Drivers and utilitys to handle drivers

USB Tree View

USB Device Tree ViewerIf you ever need to debug some USB driver or device, then this utility seem like a nice utility to have in your backpack.

It is not soo much better than the devicemanager but still it seem a bit more accessable.

Download it here;

http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtreeview_e.html

Direct link;
http://www.uwe-sieber.de/files/UsbTreeView.zip

HP Softpaq driver utility

If you have the need to download HP drivers, especially for more than one model or for both 32/64 bit then this utility is something for you.

This utility allow you to download drivers for any number of models at the same time without needing to visit the HP web-site which can be a bit of a hassle if you need to visit each model page.

Links;
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=4138087&prodNameId=4137878&swEnvOID=4060&swLang=13&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=ob-97225-1

Or
http://www.google.com/search?q=SoftPaq+site%3Ahp.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t

Systeminfo – now how was it….

I suddenly had the need to have a user send me some detailed info about his Windows 7 PC, and vaguely I recalled some utility that could make this as an export file you could send via email.

And sure enough this still exist under Windows 7 🙂

it’s called;
msinfo32.exe  (yes its the same name for x64)
(just hit <left windows button> + <R> on the keyboard and launch <msinfo32.exe>).
You can export the data to a text file (do this instead of the binary file it can export – I have experinced that the binary file somehow get ‘damaged’ during email transfer).

For more info look here;
http://www.winvistaclub.com/f7.html

Driver backup – yet another cool util

In a recent post (http://www.kanmandet.dk/?p=1877) I mentioned Driver Magician Light the free version of Driver Magician, now it would seem I managed to find yet another product that does the same completely for free (and this not as a limited light version)..

Double Driver (odd name, but hey..)

Get it here;
http://www.boozet.org/dd.htm

An older review here (older version);
http://dottech.org/freeware-reviews/7225

Also there is still DriverMax;
http://www.drivermax.com/
However I never really liked this product, it’s complicated navigating and as I recall it requires some kind of registration (free as I reacll, but I don’t like having to register anyhow).

DriverMagician – Backup drivers

I recently had to reinstall my pc, one of the damn things about this is drivers 🙁  you have to download and install drivers not contained on the install media. In my case I also spend many hours debugging why my system became unstable, it turned our to be the NIC driver that was now included on the install media but sadly utterly unstable 🙁   So hours and days later I managed to find the old driver I used before and all was back to normal.

Anyhow, just wanted to ‘remind’ you all about a nifty little utility that can assist you in backing up your drivers;
http://www.drivermagician.com/Lite.htm

Note this is the link to the LITE (FREE) version, it is fine for just backing up your drivers, but if you can spare the cash you can go for the automatic payed version.

Mounting ISO files

Once in a while you get hold of an ISO file (an ISO file is basically just an image of a CD/DVD/BLUE-RAY disk) and need to access the content of this file, there are several ways of doing this;

1) You can burn the ISO file to a media and read it this way.

2) You can extract the ISO file to a folder using a utility (WinRar is very good at this).

3) you can mount the ISO file as a virtual CD/DVD eg. use Deamon tools lite.

I would suggest option 2 or 3.

Anyhow, David Davis has written a nice beginners guide on the subject, so be sure to check it out at;
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Mounting-ISOs-Windows-7-Free-Tools.html

HP – ProLiant Support Pack – download link

For those of you that have ever tried finding anything on HP’s homepage you know that it can be virtually impossible 🙁 thus I am often struggling to find the download link for “HP ProLiant Support Pack for Microsoft Windows Server 2003”, well no more my friends 🙂 here is the link to use 🙂

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3716247&prodTypeId=18964&prodSeriesId=3716246&swLang=13&taskId=135&swEnvOID=1005

And as a bonuslink, here is how to install it on a “Server Core” (the one without the Win GUI)..

http://www.thomasmaurer.ch/2010/02/cheatsheet-how-to-install-hp-support-pack-on-a-server-core-installation-3/

Adobe Flash Player v.10.1 beta download

flashlogoSo if you want to be totally up-beat or perhaps are testing out Boxee then you will want to install the latest Adobe Flash Player (Boxee actually seem to require this), but no worries you can get it right here;

http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html

Among other things this version will add HW acceleration, neat for Netbooks as compatible GFX cards now can assist in playing video and thus perhaps adding HD playback to your otherwise slow Atom processor (however this DO require a compatible GFX card to work like the Nvidia ION and others).

Extract files/drivers from Install Shield packages

So you would like to extract some files from an Install Shield (IS) installer package you have, you may as I just need a few driver files from a package.

Well first you try the extract command from Windows (as some of the Install Shield files come as .cab files) however you quickly discover that the IS.cab files are not compatible with the Windows .cab files.  WinRar is often good at extracting all sorts of files, but not the IS files. You can forget all about -e or -x for extract that does not work either.

But there is a way, you need an utility called “ISCabVu.exe”, sadly this utility is not just lying around on the net, so you need to do a bit of fiddling around to get hold of it.. 

1. Download an evaluation copy of Install Shield (any never version will likely do, do go for the latest).
2. Install it (if you don’t want to pollute your system use SandboxIE (requires 32bit os)).
3. Copy the files under “Program Files\InstallShield\2010\System” to a different location.
4. Now just run the “ISCabVu.exe” file.
5. You may be able to thin out this directory (150mb) but this may take some time and may not be worth your time.

Now the extract part is easy, see image below;
hpquickbtn

HP Quicklaunch buttons – driver install problem

I spend some time on this before cracking the nut, so I thought I’d share with you all in case you ever experienced something similar.

HP_QT

See I was hardware certifying a HP 6930p laptop for SCCM and things was fine until my attention moved to installing the “HP Quicklaunch buttons”, my first issue was that even though I extracted the installed drivers using Driver Magician or Driver Max it did not work – both programs failed to extract the certificate for the drivers thus you would have a ‘drivers not certified’ warning when installing them, well I decided to simply install the HP package with the -s switch and here things became really annoying – the installation proceeded fine and in device manager we moved from “Unknown device” to “HP Quicklaunch Buttons” but accompanied by the text “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)” and no amount of reboots fixed this.  I tried with numerous versions of the install package, just in case it was some issue with a specific version of the package – but all had the same result.

hpqt2

hpqt_dm

A lot of googling led me to this article where a guy named Eric has a very similar issue, he has detected a common denomitor namely  virtualization.  Eric has discovered that if he deploy a workstation using a wim image captured on a VmWare workstation and then later try to install “HP Quick Launch Buttons” he gets this issue with the ‘corrupted or missing drivers’, but if he manually installs the same machine then there is no issue. 

The solution is simple, all that is missing to make things work is three files;
hidclass.sys
hidparse.sys
hidusb.sys
these files need to be copied to “C:\windows\system32\drivers” (or the equivalent on your system), and after a reboot the “HP Quick Launch Buttons” is now working fine..  But where do you get these files from?  You can of cause get them from a different system (copy them to a usb pen or what ever), but there is another easy way around this – see these three files are all related to “Human Interface Devices” and all you need to do to have them installed (copied to c:\windows\system32\drivers) is to insert an external usb mouse or keyboard (this will launch an automated installation of these three files).  Now where inserting a USB mouse or keyboard may work for a single user it’s not really appropriate for corporate installation environments, so in our corporate setup we will be copying these three files into the C:\windows\system32\drivers folder during installation – having them there will do no harm.