Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Everyone loves XML! :-)

Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

If you find yourself having installation problems with a Windows application like a friend of mine had recently, where he couldn't install Microsoft Office Service Pack 3, but he couldn't uninstall the Microsoft Office 2003 either (in fairness, not due to Microsoft's fault, but to "mysterious" disappearing of %WINDIR%\Installer folder - that's what he says anyway :-), you can use the Windows Installer Clean Up utility to remove the application installer information so you can start over and re-install the offending application.

Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

Download the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility package

Friday, November 16, 2007


BIOS 208 -
Workaround H/W to disable C4 at battery mode to avoid that system will hang up at sleeping to s3/s4

I wouldn't recommend applying the BIOS Update unless you know what you're doing and you're experimenting the particular problem. See this article for more details on S3 (Stand-by) and S4 (Hibernate) states.

Update: November 27, 2007

The Miniature Mage said...

I second Dan's warning to only do this if you know what you're doing and if you need it. I and one other owner now have completely dead R2Hs after applying the update. I have been doing BIOS updates at home and as part of my job for 9 years, and, despite my knowing that this kind of thing can and does happen, this is my first failure. I have an RMA.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ASUS R2H - How to install ASUS Settings tool on Windows Vista

A quick tutorial on how to get the ASUS Settings to work on Vista, as most of us used on XP to change screen brightness and resolutions, sound volume etc.

Install Intel Graphics Driver first (, restart if requested. This is required to be able to change the resolution from the settings page.

Install ATK driver ( and hotkey utility (, restart if required. These are required to get the Settings button on the unit to work .

Install POWER4 GEAR eXtreme (, restart if requested. This is only required if you want to control the power mode.

Now if you push the settings button (right side, labeled [:::]), you should get the familiar settings page, enjoy.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Google Reader on UMPC

If you've used Google Reader on your UMPC in the past you've probably been frustrated a bit by the little space available for reading the posts. The good news is that it is now possible in the Expanded View to expand the reading area by clicking the little arrow on the left.

... much better! You can collapse the post reading area to get the menu back by clicking the little arrow on the left again.

Now if you still need more space you can use the Full Screen feature in IE (right click the IE toolbar area, choose Customize command bar and bring the Full screen button in the bar). Here if the full screen web page in it's glory!

To exit the full screen mode, move the mouse in the top screen area and then push the Full screen button again.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

GottaBeMobile: 2GB Memory Upgrade Working in Asus R2H, I Think

by Warner Crocker on GottaBeMobile

Turns out all that memory upgrade madness from last week has spread to the Asus R2H. If you recall, Kevin Tofel and others discovered that the Samsung Q1P could be upgraded by increasing the memory to 2GB. Well, that just got others with an Asus R2H fired up to give it a try as well. Frank Garica has been pinging me like mad to get me to give it a try.

But before I could give this bleeding edge updgrade a try, over in
the Origami Project forums came reports that upgrading the memory on the R2H worked just as well with there Asus reporting 1.98GB of memory. But I’m curious. My R2H came with 768mb of memory with a 512mb chip and a 256mb chip. I previously pulled the 512mb chip and replaced it with a 1gig chip to give me 1.256GB of memory. So, I’m not sure if this works for all or not. Guess I’ll have to follow the thread on the OP Forums before plunking down some green for that upgrade.

Although my R2H is working just fine with 768 MB for watching movies, play music, read ebooks and send emails, I'll be looking to upgrade to 1.2 GB, maybe Vista is going to run a bit faster. For those in Europe, I can recommend, they have Transcend and Kingston memory with free shipping to UK & Europe.

03 September 2007: Just installled the Kingston KVR667D2S5/1 1GB module (~44 Euro from Orcalogic), and it does feel the sistem is more responsive, especially in Vista when the CPU goes 100% and the little Celeron 900Mhz ULV no-L2 does that a lot, so I feel it was worth it.

