested path C:\Nvidia...."

Choose "Custom (Advanced)"

In Components (scrollable list where [x] check; [ ] uncheck)

[x] Graphics Drivers (Check)
[ ] 3D Vision Driver (uncheck)
[ ] Nvidia Update (recommend checking for updates manually)
[ ] Physx System Software (Check [X] if you are a gamer)

The screen will momentarily blank and set different resolutions as it installs.  Be patient and give the software time to install.


NVidia "audio stuttering problems":
There is a reported conflict with NVidia's Power Miser (powermizer) and the IDT Audio drivers, causing a sttutttering problem. NVidia fixed the problem with the driver above (version 257 and newer).



IDT / Sigmatel Audio Drivers
IDT Sigmatel STAC 92xx C-Major


IDT drivers are the world's hardest drivers to find. Some versions work on some machines but not others and there seems to be little rhyme or reason to when they will work. The company "IDT.COM" acquired the Sigmatel brand but they refuse to support the product; instead saying to contact your OEM. The trouble is the OEM's are not supporting their products either. However, this version works well on the M1530.

Confirm Audio in Windows Control Panel

If you have done nothing with Audio drivers since the initial Windows 7 install, the "Sounds" control-panel will show a "High Definition Audio Device." It sounds impressive but this is a generic Microsoft driver, which is not very good; you should upgrade.

Download the Driver:

IDT Installation:

Follow these steps for best results when installing IDT drivers. A fully-detailed article on installation and other sound-driver problems can be found here:  Keyliner: Sigmatel IDT Audio Errors.

1. In the Control Panel, select 'Device Manager,' "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" (not the "Sound" control panel)

2. Other-mouse-click the existing driver (either Microsoft's, Sigmatel, or "IDT");

Choose Uninstall.

3.  If the old drivers were either Sigmatel or IDT, click the
[x] "Delete the driver software for this device" check box.

Allow the old drivers to de-install.
*Do not* allow the machine to reboot, if prompted.

4. In Control Panel, "Programs and Features", un-install "IDT Audio" (or other IDT / Sigmatel software). If prompted, *do not* allow the machine to reboot.

5. Return to the downloaded IDT driver, Double-click the file and allow it to expand and (in the case of Dell versions of this driver), allow it to begin the install/setup.exe. Accept all defaults.

Reboot when prompted.


Test the Sound Driver
I recommend testing the sound installation; I found the sound-driver can work superficially with simple Windows playback sounds (Beep, ding), but may fail in Windows Media Player.  The steps above ensure a good install.

A. Launch the Windows Sound Control Panel.
If error messages appear and it wants to disable features, see below.

B. In the Sound Control Panel, click "Test" and confirm sounds, such as Default Beep or Windows Startup, etc. play.

C. Launch Windows Media Player and play a ripped CD, music-CD, or other media.
Confirm it plays without error.


Problems: "No Media Devices Found"

On my machine, I had problems when I upgraded from an older IDT driver to the new (I suspect upgrading from default Windows drivers will not have these problems). What I found was normal sounds (beeps, and other Windows sounds) played correctly, but Windows Media Player reported errors and showed red-x's (red x) as it attempted to play CD tracks. Also, the upper-left Play-to "device" icon may show "no media devices found."

Solution:

Re-install the drivers a second time.
In the Sound Control Panel, de-install the driver (using steps from above), be sure to select "Delete the Driver Software". Then, in the Control Panel, Programs and Features (add/Remove), delete any IDT or Sigmatel programs, as described above.
Do not reboot.
Re-install the new IDT drivers.


Stuttering Problem
Unrelated, several readers have previously reported "stuttering, skipping, popping" sounds; I've not heard this on my machine (using Media Player to play both CD's and ripped music). Rumor is this is caused by an NVidia video-card "Power Miser" driver; see the Video-card installation step in the previous section.


Ricoh Memory Card Reader:

Dell released this SD Card-reader version for a different laptop but this driver is for Windows 7 (which is better than the previously-recommended Vista-64 bit version) and it installed on the XPS without a problem.

