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Thread: 64 bit worklog (Vista, 7, XP)

  1. #1
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    64 bit worklog (Vista, 7, XP)

    Doing a mainboard swap and Vista 64 install to support 8 GB of RAM for photo editing.

    This is a work log helping me to remember things and to help out the next guy with Vista 64.

    Before I started, I anticipated possible problems in these areas:
    800x480 display
    Touchscreen
    GPS receiver
    6 Channel active audio with ASIO4All, Console and Virtual audio cable
    Hibernate and resume
    Volume Control


    Follow the thread for progress in these areas.

    Mainboard Asrock ALiveNF7G-FullHD R3.0
    CPU AMD Athlon 64 x2 4850e
    2 GB RAM

    I initially tried to install a Wndows 7 64 bit Release candidate. I started installing OK but after a few reboots it got stuck in a reboot loop.

    Vista 64 install went easy. Initially I had 1 GB or RAM and the disk rattled without end. Vista has this new monitor that can show disk I/O and part of the rattling was page file access. After I installed 2 GB the rattling went away after the system had installed a gazillion updates.

    The Nvidia Ethernet driver has a hidden firewall. It has multiple names, one of them is NAM. There's nowhere a place to be found to switch it off and apparently no Nvidia documentation how to do so. In the Programs control panel, there's no option to uninstall it. The Nvidia firewall silently corrupts downloads without the slightest hint of an error message or warning. Nvidia's own driver downloads are corrupted too. You get non-working installs. I already lost an hour or two on this and it's still unresolved. I think it's pathetic and the people at Nvidia responsible for this are insane. Now that the install is in the car I use WLAN so the problem stays hidden to bite me some time later.

    800x480 display
    After you install the latest Nvidia Display driver, you get the custom resolution thingy. Create a custom resolution and press the Test button. The resolution works. But it is not listed in the regular resolution panel, even under "Show all Resolutions". After Vista reboots, the resolution is forgotten and the Test button procedure has to be done again.

    Note to myself: Try this with UAC disabled.
    Status: Sort of working.

    Touchscreen
    I went to lilliput.cn and got the latest touchscreen driver. The installer hung when it tried to scan for COM ports. I aborted that. Thankfully the download includes directories with inf files for 64 bit. In the device manager, I did update driver on the touchscreen. I think I installed the the touchkit setup before without touch screen connected. Anyway, after a bit of fiddling the touchscreen works, the Touchkit program works and the calibration works. Woohoo.
    Status: Working.

    GPS receiver
    It's a USGlobalSat BU-353. The 64 bit driver installs and the receiver sends NMEA strings. However, the strings contain no coordinates. Reception of the receiver was good before. I've posted in the usglobalsat forum.

    Status: Not working and unresolved.

    6 Channel active audio with ASIO4All, Console and Virtual audio cable
    To install VAC, you need to read the manual. There's a command line option to allow non-singed drivers for testing. This in general works but Vista forgot the setting after I cloned it to another disk. Console works. at least one VST plugin works. Asio4All works. I'm getting 6 channel active audio from the on-board HD Audio to a Genesis Five Channel amplifier. The channels are used to drive two tweeters, two midwoofers and one subwoofer.

    The mainboard audio is not entirely silent. There's some digital sounding noise above hearing threshold when not driving. When driving, I don't hear it. I can upgrade to another audio solution but it's not high priority.

    Status: Mostly working.

    Hibernate and resume
    This is still fubar. I set the power options to go to hibernate when the power button is pressed. Vista has this new hybrid hibernate mode. When I flip the ignition switch, the computer first goes in sleep, then wakes back up, then starts writing stuff to disk and in the middle of it the M2-ATX cuts the power. Wonder how to get real hibernate back?

    Status: Not working.

    Volume Control
    I use a Griffin Powermate for volume control that I hacked to send mouse wheel. Then the volumouse software sets the volume of the sound device, in my case Virtual Audio Cable (VAC). Under Vista 64, volumouse does not work when the mouse is pointed to the desktop. It works when the mouse is pointed to a window.

    Note to myself: Inquire with Nirsoft about this. Edit: Probably doing this with AutoHotkey. Open source too.

    Status: Sort of working.

    Not directly related to the install, but how on earth does one clone a Vista boot partition? XXClone worked well before under XP but Vista has a new boot loader scheme and xxclone reports errors. I cloned my Vista with DriveImage XML. But still the cloned drive would not boot because the Vista boot menu was missing. I had to repair the boot menu with the Vista install DVD. On a road trip, I need to have a working disaster recovery for the system drive. I just take a spare drive with a working system. But if I can't reliably clone drives this will be a nightmare.

    Feel free to post any solutions! Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    Hibernate and resume
    Just to be sure, run the command prompt as administrator and type powercfg /hibernate on . Then in the control panel, power options, energy savings mode, extended settings, save energy, set "allow hybrid standby mode" to off. Power switch action set to hibernate. But this was not enough. I also had to set the "power switch in the start menu" to hibernate. Doesn't really make sense but that's how it works.

    Now, upon switching the ignition off, the display goes black and apparently the computer hibernates but you get no visual feedback. Upon switching the ignition back on, you get a progress bar of the resume.