The memory can be accessed by removing the batter and unscrew the lid – see cTitanic’s photos here.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Network Monitor

I used to have this problem where on my current Internet connection I have a daily download quota of 1 GB and every time I had to download something large, like say ISOs or legal torrents, I had to create a scheduler task to shutdown the computer after an estimated number of hours. That wasn't too great because it was either downloading too little or too much, so I decided to write this application (I called it "Network Monitor", but any other suggestions are welcome :-) and I thought I might share it with you.

Although I tested the application in the last couple of weeks, the new version 0.5 is almost a complete rewrite as I cleaned up the UI (for public release :-), added the shutdown option and the time limit. It's my first try at .Net C# and SharpDevelop, so obviously you will need the 2.0 .Net Framework installed to be able to run the application.

Just download the archive [see below], and extract it anywhere. The application needs write permissions in that folder to create a log file. It also needs registry permissions in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER to create a few registry keys to keep the settings, to be able to remember them for the next time you start the application.

One last note, obviously this is a tool to be used by those leaving their computers overnight to download, don't use it while you are working away as it will just turn off your computer without an actual notice.

Please feel free to report bugs and even enhancement requests and I'll try to put them in.

Network Monitor, 0.6 - 4 June 2007 [download]

- fix: using values over 2GB for download/upload limits was causing immediate hibernate/shutdown [I was using signed int(s) for MB to Bytes conversion, resulting in negative numbers];
- add: display download/upload speed in KB/s;

Future enhancements:
- display average upload / download when finished;
- shutdown/hibernate if the traffic in the last x minutes is below y MB, for when the Internet connection goes dead;
- (maybe) shutdown / hibernate if the speed in the last x minutes is below y KB/s, for when the Internet is very slow;

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Asus R2H power consumption

Just bought a mains power/energy monitor (I'll be using it to try building a low-power home server), and here are the results on running the R2H off the mains.

Browsing/downloading using the wireless connection:
- screen off: 15-16W
- low brightness: 15-16W
- half brightness: 17-18W
- full brightness: 18-19W

HDD defragmenting:
- pretty much the same results as above.

Super PI
- ~1-2W higher power consumption than above.

This means in the end the power consumption of the Asus R2H is lower than 0.02kWh in most scenarios.

As a comparison, my XPC Shuttle desktop PC (P4 HT Prescott 3 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Radeon 9600XT, 200 GB HDD) draws ~85W when idle and ~133W under load (Super PI) - the measurements are for the PC alone, monitor not included.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

(ASUS R2H) Updated WinFlash utility for Vista

Description:WinFlash - Windows BIOS Flash Utility for Vista
OS:Vista 32bit
File Size:1.26 (MBytes)
Download from:Global - USA - Europe - China

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

ASUS R2H - BIOS Update 207

BIOS 207

Disable "LAN POWER SAVING" to fix that system will hang up during Factory recover and Pure OS recover progress, and sometimes system will hang on when system idle about 30 minutes on Vista.

Download from: Global - USA - Europe - China

Saturday, March 31, 2007

ASUS R2H - Working Bison webcam on Vista

Jaba, a member on ASUS forum has posted a working driver + registry fix for Bison webcam on Vista.

* * *

Posted: 2/25/2007 3:23:00 PM

This driver at least stops the crashing, but it gives a black picture UNTIL you do what this guy said on Technet for some other ASUS notebook:

I finally got my bisoncam to work in Vista..
Just install the drivers from the link given above and add the following to your windows registry.

If u'r unsure how to add it to the registry, just copy and paste the code below in a text file and rename it as .reg

Double click the reg file to add the entries into the registry..

Hope this Helps.....

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




After you modify or add all this stuff in your registry and reboot Voila - it works.
Enjoy - perhaps ASUS people can just nick these settings and make an installer?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How to install Windows Vista on ASUS R2H

As requested, I tried to put together my experience with installing Windows Vista on ASUS R2H. I will not cover the actual Vista installation, as it's pretty much straight forward, I will concentrate on steps to take before and after installation - please feel free to ask any question if I miss anything.


Since the official Asus Windows Vista upgrade DVD has yet to be released, the best option would be to keep Windows XP working and install Vista on it's own separate partition. More than that, I usually create a separate partition for personal documents and files, to store away from the OS partitions. I would recommend keeping the Asus recovery partition for now, just in case you will need to restore XP Tablet.

