Hasta La Vista, Vista

I purchased a laptop soon after this post. It was a HP Pavilion dv6253cl Notebook, pre-loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium Edition. This machine has 2 gig of RAM, 120 gig of hard disk space, and AMD Turion Dual Core processor. I bought it at Costco, 1000 bucks plus tax. It has a built-in card reader and webcam.

Vista is a huge disappointment. Here are a few problems I had:
1. A lot of device drivers are either not available, or do not work;
2. I am logged in as administrator, yet Vista repeatedly stops me from doing things I need to do, unless I confirm and click a Yes button. I heard it can be turned off, but I do not have time or too lazy to google it. It is a total waste of my time;
3. USB thumb drive does not work right. Sometimes I couldn’t even copy files from Vista to the USB drive;
4. I had trouble even moving files around. Granted, the files I move around are in the C: root folder or Program Files folders, but I AM AN ADMIN, let me do what needs to be done;
5. Little annoyances like I couldn’t sort files by type in my pictures folder. I am sure there are others, I just don’t remember now.

I’ve been thinking about moving off of Vista for the last couple of weeks. Today, I finally bit the bullet.

The first thing I tried is to load Ubuntu. Yes, currently I work primarily on the Windows platform, but I have strong interest in Linux. I reasoned I could use Linux virturalization software and create Windows virtual machines. I know there are people who use Mac with Parallel virturalization to run Windows on top, but Mac is too expensive for me.

I tried the latest Ubuntu, version 7.04. It actually didn’t start on the laptop, complaining some BIOS bug and firmware issues. Next I tried Ubuntu 6.01, an older version I happened to have. It didn’t start either. I was pretty disappointed.

Finally, I had to settle for Windows XP SP2. That cost more than half day. Now I almost have my system back. One big bummer is the built-in webcam is not working on XP. I do use the webcam with Skype, primarily for chatting with my family while on the road, so they can see me. It is a big plus, especially for my son. The webcam worked on Vista, but I would hate to go back to Vista just for that. Looking around for webcam drivers cost me at least 3 hours, to no avail!

The webcam driver issue seems to be a common one for HP Notebooks. HP doesn’t have the driver or the one it has don’t work. In fact, this afternoon I read tons of complaints with HP’s existing webcam drivers. I’d appreciate it if my readers have any leads on this.

Here is a note for myself, in case for whatever reason I need to rebuild XP SP2 on this laptop again. All links were obtained through HP’s web chat support.

Windows XP device driver links for HP Pavilion dv6253cl Notebook:

Broadcom Wireless LAN Driver:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33001-33500/sp33008.exe

HP Quick Launch Buttons:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33001-33500/sp33258.exe

Ricoh 5-in-1 Card Reader Driver:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33001-33500/sp33413.exe

NVIDIA GeForce Series Video Driver:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33501-34000/sp33537.exe

NVIDIA nForce Chipset Driver and Network Controller:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33001-33500/sp33411.exe

link for Microsoft UAA driver.
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33501-34000/sp33867.exe

Here is the web link for audio drivers.
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp34001-34500/sp34200.exe

Here is the link for Webcam driver, but it did NOT work
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp35001-35500/sp35414.exe

12 thoughts on “Hasta La Vista, Vista”

  1. Aye . . .

    “bit the bullet”
    “virtualization” (not in Firefox’ dictionary–weird!)
    “Parallels” is the name of the software on Mac–but I can’t get Ubuntu running, either.

    Thank you for the follow up. I hate to admit it, but I say that Windows XP is the best User Interface I have found on a modern computer. I look forward to trying some Linux desktops sometime soon, but as we have observed, the Flavor-of-the-Month, Ubuntu, doesn’t seem to boot for us mortals. Dang.

