How to Enable AHCI and Turbo Cache for DELL Inspiron 1720 with Windows Vista

How to Enable AHCI and Turbo Cache for DELL Inspiron 1720 with Windows Vista

In Dell Inspiron 1720 portable, users may experience lock up or system may go into a BSOD (Windows Blue Screen of Death) during PC Restore, manual Operating System Re-Install or even after a hard drive replacement. The current workaround is to set the SATA Operation (this is in the BIOS accessible by tapping F2 after restart) from AHCI to ATA in the BIOS. However, this usually makes the system run slow as the HDD would act exactly like an IDE HDD. This problem is due to the SATA drivers not being installed. Some users prefer to have AHCI mode back. To resolve this issue, just perform the following steps:

NOTE: Before you even begin, download ALL the latest SATA drivers available for your system (in this case the Dell Inspiron 1720) from the Dell support site. You will definitely need them.

1. First, go to Start (or the Pearl in Windows VISTA), click on Run, and type “regedit”, and then press enter (or you can just type regedit on the Search box upon clicking on the Pearl).

2. In the registry screen, follow this subkey (you will really need to manually click on the plus sign next to the entries and navigate till you reach the exact sub-entry):

|    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci    |

3. In the “Msahci” key, double click on “Start” in the name column.

4. In the “value data” box, change the value to “0”, and then click OK.

5. Close the registry and restart your machine.

6. Upon your reboot, press F2 at the Dell splash screen to enter the BIOS.

7. In the BIOS, change your hard drive setting to AHCI. Save your changes and exit, this time allowing the system to boot into Windows. At this point, you’ll know if your  registry edit worked. If Windows does not boot, simply go back into the BIOS and change your HDD settings back.

8. In Windows, the Automatic Hardware Installation Wizard will install new drivers for AHCI and related things. Pay no attention to this, and DO NOT RESTART when  the wizard prompts you to. Rather, install all of the SATA drivers you obtained for your system from the Dell support site without restarting in between them. For the Inspiron 1720, install R154200.exe (Intel Matrix Storage) and  R154164.exe (Turbo Memory). Once the final driver is installed, you can now restart your machine again.

9.You may now also enable Turbo Cache (Flash Cache Module) mode from the BIOS menu. On this reboot your  system may install one final HDD driver, making you do an additional restart.

This should also work for Inspiron 1520 and all other portables which have ACHI capabilities running on Windows Vista. Just get the SATA drivers from the support site. I have tried this personally on one of my Inspiron 1720s and it absolutely worked just fine. There is another solution found on the link below but it could possibly be for Windows XP systems. However, I can’t really conclude until further tests are conducted. Will keep you posted though! 🙂

http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=insp_harddrive&message.id=66356&query.id=285657#M66356

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Dell Bluetooth 5-Button Travel Mouse has to be rediscovered every time the PC is powered off, hibernates or sleeps.

Dell Bluetooth 5-Button Travel Mouse has to be rediscovered every time the PC is powered off, hibernates or sleeps.

This problem occurs after a new install of the Dell TrueMobile 355 Bluetooth + EDR or a Vista reload.

The Dell Mouse power settings must be changed.

1. Go to Device Manager.

2. Click the plus sign next to Bluetooth.

3. Right click on Dell Truemobile 355 Bluetooth + EDR then click on properties.

4. Click on the top tab Power Management.

5. Click the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power – make sure the box turns light gray and is not blue.

6. Click Ok.

Try turning off your computer – if the mouse does not work go in to be sure the Allow computer to turn off this device to save power is not highlighted.

Apparently the power saving setting is a default after a reinstall of Vista or the Bluetooth device.

Dell Wireless WLAN Card User Guide

Setting Advanced Properties: Dell Wireless WLAN Card User Guide

To set the advanced properties of your WLAN card, open the Properties window to the Advanced tab.

To view the value of a property, click the name of the property in the Property list. The property value is displayed in the Value box. To change the value, click an option in the Value list or type a new value, as appropriate (selection options are different for different properties).

The available properties and their respective settings are described below. NOTE: Some of the properties may not be available on your model of the Dell Wireless WLAN Card.

802.11h+d

The 802.11h+d property configures the advanced radio control of the WLAN card by an associated access point. The controls are enabled when the 802.11h+d property is set to Loose 11h, Loose 11h+d, or Strict 11h. When the setting is Strict 11h, the Dell Wireless WLAN Card associates only to access points supporting IEEE 802.11h protocols when operating in regions with special restrictions on radio operation. When the setting is Loose 11h, the WLAN card does not restrict associations based on the access point IEEE 802.11h support. When the setting is Loose 11h+d, the Dell Wireless WLAN Card does not restrict associations based on the access point IEEE 802.11h or IEEE 802.11d support.