You can use any partition manager of your choice, but I would warmly recommend Acronis Disk Director Suite 10 (49.99$ download install) - I previously had pretty bad experiences with PartitionMagic, and I would like to underline how important it is to use a reliable partition editor.

Here is my partition table:

Recovery partition (original, hidden, FAT32) - 3.90 GB
Windows XP (C:, NTFS) - 9 GB
Windows Vista (D:, NTFS) - 15 GB
Personal (E:, NTFS) - 27.98 GB


As with previous RC releases and with this final release as well, I have used the .iso distribution to install, mainly because I wasn't going to keep them and because I don't have a USB DVD drive. For a hdd installation, you can extract its contents using say WinRAR (great archiving utility, shareware) or you can mount the .iso archive in Virtual Clone Drive (free) - with the first option you need additional space, once extracted go into the newly created folder and run setup.exe, as with the second option, just double-click the .iso to mount the image and it will auto-start the installer.

Since this is an installation from hdd, the Vista Upgrade option will not be available, and I wouldn't recommend it anyway. Just follow the on-screen instructions and install Vista on its dedicated partition.

If necessary to make the note, I chose to install the Business edition, to see exactly what it offers, since I understand this is the version you get from the Asus upgrade program.

If I remember correctly it will require a reboot and when finished you will have two options at boot, one for Windows XP (previous Windows version) and one for Windows Vista (default boot option from now on) - you can use the D-pad up/down buttons to choose the Windows version you want to boot and D-pad center button to run it.

Post installation steps

When you runVista for the fist time you will notice the pen is not calibrated, if you have problems logging in, use the joystick and mouse buttons to type the password (the joystick is quite slow with default drivers). I should make the note that I didn't need an external keyboard throughout the installation process, mainly because most of the setup ran in XP and later on I could use the pen. You probably need a keyboard if you perform the installation from a USB DVD drive.

Once logged on, I would recommend calibrating the pen: click the Orb (new Start button) > Control Panel > Mobile PC > Tablet PC settings > Calibrate the screen.

If you find Vista slow, wait until it loads and the HDD led stops flashing, and in my case I chose to use the standard Windows theme, but obviously this is a personal choice (Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Change the theme).

If you are like me and you want to keep your personal files away from the system files, here is a tutorial on how to do just that - the sooner you do this the better. I've done this with My Documents and Links for XP for years, and it's a very easy way to keep your files no matter hour many times you decide to re-install Windows.

Installing Vista drivers & utilities

Download from one of the following locations ( Global - USA - Europe - China ) and install.

Download from one of the folllwing locations (Global - USA - Europe - China ) and install.

o Audio
Although Vista detected and installed a driver for the sound chip, I couldn't get any sound. Installing the Asus driver ( brought the bells back into the game.

Alternate download locations: Global - USA - Europe - China

o Camera
Download the appropriate driver: Bison ( or D-Max ( and install. My model has a Bison camera - if not sure open Computer Management and double check in the Imaging devices section.

Alternate download locations - Bison: Global - USA - Europe - China
Alternate download locations - DMax: Global - USA - Europe - China

Bison only: If the above driver doesn't work for you, see this post for alternate driver + registry fix.

o Card reader
Download & install driver from Asus website (

Alternate download locations: Global - USA - Europe - China

o INTEL Inf Update
Download from either Asus or Intel website ( - follow the installation steps as per previous post for XP, the only difference for the zip distribution is to extract first and then run "setup.exe -A"

Alternate download locations: Global - USA - Europe - China

o INTEL Graphics Driver
Download from Asus website ( and install.

Alternate download locations: Global - USA - Europe - China

o Fingerprint driver and utility
Download ( and install by running SetupIAM.exe. This will install the Asus Security Protect Manager as you know it and the fingerprint reader driver. Restat when prompted and when Vista is back on, logon and register your fingerprints.