    The Macintosh UI is pretty poor. I like the dock, and some of the control-panel-shortcuts in the upper right are spot on. But for the most part, it is pretty disappointing: like the Finder won’t generate image thumbnails of a directory at a time, and changing file associations sucks. I keep making left-pane shortcuts too, but they get deleted whenever I remove the media they are on, even if I use symlinks . . . and it has alt+tab, sure, but it only works between applications! So, as you run multiple terminal windows or such navigation becomes complicated and annoying.

    And startup and shutdown is horrifically slow. I wouldn’t spend money on a Mac.

    XP got a lot of stuff right. I hope Vista isn’t actually a step back. =(

    Parallels rocks: I run XP home within my Mac, where I do Quicken, managing images in the Windows Explorer, and I run Pidgin, which supports IRC without me having to run the stupid duck application PLUS a separate IRC client in the Macintosh. Ah yes, and if I start to run a lot of applications, the Mac will lock up for MINUTES at a time when I want to switch between applications: on a Core Duo processor! This thing sucks!

    Google UIs are awful too. They sort of add buttons randomly based on the random whims of engineers and I keep clicking the wrong things. It took them like TWO YEARS or something to add a “Delete” button to Gmail. Whine-whine-whine . . . . .

    Pardon me, I just had to vent a bit. 🙂

    Love,
    -danny

  2. Hah, bite – bit – bitten. I should have known this. In fact, one component of my brain gave a warning about the word during the composition of this piece, but I chose to ignore. Thanks! It has been corrected. Likewise, I was puzzled by the non-inclusion of virtualization in Firefox dictionary.

    Yes, in my opinion, Vista is definitely a step back. The only positive I will say about Vista is the built-in DVD burning ability, if you have DVD burning drive. Now I need to hunt around for free DVD burning software on XP.

    No problem, I don’t think this is rant at all. I learned something from it.

  3. I am typing this comment on a HP dv6253cl running Windows XP. I also got the Vista nightmare, and ripped it out, not even leaving the “restore” partition. I sure wished I saw this post before I went looking all over the web for the XP drivers.

    My webcam didn’t work under Vista, and it doesn’t work under XP. I got into the tech support chat with an HP tech, but he blamed Vista for the mess up with the webcam. Let’s see them blame XP for the lack of support for their built in hardware.

    Overall, it’s a very nice laptop altogether. I was planning to install Ubuntu, but since you had trouble with it, I guess I will skip that.

    Very informative blog post, thanks.

  4. Glad it helped, Frank.

    If you want to give Linux a go, my experience is that Fedora Core should work. I installed Fedora Core 2 on my 10-year old desktop, and it worked fine. Suse may also work.

    Good luck. And let me know when you figure out the webcam thing 🙂

  5. Well, well :D. Looks like I found a solution.

    I found this thread about someone having trouble with a HP pavilion webcam on a forum:

    http://www.planetamd64.com/index.php?s=a0ef1bd1ddc60226d964a106e3d7c0c2&showtopic=31194&pid=305803&st=20&#entry305803

    Halfway down the thread someone posted a solution for Vista (seems like they are XP drivers), so I gave them a try. I downloaded this:

    http://zxon.notnet.co.uk/b3ta/driver.zip

    There are 2 exe files on that zip, I gave the 32-bit one a try, and voilá!

    I have only tested the webcam with MSN live messenger and the HP tool for the webcam. Don’t know if it works on Skype, because I don’t use it.

    The driver seems safe, but it would never hurt to give it a virus scan just in case. (I used NOD32).

  6. Sweeeeet!

    It worked for Skype also. Thanks a bunch Frank!

  7. I just got rid of vista on my dv6253cl and put xp pro on it, and I seem to have got all the drivers I needed, but the dvd burner won’t burn, it seems the drivers xp gave it are only for a dvd read only drive, not a burner. anyone know where to get the burner drivers for it?

  8. just kidding, found out that it was a virtual drive program keeping it from recognizing my REAL dvd drive. sorry folks.

  9. thank you!!!!!!! Frank Berm for the driver hp webcam it s working

  10. thank you!!!!!!! Frank Berm for the driver hp webcam it s working

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