Installing this driver fixes several problems, including this Device Manager error:
Base System Device (PCI Bus 3, device 9, function 3) The "generic Microsoft driver: SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller".  For inexplicable reasons, Dell removed the original download.  Download via Keyliner's Public Gdrive:


Wired Network Driver:

Use this link to download Marvell Drivers (Marvell with two "L's").  I can't get you directly to the download file, but I can get you close:
  • Marvell 88E8040 Ethernet Controller
    Version 11.45.43
    Date: 2012.03.07 .ZIP File
    Click "Download Drivers" (on the far right)

    From the list, choose "Windows Setup Installer (32 and 64-bit for yukon controllers)" 
    Or choose "Windows Setup Installer (32- and 64-bit) for Yukon Controllers" if you want an automatic installer; either will work.

    Documented below is my preferred method (using the .ZIP); but the next time I update this driver, I'll try the automatic routine; either will work.
To install with the .ZIP method; do not use these steps if you downloaded the "Windows Setup Installer":

a. Using Windows Explorer, create a two separate directories, one is a working folder for the browser download and the second is where the drivers will permanently live:

"C:\Data\Downloads\Hardware\MarvellYukon"
"C:\Program Files\Drivers\MarvellYukon". 

b. Using the link above, download the (.zip) file to "C:\Data\Downloads\Hardware\MarvellYukon"

c. Using Windows Explorer, locate and double-click the downloaded Zip file.

d.  Copy the interior files using these steps. 

In the open Explorer window, highlight all files (ctrl-A)
"other mouse click" the highlighted files, choose Copy.
Paste the files to "C:\Program Files\Drivers\MarvellYukon"

e. Open Control Panel, "Device Manager"
f. Open "Network Adapters"

g. Select Marvell Yukon 88E8040

h. "Other-mouse-click" the Marvell Yukon driver, select "Update Driver Software"

Choose: 'Browse my computer for driver software'.
Tunnel to "C:\Program Files\Drivers\MarvellYukon", highlighting the folder's name
Allow the update

i. Reboot if prompted.

Note: How I recommend separating the downloaded drivers from the actual install.  By placing the final drivers in Program Files, they are safe from accidental deleting should the download directories get erased or cleaned up. 



Wireless Network Driver:
Several different wireless video cards were offered with the XPS M1530.

Confirm slider-switch on front-right of laptop is at the "on (e.g. 1) position.

Open the Control Panel, System, Device Manager, "Network Adapters" to see which model you have (or check your shipping manifest).
  • Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG
    (Version 15.2.0, 2012.07.20 - Drivers + Utilities).
    "Intel PROSet/Wireless software and drivers for Windows 7 64bit"

    Select the smaller-sized package: "DS64.exe" (not DS32.exe; I typically choose Drivers only and bypass the utilities, listed as S64.exe.)

    Launch the downloaded .exe (wireless_xx.xx_....exe); It will take several minutes to apply -- be patient.  Amazingly, it won't prompt when done; -- give it about 5 minutes to be safe.  Although not required, I recommend a reboot.

    Once applied, you can check the version in the Control Panel's Device Manager -- shown with "13.4.0.139 10/7/2010" -- which has not changed in the last several versions.  The version shown in the control panel does not match the download version.


    Note: Intel changes the 3945ABG drivers regularly and although I try to keep this page up-to-date, you might look at this Intel link and search for yourself. Search for "ProSet  Wireless Software and drivers for Windows 7 64-bit".  My compliments to Intel for maintaining this driver.

    If Installing the full-suite:
    a. Double-click exe.

    b. When (if) prompted for a destination folder,
    I recommend using this path: C:\Program Files\Drivers\IntelWireless

    c. Select Custom Install; Accepting the defaults (I always choose custom to see what is going on); it is acceptable to leave Administrator Toolkit and WMI support with Red-X's.
  • Intel Pro/Wirless 4965/AGN
    Version 14.3.1
    Date: 2012.03.14

    Comment: If you have a Dell Wireless brand card, drivers listed immediately below, see this keyliner article: Installing a Wireless Laptop Card.  Spend $15 and replace the card with a 4965AGN.

If you have the Dell WLan 1395, the Dell driver is a Vista-64bit driver and has been reported to operate too slowly (I have not tested). Both this, and the 1505, are "Broadcom" cards and a cursory glance at www.broadcom did not show better drivers.  Your help on this would be apprecaited.

Dell 1395 users: Advice for your next laptop: Don't buy a third-party Network card (e.g. the Dell 1395). When ordering, change the default (and spent a little extra money), and get a more standard Intel card. Granted, the Dell card was made by another vendor, but finding the drivers has been difficult. Recommendation if you have a non-supported card, order a new Mini card; they are easy to install and relatively cheap.  I bought one for 20$.  See this Keyliner article:  Installing a Wireless Network Card in a Dell XPS M1530



Additional Important Notes:

Once any of the wireless drivers are installed, you may find your home network "crashes" when the wireless comes online; this will be especially true if you have an older LinkSys router. You may also experience lengthy connection-times. See this interesting article: Keyliner: Windows 7 and Vista Networking Problems.

