Posted in Computers, Software

Installing Drivers on Windows Server Core

If you’ve installed Windows 2008 R2 Server Core and need to install the network drivers, you’ll need to do that from the command line. There is no graphical interface, so you will need to prepare a little to install your drivers.

Here are the steps:

  • You’ll need admin rights to do this, so make sure you have rights
  • Copy the drivers folder from the installation media, CD/DVD or file (we’ll assume it’s the NIC card) to a folder in C, like C:\Drivers\LAN\
  • Navigate to the folder containing the INF files, and type in this command:
  • pnputil -i -a C:\Drivers\LAN\filename.inf – where filename.inf is the name of the file containing the driver
  • If you’re not sure which file it is, you can use a wildcard, like this: pnputil.exe -i -a C:\Drivers\LAN\*.inf – this will install all INF files.
  • You can also do pnputil /? to see all the options

Take a look at the screenshot below.

pnputil options

Posted in Software

Windows 7 Drivers for Asus P5VD2-MX SE

Asus doesn’t provide drivers for the P5VD2-MX SE motherboard for Windows 7 on their website, but that didn’t stop me from upgrading my aging system from XP Pro to the shiny 7.

Windows 7 installs pretty well, but the video and audio drivers are generic. The audio doesn’t work, and the video driver is “just-ok”, but not as fast as it should be. Windows Updates doesn’t have audio and video drivers for this board – at least, not as of this writing.

After doing some browsing in the Asus forums, I found a post by someone suggesting to go to the Realtek website and getting the drivers from there. So, that’s whath I did, and downloaded the audio drivers for the system. Before installing the driver, I recommend creating a Restore Point, just in case you run into trouble. The installation went well as expected, although I received a Windows warning telling me “the publisher isn’t verified…”, but I disregarded the message, and the installation finished successfully. I had sound even without restarting my PC!

The link to download the audio drivers for your P5VD2-MX SE board running Windows 7 is here: p5vd2-mx se audio drivers.  I suggest grabbing a cup of coffee or the newspaper, because although the file is fairly small (74.7 MB), the download speed is slow… took me about 25 – 30 minutes on a 1.5 mbps connection.

I thought I’d have the same luck with the video driver, and headed over to the “S3 Graphics UniChrome Pro” website,  but couldn’t find the appropriate driver to download. After some “googling”, I found a forum post by someone suggesting to download the XP-64 bit drivers and the line “FeatureScore = FC” to the inf file. Tried that, but didn’t work.

I guess I’ll continue to use the system as it is, and keep looking for the video driver. That, or just buy a plain, cheap, video card.

Posted in All Mac Stuff, Computers, Software, Technology

MacbookPro Core 2 Duo on Boot Camp Issue – Windows 7

I’ve been decided to make use of Apple’s Boot Camp and install Windows 7 Ultimate on my Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro, which I purchased in early 2007. According to Apple’s website, Windows 7 on Boot Camp is not supported on this model, but I still decided to take the plunge and try it out.

The Mac specs are as follows: Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz, 3 GB RAM (up from 2), 320 GB WD Black (upgraded from 120), Mac OS X 10.6.3…

After creating the Boot Camp partition and booting from the Windows 7 CD, the installation began and everything went fine. No problems at all during the installation.

My first problem – and only major one so far – has been strange behavior and video lock-ups right after logging on to Windows 7. As soon as the desktop starts to load (seconds), the video image gets garbled, and it looks like this:

Windows 7 on Macbook Pro - Lock-up
Windows 7 on Macbook Pro - Lock-up up close

This doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen frequently enough to make me wonder if it’s hardware or software. Also, it does not happen when Windows 7 is installed inside a VMware Fusion virtual PC running on OS X.

I’ve tried reinstalling Windows 7 a few times – it happens on the very first login with a clean installation, no drivers, no boot camp software – clean, and even after subsequent successful logins, with and without drivers or the Boot Camp software installed. At first, I thought software was the problem – the answer seems quite obvious, right? “missing drivers…” but my high hopes for solving the problem were soon crushed, when it happened again after loading the boot camp drivers that came on the OS X 10.6 DVD, and upgrading to 3.1. So it happens without drivers after a clean install, and with the Boot Camp software installed. So, it must not be a driver issue, but something else, right?

