Sunday, March 28, 2010

HP tc4400 and Windows 7 Boot Failure

I've been using an HP tc4400 Tablet PC with Windows Vista for quite some time now and thought it was about time I started using Windows 7 for work and not just home.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Vista (I think I may be only one of eight people), but as an IT professional I should be using the latest operating system.

So I got started with swapping out the hard drive to start with a fresh install (always the best way to go), and tossed in the install DVD. The install went flawlessly and I followed with Windows Update, as one always should. Upon rebooting the system, it failed to start.

What followed was a large pain in the posterior: After attempting to do a System Restore (it failed, of course), I reinstalled. This time during Windows Update, I deselected some of the likely updates that may have caused the boot failure issue, same result. This process went on five times before I found the (in)correct update:Intel Corp - Display - Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family 16.6MB. Not surprising that it's a video driver, since those are typically the drivers that will hose a Windows system most often (rather embarrassed it took five tries to find out the obvious). Anyway, the update was released in September, 2009 and is one version behind what is available on the Intel website.

Once I skipped the Windows Update version of the driver and installed latest display driver from Intel, I was in business, actually Windows 7 Professional (can't MS marketing decide on a consistent nomenclature?).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Free PowerShell Editor

Yesterday I began to really dive into a new user script (which uses Exchange Management Shell) to bring it up to date and include more fields and features. As the script complexity grew, Notepad was no longer cutting the mustard.

I thought I'd be using Notepad++ or TextPad, both fine in their own right, but instead found PowerGUI. This PowerShell editor which finds syntax errors, includes definitions and much more; all for the low, low price of free. This seems to be a community supported by Quest Software who has a bunch of fine (not so free) tools for SysAdmins.

I'm now able to work on, and run, the script off network (read: at home). It's a helluva deal for the price, try PowerGUI for your next PowerShell outing.