I’ve been having some issues with the laptop since I’ve gotten it. I attribute most of the problems to my lack of networking and laptop knowledge, and the rest to XP being a prick. Today, I fixed three issues that were plaguing the laptop.
First, I tackled the issue of constant CPU speed limitations. Being that the laptop has an Athlon 64 Mobile, it uses the “PowerNow” feature to change the multiplier and necessary voltage of the proc in order to save power. It’s supposed to go from 800Mhz (400×2) to 2200Mhz (400×5.5). However, it would stay locked at 800Mhz, plugged in or not. I had installed the PowerNow drivers twice before without it affecting anything really (once from the included driver CD and once from AMD). Then, I’m looking back today and see there’s a new version on AMD’s site here, 126.96.36.199. I uninstalled the last PowerNow driver (at the prompting of the new driver), restarted, installed the new driver, restarted. Then I open this neat “dashboard” utility (also available from previous link) to check the CPU speed and to my surprise, it reacts dynamically like it should have all along. Then, I start checking out the “Power Schemes”, the most incomprehensible settings in all of Windows XP. Apparently, the power schemes actually affect more then just when to enter power saving modes as set below. They also affect how the CPU speed is set for PowerNow (and probably Intel’s equivalent). See the table at Tom’s Hardware Guide. The only problem now is that when on battery, the CPU always stays at 800Mhz. This is an ongoing issue, though.
Problem two involved the fact that ABS bundled a version of the ATI Catalyst Mobility drivers that is almost a year old now. They provide no newer drivers on their site for the Radeon Mobility 9700 than the bundled one, which was something like 4.6. I go looking for an answer/solution again. This led me to a solution rather quickly. I found this page. It is a tool to modify the driver inf files of the new Catalysts so that their mobile brethren can use them. It worked flawless. I was surprised to see that the Mobility-only “PowerPlay” feature was still available in the ATI control panel, too. The new drivers didn’t necessarily fix anything, since I haven’t run any games newer than JK2 on the laptop yet. I can foresee installing CS: Source and UT2004 sometime soon, though.
The final problem has been fucking with me for at least a couple weeks. My post at EE explains it best, but basically I wanted to be able to have all my drives mapped between the two computers (Laptop and Desktop; SerpentMobile and Serpent) with password protection. But I still wanted to have my shared files available for when other computers are hooked up to my network. The first problem was getting the drives mapped on both. I actually want to outline the whole process in a short column because I’m sure others out there would want to do this. I can’t be the only person with a fully/highly functional laptop and desktop and a need to connect them seemlessly. With the mapped drives, they are almost one big computer. I can sit on the bed with a patch of Cat5 running to the switch and watch Family Guy and chat. Serpent acts as the file server and router. Anyways, the answer was found searching Usenet groups on Google (it searches all those wonderful Microsoft forums, sometimes more useful than searching the web because everyone posting has a problem) which led to this. Two installs of XP Pro only a month apart, how could one have Guests denied in an obscure Group Policy setting? Crazy shit.
I actually stood up and did a dance when I saw the second image on my screen. The cat enjoyed that.