When this happens, there is no way to get past it, and the Mac has to be powered off by holding down the power button. In my early attempts, I proceeded to turn it back on and try to log on to Windows, but got the same results: video would lock-up right after logging on. I’ve also experimented with Windows XP on Boot Camp, and has not happened once, so it must be something with Windows 7. Oh – tried both x86 and x64 versions, still random lock-ups.

It was only after resetting the PRAM and NVRAM, as described on an article on Apple’s website that I was able to log on to Windows 7 and actually use it! It works great, fast, snappy, and have been experimenting with it for the past few days, but the problem does come up every now and then. A simple hard-shutdown or resetting the PRAM and NVRAM will allow me to use Windows 7 again. A minor annoyance, but I understand that this laptop is not “officially” supported to run Windows 7 on Boot Camp.

While I’ve had some other minor issues, none as grave as this one though. Hibernation doesn’t seem to be fully supported – the image doesn’t get saved to the hard drive, so I gave up on it (no big deal), and sometimes sleep is rudely interrupted by some unknown reason, and the Mac will come out of sleep even with the lid closed, and stay awake. No, there is no software open, no downloads or updates going on…I’ve checked already.

My Logitech Bluetooth mouse works the first time I connect it, but no more after that. It even shows up in the list of items, but it just doesn’t connect again, unless, removed from the Bluetooth devices panel and re-added. Not worth the hassle, so I just leave the mouse aside.

I’ve been able to connect to my wireless network at work, which runs on a Linksys WRT54-GL with the factory firmware, at home, running the Airport Extreme N Base Station (previous model) in bridged mode, and the Netgear Dual-Band WNDR3700 as my main router. Connecting to my CentOS-based file server works, and behaves normally.

Overall, Windows 7 on the Macbook Pro has been a great experience. My experience with Vista was limited, to maybe less than 10 hours total, but I hear good reviews about Windows 7 and want to get familiar with it. Might even build a budget system and run Windows 7 on it, but that I’ll leave for another post.

Have you had a good or bad experience running Windows 7 on your Mac? If so, share your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Computers, Fedora, Linux, Software, Ubuntu

Setup and Configure NFS Server/Client in Linux

Up until now, I had been accessing my Ubuntu server via Samba, from my Fedora 12 box. Until I discovered what NFS really is and how it works.

The actual guide which I followed can be found on the Ubuntu forums here.

I was able to successfully install the server portion of it on my Ubuntu 9.10 server, and access it from Fedora 12.

BUT! In order to get it to mount automatically when booting, instead of editing /etc/fstab, I had to edit /etc/mtab. The rest was fine. Keep this in mind if you get an error when adding it to your “fstab.”

Now that I better understanding of what NFS is, it’s time to do some good reading and research on it for future reference.

Posted in Computers, Fedora, Linux, Software

Installing an RDP client on Fedora12

There is no Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client installed on Fedora 12 by default – at least not one that I could find.

An RDP client is needed to connect to Windows Terminal Servers and other Windows machines using the RDP protocol.

Installing a gnome-RDP program is fairly easy, and can be done from the command line in a few minutes.

To install the gnome-RDP client on Fedora 12, launch Terminal by going to Applications > System Tools > Terminal, and type in the following commands (commands are in bold, explanation in parenthesis)

  • su – (needed to become root, type password when prompted)
  • yum install gnome-rdp (this downloads and installs the RDP program. Accept dependencies if prompted)

After that’s all done – should take about 2-3 minutes – you can find the gnome-RDP program by going to Applications > Internet > Gnome-RDP

Posted in Computers, Software

Firefox Saving Web Passwords

As a system administrator and PC hobbyist, I do quite a lot of installing and reinstalling of different OSes and programs, one of those being Mozilla’s Firefox.

The browser is absolutely great, fast, efficient, secure, etc., but one of the major annoyances that bugs me, is that Firefox always insists – by default, in saving the passwords entered when logging on to websites or web services.

All it takes is a few clicks to remove this option (Edit > Preferences > Security tab > remove checkmark from Remember passwords for sites), but it can be quite annoying when having to do this on a regular basis.

I wish this was an option presented as part of the installation, so that users who do not like saving web passwords can turn this off from the start.