I had a bit of trouble with this, but hopefully it won't happen to you - as I was registering my fingerprints , Vista locked-up and I had to restart. When Vista came back the touch screen wasn't working and there was no on-screen keyboard either. Now is a good time to have a USB keyboard around, or logon using Remote Desktop from another computer, change to a blank password and then use the joystick to click your user icon to logon ;-) Open Computer Management and check if the Human Interface Device has a yellow question mark, relict, right-click and choose Uninstall. Then push the "Scan for Hardware changes" button in the toolbar to re-install the HID drivers, and now the touch-screen should be working again. Then I could register my fingerprints with no problems and it worked just fine since.

Alternate download locations: Global - USA - Europe - China

o Joystick
Works out of the box, although it is very slow - download & install the new driver from Asus website (

Alternate download locations: Global - USA - Europe - China

Download driver (Global - USA - Europe - China) and install.

o Wireless
Asus recommends to install the wireless console application first ( and then install the driver ( The console is the application that sits in the tray area and shows the bouncy icons when you push the wireless control button - if you don't use this feature you can stop it using Autoruns.

Alternate download locations:
Wireless Console: Global - USA - Europe - China
Wireless Driver: Global - USA - Europe - China

More ASUS R2H Windows Vista drivers

Here is another resource for R2H Windows Vista drivers, some of them I haven't even seen on ASUS download site - big thanks to J.C.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ASUS R2H - Vista drivers & utilities

Thanks to J.C. for noticing this, Asus has just released a new drivers & utilities for Vista on R2H.

As you will notice in the Downloads page, now there is a Vista 32 bit entry in the operating system drop down box. I would recommend going through all categories, for example you will find the wi-fi driver in the Utilities section, probably because it is packaged along with the wi-fi utilities.

* Touchpad drivers
* Utilities:
- Intel Inf Update (latest versions as on Intel website);
- ATK2OSD2 (I'm assuming this is the utility that handles the special buttons and starts applications like Settings page or wireless);
- Asus NB Probe (no idea what is it);
- Asus Live Update Utility (this utility ever worked for anyone? :-);
- WinFlash;
- WLAN driver & application 2.0.8 (good, 7th of March, must try!);
- Ricoh card reader (maybe my Corsair SD 133x will working with ReadyBoost now?!).

Monday, March 5, 2007

ASUS R2H BIOS with Vista fixes

CTitanic just spotted recently a BIOS update for ASUS R2H with a couple of Vista specific fixes. If you've you're not familiar with the BIOS update process, follow this ASUS WinFlash Update Procedure.

Here's a direct link to the BIOS archive:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Xbox external fan mod

I have modified my Xbox before to replace the 60mm x 60mm x 25 mm stock fan with a 80mm x 80mm x 15mm Everflow fan (following this tutorial), but a while ago the fan started to make a whizzing noise, and since originally I had to cut the corners of the fan to get it in, I wanted to change this time and put the fan on the outside, so I can try with different fans, without having to alter them.

For the external mod the fan will be on the outside of the case, in the same position as the original fan. Most of the cutting is in the base plastic case, but there is some cutting to be done in the cover plastic case to accomodate for the top of the fan. I have also cut the metal grill for beter flow. I've used a side cutter but I'm sure there better tools for a cleaner cut.

I have ordered the Sharkoon Silent Eagle "Golf Ball" 80mm fan (SK-SE2000-80) from - the bad news is that I have received the 1000 RPM version, which proved to be very quiet, but it didn't move enough air (only 11.35 RPM) and it didn't allow to control the speed (update: see footnote). As a nice touch, the package included 4 rubber bolts, and will use those.

The nice thing about this mod is that there is no fan altering, so I could use eventually the trusty Zalman ZM-OP1 (80mm x 80mm x 15mm) - for a thin fan it blows a respectable amount of air and is quiet too.

The fans I mentioned above, from left to right: Zalman, Sharkooon, Everflow.