Disabled (default)

Loose 11h

Loose 11h+d

Strict 11h

Afterburner

Afterburner is a Broadcom proprietary high-performance implementation of a faster throughput added to wireless products that conform to IEEE 802.11g.

Disabled (default). Disables Afterburner.

Enabled. Enables Afterburner

Antenna Diversity

Antenna Diversity is a function included in most wireless LAN equipment that has two antennas, Main and Aux. When set to Auto, Antenna Diversity monitors the signal from each antenna and automatically switches to the one with the better signal.

Auto (default).

Aux.

Main.

Band Preference

The Band Preference property is available only on Dell Wireless WLAN Card models that have dual-band capability. Band Preference allows users to specify the IEEE 802.11 band preference while roaming . This allows the wireless client to associate with another AP based on band preference even if the signal from the currently associated AP is strong enough to sustain the association .

None (default). Roams without regard to the frequency band of the available APs.

Prefer 802.11a (5 GHz band)

Prefer 802.11g/b (2.4 GHz band)

Bluetooth Collaboration

Bluetooth Collaboration enables general purpose input/output transmit suppression protocol between the IEEE 802.11 media access control (MAC) and an external Bluetooth chip to minimize transmit interference. Bluetooth Collaboration is enabled by default.

Enable (default)

Disable

BSS Mode

BSS mode is used to to restrict the IEEE 802.11b/g band to IEEE 802.11b only mode. BSS Mode applies to networks that are configured for access points.

Default (default)

802.11b Only

Disable Upon Wired Connect

If this property is set to Enabled, whenever your computer is connected to an Ethernet port and the link state is good, the computer automatically turns off the IEEE 802.11 radio. This conserves IP address allocation, reduces security risks, resolves dual interface routing issues, and prolongs battery life.

Disabled (default)

Enabled

IBSS Allowed

This property must be set to Enabled for you to use the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility or Wireless Network Wizard to create or connect to an ad hoc network. Your network administrator may require this property to be set to Disabled for security reasons.

Enabled (default)

Disabled

IBSS 54g(tm) Protection Mode

A mechanism of prefixing each OFDM data frame with a request to send/clear to send (RTS/CTS) complimentary code keying (CCK) frame sequence. The duration fields of the RTS and CTS frames should allow the IEEE 802.11b node to correctly set its network allocation vector (NAV) and avoid collisions with the subsequent OFDM frames. As required for Wi-Fi®, protection mechanisms are enabled automatically whenever an IEEE 802.11b STA joins the BSS. If no IEEE 802.11b STA joins, then no protection mechanism is used and full IEEE 802.11g performance is attained.

Auto

Disabled

IBSS Mode

IBSS Mode is used to set the connection type in an ad hoc network. The following options are available:

802.11b Mode (default). Links only with IEEE 802.11b networks at the highest rate. Also, it excludes IEEE 802.11g networks.

802.11g Mode. Links only with IEEE 802.11g networks at the highest rate.

AP Compatibility Mode

Some older APs may have implementations that deviate from IEEE 802.11 standards. Setting this property to Broader Compatibility enables your Dell Wireless WLAN Card to better communicate with such APs, but at the expense of some performance loss. The default setting is Higher Performance.

Higher Performance (default)

Broader Compatibility

Locally Administered MAC Address

Locally Administered MAC Address is used to override the MAC address of the Dell Wireless WLAN Card. The Locally Administered MAC Address is a user-defined MAC address that is used in place of the MAC address originally assigned to the network adapter. Every adapter in the network must have its own unique MAC address. This locally administered address consists of a 12-digit hexadecimal number.

Value. Assigns a unique node address for the adapter.

Not Present (Default). Uses the factory-assigned node address on the adapter.

The appropriate assigned ranges and exceptions for the locally administered address include the following:

• The range is 00:00:00:00:00:01 to FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FD.
• Do not use a multicast address (least significant bit of the high byte = 1).
• Do not use all 0s or all F’s.

Location

Users who purchased their Dell Wireless WLAN Card in the United States have USA as the default location; users who purchased their Dell Wireless WLAN Card in Japan have Japan as their default location. For all other users, the Location property is not available. See Radio Approvals for additional information.

