Cellular Broadband on your HP Mini 1000 running Windows 7

hp_miniSo, you’d like to use that fancy new broadband modem you ordered with your HP NetBook.  Only problem is you’re so ahead of the curve with technology that you’ve taken advantage of the free year-long Windows 7 RC.  That is the dilemma… how to get your Qualcomm un2400 broadband modem to work on your fancy new operating system.  This problem took me a while to figure out.  Finally thought it just started working… and the first post I’m making is this one 😉

Here are the pre-reqs you’ll need:

  1. HP Mini 1000 NetBook with WWAN Modem, Windows 7, HP Wireless Assistant*, HP Connection Manager version 2, HP Multi-WWAN Drivers 

* The Wireless Assistant isn’t listed as one of the downloads for the HP Mini 1000, so I was forced to browse Google till i found a different hp laptop that had it for download.  Only requirement I needed for it was that it run on Vista.

If you have all of the pre-requisites then it’s time to get started 😉

1. Install Windows 7 onto your netbook.  You can follow my instructions on another post to learn how to install it via a bootable USB thumb-drive…

2. Now install the HP Multi-WWAN Drivers, this is the latest drivers and I had no problems with the installation or it’s appearance in device manager.

3. Install the HP Wireless Assistant*.  This will help the connection manager control the power’d state of your WWAN PCI-e card.

4. Lastly, install the HP Connection Manager version 2.  They just released this software back on 3/19/09.  This is a welcome release.  Before when i was running Windows 7 Beta, I was forced to use version 1 which required administrative permissions to execute.  I was able to get cellular broadband to work with BETA… but this solution here is far better!!!hpconnectionmanager-profile

That’s it, you’re done.  Now it’s time to configure the HP connection profile you will use to connect to the internet.  Open the HP Connection Manager version 2 and go to Tools->Profile Manager.  Edit the profile in the list, then edit your WWAN properties.  Adjust your settings to what I have to the right…

Save all that and you’re ready to test your connection.

double click the “HP Connection Manager 2” shortcut that was added to your desktop from step 4.  you should then see the below screen:

hpconnectionmanager

Click the “Power On” button and you’ll see this appear in the bottom right of your screen:

hpwirelessassistant

Once your wwan card is online and active you’ll see this screen:

hpconnectionmanager-online

Hit the “Connect” button and you should then be online and active… just as the following screen shows:

hpconnectionmanager-online2  

That’s it.  You’re now online and active… enjoy those 3G speeds!!!

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Installing Windows 7 on your Netbook without a CD Drive

windows-startkey-flash-drive

I ran into a little problem with getting a “fresh” Windows 7 installed on to my net book.  After a bit of research I found the following procedure… and it worked perfectly!!!

Without further ado… here are the Vista instructions for how you can create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 7 on your system.

1. Format USB flash drive to NTFS format

For Vista users can directly format the USB drive to NTFS formatformatL

2. Disk-Part the Drive

On the Start menu, navigate to the command prompt entry. Right-click and select Run as administrator.

startmenu

Type

diskpart

list disk

Record the disk number of your USB flash drive.

diskpart

Select the USB disk.

select disk X (X is the drive number of the USB flash drive)

List the current partition. Record the partition number.

list partition

Select the current partition and make it active.

select partition Y (Y is the partition number of the USB flash drive)

active

diskpart2

3. Prepare the OS files

Download Windows 7 file to your desktop.

Download and install PowerISO from http://poweriso.com/.

Right-click on the Windows 7 iso file and select Extract files. Extract the files to a folder (you can name the folder any name you want, but for illustration purpose, I name it win-7) in your desktop.

extract

In your command prompt, cd to the windows 7 folder.

cd Desktop/win-7 (Change the destination to the folder that you have extracted)

cd boot

bootsect /nt60 X: (X is the drive latter of your USB drive )

Now, copy all the files from the Windows 7 folder to the USB flash drive.

Reboot the computer. Remember to change the first boot device to your USB drive in the BIOS.

You should be able to install Windows 7 from your USB flash drive now.

Microsoft Live Mesh Services

So, I’ve been using the Live Mesh services for a while now…

livemesh

and never did understand exactly what it did.  I basically used this software as a backup-remote desktop program.  Whenever i needed to access my desktop while out at another computer, I’d log into mesh.com and connect into the desktop of my system.  I was able to avoid having to upgrade the Home-OS on my desktop this way.

