Regarding IT

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Recovery CDs

HP no longer provides any Recovery CDs or DVDs, rather they provide a piece of paper with the image of a CD to remind you to create a set of Recovery CDs or DVDs!

Upon starting Windows, the PC Recovery Disc Creator application will prompt to create a set of three Recovery DVDs (4.7 GB). Or, for those that did not opt for a DVD Writer (and yes, there is such an option), then 14x CD-Rs are required! It's crazy that I should need to a) buy the media, b) spend the time burning the disks and c) spend the time testing them!

Worse still, upon creating one set of the disks, it is no longer possible to create a second set. Apparently, this is a legal requirement from Microsoft.

It was easy to find the complaints on the Internet, but not so the solution. Apparently there have been lots of complaints to Gateway, and they have let slip a little tool to re-activate the Recovery Disc creator (search Google for ResetRmc.exe). Tried it, and it works for my HP notebook!

The Recovery software and partition is made by a company called SoftThinks. Theirs is a really unprofessional web-site that does not inspire any confidence, but apparently, many notebook manufacturers use their software. Microsoft has a WinPE presentation which mentions the SoftThinks Recovery partition and application.

Friday, August 25, 2006

No IrDA!

Can't believe that HP, pioneer of infra red devices (IrDA) did not include one on this notebook. I use this frequently to sync with my Nokia phone (yes, it's that old and lacks any Blue Teeth).

Actually, the manual clearly shows the location of an "Infrared lens" on the front of the notebook, but it seems to be some proprietary device that works only for the Remote Control. Windows does not see it as an IrDA, and I think it may be identified as an input device!

In fact, some of the Remote Control button function like keys on the keyboard, even in DOS! The emulated keys are: Arrow keys, Enter (Ok button), Alt-Left (funny "up" button), Windows Application key, back (Ctrl-B), forwrad (Ctrl-F), etc . However, some keys are hooked by the driver and automatically trigger pre-defined actions, e.g. Volume Up / Down, Mute, DVD, power, etc.

I'm not happy, even though it's cool that the Remote Control does slots neatly into the ExpressCard slot...

This blog starts here...

I just purchased a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dv5201tx notebook, and will share my experiences setting it up here. Reasonably high specifications and very competitively priced:
  • Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83 GHz)
  • 15.4" widescreen BrightView
  • NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400
  • 100 GB SATA hard drive
  • 8x DVD +/- RW double layer
  • 802.11 g/b Wireless LAN, 56 K modem, Bluetooth
  • 6-in-1 digital media reader, 1 ExpressCard, 1 Type I/II card bus
  • Remote control