If you update the Intel driver to a newer version, you will have to go through this article again to remove the IPV6 networks.  In particular, you will have to delete all of your existing wireless connections.


Mice: Microsoft Intellipoint

If you have a Microsoft mouse, install a better driver than the default Windows 7 driver.
This article does not contain a link for Logitech drivers.


Alps TouchPad



The Windows 7 default touchpad drivers do not have support for gestures or the horizontal and vertical scrolling bars, so you should update to the Alps Drivers. Choose one of the following -- I really like the Toshiba version. Read all the notes in this section before installing.

Follow these rough steps:

a. Important: Update your regular mouse driver first. For example, since I use a Microsoft Wireless Mouse, first install Microsoft Intellipoint drivers for x64 (see previous section). Do this before installing either the Toshiba or ALPS (both are ALPS drivers).

b. In the Control Panel, Programs and Features (Add/Remove), uninstall the previous Touchpad driver -- especially if you are switching from Dell's driver to Toshiba's! This is important in order to avoid a corrupted Windows System folder.

c. Download the driver (above). Allow the download to expand into a temporary working directory; installation starts automatically. Recommend rebooting after installation.

Once rebooted, go to Control Panel, Mouse (Toshiba Instructions).
  • In the Mouse Control Panel, Click the [Advanced] tab, then "Advanced Features Settings". Set the horizontal and vertical scroll bars to the wider setting.
  • Disable all operations during key-input (see illustration, below)
  • Disable the Tray icon
  • Click the [Others] tab, and in the USB Mouse section, [x] Touch Pad is automatically invalidated (while a USB mouse is attached).
(Click image for larger view; Back to return)

Other notes: I've tried newer versions of the Alps drivers (from HP 7.5. and HP 7-6-1711-106-A), but even though these were newer, the drivers are not as good as Toshiba's. For example, HP only allowed clicking with the buttons and not on the pad itself. The Toshiba drivers are better. I have not yet tried the Dell drivers. I am still pleased with the Toshiba drivers.

If you sometimes use the touchpad and other times use the mouse, you may find the scroll-speeds are functionally incompatible. If I set the touch-pad scroll speeds to a fast speed (comfortable), the mouse operates too fast. I've not found a good solution to this problem.


WebCam Driver:
The Webcam is comprised of two parts: A driver and an application; both are required.




Driver description: Creative Labs Laptop Integrated 2M CCD Webcam
Dell Download: Not available
  • Windows 7 default drivers appear to have detected this correctly.
Application Description: Creative Labs Dell Webcam Manager
This is an application and initial testing shows it works fine in Windows 7. This is safe to install. Creative Labs is not producing a 64-bit version of this program. Be aware this is a 140mb download.

With the Windows Driver and the 32-bit Creative Labs WebCam Manager, all seems to work correctly.  For example, Skype and other video programs are perfect.  


UPEK FingerPrint Reader

UPEK was bought by AuthenTec and  they have newer versions of this driver.  With this newer version, you have to download the driver *and* an application, making the installation somewhat more complicated than the original Upek TouchChip drivers. 
Download and Install Instructions:
You will be downloading 2 separate zip files; expanding into two separate working directories, then installing into Program Files.

a.  Using Windows Explorer, build these recommended folders to hold temporary copies of the install files:

C:\data\downloads\hardware\upek
C:\data\downloads\hardware\upek\TCDrivers
C:\data\downloads\hardware\upek\Suite

b.  Open Vendors FTP site using link above.
c.  Tunnel to folder "Supported Downloads\Drivers\TC and Eikon Readers\Common"

d.   Double-click 2.21Package; when prompted, save to "C:\data\downloads\Hardware\Upek"; this is a zip file

e.  On the site, tunnel to a second folder "Protector Suite\Protector Suite (Common)"
f.  Double-click "ps_common5.9.6.7124-64"; when prompted, save to "C:\data\downloads\Hardware\Upek"  (this is also a Zip file)

g.  Using Windows explorer, locate the downloaded zip files in the top-UPEK directory.