Here's the final cut - you can notice at the bottom the two holes I drilled in the metal frame, that's where the Sharkoon rubber bolts will go. The metal frame was already cut in the factory in such way that there's no way to drill another two holes at the top - but that's not really a problem, the two rubber bolts should be enough, and when the case is closed the plastic top cover will press the fan in place. Additionally we'll use a silicone fan gasket between the metal frame and the fan, to eliminate any vibrations.

Fan wired in, the rubber bolts, ready to fit the fan.

The finished product (I know the cut in top cover is a bit ugly...). For a nice finish I've used a fan grill, held in place with just two screws, but it should be ok.

Update 27 Feb 2007:
Performance-Pcs has just replied yesterday to my email and they kindly offered to exchange the Sharkoon Golfball fan and cover the shipping back, but unfortunatelly they don't have a 2000 RPM version of the 80mm fan, only 120 mm. Now, a 92mm fan with a fan adapter is not such a bad idea, hmm... - maybe some other time :-)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Windows Live Messenger not conecting/hanging on Windows Vista

I finally found a way to make Live Messenger work on Vista, it was hanging so badly even Vista wasn't able to kill the application, either from Task Manager or at logoff/shutdown. Interestingly enough if hibernated and then resumed the process disappears.

Basically you have to add the msnnsgr.exe program in the firewall exceptions - (classic view) Control Panel > Windows Firewall.

If it's still not connecting, try the following found on Microsoft newsgroups.

I found the procedure below in another group, and it solved my problem with Vista and Live Messenger. Apparently Vista's "auto-tuning" networking feature doesn't play nice with some routers. Not sure if it is a bug in Vista, a bug in Messenger or a bug in the router firmware but anyway this looks like a possible workaround that might help other people who have the same problem. BTW I have a NetGear DG834

Try this:
- Click start
- Type: cmd
- Right-click cmd.exe when it appears under Applications
- Click Run As Administrator
- Type the following:
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
- Press enter
- Restart your computer

To check autotuning is disabled repeat the above but type:
netsh int tcp show global

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How to build a USB desk fan

While I'm still looking to get a couple of Thermaltake Mobile II fans, as I was going yesterday through some things, I realized I had everything to build one on my own.

This article on Engadget gave me the idea - I already had a Microsoft Blue USB mouse that wasn't working anymore, a Zalman ZM-OP1 fan and the fan cage from my Shuttle SB61G2V3 XPC (I'm wasn't using the last two, as I've modded my Shuttle to mount a 92mm fan Vantec Stealth externally with an aluminium 80 to 92mm adapter).

Cut the mouse cable, strip out the red and black wires, those are the ones for power, we won't use the other two, used for transmitting data.

The Zalman OP-1 is a 12V DC fan, 0.14A, which makes it good for the job, as the USB ports output a 5V, 500mA current on each port. This fan is very quiet in normal operation, even quieter now that's running on 5V current. The fan has a 3pin connector, red and black wires are for power, and the third wire is for speed readings.

Mount the fan in the aluminium fan cage, add a 80mm silicone fan gasket and a fan grill to give it look a professional look ;-) and here is the finished "product".

This is quite useful if you use the R2H in it's stand, you can put the fan blowing air in the hard-disk air vent along the back of the unit. If you take the battery pack off you can get around 40 degrees C for HDD and 50 degrees C for CPU - not too bad.

Update 24-02-2007
I finally found the Thermaltake Mobilefan II at, and even if they weren't the cheapest around, it is one of the few websites shipping to Europe.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

UMPC external keyboard

I've been looking for a nice compact, mini-keyboard to use with my Asus R2H - the Logitech Playstation USB keyboard reviewed on jkOnTheRun looks good, but I couldn't find it here in Europe.

If you've seen any good reviews, or if you already have one that you are happy with, please let me know.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

R2H Wireless woes (2)

Just found this tip on the Asus support forums from Helmuth, Germany, on how to disable the power management for the USB hub where the wireless chip is connected to. Give it a try and see if it makes any difference for you.

Open Computer Management console (Run -> compmgmt.msc), go to Device Manager, expand Universal Serial Bus controllers, go to the last USB Root Hub entry and double click it (Properties).

