Friday, April 22, 2011

HP laptops in Vista, dropping devices

Besides goofy behavior of the touchpad on my personal Dell XPS converted from Vista to Windows 7 (if you press too hard, it takes certain keys as commands and jumps or deletes text, in any application), I’ve encountered weird behavior on a Hewlitt-Packard Vista laptop for work. I can’t discuss the work, but I can say there’s goofy behavior, with the touchpad device dropping entirely, and with the cellular wireless card getting disabled. 

It seems from the scuttlebutt that Vista tends to drop devices on some machines, particularly depending on how the machine was booted up. Many organizations specify specific startup scripts and procedures which may differ from what the manufacturer says, particularly to get to an encrypted logon screen.  If these are not followed exactly, occasionally the HP, at least, will lose devices.  It seems the Startup script affects how the devices behave later.  I suspect this would not happen in Windows 7.

There is a way to access the device manager in Vista from the search box, with devmgmt.msc.  Or use the command prompt. About has a writeup here.  

There are some instructions online as to what to do if a VZAccessManager wireless device gets disabled, here

Update: April 25

Tonight, on my own Dell XPS, the wireless icon goes out. Yes, it comes back when I press it (and "enables" in W7), but why did it go out? 

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