Manage Wireless Settings

When the Manage Wireless Settings property is enabled, the Let this tool manage your wireless network settings check box on the Wireless Networks tab of the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility is selected.

Enabled (default)

Disabled

Minimum Power Consumption

When enabled, this property enables the wireless client to either turn off the radio or to not scan when the wireless client network is unassociated or when the computer is in the IDLE state.

Enabled (default)

Disabled

PLCP Header

PLCP Header is used to set the header type used for CCK rates. The type can be Long or Auto (short/long).

Auto (Short/Long) (default)

Long

Power Save Mode

The Power Save Mode property is used to put the wireless client computer into the IEEE 802.11 Power Save mode. When the Power Save Mode property is enabled, the radio is periodically powered down to conserve power. When the radio is in Power Save Mode, packets are stored in the AP until the radio comes on. The Fast setting allows full throughput with power savings.

Fast (default)

Enabled

Disabled

Radio Enable/Disable

When the value of this property is set to Disabled, the radio is turned off. It may be necessary at times to turn off the radio to comply with restrictions prohibiting the emission of radio signals, such as during takeoff and landing onboard a commercial aircraft. Changing the value to Enabled turns the radio back on. Certain computers may have other more convenient methods for turning the radio on and off. Refer to operating manual that came with the computer to see if such features exist.

Enabled (default)

Disabled

Rate

This property allows you to specify the rate (in Mbit/s) at which data is transmitted. The possible values are: 1, 2, 5.5, 6, 9, 11, 18, 24, 36 48, and 54 . The default is set to Use best Rate. This setting automatically adjusts the transmission rate to the optimal rate based on the capabilities of the other wireless clients and access points.

NOTE: The default value for this property is set for maximum performance. Therefore, it is not recommended for home users to change the value. Only network administrators or technicians with wireless LAN experience should attempt to make any changes.

Rate (802.11a)

This property allows you to specify the rate (in Mbit/s) at which data is transmitted for IEEE 802.11a operation. The possible values are: 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 54. The default is set to Use best Rate.

NOTE: The default value for this property is set for maximum performance. Therefore, it is not recommended for home users to change the value. Only network administrators or technicians with wireless LAN experience should attempt to make any changes.

Rate (802.11b/g)

This property allows you to specify the rate (in Mbit/s) at which data is transmitted for IEEE 802.11b/g operation. The possible values are: 1, 2, 5.5, 6, 9, 11, 18, 24, 36 48, and 54 . The default is set to Use best Rate.

NOTE: The default value for this property is set for maximum performance. Therefore, it is not recommended for home users to change the value. Only network administrators or technicians with wireless LAN experience should attempt to make any changes.

Disable Bands

This property is available only on Dell Wireless WLAN Card models that have dual-band capability.

None (default)

Disable 802.11g/b

Disable 802.11a


Fragmentation Threshold

The maximum size in bytes at which packets are fragmented and transmitted a piece at a time instead of all at once. Available values range from 256 to 2346. The default value is 2346.

Roaming Decision

The signal strength value that determines when the Dell Wireless WLAN Card starts scanning for other APs.

Default (default). −75 dB

Optimize Bandwidth. −65 dB

Optimize Distance. −85 dB

Roam Tendency

This property adjusts the roaming thresholds for the Dell Wireless WLAN Card.

Moderate (default). Roams to APs having a signal strength at least 20 dB greater than the current access point.

Aggressive. Roams to APs having a signal strength at least 10 dB greater than the current access point.

Conservative. Roams to APs having a signal strength at least 30 dB greater than the current access point.

RTS Threshold

If the number of frames in the data packet is at or above the RTS Threshold, a request to send/clear to send handshake is turned on before sending the data packet. The default value is 2347. The range is 0 to 2347.

SSID Autopromote

If you used the Wireless Network Wizard or the Wireless Network Connection Settings tool to connect to wireless networks, each network that you have connected to is listed under Preferred network connections on the Wireless Networks tab of the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility. Each time you start your computer, the computer automatically attempts to connect to the network at the top of the list. If that network is within range, the connection is made. If it is not within range, your computer attempts to connect to the next network on the list, and continues the process until it finds a network that is within range. You can move any preferred network up or down the list.

If the SSID Autopromote property is disabled, you can manually override the automatic network connection process and connect to the network of your choice, regardless of its position on the list (see “Utility Controls”). If the SSID Autopromote property is enabled, you cannot manually override the automatic connection process.

Disabled (default)

Enabled

WMM

Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM™). The WMM property enables quality of service for audio, video, and voice applications over a wireless network by prioritizing streams of content and optimizing the way the network allocates bandwidth among competing applications.

