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Curiosities with well-equipped PCs

New computers are often a bliss. Sometimes it can be just annoying. While
upgrading my computer, I had to install some software from scratch as
important device drivers were just broken. One of the more annoying ones
are these from VIA. Had to manually delete them later as the setup failed.

So when I’ve built in the new coponents, everything went well so far. Firing up Windows 7 brought up the only hassle. Re-activation of Windows 7 as the hardware has changed (but Thanks to the assistance on telephone, even this little incident could be solved quickly.

But what was annoying, was the fact that something has boggled my computer big time so that the call of the sound settings always took a good 30 seconds to open. Or at least 3 to 4 startups… so where to search the culprit? My first thought was the onboard soundchip of the “old” board. A Creative XFi under the hood of a VIA chip. The VIA driver could be the problem and the later installed PC chechup tool called “Soluto” revealed that the VIA driver stalled my system for a good 20 seconds. So time to get rid of the little fracker!

No problem I thought! Simply go to “Programs” and remove the driver again and we’re good to go.

But NO, it shouldn’t be that simple!

The startup of the deinstallation process brought up this error message:

Okay: I admit, that my system is a tad bigger than the average discounter computer which comes at best with 8GB RAM and a decent 4core processor. So the setup program assumed that I have a server running and refused to work here. Well so what to do? Thank god, the UEFI BIOS allow fiddling around with the components and also allows selective deactivation of these. So deactivating 4 cores (2 cores / 4 threads at the end) and 6 of my 8 installed 8GB-modules resulted in a mere 16GB configuration… Temporarily that is!

When I launched the deinstallation process, this error message did not pop up anymore. However the setup told me AFTER I have selected to deinstall all drivers, that it could not find any VIA hardware and exited. Well, dear VIA engineers. Why would someone click on “Deinstall drivers”? Correct: The components are no longer available. So why does this freaking setup not uninstall any drivers when there’s no hardware found AND the user wants to uninstall any existing driver software?!

Annoyed about this and with the fact that there was no suitable solution to my problem, I did, what average users shouldn’t do! Analyzing the setup log from the install process, see which files are copied where and which registry keys have been created/modified. Took me quite a while to clean up the mess in the registry as deleting the necessary files was a simple SHIFT+Delete. The present for my 2hours-one-man-show working the registry was a 19 seconds faster boot and a responsive sound selector again.

So what do we learn from this? Sometimes, driver software can develop the wildest styles and biggest annoyances. If you’re not familiar with the mechanics of Windows, then you’re just boned when it comes to cleanup on aisle 4.

So what about driver cleaning tools? The this very moment I was unable to find ANY reliable tool that can deal with VIA drivers. While Driver Sweeper focusses on AMD/NVidia drivers and some other older drivers, Fusion also refused to get rid of that pesky VIA driver. VIA itself doesn’t offer any uninstaller or Driver cleaning tool. So at this very moment you only have two choices: Killing the driver using my method or be stuck with it!

Oh and while we are talking about curiosities: Some games also refused to start as they reported that my system has installed -1MB RAM while 256MB RAM is needed. Hmm… seems, some programmers have used signed Double for calculation processes of the RAM (but to be honest: Ever seen negative RAM capacity? Me neither! So Unsignet Double would have been the better choice in this case. And not only RAM was calculated the false way: One of my installed harddisks supply a 3TB partition. Guess what: Ine program using the harddisk as scratch drive, refused to launch as it said that it needed at least 10MB scratch space on that drive while  -1’043’348 MB is available on that drive. Umm, get me right but there is no such thing as minus 1TB of storage? Also here, the programmer seeems to have used signed Integer as calculation base while unsigned Integer just would have worked fine.

But why use Integer anyways as the value is larger than 2’147483’647 in bytes? Why scale up to Kilobytes?

But so far, my new rig performs really well and all modern games run like a charm. I wonder when my second 7970 will be back for some serious GPU spanking using the Futuremark benchmarks. As for now, the config seems sufficient for the next three years. And NO I am NOT installing Windows 8 onto that rig, as Windows 7 is very fine and doing exactly that, what I need!

That remembers me of this picture:


February 25, 2013 Netspark - 1577 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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