    Status: Working. The reassuring visual feedback of XP 32 is gone.
    Edit: Status: Sometimes working, sometimes not. Seems to depend on how many programs are open, but who knows.

    Volume Control
    There is a newer version 1.72 of volumouse in a 64 bit version. Will try that and report. Edit: Tried 1.72 x64 bit version. I set the criteria to "no button pressed". Now the behavior is opposite than before: When the mouse points to the desktop, the volume control works. When it points anywhere else, the volume control doesn't work.

    Status: Not working.

  3. #3
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    Volume Control
    Experimental solution with AutoHotkey. Procedure:
    1) Install AutoHotkey
    2) Create a text file "mouse wheel volume.ahk".
    3) Edit the text file like this (may work for Vista only I believe):
    WheelDown::Send {Volume_Down}
    WheelUp::Send {Volume_Up}
    4) With the new explorer context menu entry, compile your new script.
    5) Run the resulting "mouse wheel volume.exe" and you have volume control on the mouse wheel.

    Status: Working, not tested a lot.

    GPS receiver
    I tried another driver from prolific.com.tw .
    http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/downloads.asp?ID=31
    I think I took the universal GPS driver. The BU-353 now works.

    One of these days I'll want to try xport, but it's not urgent. I'm not running a front end (just iTunes and navigation separately) so I get by with a single COM port for GPS most of the time.

    Status: Working, not tested a lot.

    800x480 display
    800x480 works, but Vista 64 forgets the setting upon the next reboot. I tried it with UAC off. No improvement. I think I'll have to hack one or two inf files somewhere.

    Status: Sort of working.

  4. #4
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    Gave up Vista
    It sort of worked, but almost nothing worked the first time and some things didn't work permanently. Couldn't get hibernate and resume to work. 800x480 didn't stick. Boot time is glacial, aggravated by non-working hibernate. I deleted the partition and didn't even bother to make an image.

    "Quick" 7 Ultimate test
    Installed a Windows 7 64 bit RTM. 800x480 worked. GPS with prolific drivers didn't work. On some occasion the GPS returned coordinates but they were about 20 km off to the north. Other users have reported problems with prolific under Windows 7. I've been fiddling with broken prolific drivers since 2001. Why is everyone using this &%#?

    XP 64 last hope
    Just nlite-d AHCI into a XP 64 install CD that I'm gonna try now. Wish me luck guys.

  5. #5
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    XP 64
    XP 64 is paradise. Everything works. Beautiful women from far away countries bring me sweet cocktails. Etc., etc.

    800x480 display: OK.
    Touchscreen: OK.
    6 Channel active audio with ASIO4All, Console and Virtual audio cable: OK
    Hibernate and resume: OK.
    Volume Control: OK (I use my new AutoHotkey script).

    GPS receiver: It turned out that the computer interferes with the GPS reception. The motherboard is not shielded in my current install. My old motherboard didn't inhibit GPS reception but the new one does. I'll either try another motherboard or use a metal enclosure, or both. I found out with a hand-held Magellan GPS receiver. The second I switch on the computer, the satellite bar-graphs go to zero.

    Old motherboard: MSI 945GT Speedster-A4R, mATX, Socket 479
    New motherboard: Asrock ALiveNF7G-FullHD R3.0

  6. #6
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    More listening tests revealed that the on board audio of the Asrock ALiveNF7G-FullHD R3.0 is pretty bad. The sub bass, say below 60 Hz, is weak and the overall sound is lifeless.

    So I have a new motherboard, the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-UD2H. It's a decent board with goodies like eSata and Firewire. It consumes 25 W in Windows idle which is a bit disappointing because the old one consumed only 17 W.

    The unenclosed Gibabyte motherboard will not simply kill GPS reception like the Asrock did, but still it weakens GPS reception considerably. So I installed it in a Jou Jye NU-0526-CR enclosure which is pretty neat. Now the GPS reception is not affected by the CarPC at all.

    I installed yet another OS, this time Windows 7 Home Premium x64. This goes a lot smoother than anything else so far.

    800x480 display
    No problem, with Powerstrip. Not sure yet if Powerstrip has to remain installed or not and whether I have to buy it.
    GPS receiver I sold my BU-353 to a buddy because I want to get an RS-232 uBlox receiver hooked up to my Keyspan USA-19HS Serial to USB adapter. The USA-19HS installed fine but I've yet to test it.
    6 Channel active audio with ASIO4All, Console and Virtual audio cable
    Virtual audio cable 4.09 doesn't work for me under Windows 7. There are lots of cracks in the audio. So I tried to loop back SPDIF in to SPDIF out. Sticking a jumper on the respective two pins on the motherboard five pin connector did not work. Audio came through, along with horrible noise. I'm waiting for a SPDIF in and out 12CR1-1SPINO-11R slot-panel to arrive. As a stopgap for SPDIF loop-back I go from motherboard SPDIF-out to an M-Audio Transit USB SPDIF-in. Console and ASIO4All work OK but you can tell that Console is essentially dead software by little annoyances.
    Volume Control
    Works fine with my AutoHotkey script described in this thread.

    Waiting for better weather to install the computer in a new location in the car.

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