Auto (default). With WMM set to Auto, when the wireless client connects to the AP, and the AP has Unscheduled Automatic Power Save Delivery (UAPSD) enabled, the wireless client is allowed to enter Power Save mode.

Enabled. The wireless client enters Power Save mode for WMM associations independent of whether the AP has UAPSD enabled or disabled.

Disabled. The wireless client does not have WMM association.

WZC IBSS Channel Number

The WZC IBSS Channel Number property selects the independent basic service set (IBSS) channel number on which to operate when WZC is managing your wireless networks. The default setting is 11.

WZC Managed Ethernet

If the WZC Managed Ethernet property enabled, Wireless Zero Configuration Service (WZC) is enabled to manage 802.1x connections for Ethernet devices in your computer. This setting only applies if the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility is enabled to manage your Dell Wireless WLAN Card.

Disabled (default)

Enabled

XPress (TM) Technology
Xpress™ Technology is a proprietary frame bursting technology that improves throughput by repackaging data so that more data can be sent in each frame. Xpress™ Technology is disabled by default.

Disabled (default). Disables Xpress™ Technology.

Enabled. Enables Xpress™ Technology.

Source: http://support.dell.com/

New Audio Driver update for Studio 1535

Dell support released an updated Audio Driver for their Studio 1535 for an ongoing Audio issues complained by a growing number of users. Dell suggests downloading and installing the recently released and Audio driversBIOS version A05 update.

A discussion on Dell’s community forum about the said Audio issues with the new Dell platform, Studio 1535, was answered by Dell liaison who provided the supposed to be fix on the current issue.

Source: http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=insp_audio&thread.id=44143&view=by_date_ascending&page=5

Dell Support releases fixes on XPS 630i Fan and other issues

Dell’s Support site has just released fixes for ongoing XPS 630i issues. Included in the updates available in their support site includes System Utilities Firmware, ESA Perfomance, and BIOS updates. These should put a halt on the continuing debacle that customers are experiencing with their XPS 630 machines. As of the record, there has been a never-ending exchange of troubleshooting and work-around by customers in the Dell Community Forum that led to nothing. Good thing Dell paid close attention to the growing number of posts on the said issue that accumulates every day.

The respective fixes and enhancements on the new updates are the following:

1. System Utilities Firmware: Update to address fan run away problem with existing NvPerformance software and Master I/O Firmware.

2. ESA Performance: Update to address fan run away problem with existing NvPerformance software and Master I/O Firmware.

3. BIOS Update: Fixes can’t update ESA firmware issue after run Delldiag.

The downloads can be accessed on this link:

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&ServiceTag=&SystemID=XPS_630I&os=WLH&osl=en&catid=&impid

Good job Dell! ü

Source: http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=HotTopics&message.id=35&~ref=crss#M35

Dell Update on nVidia GPU issue: Limited Warranty Enhancement to All Affected Customers Around the Globe

I’ve bump into an info news from Dell that they’ll be offering a 12-month limited warranty enhancement specific to the nVidia GPU issue with the systems listed below. This would apply to all customers around the world and they’re also planning to add more 12 months coverage for the said issue to the existing limited warranty of  up to 60 months from the purchase date:

Dell Precision M2300          Latitude D630          Vostro Notebook 1400
Dell Precision M4300          Latitude D630c        Vostro Notebook 1510
Dell Precision M65              Latitude D820          Vostro Notebook 1710
Inspiron 1420                     Latitude D830
XPS M1330                          Latitude D620          Vostro Notebook 1310
XPS M1530

More information will be announced in a couple of weeks. Please stay tuned.

Source: http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2008/08/18/nvidia-gpu-update-dell-to-offer-warranty-enhancement-to-all-affected-customers-worldwide.aspx

Virtualization for Dummies now available for download

Okay, please don’t get over-excited yet and learn first what “virtualization” means. 🙂

If you consult wikipedia about it, you’ll learn that it refers to “the abstraction of computer resources”, a term which is basically a broad. In a much simpler sense, it means the creation of a virtual version of anything, like a storage device, a Operating System, a server, or network. A common example of this would be the partitions in the hard drive to, in some way, virtually create two or more separate hard drives in one actual hard drive. You’ll learn more as you go through the whole e-book about Virtualization for Dummies.

Download the free .pdf Virtualization for Dummies e-book.

Source: http://www.itworld.com/virtualization/53932/free-copy-virtualization-dummies-now-available-instant-download