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Joe Chang

64-bit on notebook

well, I finally gave up on vista, I am really too old to learn a brand new interface every time a new desktop OS comes out, I do want the core OS improvements. I also really don't like how often I have to wait for a response. I am not sure what the source is, it could be that dotNet programs takes several seconds to launch or other reasons. I bought a Dell Vostro last November(?) with Vista the only option. I tried to install XP but did not have a means of applying the new Intel SATA drivers. Not sure if I can do this from a USB key or do I have to get a floppy. So I tried to learn Vista, but was just not willing to completely move off my previous XP notebook. I had pressing reason to move. The Express Card slot in my Inspirion 6400 had died after about 9 months of use, so I had no broadband. I also had an Inspirion 9400 where the expresscard slot died after a few months. Dell replaced it. The warranty on my 6400 expired before I was willing to do an exchange. I suspect the reason is that the notebook has a 54mm slot, while the Verizon EVDO card was 34mm, meaning it could wiggle, and eventually the electrical disturbances caused it to fail. Now I really did want 64-bit on my second notebook and was just waiting until I could get EVDO. When I went to buy a USB EVDO, the box said it supported Vista 64-bit. It turns out the optional internal EVDO from also supported 64-bit. Well anyways, I installed Windows Server 2008 64-bit. I expected some driver issues. The Intel 965 video only showed a 64-bit driver for Vista. Previously I had some driver installation packages that would not install an XP driver on W2K3, but I could manually install. For this, I could get the Intel 965 video, network (Ethernet & WIFI) and EVDO to install on W2K8 64-bit. I have installed VS 2K8 and SQL 2K8 and start testing soon. One annoyance is I do not know how to disable the super secure IE, so doing general Internet browsing is a pain 

Published Tuesday, May 20, 2008 1:02 PM by jchang
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Linchi Shea said:

I got a new laptop recently and it came with Vista. I'm absolutely not happy with it. Being a slow learner, I wasted a lot of trying to figure out where all the things were and how come I didn't have access to this or that. When I get time, I'll rebuild the machine to use XP.

May 20, 2008 12:28 PM

AaronBertrand said:

Hi Joe,

I have a MacBook Pro which has a Core 2 Duo.  When I first bought it, it shipped with Tiger, and so I used Parallels to also run Windows (32-bit, and only able to use 3 GB of RAM).  Switching between operating systems was very neat and awe-impressing (it looked like rotating a cube), but when running both operating systems simultaneously, the machine burned really hot... over 70 degrees if you believe Intel's utility.  When I upgraded to Leopard, I was able to use Boot Camp, and this was much better.

After much convincing from Adam Machanic, I broke down and switched from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit Server 2008.  I have had less luck than you on drivers... of course I don't expect to find a driver for the built-in iSight camera, but I still cannot locate NVidia drivers for the 6800M video card, and the page that allegedly has the ethernet adapter keeps coming up 404.  Most importantly, though, I can't connect to my VPN at work or at one client's site, because Cisco refuses to port their VPN client software to x64 (though they DID port it to OS X, figure that one out!).  An alternative was suggested in another thread here, which I managed to install, but could not get to work.

It hasn't been a seamless ride, but I am almost there.  Just need to take the time to get a VM installed (e.g. 32-bit 2003) that has the Cisco VPN client and successfully uses the hosts' network connection, so that I can do downlevel work (which I can also do from Leopard, using remote desktop connection for mac).

And is it ever nice to be using all of the memory on my laptop for a change!

May 20, 2008 1:03 PM

ktegels said:

I am running x64 Vista on a Dell Precision M4300 and completely love it. My only wish? That the BIOS on-board supported more than 4gb of RAM. The new versions of the hardware do.

May 20, 2008 1:12 PM

Adam Machanic said:

I am also running x64 Vista (on a ThinkPad T60).  I totally, totally hated it for the first six months.  Now that I'm used to it, I do like a lot of things about it.  It's a bit buggy, a total memory hog, but it does the job for me.  I don't plan to migrate back to XP at this point.

May 20, 2008 1:14 PM

jchang said:

Aaron, yikes, I need to run the Cisco VPN too, its a really bad sign when the vendors refused to do a 64-bit port, it probably means the original coders are gone, and the on going work has been outsourced to a third-world country without a top tier lead developer. the mac port was probably because some exec demanded it. Cisco used to be good about doing all ports.

ktegels: i don't think its the bios. can you actually buy 4GB SODIMM yet? when i was in the hardware side, it was routine to design silicon for a part that was not yet available, or at really exhorbitant price, on initial release, the product would only support 2x2GB, but when 4GB SODIMMs are available, it would be supported if it worked, Still, in a 17-in notebook, I would think Dell would be able to get externallly accessible 4 DIMM sockets, not 1 (on my Vostro 1700, 1 in-accessible 1GB DIMM, 1 2GB for the accessible socket)

Adam: you are still young, in another 20 years or so,

May 20, 2008 1:52 PM

Alexander Kuznetsov said:

I dislike Office 2007 - it prevents me from doing simple urgent things quickly. Come to think of it, to invoke "Quick Print", I need to press a button and navigate through _TWO_ levels of menus. Calling this feature "quick" defies parody.

May 20, 2008 3:22 PM

jchang said:

I would like to add my vent on current hardware/software. Wide-screens are now very popular, giving us 1440x900 or 1920x1200 working space, ie, we have lots of horizontal space, relatively limited vertical space. So: software vendors, stop putting layers of worthless toolbars up top, put them on the sides! Also, to Microsoft, get rid of the top bar on the window! it is a complete waste of 26 pixels, I want it back. Do people remember the stupid class action lawsuits over disk space in decimal MB/GB instead of binary, or CRT monitors labeled 17in for a 17in tube size, but 16in visible? I may be tempted to sue for those 26 vertical pixels. I will give up 26 horizontal pixel if need be.

May 20, 2008 3:35 PM

Dave said:

To disable the IE secure mode, launch Server Mangler and in the Security Information pane of the summary page, click on "Configure IE ESC"

May 20, 2008 5:04 PM

WhitneyW said:

For those of you that just made the switch to Windows Server 2008, check out for lots of great configuration tips.

I've been running WS2008 x64 for over a month now and couldn't be happier.

May 22, 2008 2:57 PM

Kevin Boles said:

Joe, see here for a tool to allow you to almost infinitely customize Windows XP installs (including pre-install driver loads such as you needed for the Vostro):

I used this to get Windows XP running on the same laptop you have.  I did have a few driver compatability issues but the machine has been quite stable for several months now with new driver patches I have been able to acquire and install.

June 19, 2008 3:05 PM

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About jchang

Reverse engineering the SQL Server Cost Based Optimizer (Query Optimizer), NUMA System Architecture, performance tools developer - SQL ExecStats, mucking with the data distribution statistics histogram - decoding STATS_STREAM, Parallel Execution plans, microprocessors, SSD, HDD, SAN, storage performance, performance modeling and prediction, database architecture, SQL Server engine

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