08 August 2010

Living with Snow Leopard + Windows 7 Dual-boot on my Mini MacBook 311

I've posted a new guide and yep, it's a dual-boot guide. Yipee, err, "youpi" I should say cause I'm supposed to be French - a fake "française" rather.

It's been around 2 weeks since I've re-set up my HP Mini 311 to get Windows 7 professional shoved in alongside Snow Leopard. The decision to let Windows 7 occupy the "first" OS volume was not easy for my inner Apple fangirl but for lack of other solution to make Chameleon see an NTFS formatted volume, I hardly gave my consent.

And in the span of 2 weeks, my detestation for the partition scheme mentioned above has been slowly waning down to the point of normalcy. I still sometimes find myself wince as I see Disk Utility list "Win7" volume over "Macintosh HD". But I'm continually learning just to breathe in calmly and click on that red X button at the top left corner of app's window.

But the annoyance does not stop there, I'm afraid, for I also have to deal with bluetooth becoming unavailable, never to be roused again from the land of the dead so it seemed, after booting into the dark, err, Windows 7 side. Further investigation has revealed that Windows 7 didn't particularly like the fact that there are actually 2 WiFi cards installed. But the blame, I do not entirely put on Windows 7 because HP has some doing with it itself: PCI slot/bus management.

If you've been reading this blog for quite a while, you know that I've transferred the HP Mini 311's stock WiFi + BT combo card to the full height slot and installed the BCM94312HM(anything not exactly reflecting this Broadcom model won't work on the 311, so don't try to hi-jack this post with comments asking that, consider yourself informed in advance) on the half-height slot. This I was able to do because I'm using icelord's dewhitelisting F.15 bios.

Well, it seems that the stock WiFi + BT combo card has a super hard time thriving in the full-height slot under Windows. I tried to run the driver provided by HP but it won't install properly. The fact that Windows 7 will always attempt to install the device drivers it has for the card wreaks further havoc, resulting to one catastrophe that particularly ticks me: the stock WiFi + BT combo on the full-height slot gets shut down somehow and when I log into OS X, it shows as "Bluetooth: Not Available":
And no amount of coaxing, in the form of combined efforts of pressing the wireless button and restarting the machine, would resolve the problem in OS X. Plus it's no better on the Windows 7 side as the appropriate driver wouldn't even install.

What I Did To Restore Bluetooth on OS X side:
1. While booted in Windows 7, I went to Computer > System Properties > Device Manager > Network Adapters.
2. Uninstalled Broadcom 802.11g Network Adapter. In my case, as the WiFi card I'm using under Snow Leopard is also a Broadcom, I have Broadcom 802.11g Network Adapter #2. So I need to verify that this is indeed the correct card I want to have uninstalled by checking its Device ID via Properties:
3. Uninstall all other devices showing in the Device Manager tree that's related to Bluetooth. Also uninstall Coprocessor under Other Devices:
4. We've just uninstalled some device drivers that were automatically installed by Windows 7. At this point, Windows 7 has automatically installed drivers for the additional WiFi card that I intend to use both in Win 7 and OS X. Thus, I can now stop Windows 7 from auto-installing drivers from now on. I do that by launching gpedit.msc. Just click on the Win Orb, equivalent of "Start" and type "gpedit.msc" (without the quotes of course) in the run box and press Enter.
5. In gpedit.msc, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions. At the right side panel, right click on "Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy" > Edit
6. This brings up a new window. Click on the radio button "Enabled" and click on "Apply".
7. Restart the computer and boot again into Windows 7 for the changes to be implemented and to verify that Windows no longer automatically installs device drivers.
8. Restart again and boot this time to OS X and verify that Bluetooth is now available once more. Should Bluetooth be still unavailable even though you've verified that Windows 7 no longer automatically installs device drivers, try to shutdown the machine completely and then turn it on again and boot into OS X. Bluetooth should become available.

NOTE: This means that you don't have Bluetooth in Windows 7. I chose to go with this option as I'm pretty happy with OS X, doing all of my computing in there, and Windows 7 still has WiFi connection. 

To be honest, I'm still waiting for that scintillating moment, that most opportune incident that will make me thank the heavens above for setting up this dual-boot configuration. Will that day come before my inner Apple fangirl prevails and push me to purge my Mini MacBook pure, devoid of anything Windows again?

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