Double-click "2.21_Package" to open the Zip file.  Highlight all files in the zip.  Other-mouse-click the highlighted files, select Copy, and paste into C:\data\downloads\hardware\upek\TCDrivers

Similarly, Double-click "ps_common5.9.6.7124-64.zip"; copy all files and save into C:\data\downloads\hardware\upek\suite

h.  Starting with the TCdrivers folder, open the folder (the extracted zip), tunnel to "...install\64-bit".
run "setup.msi"

i.  Move to the "Suite" folder (the second expanded zip), tunnel to "\install\64-bit" and run "setup.msi".  Reboot if prompted.


Manage Fingerprint Data (Enrolling):

Before the fingerprint reader can be used, you must enroll.  A system tray prompt displays on reboot.

If you are upgrading the UPEK driver from the previously-described version listed on this site in 2012, I recommend using the "Protector Suite" to delete all previous fingerprint data before re-registering.  In either case, follow the on-screen prompts to do these steps.

Note: Previous versions of the TouchChip driver allowed you to manage "biometric enrollment" in the USER Account control panel, under 'Manage your fingerprint data'.  This is no longer supported and if you click that link you will get "there are no fingerprint readers available at this time."  To resolve, use the new application found in Start Menu, "Protector Suite."

When registering fingerprints, follow onscreen instructions; swiping multiple times per finger.

I found best results if fingertips are slightly moist; not bone-dry.
If you get "Too Short" messages, roll the tip of your finger at the end of the swipe - even though the vendor does not recommend this.
When swiping, be sure you are perfectly-square with the sensor; no diagonal swipes.


A technical note: I believe with this new version, all fingerprint data is stored in software; the BIOS is no longer used.

Other Configuration Changes:
Consider making these recommended changes.  If you are like me, you will not be upgrading the Protector Suite paid version and only want it to help with the desktop login.

a.  Start Menu, All Programs, "Protector Suite".  Swipe to login
b.  Click left-menu "Applications", "Password Bank", "Setting"
c.  Uncheck all boxes in the dialog; click "Apply"

d.  Return to left-menu, Applications.
e.  In "Encrypted Archives" (only available with the paid version), click "Personal Safe".
f.  Uncheck all checkboxes and apply.  This will get rid of the un-functional "Personal Safe" icon on the desktop and system tray.

g.  Return to the left-menu, Applications
h.  Scroll to bottom, choosing "Bio Menu"
i.  Uncheck "Show icon in tray"


Wi-Fi Catcher / Dell QuickSet

Thanks to reader Erik for testing this. This is an optional software and I have not bothered installing it on my machine
.

PCMCIA Remote Control

The PCMCIA Remote-control device appears to work correctly and I've taken no special actions. To test, start Windows Media Play and begin playing an album. FF/Back/etc. all work correctly.


BlueTooth

(Dell 355 Bluetooth)
I have tried and failed to configure my plantronics bluetooth headset with the following drivers.
I do know this much: To enable Bluetooth hardware:

a.  Cold boot the computer, press F2 to enter BIOS Setup.
b.  In the XPS M1530 BIOS Screen, arrow-key to the "Wireless" section.  Press Enter.
c.  Highlight "Internal BlueTooth"; press ENTER.  Enable the feature.
d.  Scroll to the "Wireless Switch" menu; choose recommended "All"
e.  Press Esc; choose Save/Exit and allow reboot.
f.  Confirm slider-switch on front-right side of laptop is at the "on (e.g. 1) position.

Rumor is the Broadcom drivers are not meant to be a first-time install; they update other existing software, likely "Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Driver for Windows Vista (64-bit)".  I am still researching what is needed here. If all this works correctly, you will see a BlueTooth adapter in Device Manager.  Your input is welcome.


Firewire,
MediaDirect
Avermedia Hybrid Nano Express DVB-T TV Tuner Card


I have no experience with these devices and am unable to test. One reader noted Dell's TV Tuner driver: R175809 does *not* work well in Windows 7. Perhaps this is a good starting-point. Your comments on this are welcomed.

If this article has helped you, toss in a buck or two.  Thanks!



Related Articles:
Dell XPS M1530 Review
More on the XPS M1530 (including the bowed keyboard)
XPS M1530 Battery Life (ordering a 3rd-party battery)
Dell Slim Power Supply (recommended for travel)

Windows 7 Initial Looks (on the Dell XPS M1530)
Windows 7 Startup menu Cleanup
Link: Disassembling the XPSM1530