I’m just now learning about the power of the folder syncing feature.  It is kind of a new way of thinking of folders.  The main type is to have a folder synced from your computer and the Live Desktop.  Any folder on the Live Desktop can then be synced to any of the devices.  I guess the best way to describe the benefits here is to give an example:

You have a “My Files” folder synced with my netbook and my desktop with the Live Desktop.    I’m on my desktop and edit a new word document.  I save that document into the “My Files” folder.  It will automatically sync to the Live Desktop.    I leave my office and bring my netbook with me… I move out to the local park, sign into my 3g internet connection and live mesh auto-signs in.  It then initiates a sync and the new document i created on my desktop is synced…

I edit the new doc a bit, save it and return to my desktop where it has already synced.

This has multiple applications and some exciting possibilities like music playlists shared between all your “mesh linked” devices. 

Another example might be I have my windows mobile phone synced into mesh.  I take a picture with my phone… it is auto-synced with the live desktop… thus accessible anywhere on any of my other devices…

The power and potential is impressive.  I’m very excited to see what will come out that will utilize this power.

 

HP Mini Restore Problem… Solved!!!

Recently I installed Windows 7 Beta on my netbook, then wanted to test the restore process to get it back to Windows XP.  I used the windows home server to backup my netbook originally and to backup the installation of windows 7.  This, I thought, would allow me to jump back and forth between XP and W7 at will.

The biggest problem happened though.  The windows home server bootable restore wizard doesn’t recognize my netbooks LAN card.  Thus making restores impossible.

I was distracted for a short time while I exchanged the netbook for another with a WWAN card.  But now I’m back and solved the restore problem.

A long time ago I purchased a copy of Acronis TrueImage Workstation, a backup/restore solution I was using to backup customers hard drives. 

I used it to create a bootable disk on one USB thumb drive, and used a second much larger thumb drive to backup my XP image.

Now I can restore my XP drive at will… Yay!!!  Thus giving me the comfort level to move forward with additional Windows 7 testing.

HP Mini Fiasco, or In Search of a WWAN Antenna

hs2300 3G WWAN card So… I purchased my mini without the WWAN card and purchased it separately in an attempt to save myself $50.  It worked kind of…  I got my mini in and a week later I got in the WWAN card via a separate order.  I open up the mini to install the WWAN card and to my dismay I find no WWAN antenna wires.  So what does any sane person do… refer to the manual.  I locate the product number of the antenna and proceed to call HP to order the missing part, this is where things get interesting.

I spend the next 3 hours on the phone being passed between 20+ people all telling me they don’t know what I’m wanting, it’s not in stock, they can’t find it… the list goes on.  When they realize they can’t help me and I’m not hanging up they quietly pass me down the line to the next operator where I describe my problem again, and again, and again, etc…

My persistence paid off though…  After 3 hours I got round-robined back to someone who passed me along 15 people ago.  He felt so bad, I’m guessing, that he helped me from that point on.  They were not able to get me the part I needed and offered me an alternative option:  Return the Mini I had and order another with exactly the pieces I need. 

In the end I spend an additional $60 from my original order… and I can now return the WWAN card I ordered separately and get that money back.

All said and done, I should have ordered the mini with the WWAN card in the first place… but I was trying to save a few bucks.

My Netbook is Here!!!

I just signed for my new HP Mini 1000 from the FedEx guy… Yay!!!

Now let me clean up my desk so I can get a pleasant viewing experiece for the camera…LOL.
This is really difficult… not opening it till I get the camera setup… arrrr

Top 10 Accessories for My Netbook

So, I’m sitting here reading every article I can get my hands on regarding my new HP Mini 1000 and I came across an article which set me Fuming. Jennifer L DeLeo, should do more research I’m thinking. Granted the article was dated 9/22/08 and the HP Mini 1000 wasn’t released till the following month but I was very disappointed in her article.
It describes the very poor state of affairs for Netbooks back in September. The tiny screens, the overheating problems, the limited hard drive space… It sounds as though she wasn’t all that sold on the idea of what a mini laptop really is good for. She was writing this article as if the netbooks were supposed to compete head to head with a full size laptop. Well I’d like to set her and other netbook doubters straight!
The Netbook design is meant to be very small very portable. This isn’t the kind of laptop you use to program on, play 3d graphics intensive games, or edit movies. The Netbook is first and foremost a “portal device”. It provides a portal to the internet and its vast resources. RDP, Websites, Webmail, Online Office, etc…
Over the next year or so I’ll be posting all of the various things you can do with a Netbook.
Jennifer’s article on the Top 10 Netbook Accessories, I believe is completely ridiculous!!!!! These are accessories for a full size laptop.. why on earth would you want a full size keyboard to lug around everywhere when you have a beautifully crafted mini keyboard built right in… granted the only keyboard I like in the netbook line is that on the HP Mini 1000, but hey… my opinion still applies here.
I agreed with only two of her “top 10”. So here’s my picks for the

