August 2006 - Posts
It looks like Microsoft has decided that they will not support the playing of commercial, HD DVDs on 32–bit versions of Vista. As reported here: http://www.apcstart.com/site/dwarne/2006/08/1139/microsoft-cuts-another-feature-full-hd-playback-in-32bit-vista
The basic premise is that protected content can’t be successfully protected on 32–bit Vista, since there’s no driver signing requirement. So only 64–bit Vista will be able to play commercial, protected, high definition DVD content.
Note: this does not mean that 32–bit Vista won’t be able to use the new BluRay and HD-DVD for data storage and/or playback of non-protected content – it will. But protected movies? Better go with x64.
There is a new version of WinRAR, the alternative archiver to WinZIP. But unlike WinZIP, it directly integrates into the x64 Windows Explorer shell, allowing right-mouse clicks. In fact, the WinRAR folks have supported x64 since almost the very beginning. At the same time that the WinZIP folks have said they can’t be bothered, there isn’t a market, and there’s no plans. So, make your own choice. I’ve made mine.
Update: Well, as Jason pointed out, there is now a version of WinZIP 10.0 that includes the necessary 64–bit DLL to enable Explorer extensions for WinZIP users. I’m glad they’ve seen the light. I wish they had been a bit more forthcoming about it. But I will retract my rather harsh comment above in light of their support. But I still like WinRAR for being there early and supporting x64 users from the very early days of x64 Edition.
Further update: Apparently there were some issues with 3.60, and the folks at WinRAR have released 3.61 to correct those. The issues were around hyperthreading, so I didn't see them, but if you've got 3.60, probably a good idea to go grab the updated version.
Microsoft has released Beta 2 of the Windows Desktop Search 3.0 tool. The major gain here is full x64 support! For details on the beta, and a link to download, see MS KB Article #917013. (Note: this is for Server 2k3 and Windows XP only – Vista and Longhorn already have this built in to the OS.)
We’ve seen this reported several times in the public newsgroup, but now that it’s finally happened to me, I guess I’d better write it up. The symptoms are this:
- ATI Graphics card
- Fresh install.
- Installation appears to be fine, hard drive visible, etc.
- The final boot, when you expect to be logging in to Windows, the screen stays black.
To fix the problem, you’ll need to get newer ATI drivers loaded. Not easy, since you can’t boot into the system. But you should be able to boot into safe mode. To boot into safe mode press F8 just as the boot process switches from the BIOS messages, to Windows. From the options that are presented, choose Safe Mode. Not anything else, just plain, pure, safe mode.
The steps to fix this you’ll need another machine you can use:
- Download the latest drivers from ATI. They’ll come in a ZIP file
- Expand the drivers into a temporary folder.
- Burn the contents of the temporary folder to a CD.
- (If you have an installation CD that came with the card, you _may_ be able to use that at this point.
- In safe mode, open the Device Manager
- Expand the Display Adapters.
- Highlight the primary display adapter. Right click, and select Update Driver…
- Choose Install from a list or specific location
- Select Include this location in the search and point to the ..\Driver\XP6A_INF folder on the CD.
- Click OK and Next sufficient times to get the driver loaded. It will probably complain at least once, possibly more. Don’t worry, just do it.
When you’ve got the driver loaded, you should be able to reboot and get into Windows XP x64 Edition normally.