Select Power Management tab, and deselect the Allow the computer to turn off...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wireless WDS link

I have succeeded recently to create a WDS link between the two 3Com routers I had around, and I thought I might share the experience with you guys, as it took me a while to get this to work.

The first router I bought a couple of years ago was in fact a 3Com OfficeConnect ADSL router (3CRWDR100A-72), and obviously I got it because I had an ADSL connection at the time. One thing that I liked was that it supported WDS, although I didn't have a use for it righ away, I thought it might come handy someday (and you will see, it did :-)

Last year we moved in our own house and one thing I was looking forward to was to get NTL internet cable, available in the area. Since the old router wasn't going to work with the cable, I bought another one, and I did go for a 3Com again, the OfficeConnect Wireless 11g DSL/Cable Router (3CRWE554G72T). Again, the new router had support for WDS, and it looked like a nice feature to have, as I was thinking that I could connect the two of them if needed.

As I had setup my desktop computer in the small bedroom upstairs, now converted to my own office (yeah!), I asked the cable guys to set up the connection up there as I wanted to have low pings on the net for some online gaming. My wife's Vaio notebook would connect wirelessly from anywhere around the house, so the whole setup made sense.

Recently we've managed to furnish the living room downstairs, and now I could finally bring the TV and the Xbox downstairs, but the question was how to connect the Xbox to the Internet. I looked around for a wireless gateway to be able to connect the Xbox to the wireless router, but I haven't found one for a good price, and then I remembered about my old ADSL router lying around...

As this was an ADSL router, I didn't have high hopes for it, as I was worried that the router would only know to route packages through the dynamic routes created when it connected to the PPPoE server through ADSL. I read up a few articles on the Internet, and the first attempt failed miserably, later on realizing that I was trying to use WPA encryption on both routers, as they were configured when they were used on their own.

I dropped the idea for a while, and decided to get one (or even two) of the new 3Com routers that claim to support WPA over WDS links. I read some more, and I decided to give it another shot, this time starting with no encryption. As one of the articles suggested, I got my 8-port ethernet hub from the old stuff (but always useful ;-) pile, and wire in the two routers and the desktop.

I started by disabling the DHCP servers on both routers, set-up static IPs on the routers as well as on the desktop, to avoid any issues involving DHCP - all IPs were in the same private class (10.xx.xx.xx). I also disabled the NAT support from the ADSL router, as the NATing was going to be performed by the cable router. I configured the routers to use the same wireless channel (the SSIDs do not have to be the same), enabled WDS support, configured the MACs for WDS on both routers and as soon as I saved the configuration, the lights on the hub started blinking quickly, as one of the articles said it would happen, because the packets were going in a loop from the wired connection, through the wireless, and then back through the wired connection. Hurray, there was hope that all the work wasn't in vain!!! I re-configured the routers to use WEP-128 encryption, lights blinking happily, even better news! Tried it once just for the sake of it with WPA-PSK, no sign of life, but I felt happy enough to go back to WEP and try the hole again, this time from downstairs. I decided to stick with the static IPs, plugged-in the Xbox, set the IP and voila, Internet through the wireless WDS link! Now after the couple of hours spent researching, trying, failing and then trying again, we finally deserved a nice long sleep :-)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

ASUS Security Protect Manager

ASUS Security Protect Manager improves system security and productivity by consolidating user passwords and network accounts within a User Identity and allow secure and convenient access to registered applications after logon to the ASUS Security Protect manager.

I found that Single Sign On (SSO) component takes a bit of the CPU when a webpage is loaded in IE (I use IE7), as the application is trying to record the logon details and help with subsequent logons. I have used IE AutoComplete for username and passwords on forms for a while now, so I don't really find SSO very useful, but I'm sure that other people may do.

You can disable SSO for a particular application, using the icon in the application title bar:

You can disable SSO for all applications by accessing the Settings and Options entry from the tray icon:

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Windows XP Tweaks - Tweak UI

This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

Download and install Tweak UI from here.

Here are a couple of tweaks that I like most:

Speed up menus

Classic search in Explorer

Document template - New menu

Command Prompt - Filename/directory completion