Top 10 Accessories for My Netbook:

1. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009 with GPS Locator – Every ultra portable netbook absolutely needs a GPS mapping solution. Here’s the perfect one. I’m using the older 2007 version… as a result I also picked up the Pharos Bluetooth Cradle for Microsoft GPS Receiver .

2. Rosewill Black USB 2.0 External Slim 8X DVD Burner Model ROD-EX001 – Yes there are probably faster more expensive external burners out there… but who cares. This is a simple straight to the point burner. It’s slim so it will fit nicely in the bag with your netbook. It doesn’t require an external power supply so you can keep the number of cables to a minimum. However be careful… since it pulls power from your battery, you’ll only want to use this when you have the netbook plugged in for AC power.

3. Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 – By now I’m assuming you know to order your netbook with built in Bluetooth right… Well here’s a tiny Bluetooth mouse. It includes the two most used features on my computer… the back button on the web browser and the scroll wheel. On top of that it includes a battery meter for the two standard AAA batteries it requires. Oh, did I mention it comes with a neoprene carrying case… Wahoo…SCORE!!!!

4. SONY SRS-BTM30 Stereo Bluetooth Speaker – OK… this should be a given, cause if your gonna stream those internet radio stations you’ll want an awesome set of speakers to sent that music to, right? Here are a set of stereo speakers which connect to your laptop via Bluetooth. Set them up on your book shelf, plug in the AC power and sit back with your netbook in full audio heaven!

5. LACIE 301841 500GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive – This one might be a no brainer unless you currently enjoy the benefits of a Windows Home Server. In that case, you’ll want a small portable hard drive to store the various movies, TV shows, documents, software and all you might collect. If you have to take it with you… use one of these to do it, otherwise get yourself a home server and store terabytes not gigabytes…

6. A-DATA 16GB Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) Flash Card Model TurboSD SDHC 16G – This one plays double duty… The HP Mini 1000 comes with a built in SD memory card reader right… if you’re like allot of people you’ll be ordering your netbook with a solid state hard drive totaling only 8 or 16 gigs. Here is the absolutely perfect way to increase space. Oh, did I mention that this can be used in your digital camera also? You might also want to try out for triple duty… Here’s an 8GB micro SD card with an SD adapter… that’s right… use it in your cell phone, digital camera, and now your netbook too…

7. HP 8GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model P-FD8GB-HPV100W-FS – A flash drive is a no brainer when it comes to portability which makes it to my top 10 list. If you decided to go with the HP Mini 1000 like I did, then might as well go for the HP flash drive. Here is a large capacity 8 gig model for the low low price of 14.99. Or you could tempt fate with a Patriot Xporter Magnum 64GB Flash Drive, that’s 64 gigs of pure storage… oh yeah… I’m feeling it now..

8. Microsoft Windows 7 – Absolutely!!! get the next version of windows on your netbook. The public beta is coming Friday!!! (01/09/09) This new OS is designed with size and speed in mind. It features many that will make your Netbook experience better than anything XP and Vista can bring you.

9. CyberPower CPS150SI 15A Power Inverter – If your portable you’ll need a power inverter for your car. Here is the best one I’ve ever owned. The HP Mini 1000 comes with a 30watt power supply, which means this 120watt output device is perfect. Best of all it is tiny like the netbook itself.

10. HP un2400 EV-DO/HSDPA Mobile Broadband Module (FN556AA) – Lastly, if you’re like me you’ll want to have 3g internet access from anywhere. I’m also cheap and just had to save $50 and order the un2400 3G internal card separate from my main netbook purchase. For some reason they are charging $200 through customization. On top of that I think they’re out cause I just dropped by there and couldn’t find the option for the WWAN module. Oh well.. hopefully I won’t get burned by ordering them separately because I’ve heard of a bios lock on PCIe cards. Hopefully that only applies to non-HP cards.

There you have it… my top 10 list for NetBook Accessories..