Mostly about my amusement

Tag: Vista (page 2 of 3)

Installed Vista 64 bit

After failing to get my copy of Vista to recognized my nvidia SATA striped drives, I configured them into two separate drives which was recognized. Instead of one 300 GB drive I have two 150 GB drives.  The Vista DVD recognized the drives now.

Sigh. Since I had to do a fresh install I put on the 64 bit version. The most fun came when I tried to activate Vista online. After activating it twice the online system will refuse to activate the software. You have to use the toll free number and recite the codes into the phone. I’m not sure how pissing off a legitimate customer works for Microsoft but hey, if they do anything else the the pirates will win. Or something like that.

The 64 bit version of Vista runs well. I’m going to bump up the RAM from 2 GB to 4 GB to see if there is a real performance increase.

Importing self-signed SSL certs into Vista

I use SSL on my web servers for privacy and not authentication. Since it is my own use I don’t care if it’s from Verisign or Thawte. Also why shell out cash for the certificate when a self signed certificate will do just fine?

Internet Explorer used to permit you to install web server certificates by examining the SSL certificate and importing it into your key store. Version 7 of the browser took that away and made it more difficult to import them into the key store.

Here is how I imported the web server certificate into Vista. Read more

Completed Halo 2 on Vista

Halo 2 on Vista banner from

That was anticlimactic.

My saved games came back and I was farther along than I thought. After a couple of “boss” battles I completed the game. I actually had to check the Wikipedia page to see if there was something I missed.

It was definitely an “okay” game but nothing to get excited about. After playing Call of Duty 2 (and CoD 3 on the PS3) I have a feeling of “that’s it?”

When Halo 3 comes out I’ll probably get it for the Xbox 360, but Bungie and Microsoft better get some more excitement into the game.

Halo 2 on Vista fix?

This morning tried Halo 2.  All my accomplishments attached to my Live account got wiped out.  I have to start from scratch.  That might fix it; the problem was definitely with my online account.

Halo 2 on Vista problems

Delta HaloMy installation of Halo 2 on Vista is not working. I get to the part where the Arbiter gets pushed off the ledge when Keyes gets captured and he loses the icon.

The game complains about needing the DVD, I insert it and I have to repeat the whole level. Twice. I’m taking a break but that is really a pain in the ass. I may re-install it and see if that fixes the problem.

So far the game is “okay”.

Halo 2 on Vista

Halo 2 for Vista screenshotMicrosoft could have done better for a Vista only game.

Two weeks ago I was at my in-laws house. My nephew has an old Xbox (not the 360) and was playing Halo. It was a little retro compared with Gears of War but it looked okay. So for $20 at Best Buy I picked up the original Halo Combat Evolved for my PC. I completed it quickly enough and had some fun.

Plasma grenades sticking onto the bad guys was fun; sometimes the little grunts would shout “Not again!”

Halo 2 for Vista came out and I picked it up too. It’s okay. It’s not as visually entertaining as Unreal Tournament 2004, and the Marines have already run me over in a Warthog.

Just like an original Xbox game, it feels a little retro but displayed in wide screen. So far the game play is acceptable, just not anything to get excited about. It plays better than the original Halo but there is nothing that I can see that justifies it being a Vista only game.

Microsoft should have gone with a port of Gears of War, now THAT would have been very cool.

Screenshot taken from Microsoft’s Halo 2 for Vista website.

Harmony 720 and Vista

Logitech Harmony 720Costco has the Logitech Harmony 720 on sale and I picked one up Saturday. Don’t bother looking for it on Logitech’s web site, it apparently does not exist there.

It’s a programmable IR universal remote with a color LCD display and is programmed via a USB cable to your PC. You create an account on Logitech’s web site, download the 7.2.1 version of the software and program the remote.

The downloaded software is not 100% Vista compatible. When you run it, it causes the window system to go from Aero Glass to the Vista Home Basic look and feel. Everything still works but the eye candy is one of the few appeals of Vista.

Easy to fix. The software is written in Java and includes a copy of the 1.5 JRE which is not Vista friendly. Azureus had the same problem.

  1. Download the Java 6 JRE and install. Just the JRE not the whole kit.
  2. Using Explorer go to the Directory “C:Program FilesJavajre1.6.0_01” (Java 6 updates might have a different directory) and copy all the contents.
  3. Now go to the “C:Program FilesLogitechLogitech Harmony Remote Software 7” directory and rename the jre folder to jre-old (just in case).
  4. Create a new folder “jre” and paste the contents from jre1.6.0_01 (step 2) there. The folder should look like this.

Harmony 720 with jre 1.6

That’s it. The software runs fine now and I’ve used it to re-program my Harmony 720 already. Eventually Logitech will update the software (the web site says April 2007) but until then this works.

Now if I could figure out how to do this trick in Ubuntu, then I’d be satisfied.

XPS 700 Vista re-install

I upgraded from XP to Vista. Since I purchased my XPS 700 as soon as it came out I did not qualify for Dell’s free Vista upgrade.

My XP install had a ton of junk left on from installing apps, removing them, games I did not play etc. So I figured that I’d just boot off of the Vista upgrade DVD and do a clean install.

The idea was to

  1. Backup the data to an external USB HD
  2. Wipe out the hardrive
  3. Clean install without putting in a product key (Vista lets you run unactivated for 30 days)
  4. Boot, and install the upgrade using the upgrade activation key

Sigh. Well I did backup my data and using the Vista clean install to wipe the hard drive worked perfectly.

Vista would not accept that my hard drive as a valid place to install on. Even putting the drivers from Dell and nvidia on a CD would not work.

I ended up having my two drives separated, installing an unactivated Vista, and downloading and installing vLite.

The vLite application lets you create an install DVD image with the update drivers. It even lets you burn the DVD directly from the application. Until I got the image booted I was in a pretty foul mood since the update XPS BIOS on my machine would no longer install XP Media Center 2005 that came with my XPS 700.

Once that was done I went into the BIOS and re-established the joined drives and started from scratch.

Now steps 3 and 4 worked and I’m keeping the DVD I burned. Using vLite saved me from making a Dell support call that would have ended really badly.